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What makes all lifestage foods okay to feed during growth and to adults?

An all-lifestage formula is complete and balanced for any life stage, meaning you can feed it to pets of any age. All-lifestage formulas tend to be different from food formulated only for adult pets (called a maintenance formula). Although individual formulas do vary of course, all-lifestage formulas tend to be higher in protein, calories and some minerals (such as calcium), than maintenance-only formulas, making them suitable for feeding both during growth and to adults.

Find out what that means for your pets...

German Shepherd puppy and adult dog running in grass with adult dog carrying a large branch

That means if your adult pet is generally active and stays a healthy weight on an all-lifestage food, you’re good to go. However, when feeding an all-lifestage food, the higher caloric density simply means you’ll need to feed less if you notice your pet gains weight, which is recommended for overweight pets anyway no matter what food you feed.

All-lifestage formulas also have different levels of calcium, omega 3 and other ingredients to meet a puppy or kitten’s requirements both during growth and when they are adults.  You can check the ingredients list, the guaranteed analysis, and the AAFCO statement on the bag or on the food’s website to check and compare individual formulas.

When choosing a food for your puppy or kitten, check what the AAFCO statement says on the bag or the food’s website. If the food’s AAFCO statement says it has been formulated for all lifestages you can be sure it meets the more stringent nutritional requirements for growth and reproduction, as well as for adult maintenance. If it says it is formulated for maintenance, then it may not meet the requirements for growth, so either an all lifestage formula, or a puppy or kitten formula, is recommended.