Can Older Dogs Eat Puppy Food?
Updated on: 12/05/2020
Different varieties of food for canines are often designed to meet the nutritional needs that a dog has at each stage of life. Certain dogs can be fussy and older dogs may even continue to demand the same puppy food that they have been eating in their earlier stages of life.
Commercials that foods that are designed for the dogs the first year of life usually come with enhanced vitamins, minerals and nutrients to make sure that a puppy can grow much more efficiently. With access to the extra calories and nutrients, dogs can quickly gather all of the essentials that they need to grow in size.
Using puppy food can be especially important if you have a large breed dog or for puppies in their earliest stages of life. Puppy kibble is formulated to fuel an animal that’s going to be growing. They’re often extremely high in calories and when dogs reach their full size, it can be tough to regulate the calories that they are getting on these types of foods.
Is it bad to feed an older dog puppy food?
It’s not necessarily bad to feed an older dog puppy food. Is this type of food is designed to help an animal grow, it may just be hard to handle weight control if an older dog is regularly requesting puppy food.
An easy way to start the process of switching begins with slowly mixing in a new type of food with your adult dog. Making the choice to slowly mix in a ratio of adult dog food with puppy food will help to make sure that your dog can lower its calories and slowly work at transitioning onto food that’s much more age-appropriate.
Older dogs receiving puppy foods can be especially damaging. Adult dogs in their senior years can run into a series of kidney problems and obesity problems. The diets of the senior dog are often designed to be very low in calories as well as low in protein. Higher levels of protein can place extra stress on the kidneys and these are precisely the types of nutrients that you can often find in puppy food.
When a senior dog has access to extra protein and the extra calories that can be found in puppy food, it’s easy for them to put weight on and to also exacerbate some of the symptoms that are associated with kidney problems. It could be dangerous for an older dog to regularly eat puppy food so if you have a new dog in the house that is on puppy food, it could be wise to keep that older dog away from the food.
The food varieties that are formulated for adult dogs often have a different type of protein balance and they are controlled with their calorie count to ensure that there is less of a chance for canine obesity. Many food producers also have a series of adjustments that can introduce ingredients that are RAW, grain-free, allergen-free and more.
Puppy food is typically produced using a set type of ingredients and this can quickly throw off the diet of an adult dog as well as cause a series of flareups in health problems such as obesity.
Can Puppy Food Cause diarrhea in older dogs?
If an older dog happens to get a hold of some puppy food this can lead to the chance that there could be some problems with their digestion. Changing over any type of food in dogs can often come with the risk of diarrhea. If you’re trying to wean your dog on to adult food from the puppy food, it’s best not to do it all at once. Making the choice to mix in a bit of the new food with puppy food and working to slowly wean your dog off the diet can be important.
It’s not an absolute emergency if you’re dog gets a hold of puppy food, it can make their stomach upset for the first time but by taking a slow transition it’s possible to avoid adult dogs getting diarrhea as a result of eating this food.
The best analogy for puppy food versus adulthood is that puppy food can often be like junk food. Eating a lot of junk food for humans can often cause digestive problems, the same can be said for dogs. With the high levels of calories that can be found in puppy food, an adult dog is likely to enjoy the taste but eating too much of it can lead to diarrhea.
Feeding your dog puppy food once or twice shouldn’t be a problem if it’s the only food that’s available. Feeding your dog puppy food as a regular meal source could be a problem over time. It’s likely that your pet might experience some type of stomach discomfort over a few days when they switch back to adult food too.
When should you switch your dog to senior food?
Understanding when it’s time to switch your dog over to senior food means knowing when your dog has officially become a senior. There is no absolute age in which a dog can be considered a senior dog. Depending on the size, breed, and weight the numbers can really vary. Dogs are known for larger sizes like great Danes often have shorter life expectancies and this can mean that they could reach the status of the senior dog around the age of five or six. Smaller breeds often live much longer and this could mean that if you have a beagle or schnauzer that it would reach senior status at eight or nine.
Many dogs may seem extremely healthy and active within these age ranges but their bodies and their nutritional needs begin to change at this time. Switching over to senior food can often be a wise choice for pet owners as it can help to minimize conditions of aging in dogs. Some of the earliest signs of aging in dogs that could suggest it’s time for seniors’ food are large weight loss or gain, bad breath, excessive drooling, vision problems and more.
As your pets continue to get older, there are also a number of signs of aging that include geriatric behavior like difficulties with their normal sleep pattern, osteoarthritis, impaired mobility, increasing urination, a loss in muscle mass, altered behavior and memory loss.
Getting your dog on senior food before these geriatric symptoms occur can help to prevent these symptoms as well as lessen the severity of the symptoms when they do crop up.
Senior food can help to protect your dog’s future by adding improved digestibility, softer textures to fight off dental diseases, improved supplementation for joints and mobility as well as nutritional adjustments that can control weight. Many senior foods also include a variety of supplements that can assist with the aging process and dogs. Senior foods can also be improved with omega-3’s, antioxidants and MCTs for your dog.
Making the choice to switch her dog over to senior food can often be a great idea for preventing a wide range of diseases and health problems in their later lives. Speaking to your vet about senior food can let you know when it may be time to switch.
Be sure to wean your dog onto new senior food when making the switch and you can work at controlling your dogs’ diet for optimal health at any age!
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