Did you know that nutritional requirements vary greatly depending upon the age of your pet? Puppies and kittens need to consume more energy and protein per pound of body weight than adult pets. Senior pets, typically dogs and cats 7 years or older, generally require even less of these nutrients.
Protein is an important building block and is crucial for proper growth, tissue function and repair. Muscles, the heart and skin are made up almost completely of protein. Adequate dietary protein is especially important during growth when puppies and kittens are rapidly increasing in size. That's why PetSmart always recommends feeding a high quality puppy or kitten food.
Senior pets require less protein due to a slowing metabolism. Additionally, too much protein in an older dog or cat could put a strain on the kidneys and liver if underlying health conditions exist.
Energy found in food comes in several forms. In dog and cat food most energy comes from fat and carbohydrates, with protein contributing a smaller amount. Puppies and kittens require more energy than adult and senior dogs and cats to support growth and their active lifestyles. In fact, a growing kitten needs almost twice the energy per pound of bodyweight than an adult cat.
As with protein, senior pets need less energy than young pets and middle aged, adult pets. This is due to a slowing metabolism and often reduced activity levels. So it is just as important to consider feeding your senior dog or cat a food formulated for his age as it is to feed a puppy or kitten an age appropriate food.