Feeding Your Dog - Feeding Tips
Your little puppy has grown up so it's time to say goodbye to Growing Dog Food and say hello to Adult Dog Food. The food changes depending on how much your adult dog will ultimately weigh.
If you do not know how much your dog will weigh (because it is a mongrel), you can estimate its target size by knowing its age (which will be given to you by your veterinarian based on the interview). A dog between 2 and 3 months old weighs around 1/3, and between 5 and 6 months old, more than half of what it should weigh as an adult. In addition to dogs weighing under 12 kg as adult dogs, on average between 7 and 9 months of age, your puppy reaches 80% of its target size. But since large and giant breeds grow twice as long as small and medium-sized dogs, use the indicative chart below to keep them fed with growth food for a long time:When to Change Adult Dog Food? (Click to learn more)
|Approximate target size for an adult dog||Adult dog weight (approximate)||Age when transition to adult food|
|Miniature breeds||1.2 - 5 kg||8 months|
|Small breeds||6 - 12 kg||10 months|
|Medium breeds||10 - 25 kg||12 months|
|Large breeds||25 - 45 kg||14 - 18 months|
|Giant races||40 - 85 kg||18 - 24 months|
In order for adult dogs to stay happy, healthy and in the best possible physical condition, their diets should be balanced with nearly 40 different nutrients. The proportions of these ingredients should be carefully selected, belonging to five main groups of ingredients: proteins, fats and oils, minerals, vitamins and carbohydrates. Of course, the diet must also include constant access to clean water.
Here are some of our handy tips to help you choose the best food for your adult dog.
Your options to choose from
Deciding whether to feed your dog wet or dry food is a matter of personal preferences for you and your dog. Remember that as food moisture increases, its nutritional density decreases, so that dry food is always given 3 times less than wet (or cooked) food. In turn, the combination of wet and dry food will still benefit his teeth, and getting your dog used to different textures will come in handy when you suddenly need to change your diet.
Just like humans, dogs have their preferences, so it's worth testing a few foods before deciding which is the best one. By making your choice, after a sufficiently long time (on average 2-6 weeks), you will find that a good quality complete food for adult dogs will provide your dog with a balanced amount of essential nutrients. If it is inappropriate, your pet's appearance, bowel movements or even behavior will prove it. Dull hair, looser droppings and gases, lethargy and difficulty in maintaining an optimal body shape are tips for consulting a veterinarian and / or a suggestion of changing the diet.
If your dog has health problems, skin or gastrointestinal hypersensitivity, consult your veterinarian for a specialized food for adult dogs. Among the Purina® products, the best food for prevention and health problems is the functional food Purina® Pro Plan®.
Once you choose the right food for your dog, there is usually no need to change his diet until he is aging or overweight as a result of a low-activity lifestyle. It is then recommended to introduce a feed that is less caloric and differently balanced, for mature dogs between 5 and 9 years of age. Read on for feeding your senior canine, especially if you notice changes in your canine old man's behavior.
Keep monitoring your dog's condition, an unintentional weight loss or gain of more than 1% per week may be a sign that you need to recalculate your serving size or look at the digestibility of your dog's food.
Adult dog food selection
There is a wide range of ready-made, well-balanced food for adult dogs, dedicated to the needs of your four-legged friend. So you can choose what to feed your dog with. You can buy complete food in large stores (you will find Purina® Friskies® there), drugstores (you will find Purina® ONE® Mini there), and of course in stationary and online pet stores (Purina® Dog Chow®, Purina® Pro Plan®).
Many brands are available only in specialist stores, as they require additional advice to help you choose a food that suits your pet's needs. A clear description on each package of the food will explain how to use it, how much to feed it and what benefits it brings. Some functional pet foods only available at pet stores may have unique health-promoting features that you won't find anywhere else.
Race, size, age, lifestyle, and health are of great importance
Smaller breeds of dogs have a faster metabolism which means they burn energy faster. Depending on their condition and level of activity, some may require twice as many calories and nutrients per day as larger breeds of dogs. The best recipes for small dogs contain extra proteins and are high in fats and carbohydrates, giving dogs more energy to burn. They are also available in smaller granules to fit smaller mouths and a smaller digestive volume. Find out more about caring for small and miniature dogs.
Larger breeds may have a slower metabolism, but a much greater appetite by volume. Recipes dedicated to large breeds are also in the form of larger granules, thanks to which it helps to extend the meal time and prevent bouncing on food and swallowing air. And so, if your dog eats very greedily, it is worth practicing with him slowing down the intake of portions through the appropriate slowdown bowl, and assisted feeding. Reduced fat content below approx. 10% and food containing more than approx. 25%, helps to maintain a proper weight, minimizing its impact on the joints and internal organs. Specialized foods enriched with proprietary compositions of ingredients reduce inflammation in the joints and support their functions. Such special "joint diets ", such as Purina® Pro Plan® Canine JM Joint Mobility, are recommended for dogs with motor system problems or prophylactically for larger breeds. If your dog is an active or working dog, it is worth considering a special food dedicated to active dogs. It provides proportionally more fat, protein and some vitamins, e.g. from group B, which helps to release energy from food. The presence of antioxidants such as vitamin E helps your muscles recover from strenuous exercise. For demanding larger dogs, Purina® Pro Plan® Athletic Large Breed Adult will be recommended.
