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Food for Growth: Choosing Puppy or Kitten Food

There comes a day when most parents hear the dreaded words, “Mom, come on! I’ll walk it every day!” or “I promise I’ll clean its litter… I swear!”

As a child, convincing your parents to get a puppy or kitten means gaining a new best friend to share in all of life’s adventures. As a parent, it comes with an endless list of additional responsibilities. But as that new little one chases your finger or snoozes in your lap, you suddenly can’t imagine life without them as part of the family.

Smitten with your new furry family member, you would probably do anything to get them off to the best start in life. Just like human babies, puppies and kittens require lots of fuel to nourish their growing bodies and explore the world around them.

When choosing a food for your new puppy or kitten, dry, canned and semi-moist options are suitable alone or in combination, as long as they are quality foods given in appropriate quantities. The most important thing to look for is the AAFCO-approved symbol on a diet that states it is optimized for “growth and development” and is “complete and balanced”. Keep in mind that a food that declares it has undergone feeding trials will have been more rigorously tested than one that has been simply formulated for nutrition.

You may be thinking, “Can’t I just get adult food?” Sadly not. Adult food will not meet a growing little one’s nutritional needs and should not be fed as their main diet until they approach full development, usually around 8-12 months of age. At that time, their body starts requiring less energy, so the same calories that once prompted their healthy growth as a puppy or kitten diet can quickly lead to obesity if fed into adulthood. Your veterinarian can help you calculate how many cups or grams to feed a day based on your puppy or kitten’s changing nutritional needs throughout each life stage.

Choosing the right food is one of the most important decisions you’ll make for your new furry family member; their diet at this age can be the difference between obesity and stunted growth or a healthy upbringing. By choosing a quality food, fed in appropriate quantities, you can provide the foundation for many happy, healthy years with your family. 


Dr. I. Wonder is here to answer your questions regarding your furry family members. If you have a question, email it to us at danielle@NeighbourhoodPetClinic.com. Our team at Neighbourhood Pet Clinic will tap into their collective experience to answer your various questions.


Questions? Comments? Contact us today!

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