dog diet

The dog’s diet

The different types of dog food

With the many advertisements offering all kinds of animal products, it is sometimes difficult to find your way around and make the right choices. There are different types of food for dogs, puppies and even older dogs and there are different ways to define this food.

Traditional food

This is the homemade pate. Usually composed of pasta or rice, meat and vegetables, the ration is prepared daily or for a few days.

It is made entirely from fresh produce without any preservatives. The homemade pâtée is found a little less often nowadays in homes due to lack of time, but some dog owners prefer to continue this very healthy way of doing things for the animal.

Industrial food

dog diet supermarket

These are very popular and very accessible products all over the world. Industrial dog food includes all the products offered such as kibbles, cans, dehydrated food, etc.

Most of these foods are well-balanced and contain all the essential elements for the animal’s good health. The related costs are often less expensive, the products have a good shelf life and are easy to use. In fact, there is a wide variety that can satisfy all breeds and budgets.

Moist foods

Depending on the product, the wet food can be complete, with no need to add anything to it. It may also need to be mixed with vegetables or cereals to make it complete in essential nutrients for the dog.

The moist product usually contains 70-80% moisture and is often stored in a metal box of various sizes. The duration of canned products is in average 3 to 4 years.

These boxes usually contain vegetables, cereals, poultry and red meat. Depending on the size of the dog, it is important to choose a suitable can size because once opened, it is recommended to consume it within 24 hours of opening and it should be kept refrigerated.

Dry food

The famous and very popular kibbles with added vegetables, cereals and other ingredients are among the most widely consumed foods. Their moisture content is about 15% and they are often presented in different sized bags to meet all needs.

Sometimes the kibbles need to be rehydrated but most of the time they are ready to eat as is. The caloric intake of these dry foods is three times higher than that of wet foods due to their low water content.

It’s best to learn how to choose the right kibble for your dog to ensure that all his basic needs are met. The shelf life of dry food is very interesting and the cost of dry food is often very affordable.

Semi-moist food

They are usually sold in cardboard packaging. They contain between 20 and 30% of moisture, so make sure to give the dog water at the same time as his food.

The shelf life of these foods is about 1 year and once the package is opened, the product must be refrigerated and it is preferable to eat it quickly.

Special purpose power supply

The physiological stages of the dog’s body require a different supply of vitamins and essential nutrients at different ages. There is growth, adult dog, pregnancy, senior dog, etc.

The food therefore meets the specific needs during each different stage of a dog’s life. There is food for puppies, active dogs, sedentary dogs, older dogs, pregnant females, etc.

It is therefore possible to choose the right food for each stage of the dog’s life.

Dietetic nutrition

This form of dog food is usually recommended by the veterinarian for a specific disease or in case of obesity.

Kidney failure, heart disease, skin disease may be reasons for the veterinarian to recommend a special food for life or for a specific period of time as the case may be.

Generally, the recommended food is available locally and is usually more expensive than a standard food.

Premium food

Premium food for dogs is new in most animal product manufacturers. Designed from a selection of so-called high-end products, the various possibilities offer good digestibility, superior food quality and high energy value.

The higher protein levels in these so-called “premium” foods are adapted for each animal. The feeds are complete and the recommended quantity must be respected. They are most often found in croquettes in more specialised shops such as pet shops.

Choosing the right food for your dog

In order to choose the right food for the dog and the handler, it is first necessary to know what the most important criteria for the handler are and to relate them to the right food. The availability and budget of the owner as well as the nutritional needs of the dog should be considered in the choice of any food.

Ease of preparationIndustrial – Dry or wet food
Ease of conservationIndustrial – Dry food
Pleasing the dogIndustrial – Wet or Traditional Food
Respect the dog’s needsPremium
Ensuring longevity for your dogPremium
Respect the doses without having to calculate themPremium
Pleasure of preparing the dog’s mealTraditional
Possibility to bring the food on a tripIndustrial – Dry food
Absence of odoursIndustrial – Dry food

The choice of food for your dog will also vary depending on his breed, weight, size, activity and health. All of these factors will be important in choosing the right food for each animal.

