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Adult Dogs 1-6 years

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6 Signs it's Time to Change Your Dog's Food

6 Signs it's Time to Change Your Dog's Food

Choosing a dog food can be a painstaking process — so much so that some of us stick with buying the same dog food for our dog’s entire life. "The truth is," says Dr. Jessica Vogelsang, "we now know our dog's nutritional needs can and do change over time due to factors like their life stage, their overall health, and their activity level."

What Age Should I Change My Dog’s Food?

When it comes to nutrition, there are three life stages which experts believe are important times in your dog’s life to discuss with your veterinarian. The first is the puppy life stage. During this period a dog food rated for “growth” is needed because it is specifically designed for puppies according to the AAFCO (Association of American Feed Control Officials, which sets standards for pet foods in the United States). “Puppies that are growing require puppy foods with a higher protein level and a higher calorie count…to meet their growth requirements,” says Dr. Lorie Huston. “If these nutritional demands are not met, your dog’s growth may be stunted and/or your dog may become ill.” Dog foods rated for “reproduction" or "gestation/lactation” are also a benefit for pregnant or lactating female dogs.

The second life stage for which you should consult your veterinarian about nutritional changes is the adult life stage. “Obesity is the most common nutritional disease seen in dogs today,” says Dr. Huston. “One reason for this is improper life stage feeding. For example, [an adult] dog— especially one that leads a sedentary lifestyle — may become overweight or even obese if fed dog food meant for puppies.” Dog food labeled as "all life stage" can also deliver excessive fat and nutrients your adult dog does not require, as it is formulated for puppies. Instead you should be looking for dog food rated “adult maintenance” by the AAFCO.

For the complete article on 6 Signs it’s Time to Change Your Dog’s Food, visit petMD!

5 Ways to Keep Your Dog Allergy Free this Spring

5 Ways to Keep Your Dog Allergy Free this Spring

The spring season brings with it many allergens that affect both us and our dogs. This is because most plants thrive during the spring.

Here, according to Dr. Patrick Mahaney, is how you can treat your dog’s allergies this spring.

1. Go to Your Veterinarian
Since there are so many conditions that can appear clinically similar to allergies, having your veterinarian examine your dog is an important first step. Diagnostics, including skin impression smear and scraping, and blood testing may be needed to determine the nature of the condition and the most appropriate treatments.

2. Bathing and Topical Treatments
Cleaning your dog’s skin surface and coat using a pet-appropriate shampoo helps remove environmental allergens, bacteria, oil, and other irritating substances. Full-body bathing or localized cleansing can be performed as much as twice daily depending on your dog’s needs. Besides shampooing, a leave-on conditioner or veterinary prescribed topical treatment can help to manage your dog’s general or localized skin irritation and infection.

For the complete article on 5 Ways to Keep Your Dog Allergy-Free this Spring, visit petMD!

How Old is Your Dog?

In pet years, 7+ is middle age. Which side of 7 is your dog?