Pregnant bitches are usually advised to switch to a good quality puppy food around mid-pregnancy or in the third trimester to give them the extra energy and proportionally more other nutrients they need during this period. It will also be easier for puppies to switch to the food their mother ate.
Less active dogs need less energy while maintaining a feeling of fullness. Light foods are recommended to help reduce and maintain an appropriate body weight - as long as they are well-balanced. These foods are commonly available in pet stores such as. Purina® Dog Chow® Light can also be more specialized. Because it is not only about reducing the supply, fat, but also a higher supply of protein and dietary fiber, which will ensure a feeling of satiety. Such foods can also be associated with a greater volume and frequency of bowel movements, because that is also their role. Good slimming food, with the effectiveness confirmed by research, such as Purina® Pro Plan® OPTIWeght ™ properly dosed helps to lose weight at least 1% of the excess body weight per week. In the case of very obese dogs, we should reach for a specialized slimming diet, such as Purina® Pro Plan® Veterinary Diets OM Obesity Management, and consult the entire weight loss process with the attending veterinarian.
Some dogs may be hypersensitive to certain food groups or require a special diet because of their health problems. An animal nutrition specialist or veterinarian can help you choose the right diet for your dog's needs. Remember that even if you later find a food with a similar name or composition, it may have a completely different effect on your dog's body.
If you are unsure about which diet is right for your dog, consult your veterinary clinic. Choose proven products that guarantee your dog quality and safety. See how high-quality and safe food Purina® provides you and your dog.
How to Feed Your Dog
Quite often our team is asked how often to feed a dog. In general, you should feed your dog 2 to 4 times a day.
It depends on several factors:
1. the size of a dog - we feed smaller dogs more often with smaller portions (similar to giants),
2. the type of food served - wet food is sometimes given 3 times more, so the portions are huge and they should be divided,
3. temperament of the dog - nervous and hyperactive dogs will beg more and even force food if they are fed infrequently.
4. food sensitivity - too long breaks between meals may contribute to indigestion, as well as eating rubbish, grass and excrement on walks (and also causing morning sickness).
A smaller dog has a smaller stomach so it is wise to feed him more often. Similarly, larger breeds, which in relation to their size have a proportionally too small stomach and are prone to greedy food - it will be better to give them three or four smaller meals than one big one. Swallowing a large amount of food at once can lead to problems with the digestive tract, in extreme cases even lead to a twist of the stomach.
If you do not know how often to feed your dog, consult your veterinarian.
Feed your dog in a quiet place, away from the main passages and busy points of the apartment. Always serve food in a clean bowl and place it on an easy-to-clean surface such as terracotta, non-slip mats, rubber feeding mats, or a sturdy tripod.
Dogs with a tendency to eat greedily or messy will help with a slowing down bowl to keep them eating more slowly. It's also a good idea to get an olfactory mat and exercise your dog's self-control together.
How much food should my dog be getting?
If you have more than one dog, you should feed them at the same time, but arrange the positioning of the bowls so that they do not have eye contact and are far enough away to feel safe when eating.
On the packaging of each food, there is a table giving detailed guidelines for feeding a dog of a given body weight. Usually this table gives a value in grams for the whole day, which should be divided into 2-3 meals. Remember that wet food or home food is up to 3 times more volumetric, because it contains ¾ water. Because dry foods are concentrated and usually have an average of approx. 3.5 kcal / g, and wet food on average approx. 0.8 kcal / g can be approximated by the amounts to be consumed by dogs of different body weights for the day in the table below. Complementary foods (snacks) should not constitute more than 10% of a portion and the portion of complete food should be reduced by their amount.
|Adult dog weight||Approximate size of a daily portion of dry food||Approximate size of a daily portion of wet food|
|5 kg||105 g||460 g|
|10 kg||175 g||770 g|
|15 kg||240 g||1050 g|
|25 kg||350 g||1500 g|
|35 kg||450 g||2000 g|
|45 kg||540 g||2400 g|
|55 kg||635 g||2800 g|
|65 kg||720 g||3150 g|
|75 kg||800 g||3500 g|
How to feed your dog wet vs. dry?
When it's time to feed your dog, try to give him wet food (cans / tubes / sachets) at room temperature, this will make it smell more attractive and easier to digest. For older dogs or dogs with eating disorders, it is recommended to heat the food. This means taking food out of the refrigerator one hour before feeding and warming it up in a water bath (e.g. put in a bowl with boiling water). Wet food goes bad quickly, so avoid leaving it in the bowl for more than 2 hours. Once opened, do not keep wet food longer than 24 hours, even in the refrigerator.