It is important to know how to make the right food choices for your dog based on breed and ability.

Large breeds

  • Longer growth = Approximate duration of 14 months
  • Avoid excess fat
  • Avoid excess calcium (limit joint disorders)
  • Highly digestible food (low digestive tolerance)
  • More energetic food in smaller quantities (limit stomach twisting)

Small breeds

  • Appetizing dog food (to promote small dog’s appetite)
  • Highly digestible food in small quantities at a time (avoid digestive disorders)
  • Concentrated nutrient and protein nutrition (in cases of rapid growth)

When should you change your dog’s diet?

As the dog grows, his feeding needs change and must be adapted gradually.

puppy diet food

In the puppy

The puppy has a higher caloric requirement. He will need about two and a half times more calories than an adult dog of the same size.

The amount of protein needed for growth is also more important. His bone and muscle development requires an adequate supply of protein and vitamins but easily digestible by his small, still immature digestive system.

The puppy must be able to eat several times a day and also benefit from a bowl of fresh water at each meal.

In the young dog

Calorie and protein intake varies according to breed and size of dog. The time to change the diet will have to be established according to the dog.

A small dog will generally reach its adult weight around 9 months of age, while a very large breed can reach its adult weight at around 24 months of age.

Today there are foods for all sizes and growth stages of dogs. This makes it easier to switch to the right food for your dog’s weight, size and age.


  • Large and very large breeds = between 24 and 36 months of age
  • Small and very small breeds = 6 and 12 months old

Feeding the adult dog

Once the dog has reached growth maturity, it is preferable to provide him with a lower calorie food to prevent obesity.

The adult dog generally expends less energy than the puppy, so the amount of meals per day should be reduced and adapted to the dog and the life of the owner.

It is possible to feed the adult dog only once a day or to divide the amount into two meals a day, always leaving a bowl of fresh water available.

In the pregnant bitch

A female waiting for a litter requires adequate food during the last four weeks of gestation. The bitch’s diet must then be increased to meet her needs and those of the puppies on the way, much like a pregnant woman.

The veterinarian is usually the person to contact for the best advice on feeding pregnant bitches.

dog diet feeding


Young puppies are usually voracious and drink huge amounts of milk, easily causing the mother to tire easily if she is not fed properly.

During lactation, the mother may require up to 4 times her normal amount of food. It is also recommended to give her puppy food. The calorie content of puppy food often helps the mother maintain the strength and nutrients she needs to nourish her babies properly.

During the entire lactation period, it is preferable for the mother to be well hydrated. She must be able to benefit from a supply of fresh water at all times.

Feeding the older dog

Often a little more sedentary than during their youth, senior dogs require a diet adapted to their slightly slower living conditions.

There is now a whole range of organic and all-natural products for pets, both in food, hygiene products, homeopathy, grooming products, etc.

Taking care of your dog organically is also possible to have a dog at the top of his form. Just shop at the places that specialize in pet products and you’re done. Organic owner, organic dog!

Finally, in terms of food, the dog is very similar to a human being

His food must simply be adapted as he grows to respect the changes in nutritional and essential needs at each stage of the dog’s life and also respect the personal and financial capacities of the owner in choosing the right food for his dog, thus respecting the needs and capacities of the entire household.

Classification of dog food

Certain criteria are used to classify foods to help the dog owner choose the specific product that is right for his best friend.

Age of the dog (Three steps)

Dog growth Puppy: 2 to 6 monthsJunior
: 6 months to adulthood
The adult dogSmall breed: between 9 and 12 months of ageLarge
breed: between 24 and 36 months of age
SeniorVaries by breed

Size of the dog

Depending on the size of the dog, some kibbles may vary in size.

Physiological needs of the dog

Needs must be met according to stage, e.g. activity, growth, gestation, breastfeeding, etc.

