Different sizes of dogs require different physiological needs, which can mislead dog owners to finding the right nutrition for their dog.
Below is a breakdown of the dogs’ specific sizes, lifestyle and the diet needed for their unique characteristics:
1. VERY SMALL DOGS (8lb.) and SMALL DOGS (9-22lb.)
These dogs were originally hunters but are now popular as pets. They may look fragile, but are generally very tough, known for their long life expectancy – they can live for as long as 14 – 16 years.
Small dogs have much higher energy requirements than larger dogs. Thus, they need higher levels of protein and calories. Small dogs also have very sensitive digestive systems, so don’t feed them with food that are too hard to digest.
2. MEDIUM DOGS (23-55lb.)
These dogs are naturally energetic and have advanced physical abilities. Medium dogs can have varied lifestyles – from being working farm dogs to household pets. They have a life expectancy of 10 to 12 years.
Medium-sized dogs need to balance their exercise and diet in order to maintain a healthy weight. Several common factors, such as a sedentary way of life, poor dietary habits, sterilization or the genetic predisposition of some medium-sized dogs can cause weight gain.
3. LARGE DOGS (56-100lb.)
These dogs were originally bred as working dogs, which means they can withstand endurance tests such as emergency rescue and long walks. As puppies, they grow slow into adult dogs. When they do reach adulthood, their size and energy causes them to have joint problems. Their life expectancy ranges from 9-12 years.
Large dogs need to have nutrition that is rich in vitamins E and C, plus glucosamine and chondroitin may help protect the joints and keep them going strong well into adulthood.
4. GIANT DOGS (100lbs+)
The largest among all dog breeds, they have the shortest life expectancy. They are also the puppies who grow the slowest into adulthood. Their life expectancy ranges from 7-9 years only.
Giant dogs were bred to work in cold climates. They were rescue dogs, but are now also very good pets. Their body weight and active lifestyle puts them into lots of stress. Feed them with food rich in vitamin E and C, and protein.
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