Knowing the Life Stages of Your Large Dog

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Knowing that your large breed dog becomes an adult at 1 year and a mature adult at 5 years is important. Dogs’ needs change as they age. How old do you think your dog is in human years?

Large or giant breed dogs weigh more than 55 pounds as adults and have a more compressed life span. Half of all dogs are considered large breed. Is your dog among them?

Mature adult dogs need food that can maintain and improve their quality of life and decrease the risk of chronic disease. Issues that are more prevalent in older dogs include dental disease, obesity, kidney disease and arthritis.

Knowing the age of your dog is particularly important in large and giant breed dogs because they can be more susceptible than other breeds to developmental bone and joint disease.

Lifestage nutrition is the practice of feeding pets food designed to meet their optimal nutritional needs at a specific age or physiologic state.

Lifestage categories include:

  • Growth — for puppies to 12 months of age
  • Maintenance — the adult lifestage — for dogs from 12 months to 7 years (small and medium breeds) or around 5 and 6 years for giant and large breeds
  • Mature adult — for smaller dogs 7 years and older, large breed dogs 6 years and older, and giant breed dogs 5 years and older
  • Reproduction — for pregnant and/or nursing dogs.

Be sure to ask your veterinarian if the right nutrition can help manage any conditions your dog might have and if there is a food that can help keep him active and more comfortable.

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