Adult Maintenance Nutrition
Maintaining an optimal body condition and weight while providing adequate energy should be the primary goal of any nutritional program. A body condition score chart is a helpful tool to determine a dog’s body condition and consulting one can help guide owners towards a different strategy such as increased exercise or a change in food intake that improves body condition. The goal of feeding programs for adult dogs at maintenance should be to maintain optimal body weight.
When choosing a type of food, a dog’s size, age and/or life stage, and activity level should all be considered as these factors can influence their nutritional requirements. Fortunately, choosing a complete and balanced pet food is easy as owners simply need to make sure that the food they are selecting has a statement on the label which indicates that the food meets the minimum requirements established by the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO). Adult maintenance dogs can be fed once per day, but can also be fed more often.
Because of the huge variability across dog breeds, spontaneous activity of a specific dog can increase the nutritional requirements based on breed, temperament, and individual differences (Mussa & Prola, 2005).
Mussa, P.P. & Prola, L.(2005). Dog Nutrient Requirements: New Knowledge. Vet. Res. Comm., 29, 35-38.
Adult Maintenance Nutrition Library
Bare Bones – If you only have a few minutes for the basics
SNACKS – If you want to learn more
Complete and Balanced Pet Food
Dog Nutrition Tips
Safe Handling of Commercially Prepared Pet Food and Pet Treats
Canine and Feline Nutrition: A Resource for Companion Animal Professionals (3rd ed.).
Maximizing Success in the Breeding Kennel and Show Ring: Vital Health Care and Management of Competitive Dogs
Body Condition & Muscle Condition Score Charts
Kibble – If you want to take a deep dive into the science
Investigating the Effects of Incremental Conditioning and Supplemental Dietary Tryptophan on the Voluntary Activity and Behaviour of Mid-Distance Training Sled Dogs - CRONEY RESEARCH GROUP
Investigating the Effects of Increased Soluble Fiber and Incremental Exercise on the Voluntary Physical Activity and Behaviour of Sled Dogs - CRONEY RESEARCH GROUP
Efficacy of a Probiotic‐Prebiotic Supplement on Incidence of Diarrhea in a Dog Shelter: A Randomized, Double‐Blind, Placebo‐Controlled Trial
Additional Resources to Support Dogs in Other Environments
SHELTER & RESCUE
Dogs living in shelter or rescue kennels face challenges specific to their living environments. Practical applications for their management and care may also differ. Additional resources for their caretakers, including those caring for dogs in home-based foster systems or rescue networks, are provided to support efforts to improve, maintain, and protect their welfare.
Dogs living in homes as family pets face challenges specific to their living environments. Practical applications for their management and care may also differ. Additional resources for their caretakers, support the human-animal bond, keep pets in their homes, and improve, maintain, and protect their welfare.
Research & Teaching
Dogs living in research or teaching kennels face challenges specific to their living environments. Practical applications for their management and care may also differ. Additional resources for their caretakers are provided to support efforts to improve, maintain, and protect their welfare.