From Puppy to Senior: Are their Nutritional Needs Different?
Age, reproductive status, lifestyle, and overall health all play a role in determining what levels of nutrients are required by your individual dog. For instance, puppies generally require higher protein levels than adult dogs. Growing puppies also often require higher levels of calcium, phosphorus and DHA, a fatty acid, are required for growing puppies, as well as higher levels of calcium and phosphorus.
Senior dogs often have specialized nutritional needs, too. For instance, joint disease is common in older dogs and nutrients such as omega-3 fatty acids (specifically eicosapentaenoic acid or EPA) may be helpful in relieving the associated pain. Additionally, older dogs may suffer from other illnesses, such as kidney disease, for which the levels of phosphorus and sodium in the diet must be controlled.