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Lifestage feeding: Adulthood

As mentioned in our previous article animals will reach adulthood at different times depending on breed and size.

Larger breeds take longer to reach their adult weight.

This is a fun stage in your pets life where they're strong and fit enough to take on many activities. Favourites of mine are agility and flyball. Don't forget it's just as important to exercise your pets mind as well as the body.

Once your pet has reached adulthood it's metabolism will slow down as it's body is no longer burning energy to grow and develop. A healthy adult will require 2-3% of it's bodyweight each day. This can be calculated by multiplying it's weight by 0.02 to work out 2%.

For example a 20kg dog would need 400g per day. (20kg x 0.02 = 0.4kg)

If your pet is over or underweight you should calculate it's requirements using it's ideal weight. For example an overweight dog weighing 20kg but should be 15kg should be fed 300g a day (15kg x 0.02 = 0.3kg).

Another thing to think about is treats. We all reward our pets with treats but don't forget to include these in your pets daily allowance.

Activity levels will also affect your pets requirements. A working dog will be burning more calories a day and will require closer to the 3% daily allowance.

No matter what breed you have their nutritional requirements will still be the same. All carnivores (dogs, cats and even ferrets) need an 80/10/10 ratio of meat offal and bone. This mimics any prey they would naturally catch in the wild.

If you think about it were all made up of a skeleton, muscles and organs in the same ratios. Even reptiles and birds. So it's simple to mimic this in your pets diet. No need to over think it

The difference between cats and dogs is that cats are obligated carnivores meaning their diet only consists of prey, This means an 80/10/10 diet and s perfect for them. Whereas dogs are technically omnivores as they do forage plant material in the wild. Particularly berries. This is why feeding a dog only on the 80/10/10 diet isn't complete for dogs. They require a little extra in their diet. This can be achieved by either supplementing with a BARF supplement (we have Leo and Wolf supplements in our shop) or by feeding a complete mince such as Naked Dog or Naturaw Forage which contain fruit and veg.

During adulthood your pets body will be fully developed and working at its peak. You shouldn't need to add any supplements at this stage of life unless you want to. Larger breeds of cats and dogs are recommended to have joint supplements to prolong joint health as they're prone to arthritis in older age.

Some people also like to supplement their cat with taurine as it's such an important nutrient for them.

Different breeds and even individuals within a breed will reach their senior years at different points. For example Great Danes sadly have a shorter life expectancy than other breeds and so may begin their senior years as young as 5 years. Whereas Jack Russell's have a long life expectancy (I've seen many in their 20s in vet practice) will keep young and active for much longer. You know your dog and you'll notice when they're not as able as they once were. They start slowing down as they're joints stiffen and you may notice they don't digest things as easily as they used too. On average this begins to happen around 8 years old.

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