How to feed the adult and senior dog


Opting for wet or dry food is really a matter of personal preferences, both yours and your dog. A mixture of wet and dry food is good for your teeth and it can be useful for your dog to get used to both textures in case you need to change your diet at some point. Like humans, dogs have their likes and dislikes, so you will have to try until you find the formula you like best.

Regardless of the formula chosen, you will see that any complete and good quality adult dog food will provide your dog with a basic nutritional balance.

If your dog has a special health problem, such as skin or stomach tenderness, ask your veterinarian for information on special foods for adult dogs.

Once you have found the right food for your dog, you will no longer have to change your diet until you start getting older, around 6 or 7 years old. Find out how to feed your adult dog ..

Always monitor your fitness with your dog's dog fitness tool, since weight gain or loss may be an indication that your diet needs to be readjusted.

Food products for adult dogs

There is a wide range of nutritionally balanced adult dog food on the market and designed for the specific needs of your four-legged friend. So, you have a lot to choose from when deciding what to feed your dog.

Race, size, age, lifestyle and health status can make a big difference:

  • Smaller breeds have a faster metabolism, that is, they burn energy at a much faster rate. Depending on their physical form and their degree of activity, some may need twice daily calories than other larger breeds. The best food formulas for small dogs contain additional proteins and are rich in fats and carbohydrates to provide them with the extra energy boost they need. In addition, they are presented in smaller sizes to also fit the size of their mouths and stomachs.
  • Larger breeds may have slower metabolisms, but without a doubt, their appetite is greater! Formulas prepared specifically for large breeds have larger and more satisfying snacks that encourage large dogs to chew more, instead of swallowing their food. A lower fat content and a higher concentration of protein helps control weight gain, minimizing its impact on joints and vital organs, as well as glucosamine to strengthen joints.
  • If your dog is very active or is a working dog, you can opt for a specialized meal suitable for your "active" lifestyle. This will provide you with greater amounts of fats, proteins and vitamins, such as vitamin B12, to help you transform food into energy. Vitamin E can also help your tired muscles recover more effectively after periods of strenuous exercise.
  • It is often recommended to give good quality puppy food back to pregnant dogs to provide them with the extra calories and higher amounts of other essential nutrients they need. Find out how to feed your dog during pregnancy.
  • Less active dogs need less fat, so feeding them with a "light" formula can help them avoid weight gain.
  • Some dogs may develop sensitivity to some food groups, or suffer from medical problems that require a special diet. The veterinarian can recommend a diet suitable for the needs of your dog.

If you are not sure what is the right diet for your dog, do not hesitate to ask your veterinarian or a veterinary nurse.

How to feed your dog

Our Pet Services team usually receives the following question: "How often should I feed my dog?" Depending on the breed, we usually recommend once or twice a day. If your dog is small, his belly will be too and he may need to feed more frequently. Similarly, larger breeds, which have a tendency to swallow food, can benefit from two smaller meals, rather than a large one. Gobble up a lot of food at once can cause intestinal problems.

If you are not sure how often you should feed your dog, do not hesitate to ask your veterinarian.

Feed your dog in a quiet place away from the noise and bustle of domestic life. Always serve the dog's food on a clean plate and place it on an easy to clean surface, such as a tiled floor. If you see that your dog's plate slides on the floor, use a non-slip plate or put a rubber mat under the plate.

Dogs that devour food could benefit from a special anti-glutton dish whose form forces them to eat more slowly, while older dogs (who put everything lost when eating) will prefer an elevated feeder.

If you have more than one dog at home, feed them at the same time but separately so they don't bother or fight.

When feeding your dog, try to serve the wet food (cans / cans / bags) at room temperature, since its smell is more attractive and is easier to digest. To do this, remove them from the refrigerator at least one hour before serving. You can use the microwave to temper them a little, but always without letting them heat up.

Wet foods spoil quickly, so you should not leave them uncovered. Once opened, do not store wet food for more than 24 hours, even if it is in the fridge.

Dry food, on the other hand, can be left out all day without spoiling it. Store it in a dry and clean environment, preferably in an airtight container or in a closed box, to maintain its aroma and prevent it from spoiling.

Most dogs like the crunch of dry food, but if your pet prefers its slightly damp food, or if there is a medical problem that recommends avoiding hard food, soak the food in water for up to 30 minutes before of serving it Dry croquettes help eliminate plaque, so if you add water to dry food, it is recommended that you supplement your usual diet with a dental treat. Remember that regular brushing is the best way to avoid canine dental diseases.

What to feed an adult dog

The protein they are basic for the good feeding of our dog, they are the nutrients and they provide the basic amino acids, so we must provide them properly. However, be careful, your diet should not be based solely or mostly on meat consumption. The dog is omnivorous and plant foods provide a series of proteins that should be part of its diet.

Not all proteins are the same, in fact there are certain essential amino acids for the development of the dog that are not synthesized by the animal's metabolism. We will pay special attention to food being rich in essential amino acids and we will check it on the labels of food products, we will also make sure that they guarantee a complete diet.

The food needs of the dog are not the same at every stage of life. Elderly dogs, for example, need more protein, so we must know the different needs according to the ages to give our dog adequate food.

The most common types of food are wet food, semi-wet food and dry food or feed.

The dry food or I think eIt is the most recommended by experts as it is the most nutritionally complete. It contains a significant amount of calories, it is the food that has more protein (25% approx.), And it is the most economical and comfortable since we can buy it in large quantities and keep it.

The semi wet food It does not have such a high percentage of proteins (approx. 21%), but they also have fewer kilocalories, having a fairly high humidity level, its texture is soft, and it is easy to chew. Dogs like this type of food very much, both for taste and texture, but it is more expensive, and the portions should be more abundant than dry food.

