Thanks to science and research, we know that the nutritional requirements of a dog change with age. The best way to make sure that the health and wellness of a dog depend on the quality of food. The food must be balanced and complete with premium quality and age-specific. So, it is very necessary for you to know when to switch your puppy to adult dog food. For this, we have gathered all the information for pet parents like you to take care of your pup.
In a furry pal’s life, all three stages (puppy, adult, and senior) are important. To cater to the developmental needs of your puppy, the growth foods must contain higher levels of protein and calorie count. However, as soon as the puppy reaches 6-12 months of age those requirements change.
Usually, that is the time when the puppy is close to his adult age and can switch to adult food. At this point, neutering or spaying usually occurs, lowering the need for increased energy; consequently, a reason to move from puppy to adult dog food.
It is recommended to switch to adult food when puppies reach the age of 1 year for small breeds and 2 years for larger breeds.
In this article, we will focus on when to switch puppy to adult age and what are the differences between puppy and adult dog food.
What is the difference between puppy and adult dog food?
In puppy food, there are more amount of specific nutrients that assist your puppy’s organs, bones, muscles, and growth of joints.
Why is it important to switch from puppy food to adult dog food?
As soon as your puppy reaches adult age he no longer requires more nutrients for growth. He only requires new sets of nutrients for maintaining a healthy and happy lifestyle.
Puppy foods are enriched with nutrients and calories to support growth and development and maintain higher energy levels.
If a pet owner continues to feed the puppy food over the point of maturity can lead to becoming obese, which can ultimately cause health issues.
Once your puppy reaches maturity, choose a balanced and complete adult dog food formula to assist him to maintain his ideal body condition.
When to switch puppy to adult food
Once you get an idea of when your puppy will the point of maturity, you can make your mind when to move to adult food.
You can start transitioning to adult formula if your puppy will be fully grown at 1 year around his first birthday. All you have to do is to plan and start switching, and it takes around 7-10 days to make that change.
Feeding your puppy: A first-year timeline
Puppy food should be fed to growing pups, a diet is specially designed to meet the nutritional requirements for normal growth and development. Giving adult food will take all the important nutrients.
Usually, four feedings a day are adequate to cater to the nutritional demands. Small breeds should be given unmoistened dry food by 12 or 13 weeks and larger breeds should by 9 or 10 weeks.
During this period sometimes, decrease the number of feedings from 4-3 per day. A pup should be losing pudginess and potbelly by 12 weeks. Continue feeding puppy-size portions until body type matures if she is still roly-poly at this age.
Start feeding two times per day. Neutering or spaying minimizes energy requirements slightly, right after the process, move from nutrient-enriched puppy food to adult maintenance food.
Bigger breeds can make a transition at 12, 13 even 14 months, and small breeds can make a change at 7-9 months.
After age 1
Mostly, owners feed adult dogs in two half-portions daily.
How much food should I give my puppy?
There is a famous saying in feeding a canine. Watch the dog, not the dish. The portion size is determined by the body condition, not the amount eaten or left in the bowl. The size of the portion is dependent on body type and individual metabolism and the requirement of nutrients differs from dog to dog.
Don’t worry, if your puppy occasionally picks at food or skips. It means if you have given her too much, simply minimize the quantity or eliminate feeding.
Also adjust the amount you feed at mealtime accordingly, if you are doing treat-based training. Keep the treat as small as possible, whenever training with treats.
How often should I feed my puppy?
Puppies start out needing many small meals a day like human babies, of a food designed for their specific nutritional needs. Not all dogs, but mostly, finish meals quickly.
Feed-in regular amounts at regular times to discourage picky habits and don’t leave food for almost 10-20 minutes, not more than that.
Is it worth it to buy expensive puppy food?
You can feed your dog less to get the same results as premium dog food has a higher nutritional density. The premium food also has stable ingredient profiles, the composition of bargain brands can differ from batch to batch.
In product research and development, the major companies invest heavily, upgrading and constantly upgrading recipes to compete with their competitors.
Dry food, wet food, or both?
Many companies of pet food have worked with the scientists of canine nutrition to develop special recipes for both small-and large-breed puppies.
- Canned food is expensive food and is most palatable for dogs. Be cautious with the claim “all-meat” though. Your dog has a balanced and complete diet to fulfill nutritional needs. Meat alone might not fulfill it.
