Pregnant/lactating dogs and puppies (3-12 weeks):
A pregnant or lactating mother requires a lot of energy to sustain herself and provide milk to her puppies. They also need special care to ensure digestive health. Puppies between the age of 3 to 12 weeks are at a very tender stage. They have delicate immune systems which makes them susceptible to infections and loose stools. That’s why they need food that will strengthen their immunity. At this stage, their diet also needs to account for the fact that they will gain 5-10% of their body weight each day in the first 12 weeks.
For puppies, it is essential that their nutrition is tailored to their individual growth cycles. Large-breed puppies grow slowly as bigger bones and joints need more time to grow and develop. This tends to cause a strain making them prone to bone, skeletal and joint problems. As for small-breed puppies, they grow much faster than their larger counterparts and hence require a sufficient amount of protein. At this stage, puppies have weaker stomachs and require special care to ensure digestive health as well as special support for their teeth as they start off with milk teeth.
Healthy adult dogs are energetic and active, and require a diet that supports that. However, it is important to note that small-breed dogs have a different metabolic
rate than large breeds and hence their energy requirements differ. Adult dogs also need support to maintain alertness and agility as well as vital nutrients to maintain healthy heart function. Small-breed dogs are prone to oral health problems and thus require special ingredients that support dental health. When it comes to overall health, adult dogs also require special care to maintain their digestive health and a shiny coat.
The main concern for senior dogs is vitality. With age, metabolism and activity levels tend to slow down. Just like ageing humans, they too become susceptible to bone and joint problems and require special care to support joint health. Protein remains a major requirement in a senior dog’s diet as loss of muscle mass becomes a very common problem.