Are Life-Stage Specific food formulas really different?

Are Life-Stage Specific food formulas really different?

Are Life-Stage Specific food formulas really different?

When you go to a pet store there are all sorts of dog food brands in the aisles. On one hand there is the question of what brand to choose, such as “Hill’s Science Diet”, “Merrick”, “Purina”, and “Blue Buffalo” to name a few. There are a few questionable brands that are high sellers but are clearly not offering nutritional value for your pet too.

As a consumer you are faced with so many options; how do you know where to start?

Aside from general ingredients the first thing that most people overlook is what age group is the food catering to. Is it for puppies, adults, or seniors? People may buy any bag of food thinking it won’t make a difference when in fact it does. Let’s look a little closer at the differences in pet food per life stage. If you don’t know your pet’s age, EpiPaws can help you discover it.


Puppies require a high protein and high calorie diet to keep up with their fast growth. The other life stage food products are not formulated to provide the same dietary benefits as a puppy formula. These high protein and calorie diets are providing the building blocks for the growth that is happening at this stage of life.


It’s equally important to switch to an adult diet after this fast growth stage is complete. As an adult your pet doesn’t need nearly as many calories and protein, in fact, too much could result in your pet being overweight which can take away healthy years of life from your pet.


Switching to a senior diet has its own biological reasons for doing so. As a senior animal, your pet’s metabolism is slowing down. This means they need even less calories to maintain a healthy weight. Usually senior formulas have less protein and more fiber and more glucosamine or DHA to help with joint mobility.


At any stage of life, if your pet is having dull coat, lethargy, or itchy skin… you should always consult your vet but consider that their diet may need a changeup. More good fats from a fish based formula, additional antioxidants, or a change in the base protein could help clear up some of these issues.

But what if you don’t know how old your pet is?

This is actually a very common issue that many pet parents face. It used to be that a vet would guess based on the teeth, and this guess could be off by as much as 5 years. Now, there is new technology available that can more accurately estimate your pet’s age using DNA. The EpiPaws Pet Age Test estimates age within a year of the actual pet’s age and it’s an easy at home mouth swab test. Check it out here.

Article provided by Imani Doss.

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