Puppies grow 20 times faster than adult dogs and so require a special diet to aid their physical development. A specially formulated growth food is recommended which needs to be fed at evenly spaced intervals to avoid over stretching their small stomachs.
It is also important to monitor the puppy’s weight gain and growth at this stage to ensure they are receiving the correct amount of food for their size. A small dog should be gaining around 20-25 grams a day up to 4-6 months. Both underfeeding and overfeeding can be detrimental during the growth stage, impairing skeletal development or initiating obesity which can cause serious health issues in adulthood.
There are theories that it is better to slightly underfeed than overfeed as this can prolong life, but care must be taken that growth is not stunted by lack of adequate nutrients.
The Adult Dog
What you feed your dog during his active adult years will greatly impact his quality of life, longevity of life and prevention of certain medical conditions.
Different breeds have different nutritional requirements depending on their purpose. A working dog like a Collie, will need substantially more than a Westie for instance and not providing the right balanced diet can impact them in many different ways.
The Geriatric Dog
As a dogs grow older, their nutritional and dietary needs will change. They become less active and often have impaired mobility due to conditions such as arthritis or dental problems. Their eating habits will therefore change and so will the amount that they need. It is important to ensure they have a well-balanced diet to ensure their continued health and quality of life. It is very easy for an older dog to develop obesity which will cause issues in many other ways.