Using a Breed or Age Specific Dog Food

Breed & Age Specific Dog Foods

Many dog food manufacturers make foods that are marketed toward specific breeds, ages, and sizes of dogs. There is some merit to this, but don't choose or ignore a dog food simply because of the breed/age/size dog it was supposedly designed for. Dogs of all sizes and breeds are nearly identical from a genetic standpoint. And although dogs of different sizes and ages have different nutritional and energy requirements, many of these requirements can be met by feeding the same food at different levels.

The easiest way to think about this concept is to think about eating dinner with your family. Grandpa, the kids, and you probably all eat the same meal; however, you all have different energy requirements. The kids are growing and are pretty active, so they will probably eat more (in proportion to their size) than you. You are fully grown and don't need extra food to support growth, just enough to maintain yourself. Grandpa might be less active than you and watching his weight, so he'll eat less than you relative to his size.

One of the most common reasons someone may choose a breed-specific food is for feeding large breed dogs. Large breed puppies grow more slowly than small breeds and it's important to feed accordingly. A lot of large breed puppy foods are designed to control the dog's growth thereby reducing the risk of skeletal and joint problems. Large breed adult dog foods sometimes contain supplements to help maintain healthy joints.

If you have dogs of different ages and sizes you will be just fine using a regular adult dog food. Then you can feed more to young, growing dogs or less to older, less active dogs. Having one food for all your dogs makes feeding a lot easier, especially if you ever need someone else to watch your dogs for a few days.

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