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It is a natural phenomenon that every living being ages over time, and the same happens with dogs. However, you can keep your adult dog happy and healthy by knowing his dietary needs, eating habits, and lifestyle.
Each stage of the dog's life requires different types of diet. If your adult dog is overweight, the food requirements will be different. In the same way, lap dogs and those dogs that regularly go for long walks have different food needs.
This article is based on frequently asked questions about adult dog nutrition. If you want to learn more about adult dog nutrition, read the FAQs below.
Frequently Asked Questions About Adult Dog Nutrition
When is a dog considered an adult?
The fundamental question is, when is a dog considered to be an adult dog? Generally, when a dog reaches 90% of its adult body weight, it is considered an adult dog. The adult dog diet is actually a maintenance diet. It contains nutrients that are especially suitable for those companions that have passed their growth stage. Most small dog breeds are considered adults after 5-6 months of age, and giant dog breeds are considered adults after 12 months of age.
What are the few things to keep in mind when feeding an adult dog?
There are a few things to keep in mind when feeding an adult dog. First of all, make sure your dog eats specially prepared adult dog food. There should be a statement mentioned on the package about nutritional adequacy. The label must explain that the food is made according to the American Association of Food Control Officials (AAFCO) standards and passes all tests established by the AAFCO.
Also, when looking for adult dog food, look for the statement on the label that it is suitable for the maintenance of adult dog food. If you are feeding your adult dog a homemade diet, make sure he gets the right amount of fat, protein, vitamins, and minerals. According to Lisa M. Freeman, DVM, Ph.D., in nutrition, you should consult a canine nutritionist for it if you want to prepare adult dog food at home. They can help you design the best and healthiest food for your dog.
How much food to serve an adult dog each day?
The food requirements of an adult dog depend on different factors, such as the exercise needs and the age of your dog. If you are feeding commercial dog food, you can get information about the feeding guide on the label. The dietary requirements are mentioned on the label based on the weight range. A dog with low body weight may need a small amount of food compared to a dog with more body weight.
Another thing to keep in mind is that in the case of lapdogs that have less need for exercise, they need 10% less food compared to what is recommended on the package. Similarly, if your dog is active or working, he requires 20-40% more than the recommended amount on the label due to his high-intensity exercise. Working dogs have additional fat and calorie requirements.
Similarly, it would help if you also adjust according to your pet's body condition. The body condition score table shows that your dog is obese or underweight. You should consult your vet about how your dog's body condition and the amount of food needed.
How to check if your adult dog is overweight or not?
Based on the body condition score, the body of an adult dog ranges from obese to emaciated. If your adult dog is emaciated, the vertebrae, ribs, and pelvic bone will be visible. If the adult dog is poorly fed for longer, he can have osteoporosis, making him more susceptible to other problems and infections.
Your adult dog is in moderate body condition when touched; you can easily feel his ribs. When you look at them from the side, you see an abdominal tuck.
But if your dog is overweight, it will be difficult to feel his ribs or an abdominal tuck or waist. You will see a visible fat deposit at the base of the tail and back. Osteoarthritis or diabetes is also prevalent in adult dogs.
How often to feed an adult dog?
Adult dogs should be fed once in the morning and once in the evening, twice a day. Although the food can be provided once a day, but it will be easier for the dog to eat two meals a day and helps in control his hunger.
How much protein and fat does my adult dog need?
As PetMD advises that an adult dog needs at least 10% of its daily calories from protein and a minimum of 5.5% from fat. An adult dog's diet can contain up to 50% carbohydrates, including 2.5% to 4.5% fiber.
Are treats OK for adult dogs, and if so, what are healthy options?
Almost all dogs love to eat treats and snacks. There is no specific composition or AAFCO standard for treats so that you can feed your dog any type of treat. But the only thing to look for, according to the experts, is that the treats should not be more than 10% of the daily caloric requirement of your adult dog.
Similarly, when choosing the treat, look for the one with high fiber content and a lower caloric requirement, so your dog doesn't gain extra weight. Natural treats like carrots and other vegetables are the best options to feed your dog.
Is table scrap or food appropriate for adult dogs?
Yes, there is no problem feeding a small piece of meat, but providing your dog poultry skin, large pieces of steak fat, and other greasy items is not a good idea. According to veterinarians, sudden changes in diet are not suitable for dogs, especially if the food contains a large amount of fat because it causes pancreatitis. Similarly, in the case of obese adult dogs, you should keep them away from table scraps. If you don't like your dog moving around the dining room table when you are having dinner, don't give him any table scraps.
These are the most common questions dog owners ask; if you have any other questions in mind, let us know we will try to answer that question.