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KEY MESSAGES: Our main-meal pet foods are formulated to meet the nutrient requirements of a cat or dog according to lifestage or lifestyle. They contain the right levels of energy and nutrients that the pet requires and have a guaranteed digestibility. It is extremely difficult to create a home-prepared food designed to deliver the correct nutrition for a pet at a given lifestage.

Myth #3

development if fed a diet not formulated to meet their needs.

TRUTH: Foods for puppies and for adult dogs are formulated differently because they have different nutritional needs.

Adult dogs could be healthy on a puppy food, although calorie density is higher meaning greater risk of over consumption of calories and obesity.

MYTH: I just feed my puppy the same thing as my five year old dog. I’m sure he’s getting all the nutrition he needs.

It is essential to read the nutritional adequacy statement on the pet food (a required element) to be sure the food fits your dog’s needs.

There are many cases of pets that have suffered from nutritional problems when they have been fed a

BACKGROUND: Some people believe that the nutritional needs of puppies and adult dogs are the same, and therefore they can be fed the same foods.

Size influencing length of the growth period in puppies.

home-prepared diet. For example, there are reports of cats fed exclusively on liver that have suffered vitamin A toxicity. Likewise many home-prepared diets are deficient in calcium which is a huge issue for growing pets. Manufactured pet foods are rigorously tested to ensure that they are safe from microbial contaminants e.g. Salmonella. Prepared pet foods always have a feeding guide to help the owner ensure the pet is fed the correct amount of calories for its lifestage and lifestyle. The nutrients the pet requires are balanced for the energy the pet needs for a healthy weight.

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They see no need to feed a puppy on a specially formulated puppy food. Some owners also believe that puppy diets are simply ‘richer’, or more palatable than adult diets and just providing manufacturers with an excuse to charge more. KEY MESSAGES: Puppies have different nutrient requirements when compared with adult dogs and need a diet specifically designed to support their healthy growth and development.

Puppies fed on adult dog food may suffer from nutrient imbalances and sub-optimal growth and

A DOG IS CONSIDERED ADULT AT: Toy, small breeds (<10kg) = 12 months Medium breeds (10-25kg) = 12 months Large breeds (25-40kg) = 18 months Giant breeds (>40kg) = 24 months

- Photos by Romina Gandsas.

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