The Foods We Eat
As people get older they don’t require as much protein. While we are young and virile we need meat to promote healthy bodies and minds and so do our dogs.
March 14, 2022
Delilah Penn, Staff Reporter
According to FDA when we get over 50, our diet should change from a protein rich (red meat) diet to a more fruits and vegetables diet. Even with a fruit and veggie diet, most of us don’t drink enough liquid so we get dehydrated. Our metabolism slows down and we don’t require all that protein.
Did you know that an eastern box turtle works in a similar way? When they are young they require more meat (bugs, worms, slugs etc.) but at a certain age they too become more vegetarian. As an aside, boy turtles tend to have red eyes and girls have brown.
Turtles also prefer darker colored veggies like tomatoes, carrots, dark leafy greens. I’m not sure if they need the beta-carotene but I do know for us folks it helps with eye health and vision, builds a stronger immune system, and helps keep our skin and mucous membranes healthy.
But what about our dogs? Puppies use a lot of energy to grow and develop so they need to consume more calories by way of protein and fat than an adult dog. In large breed puppies we have to worry about hip and elbow problems (dysplasia) so their diet has to prevent overly rapid growth. You may want to look into puppy food which has a little less fat, a little less calcium and phosphorus to help them grow at a slower rate and help prevent joint issues later.
A good time to convert puppies to an adult formula is when they are approximately 80% their expected size. For example, in toy and small breeds that would be about 6-9 months old, medium sized breeds at about 1 year and for large breeds, anywhere from 16 to 18 months.
Very active dog breeds, pregnant or nursing females can benefit from puppy food because of the higher protein, fat and other nutrients. Switching your adult dog to adult food promotes good health because it is lower in fat and protein to help prevent obesity.
Just like us, as animals get older, food “quantity” may need to be lessened to help keep them fit and switching to a senior dog food product can also help. Here's to healthy choices!
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