The wet food It contains three quarters of water and a smaller amount of protein (approx. 8-15%), depending on the food. They are preferred by our dogs because they are very tender and tasty. As for the calories, they have less quantity than dry or semi-wet foods so the dog must eat more to acquire the calories he needs. It is necessary to keep them in the refrigerator once opened, and they are more expensive.

Each of the types of food can perfectly provide a complete diet, so, choose the one we choose, what you have to import is to provide the proteins, calories and elements necessary for our dog, with more or less quantity depending on the type of food .

The breed of the dog and its routine will also influence the decision: if it is a dog that does enough exercise, or even more, if it is a working dog, we can give more protein and fat, for example, than to a dog that has a life more sedentary, do not burn as many calories as it could develop obesity. Although our dog prefers to eat fleshy and moist foods, he will also be content with dry food, on the other hand it helps prevent tartar on the teeth.

In practice, we will also be influenced by the type of food we give that suits our economy, and that is easy for us to acquire at our usual store.
If we do not know for what type of food we decide to consult the veterinarian and ask for advice.

Puppy feeding until weaning

Newborn puppies feed exclusively on the breastmilk, which gives them not only proper nutrition, but also the immune defenses necessary. In this period they have a very high growth rate, so they need a food rich in protein, calcium and fat, and they need to eat frequently.

Between the sixth and eighth week of life the puppies also start feeding on soft food, in porridge form or puppy food moistened with water. This process is known as "weaning", as they stop feeding on the mother's tit to start eating solid food.

On the other hand, abandoned dogs that cannot receive food directly from the mother must be fed by us, a particularly hard and complicated task for those who have no experience. Find out more about how to feed newborn puppies.

Puppy feeding after weaning

After the eighth week, the average puppy is already weaned and fed with solid food. From this moment until the dog becomes an adult, the growth is very fast and the physical activities are very intense and frequent, so the puppy needs a food rich in protein and fat.

Of course, the specific nutrient requirements will depend on the particular conditions of each puppy, the environment in which it lives and the amount of activity it performs. However, this stage is usually very dynamic for all puppies, in addition to being the stage in which the dog increases its mass and volume. We must consult with our veterinarian the feeding of this stage. Remember that very specific races such as the American bully need an extra calcium that helps strengthen their bones, which will support a lot of weight in the future.

Up to 3 months you can give him food 4 times a day. Between 3 and 6 months, you can feed your puppy 3 times a day. From 6 months until he is an adult, you can feed your puppy 2 times a day.

Keep in mind that different breeds of dogs mature at different ages, so there is no fixed age at which all dogs stop being puppies. In general, small and medium-sized dogs are adults around the year of age, while large and giant-sized dogs are adults around 18 months of age. Before changing the type of food of your dog, consult with the veterinarian.

At this stage of life, your puppy should learn everything about socialization and the first basic orders. Discover how to educate a puppy step by step in our complete guide.

Adult dog feeding

This stage is known as maintenance stage Because dogs don't grow anymore, they just need to maintain their mass and volume. Adult dogs have a lower calorie requirement per kilogram than puppies. In other words, they do not need foods that are so rich in protein and fat, but they require slightly less energetic foods.

Of course, hunting dogs, working dogs, those who do intense canine sports and all dogs that do intense or prolonged physical activities, require foods that provide more calories than pet dogs. In this case, you have to get a more caloric food so that your dog receives the necessary energy without having to eat much more.

The feeding of female dogs during pregnancy and lactation is a special case of feeding adult dogs that we will talk about next.

Feed of older dogs

Older or older dogs need diets appropriate to their lower levels of activity and do not have excessive amounts of protein to avoid damaging their kidneys. The formulas for these dogs are usually indicated by the word "Senior"in the name and usually (or should) have extra ingredients easy digestion. Older dogs will benefit from receiving nutritional supplements or vitamins for elderly dogs.

Keep in mind that not all dogs are considered older or older at the same age. The age at which they are considered elderly dogs usually varies according to the size of the dog. A guide to think about the age at which a dog is old is the following:

  • Small races: 12 or more years old.
  • Medium breeds: 10 or more years old.
  • Large breeds: 8-9 or more years old.
  • Giant races: 7 or more years old.

Of course, that guide is only a general reference and your dog can age sooner or later, depending on its genotype and the environment in which it lives, so it is important that consult with the veterinarian to know at what time you should change your adult dog feed for the older dog. Do not forget that elderly dogs must burn what they consume. Check the different activities for elderly dogs that you can practice with him.

Feeding of pregnant dogs

Gestation in dogs lasts approximately 9 weeks (between 58 and 63 days). During the first weeks pregnant dogs do not need a caloric intake significantly higher than that of maintenance, since the puppies in gestation do not grow much. However, in the last two or three weeks of gestation the energy requirements of the dog go up a lot and you need a food with many more metabolizable calories Y high protein percentage.

Ideally, it is the veterinarian who tells you at what time during pregnancy you should change your dog's food and what specific food to give him, according to his assessment as a specialist. Find out more about the dog's pregnancy week by week.

Feeding of bitches during breastfeeding

At this stage the puppies are growing at an accelerated rate and feed on the breast milk that the dog must produce. Therefore, the energy demands of the dog they are very superior to those of the maintenance stage, and even those of pregnancy.

The greatest demand for caloric intake lasts until puppies are weaned, but the greatest demand occurs between childbirth and the next four weeks.

While there are some brands of dog food that have formulas for lactating bitches, it is very important that the vet Indicate the food the dog should receive and follow up accordingly.

If you want to read more articles similar to Dog feeding according to age, we recommend that you enter our Balanced Diets section.