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DOG / nutrition

What Should I Feed My Adult Dog?

After puppyhood, your dog’s nutrition may require a special diet

Overview

What to look for in adult dog food

Adult dogs that are healthy and appropriately active should eat a combination of these ingredients:

  • Protein to build strong muscles and repair tissue.
  • Carbohydrates to provide energy and fiber to help your dog feel fuller longer.
  • Fats like fish oil, vegetable oil and poultry fat to provide energy, support skin and coat health, and enhance taste.
  • Vitamins and minerals, which are essential to the function of tissue, cells and bones.

Water is also essential to your dog’s health. Be sure plenty of fresh water is always available.

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How much and how often should I feed my adult dog?

Most dogs do well eating once a day or twice a day. If you feed your dogs twice daily, remember to divide their daily portion in half for each serving.

Many dog parents love to indulge their pets. Unfortunately, overfeeding has health consequences. An overfed dog can become obese or turn into a picky eater. Consult with your vet to determine an appropriate portion size, and skip the treats and table scraps.

Make sure to serve clean, cool water constantly!

Does my dog need a special diet?

Problems with an adult dog’s weight, activity level and health may require special food.

  • For overweight dogs, ask your veterinarian if a high-quality, reduced-calorie formula might be a good option.
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  • Highly active dogs, such as sporting breeds, may have the opposite need and require food that is higher in calories, fat and protein.
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  • For dogs prone to plaque and tartar buildup, kibble specially formulated to clean teeth and gums can help.
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  • Dogs with itchy skin or sensitive stomachs may benefit from a grain-free or limited-ingredient dog food.
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  • If your dog has a kidney or liver condition, too much protein can overwork these organs. Consult your vet for feeding advice.