Dry karma, on the other hand, won't go bad if you leave it on even for the whole day. Store it in a clean, dry place, preferably in an airtight container or a closed box, to retain its taste and smell. Try to use up the factory-opened bag within 1.5 months.
Most dogs like to munch on dry food, but if your pet prefers to eat it with a little water, or has a medical reason to avoid hard food, add water to the food before giving it. Dry pellets help remove tartar, so if you add water to your dry food, consider adding a regular dental treat every 2-3 days. Remember that regular brushing of your dog's teeth is the best way to protect him from dental and periodontal diseases, which can be felt by our four-legged friends especially in old age.
Do not encourage your dog to be active and strenuous for at least one hour after a meal. Particularly large and giant dog breeds can be prone to gastrointestinal volvulus, requiring immediate surgical intervention. Symptoms include a bloated abdomen, vomiting, and the dog's behavior indicating that he is feeling unwell. If you notice them, contact a large veterinary clinic as soon as possible.
Whether to give your dog some treats?
Depending on the situation, every dog deserves to be rewarded with a treat from time to time. If you frequently reward him with flavors, make sure to subtract these extra calories from your main meal to avoid overfeeding your dog. The number of flavors and the frequency depend on the type of treats. The usual rule is that snacks, treats or dog biscuits should not constitute more than 15% of the daily dose of food, and even only 10% in the case of meat delicacies.
If your dog is on a vet diet, it may not be allowed to eat the same treats as its buddies, but that doesn't mean they are not getting anything. You can use a portion of his food for rewarding and training.
Some functional treats, such as dental snacks, come in different sizes depending on the weight of the dog (e.g. Purina® Pro Plan® Dental Pro Bar, Purina® Denatalife ™). On average, one such snack is approx. 70 kcal. It should be remembered that to be effective, they must be regularly administered on average 2-3 times a week and can account for up to 30% of the daily energy supply.
As with foods, check the feeding instructions on the treat pack, and if you are unsure how much to give your dog consult your veterinarian.
What not to feed the dog
We already know what to feed the dog, but it is equally important to remember what must not be given to him. "The sight of a beaten dog " is called that for a reason - dogs know exactly how to make us treat them with treats! You should avoid feeding the dog with table scraps, as this may disturb their balanced diet based on complete food. When giving your dog snacks from time to time, always remember that they should not make up more than 10% of the daily meal (requirement).
The following foods should not be given to dogs as they pose a threat to their health and even life:
- Raw meat - Creates a parasitic and microbial hazard. It can cause food poisoning, so when serving your dog meat always make sure it is uncooked and cooked to kill bacteria and parasites. Find out how to fight intestinal protozoa here.
- Bones - Fragile chicken bones and fish bones can damage the digestive wall and cause intestinal dysfunction. In the case of larger bones, there is a risk of tooth damage and constipation. Although larger bones are often fed to dogs, splinters can also lead to intestinal disruptions. Therefore, all dice should be avoided. See what an operation on a dog's intestine damaged by bones looks like.
- Onions, grapes and raisins are toxic to dogs.
Instructions for changing the dog's food
There are times when your dog needs to change its diet, which may be due to the age of the dog, when going on a senior diet, or when the bitch is pregnant or for health reasons. If you change your dog's diet too quickly, the digestive tract may be disrupted and therefore it is advisable to gradually switch to a new food (for 7-10 days). This allows the gut cells to slowly adjust the levels of enzymes and bacteria in the digestive tract and your dog starts digesting the new food as well as the old one.
Mix a small amount of the new food with the one you are using, or serve both separately in identical bowls and varying amounts.
Over the course of 7-10 days, gradually increase the amount of the new food, while reducing the amount of the previous one, until it is completely replaced .
If you are switching from wet to dry food your dog will have to get used to the new texture. He may chew more actively in the beginning, eat longer and will certainly need more water.
If you are switching from dry to wet food, your dog may be drinking less and not having any crunchiness is strange. You can always add a few pellets to the feed to improve the texture of the feed. It is worth remembering that a portion of dry food looks much smaller than a portion of canned food. This is because dry foods are three times more concentrated and caloric, so your dog gets the same amount of energy. So in a smaller portion of dry food your dog has the same amount as in a much larger portion of wet food or home food (whether cooked or not).
If your dog refuses to eat any new food, even the food recommended by your vet, talk to him about it, as there may be a specific reason for his pickiness. Do not worry. You will surely find another food to try that your dog will love to eat. Also pay attention to whether your dog is not eating on the side, because if it is to receive a veterinary diet, you should carefully check what is the reason for not eating it.
The best Purina food for adult dogs
Purina offers a wide range of dry and wet foods for adult dogs. The recipe of each of them is a compilation of the latest scientific and consumer research, as well as confirmed by quality control. We guarantee the taste of the food and provide the optimal level of nutrients. Developed so that you and your pet have a satisfactory choice at every stage of life.