Depending on the breed, dogs one through five to seven years are generally considered young adults.
The goal when feeding adults dogs are to:
- Maximize longevity
- Feed for the best quality of life
During this time, they are usually fully grown but not quite yet middle-aged.
Adult dogs are typically healthy. The more common mortal diseases are often diagnosed in middle-aged or older dogs.
What To Feed Adult Dogs?
During this time, dog parents should:
- Select the best quality food
- Feed the correct quantity of food
Most Common Disease Related To Nutrition
The goal of the dog parent during this time is to:
- Avoid obesity
- Avoid dental disease
- Prevent kidney disease
- Protect against arthritis
- Protect against cancer
- Protect against skin and coat problems
Ultimately, it’s up to you how to feed your dog.
And it is your dog’s health that will be the true judge if how you’re feeding them is best for them.
When I studied nutrition, it was mainly based on kibble and kibble ingredients.
And I’ve also studied raw and home-cooked.
And after looking at all the different ways to feed our dogs my personal opinion is whole fresh food is best.
But I also have dogs with allergies. And I help a lot of dogs with allergies which is why I think the way I do.
Being able to buy food and make food for our dogs is a privilege.
Let’s not discount the millions of street dogs that scrounge off whatever they can find on the streets, under tables, and in tipped-over trashcans.
- There are dogs that survive to their old age on scraps.
- There are dogs that survive to their old age on kibble.
- There are dogs that survive to their old age on home-cooked.
- There are dogs that survive to their old age on raw.
And then there are dogs who don’t.
They end up getting cancer. Their pancreas takes a hit. They get kidney stones. Or bladder stones, or liver disease. Or they have allergies that never go away.
These are the dogs that divert us to seek another way. A healthier way of living.
Truth be told. There is NO one size fits all approach and to impose our beliefs on each other without factoring in the most important factor of all, our dog’s health would just be silly.
Only time will tell how long they live. How well they live. And how healthy they live.
Start where you are. Do the best you can.
The Knuckle Test
The one thing we all have control over regardless of what we feed is our dog’s weight.
Certainly, you can feed based on caloric needs and activity level, but you can also watch your dog’s weight.
I love the knuckle test which is as follows:
- Put your hand in a fist and lightly run your fingers over your knuckles. Feel how the nuckles protrude. And now feel your dog’s ribs. If they feel the same way, your dog is too thin.
- Now place your hand palm up and run your fingers over the base of your fingers. If your dog’s ribs feel this same way, your dog is too heavy.
- Lastly turn your hand over, palm side down. Run your fingers over your knuckles. The ridges can be felt but not protruding. This is healthy and just right and your dog has a lean body condition.
Your Dog’s Health Markers
It’s essential to keep a diary to understand track what you are feeding.
No matter your approach to feeding monitor their:
Are their eyes bright? Are they thriving?
Do they have energy? Are they excited to eat?
And how is their stool? Is it firm? If the answer is yes and it’s consistent then you can proceed to the next step in the transition.
This is also a good time to develop the habit of journaling. Write down what you are feeding your dog, and how their body and energy respond to it.
Choosing The Best Food For Your Adult Dog
There is no shortage of recommendations for different brands of kibble. You won’t find those here. But if you’re like how to level up that bowl read about Kibble Boosters:
And if you’re ready to jump into fresh feeding, read: