Feeding your male dog the right nutrients will keep him growing strong and maintaining a healthy weight. A healthy weight can stave off a whole host of health problems in your pal, from hip dysplasia to heart disease.
But how can you know which dog foods are the best for optimizing his nutrition? Here are some tips you can keep in mind when feeding your companion.
When is a Dog Ready for Puppy, Adult, or Senior Food?
Puppies should be weaned off of mother’s milk at about 6 to 8 weeks of age, and should then be started on a commercial puppy food diet.
Once your guy has reached 6 to 18 months of age, depending on the size of your dog’s breed, he’ll be ready for an adult dog food.
Your dog will reach his golden years between 7 to 12 years old, again depending on your dog’s breed. At this point you should talk to your veterinarian about transitioning to a senior dog food or to a food that will help to treat any specific conditions as your dog ages—like kidney disease or liver disease.
While Your Male Dog is an Adult
All dogs require a balance of proteins, fats, and carbohydrates in their diets. Unlike cats, dogs are omnivores, so their food does not need to be based on animal products alone. A wild dog’s diet would include some berries, root vegetables, seeds, and nuts.
Look for these amounts of protein and fat in dog food for your adult male:
Dogs should have constant access to fresh, clean water so that they can stay hydrated. Water is the single most important nutrient in you dog’s diet. The only exception to this rule might be when your dog has gastritis, or tummy troubles. When a dog vomits, they might guzzle water too quickly, resulting in more vomiting. Dogs with gastritis do need water to rehydrate after vomiting, but in small amounts, more frequently.
Dogs can be fed a controlled portion two to three times a day. This will allow you to monitor how much your dog is eating so you can determine if a bigger or smaller portion is called for to keep their weight in a healthy range.
Check your dog’s food label for a guide on how much to feed your dog. You may want to start with the lower end of the range, as sometimes these suggestions can be high. If you notice your dog lacking a bit of energy or growing skinnier, increase the amount until a good balance is found.
If Your Buddy Needs to Lose a Bit (or More) of Weight
There are plenty of weight control dog foods available. You can also follow these tips on foods that help to burn fat, to help your dog get rid of the extra pudge.
If Your Dog is Very Active
Dogs that work harder during the day—running, hiking, herding, swimming—for work or for play will need to ingest more calories than dogs that get less activity. Take a look at some helpful rules for feeding an active or working dog.
Dealing with Allergies
Dogs can develop food allergies over time, after being exposed to a certain kind of food. This means that the first time your dog tries a new food, they likely won’t have an allergic reaction, but they might develop one later. The most common food allergies in dogs are beef, dairy, and wheat.
If your dog develops itchy skin, hair loss, or starts chewing his paws, he may be experiencing a food allergy. Talk to your vet about switching your dog to a different kind of food.
More on Nutrition for Dogs
Is Your Dog a Healthy Weight?
The Dog Food Finder
Grain Free Dog Food
This information is for informational purposes only and is not meant as a substitute for the professional advice of, or diagnosis or treatment by, your veterinarian. It has however been reviewed for accuracy by Dr. Joe, a board certified veterinary nutritionist and graduate of Cornell University's program for Veterinary Medicine.