Industry Terms

Growth: Puppy – Mini puppy – Puppy mini – Puppy Large – Junior

Gestation or Lactation: Active – Performance

Adult: Adult – Maintenance – Canine mini – Canine large – Canine adult

Sports: Active – Performance

Age: Senior

Others: Light (light) – Light senior

The dog’s growth

The speed of growth varies according to the breed of dog. The requirements for growth therefore also depend on the breed of dog.

It is obvious that Chihuahuas and Mastiffs do not have quite the same protein or calorie needs because they do not grow at the same rate. The breeds therefore have different needs according to their own characteristics.

The puppy’s diet is vital for his growth. It must be very well adapted to ensure his long-term health. A good nutritional start is the basis for good growth, good health afterwards and ends with a healthy, beautiful and therefore pleasant longevity for both the dog and his owner.

dog diet growth

There are many essential elements to be found in daily dog food. They are necessary for good digestion, growth and future health of the animal. They must all be present in the dog’s food on a regular basis:


Of vegetable or animal origin, good quality proteins are essential in the manufacture of muscles. Protein intake is necessary for the young puppy to ensure good growth.

Since protein residues are eliminated by the kidneys, it is essential to decrease protein intake as the dog ages and his kidneys become more tired.


Forming the fat, they form a protective layer on the muscles and provide the energy necessary to ensure great vitality. Sporty dogs have a greater need for fat than other dogs.

Carbohydrates (sugar)

Sugars are essential for the proper functioning of the brain and provide the energy to support physical exercise. Fast sugars (chocolate, candy, etc.) should be avoided by dogs at all times. Slow sugars (starchy foods) should be avoided at all times.

Raw ashes

This is the mineral matter contained in food. The richer the food is in minerals, the more difficult it is to digest. About 30% of the minerals are absorbed by the body.

  • Calcium: role in the nervous balance and the formation of teeth and bones
  • Phosphorus: role in bone mineralization with magnesium and calcium
  • Magnesium: role in bone formation and the immune system


The role of vitamins is essential and a deficiency, like an excess, leads to health problems in the dog. Each vitamin has its own dosage required for each breed and each stage of animal growth.

A detailed list of each vitamin in food is listed on every product sold.

Trace elements

From the Greek, “oligos” means small. As their name indicates, trace elements are therefore few in number in the body. They are mostly in trace amounts even though they are still essential. The specific quantity of each is clearly identified on each product.

  • Iron
    • Fights anemia and stimulates the brain
    • Found in muscles, liver, spleen and bone marrow
  • Zinc
    • Important in protein stabilization
    • Found in plasma and liver
  • Iodine
    • Important role in growth
    • Present in the thyroid
  • Selenium
    • Important role in growth
    • Found in liver and muscles
  • Copper
    • Nerve stimulant
    • Found in the brain and liver
  • Chromium
    • Essential for protein, fat and carbohydrate metabolism
    • Found in bones, spleen and liver
  • Manganese
    • Role in skeletal and genital organ formation
    • Present in the brain, kidneys and liver
  • Cobalt
    • Helps prevent anemia
    • Present in the liver and kidneys
  • Fluorine
    • Important role in dentition
    • Found in bones, spleen, kidneys and liver

Growth is specific to each breed and varies according to the size of the dog. Here is an example of a growth curve from according to the different breed sizes:

Due to their greater weight gain (pounds) over a longer period of time, dogs of very large breeds have a very variable growth rate. For good growth, adequate food intake is essential.

  • Calcium (Bone growth)
    • Adequate dietary intake = Perfect bone growth
    • Lack of calcium = brittle or malformed bones
    • Too much calcium = Joint and bone deformity
  • Calorie (Energy intake)
    • Adequate dietary intake = Varies with breed, size, age and activity of the dog
    • Too many calories = Medium, large and giant breeds = Obesity, osteoarticular problems
    • Too many calories = Small, very small breeds = Obesity

Diet and exercise are key to good growth in dogs. Breed-specific advice from professionals is important to properly follow the evolution from puppy to adult.

To ensure your dog’s good health, you must closely monitor his growth according to the breed and his specific needs and do not hesitate, if necessary, to seek advice from animal care professionals.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top