How To Maintain Medium-Sized Dogs Healthy at Every Life Stage – Nutritional Needs
If you are a dog owner, then you probably only want the best for your pup so that it can live a long and healthy life. However, keeping your four-legged friend healthy at every life stage can be difficult if you don’t do any research.
Depending on the size, your dog might have different nutritional needs – for instance, large breeds need a higher calorie intake than small and medium-sized dogs. In this article, we will focus on medium-sized dogs. We will go through every life stage and explain what is needed to keep the pup healthy.
It is worth mentioning that, if you have enough time, you should consider using one of the homemade dog food crockpot recipes to make your pup’s meal, especially since feeding your furry friend with food made at home has several benefits, including healthier coat and skin, increased energy, decreased number of vet visits and longer life, as well as a firmer stool and less to clean up.
Here’s everything you need to know:
Medium-sized dogs usually weigh between 20 and 60 pounds. Although there are plenty of breeds that are considered to be medium-sized, here are some of the most widely known:
- American Pit Bull Terrier
- Siberian Husky
- Standard Poodle
Medium-Sized Puppy: 0-12 Months
When you have a puppy, you need to make sure that your house is puppy-proof, meaning that all the small objects that could be swallowed by it are hidden, and the access to steps or pools is restricted with a dog gate.
When it comes to the nutritional needs of a medium-sized puppy, they begin with the mother’s milk or a puppy milk replacer fed to the puppy with a bottle.
When they are around four weeks of age, they are gradually weaned and transitioned to a well-balanced puppy diet. In the beginning, the puppies should receive three servings per day. Once they reach ten weeks old, you can reduce it to two servings per day.
Pro tip: Keep in mind that the transition process is an individual one, which means that one puppy may take a lot longer than the other. The important thing is to be patient.
Some Other Tips
- Take your pup to the vet once you adopt it, or soon after it is born, as they will be able to determine the puppy’s health condition.
- Your puppy should take a series of vaccinations from when it is 6-8 weeks old until 16 weeks of age.
- The teething happens during the first six months of your puppy’s life.
Adult Medium-Sized Dogs – 12 months – 8 years
Keeping your dog healthy once it reaches adulthood is actually relatively easy once you establish a routine.
Once your pup reaches one year of age, it is no longer growing, meaning that it is now considered an adult. What does it mean for their nutritional needs? Well, to put it simply, they don’t need puppy food anymore and can eat regular dog food.
However, just like milk and puppy food, the transition from puppy food to adult dog food should happen gradually. Mix a little bit of the puppy food with the adult dog food daily, and increase the amount every day until the puppy food is completely replaced (should take around a week).
You should feed your four-legged friend the adult dog food until it is 7-8 years old. Once it reaches this age, you’ll need to transition it to a senior diet.
Some Other Tips
- Take your dog to the vet annually to perform any necessary tests and exams.
- Tell the vet about any change you notice in your four-legged friend.
- Keep in mind that dogs who have not been spayed or neutered will experience some hormonal effects – males will become more territorial and want to wander around to find a female to breed with; females will come into heat every six months unless bred or fixed.
Senior Medium-Sized Dogs – 8 – 16 years
Recognizing that your adult dog has undergone the transition to a senior dog might be hard, as the process may go unnoticed. However, here are some things that indicate that you no longer have an adult dog, but a senior dog instead:
- its eyes might be clouded
- the color of its coat on its face or muzzle might have turned white or grey
- it might not hear you as well as it used to
- its teeth may fall out or become more sensitive, meaning that eating will be more difficult
- it may have a lack of concentration
When it comes to the nutritional requirements, your senior dog’s diet should include fewer calories than the adult dog diet had, more fiber, as well as a moderate amount of protein.
Again – remember that the transition should be done gradually.
Some Other Tips
- You should take your senior dog to the vet at least once a year – however, some vets recommend visiting the clinic every six months. If you want to take care of your senior dog at home without a vet at their end of life cycle, then you need to know How?
- Regular walks will help keep the muscles toned, while swimming is a great activity that doesn’t put a strain on the dog’s joints, which might be painful at its age.
- Treat-dispensing toys will keep your senior dog mentally sharp while providing entertainment at the same time.
The Bottom Line
If you own a dog, you probably want to give it the world. That includes proper care so that your four-legged friend can live a long and healthy life by your side. However, providing it without proper research can be quite hard – especially since small, medium, and large breeds have different needs.
Although in this article, we mostly covered the nutritional needs of medium-sized dogs, there’s a lot more that goes into their care. Vaccinations, mental, and physical stimulation -all this plays a vital role in the right development of your pup.
If you are not sure how to achieve that, you can always ask your veterinarian – remember they care for your pup as much as you do and will do everything in their power to make sure it is healthy.