Puppy & kitten: nutrition
3 important questions about nutrition for puppies and kittens answered
When it comes to your new pet, you want only the best. Especially when it comes to nutrition. How can you be sure your puppy or kitten is getting all the nutrients he or she needs? What makes nutrition suitable for puppies and kittens?
In this blog, we answer 3 questions our customer service and veterinarians get most often around nutrition for young dogs and cats.
1. How long do puppies or kittens need appropriate nutrition?
When your puppy moves into your home, you feed him food that is age-appropriate. You do that until your dog reaches adult age. This varies from breed to breed.
To ease the transition from puppy to adult nutrition, we have developed Delcon Junior. Small breeds like chihuahuas give puppy food until about 1 year of age. Medium-sized breeds like boxers can use puppy food until they are about 8 months. Large breeds like a Bernese are best switched at around 6 months. After that, switch to Junior food.
From the time your dog is about 15 to 18 months, switch to Adult dog food. When exactly you do that, you will have to judge for yourself. You know your dog best and one dog will be ready earlier than the other. Not sure? Then get in touch with our team.
Kittens experience one growth spurt after another. Only food tailored to them will allow them to develop in a healthy and balanced way. This is why it is recommended to feed food for kittens until they are 1 year old. From the age of 12 months, your cat is basically an adult and you gradually switch to food for adult cats.
As mentioned, this transition does not happen overnight. Allow about six days for your cat to get used to the new food. This will ensure that your cat's digestive system can get used to the composition of the new food.
On day 1, replace 1/6 of the food with the new food. The majority remains the kitten food. Each day you add a sixth so that on the sixth day the portion consists only of the food for adult cats.
2. Can you give a puppy or kitten adult dog or cat food as well?
No, it is best to give puppies and kittens food that is appropriate for their age. At the beginning of their lives, they need more of certain nutrients than adult dogs or cats. Think of certain fatty acids or proteins. Or they need those nutrients in a different ratio than adults.
Only with nutrition tailored to their needs will your puppy or kitten get through the big growth spurt in a healthy and balanced way and build a strong immunity. So you can imagine that there are also big differences in fat percentage and number of calories per serving between foods for young and adult animals. Puppies and kittens need proportionally much more calories. Not too surprising when you see how fast they grow and learn!
As soon as your dog or cat reaches adult age, switch to "adult food." Do this gradually so your dog or cat can get used to the new dry or wet food. To make the transition from puppy food to adult food easier, we have launched Delcon Junior. This food pays attention to the development of young dogs' muscles and bones.
3. What ingredients contribute to the development of my puppy or kitten?
In the first phase of your puppy or kitten's life, the brain is running at full speed. To support them in this, give them quality food full of nutrients they need to develop into a stable adult dog or cat. Nutrition that fully supports their brain is indispensable at this stage of their lives.
So what food is best to give? In summary: food full of ingredients that contribute to brain development such as omega-3 fatty acids. You'll find that in fatty fish like salmon. If you look at the ingredient list of Delcon food for puppies or kittens, you will always see salmon oil. That is packed with omega 3 fatty acids.
In addition, your puppy or kitten will immediately feel the benefits of quality protein in the food they eat. Very young animals need a lot of protein. This need is greatest when they have just stopped drinking mother's milk and they are eating their first solid food. The amount of protein they need after that decreases steadily.
Delcon food for dogs and cats has the perfect dose of protein for this important stage in your puppy or kitten's life.
Why Omega 3?
Certain components of omega 3 (mainly DHA) are also in the breast milk your puppy or kitten receives from mom dog or cat after birth. It is an important building block for your pet's brain, central nervous system and vision development.
When puppies and kittens are about six weeks old, their brains have already grown in earnest. Yet the size of their brain is still only 70% of what it will one day be. A few weeks later, the gray cells have already grown to 90%. Omega 3 plays an important role in the lightning-fast growth of their brains.
That's why it's so important that your puppy or kitten gets enough omega 3 through food once they live with you. By choosing Delcon foods for puppies and kittens, you can be sure your little pet is getting all the nutrients they need to develop.
Why is protein important?
Kittens need a little more protein than puppies. This is because cats are 100% carnivores; dogs are omnivores. Cats get their energy as much as possible from protein and therefore need more of certain amino acids to build muscle and as fuel for body processes. To compare concretely, kittens need 11 essential amino acids from protein, puppies 10.
Proper protein intake is hugely important for both: to grow and to maintain their immune systems. Among other things, protein helps create antibodies that make your puppy or kitten more resilient to disease.