Your Dog’s Nutritional Needs

There are so many different things you should consider when choosing food for your dog. Not only should you consider your dog’s own individual needs – but you should also research the food itself, looking into company standards and practices to make sure that the food is to as high of standards as possible.

  • Age
  • Activity Level
  • Medical Conditions
  • Breed
  • Cost

Your Dog’s Nutritional Needs

Life-stage Nutrition:

The first aspect of choosing a dog food that we need to consider is going to be the life stage of your dog! Are they a senior, a puppy or an adult.? Each life stage has different nutritional needs, and considerations for optimal health. Breed also does play a role as well – especially when we consider large vs. small breed puppy nutritional needs.

Activity Level:

For healthy adult dogs at a healthy weight probably the largest driver of nutritional needs will be based on activity level. Depending on how much exercise your pup gets will depend on not just their energy needs, but the ideal macronutrient composition of their diet.

Weight Loss / Obese Prone Dogs:

Some dog breeds are prone to being overweight – these include breeds like Labradors and Golden Retrievers. Other dogs may just have been overfed in the past, or had recent changes in activity level that caused weight gain. These dogs may either need to be on a diet for weight loss long-term OR need to switch their diet for a period of time to something formulated specifically for weight loss.

Medical Conditions:

The next consideration to make when choosing a food for your pup is if they have any medical conditions or breed predispositions. Many medical conditions we see in dogs can be supported using nutrition, some can be managed primarily with just dietary intervention. Some of these conditions include: gastrointestinal disease (with signs like vomiting and diarrhea), allergies (with signs like itching), liver disease, kidney disease, arthritis (aka joint disease), urinary disease, and more.

About the Author: Nikki is a Registered Veterinary Technician (Veterinary Nurse) and Dog Mom with over a decade of experience with dogs and cats. Since graduation from college (BS Biology, AS Animal Health -2013) she has adopted two mixed breed dogs – Ranger and Ash, and has focused her time learning about pet food and nutrition.

Nikki shares information on a range of dog nutrition topics: from how to create a homemade complete and balanced dog food recipes, to how to choose a dog food. Nikki strives to give dog parents the information they need in order to make the best nutrition decisions for their pup!

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