Nutritional Needs for Younger Pets

by | General Pet Care |

Your young kitten or puppy has a lot of growing, playing and learning to do. This is one of the most exciting stages of dog-hood and cat-hood! During this time, their bodies develop rapidly, so they need lots of energy and proper nutrition to get them off on the right foot.

Nutritional Needs for Puppies

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Almost all brands of commercial dog food have a formula specially designed for puppies. These formulas tend to have twice the nutritional requirements as the food for mature dogs, because the energy needs of a puppy can be up to two times as much as an adult. Depending on your pup’s breed, you’ll need a dog food that has 25-30% protein and the necessary vitamins and minerals to fuel your puppy’s growth. A well-fed puppy should be playful, alert and energetic, with a healthy, shiny coat and well-formed, brown stool.

Nutritional Needs for Kittens

Kittens also require large amounts of energy to support their level of growth and activity in the first few months—about two to three times more than an adult cat. Roughly 30% of their total energy needs to come from protein. A healthy kitty with proper nutrition should be alert, have steady weight gain and a glossy coat.

When to Switch to Adult Food

Your pet may be able to stay on puppy or kitten food until the age of one, at which point they can be slowly transitioned to adult food. However, some breeds need to moved to an adult food at younger ages so please speak to your veterinarian before changing diets.

Is it OK to Feed Snacks?

It’s fine to feed your puppy or kitten a few healthy treats, but make sure they make up no more than 5% of their daily nutrient intake. The rest of your pet’s diet should be made up from a high-quality pet food specially formulated for their life stage.

Consult with your veterinarian for a diet that is best for your pet.