Making the Most of Your Dog’s Mature Years
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As your dog reaches his mature years, remember these tips:
- Minimize stress and change. Avoid big moves or changes in your dog's schedule. If you must disrupt a routine, give your dog some added attention to ease the adjustment.
- Give him regular exercise. Take him for two 15-minute walks each day to help maintain muscle tone, enhance circulation, promote digestion, and prevent weight gain.
- Feed him smaller, more frequent meals. Instead of one large portion a day, try two or three smaller meals, which will help your dog burn calories by stimulating his metabolism.
- Take him for routine veterinary checkups and immunizations. Regular dental care and thorough physicals will reveal subtle changes in your dog's health. At home, frequently examine him for any odd-shaped bumps or lumps. If you discover something unusual and it seems to be growing rapidly, call your veterinarian. Early detection and preventive treatment can go a long way toward extending your friend's life.
- Give him great-tasting, premium pet food. As your dog ages, he may become less interested in eating. Make sure he gets tasty, nutrient-dense food that's gentle on his digestion.
As Dr. Michael Hayek, an IAMS™ research nutritionist who specializes in geriatric nutrition, points out, there's still much to learn about canine geriatric nutrition. For now, realize that every animal ages at a different rate and in different ways. Monitor your dog and especially watch for changes at around 7 years of age (5 years for large breeds). If necessary, adjust his diet accordingly. With the help of your veterinarian and responsible pet food manufacturers, your mature pal can live to a comfortable, healthy old age.
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- adp_description_block63Understanding Puppy Food Nutrition Labels
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How much do you know about the food you’re buying for your puppy? When shopping for puppy food, pay attention to these three sections of a dog food label.
1. The Ingredient Panel
This section lists all the ingredients that make up the product. The ingredients are listed in descending order according to weight before cooking. In dry food, look for a source of high-quality animal-based protein: chicken or lamb, for example. Dogs thrive on animal proteins.
Manufacturers who use large amounts of vegetable proteins might be saving money by providing basic — but not optimal — nutrition. You should also avoid artificial colors and flavors, which offer no nutritional benefits.
2. The Guaranteed Analysis
Near the ingredient panel should be a chart of percentages called the "guaranteed analysis." These figures reveal the basic nutrient makeup of the dog food's formula and protein content. The minimum percentages of protein and fat and the maximum percentages of fiber and moisture (water) should be listed.
3. The Manufacturer’s Name and Address
This information must be included on the label by law. A toll-free number or web address for the manufacturer may also be listed. Manufacturers who list a phone number, such as IAMS™, generally have a high-quality product and welcome consumer calls and questions. If you would like information about IAMS products, visit our website or call us toll-free at 800-525-4267.
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