NASHVILLE, Tenn., October 1, 2012 – Young adult dogs are not quite puppies, but they are not exactly grown-ups either. They are teenagers, and they have unique developmental needs. In support of the nutritional needs of young adult dogs, the NUTRO® NATURAL CHOICE® Brand is introducing a new formulation tailored to dogs aged six months to two years.
The new formulation, which appears on pet store shelves nationwide as NATURAL CHOICE® Young Adult Formula, is the only pet specialty brand to recognize the distinct developmental needs of adolescent dogs.
“Many consumers may not realize that dogs, like humans, experience adolescence,” said Jeff Werber, DVM, a licensed veterinarian in Los Angeles. “Between the ages of six months and two years, your dog has specific nutritional requirements that need to be met to ensure proper brain and skeletal development and support energy balance.”
“The special nutritional needs of young adult dogs are often not met by their diets,” Werber said. “The NATURAL CHOICE® Brand is the first to introduce a food that strikes the right balance of nutrients for your dog’s ‘in-between’ years. As your dog reaches this state of maturation and the associated milestones, including being spayed or neutered, it is critical that their food is designed to meet their needs.”
Additionally, young adult dogs require nutrients to aid in mental acuity development, digestive health and energy output. Proper nutrition and care for young adult dogs can help owners meet the special needs of this life stage:
• Mental development: Dogs at this stage are still undergoing cognitive development. They are learning how to interact and develop relationships with other dogs, cats and humans. Pet parents can facilitate learning experiences with structured training in order to help their young adult dogs develop confidence, awareness and social skills.
• Continued growth and development: During the young adult life stage, dogs may begin looking like adults, but their bones and body are still developing. This is also a time when most dogs are spayed or neutered, which can decrease metabolism and activity levels, contributing to an increased risk for gaining excess body weight.
• Nutritional: Young adult dogs have some nutritional needs that are similar to puppies, but other nutritional needs that are more similar to adults. Like puppies, young adult dogs need docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), an omega-3 fatty acid, for cognitive development, and calcium and phosphorus balance for skeletal development. However, young adult dogs have adult-sized teeth and mouths, and energy requirements more similar to adults. Feeding the correct amount of energy during this time is essential because the incidence of excessive weight gain doubles early in life. Maintaining a healthy weight contributes to a long, healthy life.
“Our newest formulations are designed to best meet these important needs for dogs transitioning from puppies into full-grown dogs, which were not being specially focused on before,” said Preston Buff, Ph.D., PAS, Dipl., and Chief Natural Nutrition Officer at The Nutro Company. “By providing owners with a choice that meets their young adult canine’s unique nutritional needs, we can help ensure the dog’s future health and a longer, healthier adult life.”
To learn more about the young adult dog life stage or new NUTRO® NATURAL CHOICE® dog food visit www.naturalchoiceyoungadult.com or www.nutro.com, or find us on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/NutroProducts.
About The Nutro Company
The Nutro Company is a leading manufacturer of natural* pet food products sold exclusively at pet specialty stores. The company has been making "The World's Best Pet Food" for more than 86 years and is dedicated to quality, excellence and innovation in dog and cat nutrition offering healthful formulas for every pet's life stage, activity level and size. The Nutro Company's family of brands includes NUTRO® MAX®, NUTRO® NATURAL CHOICE® and NUTRO® ULTRA™ natural pet food brands in addition to the GREENIES® brands, which include the #1 vet-recommended pet specialty canine dental chews and feline dental treats**, PILL POCKETS® treats and JointCare treats. For more information, please visit www.nutro.com and www.greenies.com.
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*Natural with added vitamins, minerals and other nutrients.
**Among U.S. veterinarians that recommend Dental Chews/Treats for at-home oral care.