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Make Life Stage Nutrition Your New Pet Project | Pets

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Make Life Stage Nutrition Your New Pet Project
Make Life Stage Nutrition Your New Pet Project

(Welcome to our pet column, courtesy of Pet Connection Programs Inc. of Marilla. We post a new article each week, so be sure to check back on a regular basis!)

Would you feed steak and a baked potato to a baby, or baby food to an adult? The idea seems strange because our nutritional needs change throughout life. The same holds true for our pets.

From the first day we bring home a new puppy or kitten we can give them a head start on a long and healthy life by feeding them a pet food that is formulated for their specific nutritional needs. We should also prepare for their needs to change quickly.

“By the time a dog or cat is one year old, they're considered an adult and will have different nutritional needs from a puppy or kitten,” says veterinarian Dr. David Cook. “And remember that those needs will keep changing, as your pet moves into their senior years – usually at about age seven.”

Dr. Cook offers some insights into the nutritional needs of specific life stages, so your pet doesn't get too much of some nutrients or too little of others. You can get more information about life stage based nutrition at facebook.com/sciencedietcanada.

Pet nutrition by life stages

• Puppies and kittens: Both need a pet food formula with more energy than what their adult counterparts need. They also need DHA (docosahexaenoic acid), a natural omega–3 fatty acid essential in the development of their brain and nervous system. Kittens also need added taurine, while puppies need more protein and calcium compared to adult dogs.

• Adult dog or cat: Look for a dog or cat food that provides the optimum balance of nutrition and energy. Ingredients should help them maintain healthy teeth, skin and joints. Your dog or cat might also have special needs based on their lifestyle, weight, oral health or other health needs.

• Mature dog or cat: Older dogs and cats are at greater risk of developing kidney and other organ problems and will benefit from food with less protein and calories. They might also have special digestive needs that require a food that is easy to digest with increased amounts of some nutrients. Look for a pet food like Hill's Science Diet that offers formulas specific to your pet's life stage and other special needs.

— News Canada

(For more information on pets and animal adoption, please visit www.petconnectionprogramsinc.com. Or, visit our Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/pages/Pet-Connection-Programs-inc-Marilla-NY/114420508616511?ref=ts. Located in Marilla, N.Y., Pet Connection Programs Inc. is a nonprofit maternity and special care shelter founded in 1984.)






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