Baby to Mature Pet - Why Life Stage Diets Work
Your pet’s dietary requirements change dramatically over the course of their lifetime, from crazy pup or kitten to those beautiful, golden senior years.
If you have taken a look at all the options for pet food you’ll notice that there are plenty of diets tailored to the life stages of your pet. So, here is a breakdown on each stage of life and why your pet would benefit from just such a diet.
PUPPY / KITTEN YEARS
Let's face it! Puppies are crazy! A growing puppy need up to four times the amount of energy as opposed to an adult or mature pet. A high energy diet which includes protein, fat, calcium and phosphorus is very important to help build their little bodies up and give them the best start to life. The level of these extra nutrients also depends on their breed, with smaller breeds requiring more than larger breeds.
Because of the small size of their mouths and digestive systems, kittens are not able to eat an adequate amount at one time, meaning that they should be free fed and allowed to graze throughout the day. Their meals should be high in protein, fiber and essential vitamins and nutrients. Taurine is an important amino acid that is readily found in fish and chicken sources and is essential in every cat's diet.
TEEN & ADULT DOG YEARS
The best time to change from puppy food to adult pet food is around the time that your dog stops growing, which is on average at two years of age. Smaller dogs tend to reach this point around one year. The best food for your dog depends heavily on their breed and activity level.
An average dog should eat a diet containing:
• High-quality, animal protein - muscle maintenance
• Fiber - healthy digestive tract
• Essential vitamins and minerals - immune system
• Vitamin-rich fish oils for a healthy coat and skin - overall health
• Healthy grains – energy levels
• Glucosamine – joint health needed for larger breeds
TEEN & ADULT CAT YEARS
Veterinarians recommend that you switch your kitten to an adult diet around nine months of age. This switch is best done by gradually mixing the two over the period of two weeks. It is also recommended that you reduce the amount of time that they can graze on their meals until eventually their meals are timed at breakfast and dinner time only. These meals should ideally be a blend of wet and dry food of high level digestible protein.
An average cat should eat a diet containing:
• Vitamin A, from organ meats, and niacin - healthy growth
• Essential fatty acids - healthy skin and fur
• Taurine - healthy eyes and heart muscle
Senior pets are those considered to be in the last third of their lives. For example, a pet with a life expectancy of 12 years is in his seniors years from age 8.
Senior dogs need a diet lower in calories, protein and fat and higher in fiber. This is to prevent sickness and obesity.
Senior cats do not need a reduced calorie intake as it should be the same throughout their adulthood. They also still need high levels of protein and their fat should be highly digestible as they don’t always absorb fat as easily in their later
As our pets enter their senior years it is more common that they experience illness and disease and there are several high quality diets and supplements that your Vet may recommend to you.
PLEASE NOTE: It is important to discuss any dietary or supplement changes with your Vet prior to starting them.