Can Adult Dogs Eat Puppy Food?

Hello we just added the newest pup to our house. My question is it ok to feed all my dogs puppy chow? My 14-year-old has...


Hello we just added the newest pup to our house.
My question is it ok to feed all my dogs puppy
chow? My 14-year-old has decided that that’s all she
will eat. The other two are 11 months and seven months.
She is not a fat dog so do you think this could
hurt her? Thanks.

Roselle, IL

Puppy and kitten foods are generally higher in calories and protein than adult or senior formulas. Young animals need calorically dense foods with plenty of protein in order to grow. Adult and especially senior animals are prone to obesity and kidney problems. Their diets therefore are designed to be relatively low in calories (to prevent obesity) and relatively low in protein (high protein levels can stress the kidneys).

However, animals, like humans, can tolerate a pretty broad range of diets. As long as their basic nutritional needs are met and they do not consume a dramatic excess of calories, pets can thrive on diets that are not specifically designed for their age, size, breed or lifestyle. (I should point out that animals do require diets designed specifically for their species. Cats generally cannot survive on exclusive diets of dog food.)

For some reason the subject of pet foods really gets people riled up. Many people loudly exclaim that all canned food is evil, or that all dry food is evil, or that all commercial diets are evil or that anything other than raw food is evil. But in my experience such black-and-white viewpoints aren’t credible. I have plenty of patients who are thriving on every type of quality food out there.

Claiming that only one type of pet food can adequately meet an animal’s needs is like saying that only one type of cuisine can meet a human’s needs. If you say that only Indian food is adequate to meet human nutritional needs, a billion people in China can point out that they’re doing just fine eating Chinese cuisine. And vice-versa.

So, to answer your question, I doubt it will hurt an older dog to eat puppy food as long as it doesn’t upset her stomach, she doesn’t gain weight, and she doesn’t have any major medical problems.

Photo credit: click here.

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