While the term ‘adult’ might not be a completely accurate term to describe your mischievous little mate’s level of maturity, the fact is your best friend isn’t so ‘little’ anymore! Yes, he has grown up and is about to dive into adulthood. And while that cheekiness is unlikely to change in a hurry, notching up your first birthday does make for some significant milestones that are worth celebrating!
Making the switch
First of all, well done! You’ve navigated your little mate through the tricky and sometimes temperamental first year of their life. With no more growing to do, your puppy is now ready for adult food. But relax, it’s still as appetising as the food that fuelled their growth. It’s just been formulated with their future in mind. They no longer need the extra energy, calcium and phosphorous that was crucial in their youth. Now, growing up means their food must have a new focus. They need:
- Controlled calories: To prevent obesity and its damaging effects on the body
- Clean teeth: The act of chewing dry food helps to prevent tartar build-up on their teeth
- High Quality Protein: To strengthen their body and their immune system
- Plus all the vitamins and minerals they need to keep them at the peak of perfection
Adult maintenance food has been formulated with all of these important attributes in mind.
Caring for grown-up dogs
But what about caring for your canine away from the food bowl? Here are some handy tips on managing your newly ‘mature’ little mate:
Around 40% of Aussie dogs and cats are overweight and the number is climbing. A Purina study recently found that slim animals live almost 2 years longer than their obese friends. So only feed your dog/cat what the feeding guide on the back of the packet says. Then, if your pet still gains weight, reduce the amount you’re feeding by 10%. Remember that exercise is also important.
Dental disease is the most common health problem affecting our pets. It’s estimated that around 80% of dogs and 70% of cats have some form of dental disease by the age of three. Feeding Purina dry food and ‘dental chews’ will help. You should also speak to your vet about other ways of reducing tartar build-up.
Once your dog is fully grown it does mean that his/her joints are close to maturity too. This means they can now handle longer walks and runs than before. Just try to avoid too much ‘high impact’ exercise like chasing tennis balls. This puts strain on their hips and knees which can lead to early onset arthritis.
Prevent the preventable
Our pets are living longer than ever before. One of the main reasons is that we can now prevent so many nasty diseases. So, make sure your ‘offsider’ gets his/her vaccinations, worming, heartworm prevention and flea control. They’ll be sure to live a longer, happier life. For more information on worming, click here.
Now that your four-legged friend is a fully grown adult dog, be sure to find out more about how to care for an adult dog.