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Nutrition for cats and dogs

May 21, 2012

As with humans, nutrition is the basis of good health in animals. Overweight or underweight animals can have serious health problems later in life.

Puppies (less than one year)

  • Small and medium breed puppies should be on a growth, small or medium breed puppy diet
  • Large breed puppies should be on a large breed diet (large breeds are classified as any puppy that will be over 25kg as an adult eg.Labrador) until 18 – 24 months of age.
  • No supplementation is needed as they are getting a balanced diet from the puppy food (ie calcium and phosphorous rates

Adults (one to seven years old)

  • Adult dogs should be on a maintenance adult food as per their breed size (small, medium, large)
  • No supplementation is needed as they are getting a balanced diet

Mature (over seven years old)

  • Mature dogs should be on mature food as per their breed size (small, medium, large)
  • Special diets are available for pets who experience joint pain, which is common in older animals.

Never feed cooked bones to your dog as they can splinter and cause blockages resulting in vomiting and constipation. You also need to be aware that raw chicken can contain salmonella and may also cause gastric problems with your dog.

Biscuits as a predominant diet are usually easier to deal with. Wet food is made up of 80% water and tends to stick to their teeth and can cause tooth decay. Dry biscuits are better for their teeth and cleaner for their owner to deal with. Pets on dry food need regular access to fresh clean water

Cats and Kittens

  • Kittens should be on a good quality diet formulated especially for kittens. Cats have very different nutritional requirements to dogs and should not be fed on dog food. Avoid significant amounts of meat in the diet as this is low in calcium and will result in bone defects. They should stay on this diet until around 12 months of age.
  • No supplementation is needed as they are getting a balanced diet from the kitten food.
  • From around 8-10 years of age cats should be on a mature cat food.
  • Dry foods are usually better for your cat and more convenient to use. They are better for the teeth and have consistent ingredients. When buying wet food you are purchasing 80% water.

Please note that de-sexed animals may need 25% less food than non-desexed animals. This is because de-sexed animals are more prone to putting on weight.