Assessing the Proper Nutrition Your Adult Dog Needs

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Different Dogs with Different Needs

A dog between the ages of 1 and 6 years of age is considered an adult dog. In general, these dogs need nutrition with controlled levels of phosphorus, sodium, protein and energy.

But different dogs have different needs. In order to determine the unique nutritional needs for your adult dog, assess his activity level. Some questions to consider:

  • Is your dog a hunting, sport or working dog?
  • Does your dog get an average amount of exercise through daily playing and walks?
  • Does your dog have a low activity level and tend to gain weight easily?

Proper nutrition can also help with problems such as bad breath, sensitive skin or sensitive stomach issues. Labrador retrievers, golden retrievers, Cairn terriers, cocker spaniels, dachshunds, pugs, Shetland sheepdogs, basset hounds and beagles are prone to obesity, so keep breed tendencies in mind when choosing your dog's food.

A common concern for adult dogs is kidney health. Dietary phosphorus, protein and salt excesses may exacerbate the progression of kidney damage that leads to kidney failure and death. Therefore, unbalanced high amounts of phosphorus, protein and salt are all nutritional risk factors. Some commercial pet foods contain excess protein, phosphorus, calcium and salt. These excess nutrients must be excreted through the kidneys, and become nutritional risk factors.