Life Stage Nutrition

Dog_at_Table.jpgAnimals have various nutritional requirements depending on their age, breed and health status. Decisions regarding your pet's nutrition should not be made without first consulting a veterinarian.

Adult and Senior animals have significantly different requirements than young growing puppies or kittens. Animals with diabetes, kidney disease. or other health issues also have different requirements.

The Staff at the Carroll Small Animal Clinic will be able to recommend your pet's choice of diet given their age, breed and health status.  



Diet is extremely important during the growing months of a puppy or kitten's life

Dalmationpup.jpgCorrect feeding during your pet's growth period is vital for long-term health.  Providing the wrong food or wrong amount of food can prevent your pet from growing properly and could cause permanent bone and joint damage or lead to obesity in adulthood.  

We recommend diets made by national dog food companies ( not a generic or local brand ) and a diet made for puppies/kittens.

The diet should be fed until your puppy/kitten is about twelve to eighteen months of age, depending on its breed and size.

We recommend that you only buy food that has been certified by an independent organization as complete and balanced.  The AAFCO oversees the entire pet food industry in the United States.  It does not endorse any particular food, but it will certify that the food has met the minimum requirements for nutrition.

Large Breeds

Bone and Joint Problems Due to Inappropriate Food Are Common

Great Danes, Newfoundlands, Mastifs, Saint Bernards, and Rottweilers are included in the Large Breed category.

Emma.jpgGiant breeds that are overfed as puppies do not grow to be any larger when adult; they just reach their adult size more quickly, with a higher prevalence of bone and joint problems.

Controlled energy and calcium levels are extremely important to ensure correct growth.  Avoid vitamin or mineral supplements or feeding table scraps.

Adults and Seniors


As your pet changes into an adult, be prepared to change and decrease the amount of food being fed.  Adult pets do not need the calories or increased amounts of food needed for growth.  Adult diets should be rich in antioxidants and have highly digestable proteins and carbohydrates to help maintain strong muscle, skeletal and organ systems.


By the age of seven most dogs and cats enter their senior years.  Senior diets should also be rich in antioxidants and have additives to help support joints and cartilage. 

In the long term, obesity means a reduced quality of life and perhaps a shorter life for your pet


Obesity is the most common disorder in pets

Obese pets are more likely to suffer from arthritis, heart disease, and diabetes


1. Have your pet's body condition score evaluated
2. Avoid excessive amounts of treats and do not feed table scraps. 
3. Ensure that your pet receives the correct level of exercise. 
4. Do Not Overfeed.