Learning About Young Adult Dog Nutrition

This evening we took part in a fun online chat with celebrity vet Dr. Jeff Werber! As we told you about last week, LA vet Dr. Werber (who is often seen on TV) led tonight’s chat with our fellow Nutro Knowledge Network members to discuss a new food from The Nutro Company: NATURAL CHOICE® Young Adult formula.

This is the first food developed specifically to meet the nutritional needs of the “teenage” dog from six months to two years old. During this time, young dogs still have exceptional nutritional needs as their bodies continue to grow and develop but, at the same time, don’t have the high caloric needs of younger puppies. As a result, obesity can be a problem for these young dogs and, in fact, the rate of obesity in young dogs increases during this period from 14.2 percent to 24.4 percent!

This new food, rolling out in stores in the coming weeks, is designed to maintain a healthy weight, promote bone health, and promote cognitive development during this adolescent period.

Several of you sent us questions and we passed them on to Dr. Werber:

  • Should the switch from Young Adult to Adult food always be at two years old or does it depend on the dog’s size?
    Dr. Werber noted that larger dogs may continue to grow so that the switch should be made when the dog has stopped growing. He explained that, in smaller dogs, that end of growth could be at 1-1/2 or 1-3/4 years old rather than strictly two years.
  • I recently adopted an eight-month-old puppy; he had been malnourished when he was picked up as a stray. Because of that time when he was malnourished, should I keep him on puppy food longer or switch to a young adult diet?
    Dr. Werber recommended keeping this young dog on puppy food until he has reached an appropriate weight and size for his age then transitioning him to young adult food. He recommended switching the food slowly, substituting 20 percent of the dog’s puppy formula for young adult formula each day so that he received an 80/20, 60/40, 40/60, 20/80 ratio until on the fifth day he was eating 100 percent Young Adult food.

We’ll be bringing you more about NATURAL CHOICE® Young Adult formula in future posts!

This post was written by a Nutro Knowledge Network Member and sponsored by The Nutro Company.

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About Paris Permenter & John Bigley

Paris Permenter and John Bigley are the award-winning authors of over 30 pet and travel books as well as the founders and publishers of CatTipper and DogTipper.

  • JenniferS22

    We feed an all life stages food so we never have to worry about switching foods on our dogs and upsetting their stomachs. Dogs wouldn’t eat different formulas in the wild, they would just eat different amounts, that’s why the Natural Balance food makes sense to us.