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Puppies have unique dietary needs. Most foods made for fully grown dogs either lacks, or contains too much of the critical nutrients puppies require (or don’t require). But, it’s not as simple as it sounds to determine if you young dog is truly a puppy or not. Depending on the breed and size/type of dog, puppies mature to full size at different ages. Most puppies reach their full size by the time they are 12 to 18 months, but that can vary. Luckily, there are online puppy age calculators that can help you figure out what age group your dog actually falls into.
Now that you’ve determined whether or not your dog actually meets the puppy criteria, the next step is to avoid foods that contain anonymous meat ingredients, questionable chemical preservatives and/or generic animal fats. Conversely, the puppy foods you want should contain:
Basically, it’s a good idea to start reading labels ASAP. The sooner you start, the more intuitive it will become!
When you’re comparing puppy foods, you’ll likely notice price differences. This disparity isn’t trivial. In fact, it usually stems from the significant quality difference of ingredients used. This quality directly affects the food’s overall nutritional density. So, when it comes to puppy food (and most dog foods), the general rule is: The cheaper it is, the less healthy it is. Spend time reading labels until you find a good compromise between price and quality.
Every dog develops at its own rate, but roughly, adulthood starts between 12 months and three years of age and lasts until the dog reaches its senior years between the ages of six and 10. During the adult phase, the type of food you should feed your dog depends on a number of factors. For example, if your dog is prone to weight gain, you should avoid feeding it a calorie-packed, high protein option. However, an extremely active Husky or Dalmatian might need that high protein option to refuel the energy it’s constantly exerting.
Below are some general tips for selecting the best adult dog foods:
As stated above, a dog’s senior years generally begin between the ages of six to 10 depending on its breed. Fortunately, many brands manufacture specialized formulations for senior dogs to help you narrow down your options.
Here are some general rules to follow when looking for senior dog foods: