Figuring Out Puppy Food
For first-time dog owners, the puppy food conversation can be overwhelming. Theres an extensive range to choose from. Youll also hear a lot from fellow dog owners sharing what they think is the best healthy puppy food. Among all the noise, bustle and talk, its a good idea to remember a few key things puppies need:
- Lots of Protein – fosters muscle and bone development
- High Calorie Intake – the fuel that keep our pups going during playtime and beyond
- Minerals and Vitamins – great for boosting teeth and bone growth
Other Major Differences Between Puppy And Adult Food
Although varying protein levels might be the primary difference between puppy and adult dog foods, its far from the only one.
Weve touched briefly on the idea of caloric densityhow much energy a piece of food packs in each bite. In addition to protein, the more fat-dense a food is, the more energy youll typically get from each piece of food. Thats why puppy food generally has a higher fat content than adult or senior dog food, and it often includes specific fatty acids.
This higher fat content doesnt just help a puppy grow its more practical for them, too. Puppies have much smaller stomachs than adult dogs, so getting all of the energy they need to comfortably fit into their stomachs is a challenge unless you use nutritionally-dense food!
As a general rule, puppies tend to require almost double the number of calories theyll need as an adult . And all of that food has to fit into a much smaller stomach! You can see, then, why packing those calories into dense little tidbits of dry food is so important.
These differences are also why adult dogs shouldnt eat puppy food. Aside from leading to excessive weight gain, the extra protein and fat content could cause stomach upset.
When To Switch Puppy To Adult Food
Once you know when your puppy will reach maturity, you can decide when to switch to adult food.
If your puppy will be full grown at 12 months, you can start transitioning him to an adult formula around his first birthday. It can take 7 to 10 days to make the switch, so youll want to plan for that before you start.
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A Meal For You And Your Dog
Love cooking for your dog but never have the time? Rocky Kanaka from The CWs SAVE our SHELTER, Dog’s Day Out and founder of The Dog Bakery, has a solution. This easy to make salmon meal for yourself can also be made for your dog.
This recipe is designed for those who want to eat healthy and want their dogs to eat healthy as well but are always on the go. This is also one of the most eco friendly recipes we have seen. Instead of tossing things we would usually not eat such as broccoli stems, the recipe uses these as a key part to the dogs delicious meal.
This recipe also has a bonus tip on what to do with that salmon skin that is usually thrown in the trash. I get asked a lot if salmon skin is okay for dogs. While it is not safe if consumed raw, due to unwanted parasites, cooking in the oven for 20 minutes to make a crunchy, healthy, limited ingredient, organic, high omega dog snack that may help with heart health and give them a great skin and coat is a big win! says Rocky.
And there is more, when you cook for your dog you are more conscious of what you put in your body. For all of those reasons and more we give this recipe four paws up!
Healthy meals are important for you and your dog but the best thing about this recipe from Rocky Kanaka is it allows you to take time out of your day to spend time with your family two and four legged! Read on to find out how to do it or watch Rocky has he demonstrates!
When Should You Switch Your Dog To Senior Food
Understanding when its time to switch your pet over to senior food means knowing when your dog has officially become a senior. There is no absolute age at which a dog can be considered a senior animal. Depending on the size, breed, and weight, the numbers can really vary. Pets are known for larger sizes like great Danes often have shorter life expectancies, and this can mean that they could reach the status of the senior dog around the age of five or six. Smaller breeds often live much longer, and this could mean that if you have a beagle or schnauzer that it would reach senior status at eight or nine.
Many pets may seem extremely healthy and active within these age ranges but their bodies and their nutritional needs begin to change at this time. Switching over to senior food can often be a wise choice for pet owners as it can help to minimize aging conditions in dogs. Some of the earliest signs of aging in dogs that could suggest its time for seniors food are large weight loss or gain, bad breath, excessive drooling, vision problems and more.
As your pets continue to get older, there are also a number of signs of aging that include geriatric behavior like difficulties with their normal sleep pattern, osteoarthritis, impaired mobility, increasing urination, a loss in muscle mass, altered behavior and memory loss.
Getting your pet on senior meal before these geriatric symptoms occur can help prevent these symptoms and lessen the severity of the symptoms when they crop up.
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Why Is A Feeding Timeline So Important
Knowing when precisely to switch from puppy food to adult food is crucial because as your little fur baby turns into a fur man, he needs lots and lots more nutrients than adult dogs do. Puppy food is specially formulated to give those puppers the nutrients they so desperately need. Without them, he cant get big and strong.
If you want your dog to be #swole like Popeye, stick to the schedule that professionals recommend!
How Should I Transition My Dog To Adult Food
Transitioning to a new diet should always be done gradually to prevent causing a digestive upset. A good diet transition should take at least 7 days but may need to be longer if your dog has digestive sensitivities or is prone to diarrhea. When you begin a diet transition, on day 1, start by mixing around 25% of the new diet with 75% of the puppy diet.
As long as there are no signs of digestive upset, you can increase the proportion of the new diet to 50% after a few days. Finally, you can continue slowly increasing the ratio of the new diet to 75%, then 100%, when your dog should be eating the new diet with no adverse symptoms.
If at any point your dog develops symptoms of an upset stomach such as diarrhea, loss of appetite, flatulence, or bloating, this is a sign that the guts are not yet adapted to the new diet.
Slowing down the transition or adding a probiotic supplement can usually resolve this issue. However, If the symptoms persist for more than 24-48 hours, switch to a bland diet of boiled chicken and rice, white fish, or scrambled egg, and contact your veterinarian for further guidance.
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Can Puppy Food Cause Diarrhea In Older Dogs
If an older animal happens to get a hold of some puppy food, this can lead to the chance that there could be some problems with their digestion. Changing over any type of meal in dogs can often come with the risk of diarrhea. If youre trying to wean your dog on to adult meal from the puppy food, its best not to do it all at once. Making a choice to mix in a bit of the new meal with puppy meal and working to slowly wean your pet off the diet might be important.
Its not an absolute emergency if your pet gets a hold of puppy food, it can make their stomach upset for the first time, but by taking a slow transition, its possible to avoid adult dogs getting diarrhea as a result of eating this food.
The best analogy for puppy meal versus adulthood is that puppy meal can often be like junk food. Eating a lot of junk food for humans can often cause digestive problems, the same can be said for dogs. With the high levels of calories that can be found in puppy food, an adult pet is likely to enjoy the taste, but eating too much of it can lead to digestive issues.
Feeding your puppy meal once or twice shouldnt be a problem if its the only available food. Feeding your dog puppy food as a regular meal source could be a problem over time. Your pet might likely experience some type of stomach discomfort over a few days when they switch back to adult meal too.
How Do I Know If Im Feeding My Puppy Enough
Your puppy should be eating enough to grow and gain weight at a steady, healthy rate. Puppies that grow too quickly or become overweight are more prone to develop orthopedic problems, so it is important not to over-feed your puppy. Ideally, your puppy should maintain a healthy lean body weight. Your veterinarian evaluates this using a numerical scale called the Body Condition Score.
The Body Condition Score is determined by evaluating the fat deposits over the dogs ribs, hips, and spine and assigning a number on a scale from 1 to 5 or from 1 to 9, with 1 being extremely underweight and 5 or 9 being obese. An ideal Body Condition Score is a 3/5 or a 5/9, depending on the scale your veterinarian uses.
To determine whether you are feeding your puppy enough, ask your veterinarian to evaluate your puppys Body Condition Score, or learn how to evaluate the Body Condition Score at home. If the number is too low, you may need to increase the amount of food you are feeding your puppy. If the number is too high, your puppy is overweight and you will need to decrease the amount of food you are feeding to reach an ideal score.
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Worsening Existing Medical Conditions
Puppy foods that follow the feeding profiles recommended by the AAFCO contain a minimum of 22 percent protein, which is 4 percent higher than adult foods. Food for puppies also contains higher amounts of phosphorus and sodium than adult formulations. The extra protein and minerals provide a growing pup with extra energy and support for growth. If your adult pooch, who is suffering with an existing medical condition like kidney disease, eats puppy food, it could make him sicker. While high protein diets don’t induce kidney problems, if your pup is already experiencing them, the extra protein combined with the extra minerals could tax his kidneys and lead to vomiting, diarrhea or even kidney failure.
The Grass Is Always Greener
Even if you arent worried about feeding separate foods to your dogs, you should still be aware of any food sharing. Its common for one pet to want a taste of what the others got. A little nibble of each other’s food every now and then is fine, but try to avoid letting them make a habit of this.
If you can, feed your dogs in separate rooms and dont leave food sitting out. Scheduled, monitored feedings are best when feeding a variety of pets.If separating them is too difficult, then switching to an all life stage diet might be a better choice.
Need more help finding the right diet? Check out What Should I Feed my Dog? for the information you’ll need to make the best food choices for your dog.
This can help to ensure that all of your dogs are eating the appropriate portions and calories at each meal, and helps to reduce competitive mealtime behaviours.
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Most Healthy Dogs Can Go Up To Five Days Without Eating
How long do dogs eat puppy food. If your dogs symptoms resolve during the. As much as we may love thinking about our dog’s personality, we cannot impose human morality on them. However, you must work closely with a veterinarian to assess your puppys body condition score.
So, yes, whilst dogs do poop after every meal, it might be hours before they do. That means dogs needs around 7 hours after eating for a poop. While puppies and dogs need food to survive, your pet can last a few days without food assuming he is till drinking water.
Nutritional value decreases slightly over time: This time can vary according to the size and breed of the dog, the type of food he is eating, and the amount of exercise he has. At this stage, you will need to feed them three times a day.
On the other hand, large and giant breed dogs take much longer to finish growing and may not reach adulthood until well over a year of age. Mother dogs have a protective instinct over their newborn puppies. Large breeds should be fed unmoistened dry food by 9 or 10 weeks
Its important to stop feeding puppy food when the time is right and transition to an adult diet and decrease the amount of food so your dog does not become. As for dog treats, they usually have a similar shelf life as to the dry food products offered by the same manufacturer. Wait for 10 or 15 minutes, then go out for a walk.
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Pin On Pets Food
Your Dog’s Adult Food
If you’ve been feeding your dog an adult dog food, you may be thinking about switching to the senior formulation of the same dog food, or one that says it’s for senior dogs. If you look at your pet’s adult dog food, you may see that it says for all life stages under the nutritional adequacy statement. Does that mean you can continue feeding it? The answer is yes.
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When Can Puppies Eat Adult Dog Food
Puppies can usually start eating adult maintenance food between 6 to 12 months of age. But the exact timing will vary by dog. As long as your dog is showing signs of rapid growth and development, they should remain on a puppy formula. However, once the growth levels off, they can be transitioned onto an adult diet.
This timing often coincides with your dogs spaying or neutering procedure, which will reduce their energy requirements. However, if your dog is spayed or neutered before this age, you may want to keep them on a puppy diet for a few months longer. Just ask your vet when you visit for the procedure.
If youre already a dog owner, and youve just added a young puppy to your pack, you may be tempted to stick both dogs on the same pet food. While this may be a practical solution later on, dont do it just yet.
If youre still feeding your dog the food they were given by the shelter or breeder, but its time to transition them to an adult formula, now is also an excellent time to upgrade their food to a more nutritious diet. If you take nutrition very seriously, check out a fresh food subscription brand such as Just Food for Dogs or The Farmers Dog. If you prefer dry food, try out Spot & Tangos UnKibble line or at least a clean brand that doesnt use meat meals, such as Halo.
What About Foods For All Life Stages Are They Safe For Puppies
In addition to foods that are labelled as being appropriate for growth and reproduction or adult maintenance,you may also see foods bearing a label that indicates they are appropriate for all life stages.
These foods are appropriate for most healthy dogs , so you can go ahead and feed them to your puppy.
These foods are designed to meet the requirements for growth and reproduction and adult maintenance. But because the nutritional requirements for puppy foods exceed those of typical adult foods, it means these are essentially puppy food.
Because they have higher protein and fat content than many adult foods, you will want to keep an eye on the body weight of adult dogs fed such recipes. But as long as your pooch stays nice and svelte, theyre fine for adults too.
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Is It Bad To Feed An Older Dog Puppy Food
Its not necessarily bad to feed an older pet puppy meal. Is this type of food is designed to help an animal grow, it may be hard to handle weight control if an older dog is regularly requesting puppy food.
An easy way to start the process of switching begins with slowly mixing in a new type of meal with your adult dog. Making a choice to gradually mix in a ratio of adult dog food with puppy meal will help to make sure that your pet can lower its calories and slowly work at transitioning onto meal thats much more age-appropriate.
Older dogs receiving puppy foods can be especially damaging. Adult pets in their senior years can run into a series of kidney problems and obesity problems. The diets of the senior dog are often designed to be very low in calories as well as low in protein. Higher levels of protein can place extra stress on the kidneys, and these are precisely the types of nutrients that you able often find in puppy meal.
When a senior animal has access to extra protein and the extra calories that can be found in puppy meal, its easy for them to put weight on and to also exacerbate some of the symptoms that are associated with kidney problems. It could be dangerous for an older dog to eat puppy food regularly, so if you have a new dog in the house that is on puppy meal, it could be wise to keep that older dog away from the food.