- Semi-moist food one-serving packets were available. It usually resembles a hamburger.
- Kibble is the most economical, and the goof brands provide a balanced and complete diet for dogs of all ages and sizes. The food can be given exactly as it comes from the bag.
According to some owners, there is an oral hygiene advantage in hard kibble as the produced friction helps to keep the health of gums and teeth. The food can be moistened by adding canned or wet food. That addition, although unnecessary may make food tasty.
Food for Big Puppies & Little Puppies
There are some differences among the nutritional requirements of small breeds and large breeds and that is true specifically for puppies. The weight of adult dogs is less than 20 pounds are known as small-breed dogs.
The puppies quickly grow and may reach adult size by 9 months. The growth rate of large breed puppies is slow as takes 15-24 months to reach maturity and full size.
How to switch from puppy food to adult food
You should make the switch gradually when switching from puppy food to adult food over a period of a few days. A sudden change in the food of a dog may affect the stomach. Consult your veterinarian about the best food for your puppy.
Puppy Feeding Advice
Ensure that everyone is provided with the program.
In a dog’s feeding regime, your entire household must be committed. In your family, if there is a soft touch for a handout in your family, your dog will be able to find and exploit it, resulting in undoing the good you want to do.
Keeping and maintaining a dog trim takes a good effort from everyone on your team.
How to transition puppy to an adult dog food
You must change more than just the food he eats when you stop feeding puppy food. The portion sizes and the number of meals will shift, too.
Most puppies eat three meals per day, however, adult dogs can consume two meals on daily basis. The feeding guidelines mentioned on the label will tell how much quantity should be given to a dog each day and divide the amount into two meals.
When it is time to shift your puppy to an adult dog food, then make sure to do it gradually and slowly. This helps to prevent stomach issues.
Below is the sample transition feeding plan:
- Day 1 to 2- give ¾ of the normal amount of puppy food and mix ¼ adult dog food.
- Day 3 to 4- serve both in equal amount
- Day 5 to 7- ¼ puppy food and ¾ adult dog food
- Day 8 to 10- only serve adult dog food
Extend the transition time as needed, if your dog resists eating the adult food or has an upset stomach. For more help, if needed, consult with your veterinarian.
Here are the frequently asked questions by pet parents about when to switch pups from puppy food to dog food.
What happens if I switch my puppy to dog food?
Switching a puppy to adult dog food too soon can cause health problems. Puppies have different nutritional needs than adult dogs, and adult dog food may not provide them with the right balance of nutrients. It is recommended to transition a puppy to adult dog food gradually over a period of several weeks.
Can a puppy eat adult dog food?
While it is not recommended to feed a puppy adult dog food, adult dog food may be appropriate for some larger breeds of puppies. However, it is important to consult with a veterinarian to ensure that the puppy is receiving the appropriate balance of nutrients for their age and breed.
How long is a dog considered a puppy?
Dogs are generally considered puppies until they are about one year old. However, the specific age at which a dog is no longer considered a puppy can vary based on breed and size.
Can I mix puppy food with regular dog food?
Yes, mixing puppy food with regular dog food can be a good way to transition a puppy to adult dog food. It is important to gradually increase the amount of adult dog food while decreasing the amount of puppy food over several weeks to prevent digestive upset.
What’s the difference between puppy food and regular dog food?
Puppy food is formulated with higher levels of protein, fat, and calories to support the growth and development of puppies. Regular dog food is formulated for adult dogs, with lower levels of protein, fat, and calories to maintain a healthy weight and support overall health.
Is pedigree good for dogs?
Pedigree is a popular brand of dog food, but the quality of the food can vary based on the specific product. It is important to read the ingredients and nutritional information before choosing a brand of dog food to ensure that it meets your dog’s nutritional needs.
Can puppies eat eggs?
Yes, eggs can be a healthy and nutritious addition to a puppy’s diet. Eggs are a good source of protein and other essential nutrients. However, it is important to cook the eggs thoroughly before feeding them to a puppy to avoid the risk of salmonella.
If your canine companion could be puppies forever, it would be adorable. But, moving from puppy to adult dog food is the main and important step as the puppy grows. You have to be careful with their diet and transitioning from puppy to adult dog food should be slow and gradual to avoid stomach issues and maintain the health and wellness of your canine companion.