Should You Feed Your Puppy Adult Dog Food
Do you have a puppy or are you planning to adopt a puppy in the future?
Its important to buy things your puppy needs like chew toys, a bed and a crate. But by far the most important item you will buy your puppy is food. You might be wondering if its OK to feed your puppy adult dog food, especially if you already have dog food in the house.
It might be tempting to buy your puppy adult dog food because it is less expensive. It might seem like it makes good economic sense to buy one bag of food for both animals.
The reality is that it is not a good idea to regularly feed your puppy adult dog food because the nutritional needs of a puppy are significantly different than adult dogs.
Here are 8 reasons you should feed your puppy a formula that is specifically designed for puppies.
How Long Should A Puppy Eat Puppy Food
Raising a puppy can be so much fun. Your cute, little fur baby is all over the place playing, wagging his tail, and bringing joy to your home. But as he grows, you eventually find yourself wondering how long your puppy should keep eating puppy food. Depending on your dogs breed and size, you typically want to switch from puppy food to dog food sometime between seven and 14 months of age, although there are outliers.
Puppyhood Is The Best Time To Consider Pet Insurance
As a puppy, your dog has probably not shown any significant health concerns at his young age. Since pet insurance companies dont cover pre-existing conditions, the younger your dog is when you sign up, the better coverage you will likely receive throughout his lifetime. Furthermore, pet insurance can help support you financially during the unpredictable puppy years when dogs are more likely to chew on things they shouldnt and run into dangerous situations. Check out our pet insurance guide to learn more and to determine whether pet insurance is worth it for your puppy.
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Since Puppies Are Growing Rapidly They Have Different Nutritional Needs And Should Not Eat Adult Dog Food Until Theyre Fully Grown
While you might treat your dogs meals as a form of entertainment or a reward, its easy to forget that the primary purpose of dog food is to serve as fuel for the body. A growing puppy’s needs are so unique that the Association of American Feed Control Officials has two distinct nutrient profiles based on a dog’s life stage: “growth and reproduction” and “adult maintenance.” Choosing the right food and transitioning to adult dog food can be challenging.
Why Cant Puppies Eat Adult Dog Food
So lets cut to the chase. Can you give your puppy the best adult dog food? No…but also yes. Let me explain.
Imagine a human toddler. You can absolutely give a toddler adult food. It is normally prepared differently but it can be done. The reasons we create food especially for toddlers, or at least differ their diets from ours, are for the same reasons you are better off buying the best specially formulised puppy food:
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What Happens When My Adult Dogs Eat Puppy Food
Most adult dogs prefer puppy food because of the taste. If you have more than one dog living in different walks of life, it may be difficult for you to separate your adult dog from the puppy food and the puppy from adult food.
So, when you give in to their demands and start feeding your adult dog puppy food, you may be responsible for the following:
Adult Dog Food: Why Is It Important
With his scavenging ancestors, pet parents may wonder why their dog cant just eat whatever he wants in order to be healthy table scraps, for example rather than a balanced diet. Just as with humans, there is a big gap between surviving and thriving! A dog needs a diet tailored to his nutritional needs for the same reason humans strive to eat healthy: its the best way to ward off common illnesses, stay strong and active, and ensure a long, high-quality lifespan.
Adult dog food varieties are formulated specifically for older dogs: their protein balance is designed to provide exactly what is needed without going overboard or contributing to canine obesity. Depending on a dogs specific needs, his adult dog food may also require certain adjustments to the ingredients, as with raw, allergen-free, or grain-free canine diets. Puppy food, which is generally less specific in its ingredients, can set his diet off-kilter and cause flare-ups of health or canine allergy issues.
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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.
Transition Time: When To Switch Puppies To Adult Dog Food
Puppy food is specifically formulated to support the rapid growth and high energy needs of a puppy in his first year. However, your little furry friend isnt going to be a puppy forever.
At some point, every puppy needs to make the switch from puppy food to adult dog food. Adult food is designed to help maintain your dogs good health through his prime, but it can be tricky to figure out exactly when your precious puppy is ready for some big boy food. To help, weve put together some tips on when and how to switch your dog to adult food.
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A Vets View On When To Stop Feeding Puppy Food To Your Dog
How to know when it’s the right time to start feeding your dog adult food
If you have a new puppy, you’ll probably have many questions about how to care for them. One of the most common questions about caring for puppies is when to stop feeding puppy food. As your puppy grows into adulthood, youll probably begin to notice many changes in their behavior, appearance, energy levels, and appetite. The best puppy foods provide essential nutrients to help your puppy grow, so its important not to make this transition too early. In general, its recommended that your dog reaches musculoskeletal maturity before transitioning to an adult diet. Read on to learn more about the ins and outs of transitioning your dog onto an adult diet.
How Much Should I Feed My Puppy
Puppies need to take in a lot of calories to fuel their rapid growth. At the start, that means about twice as many per pound as an adult dog of the same breed. Puppies grow the fastest in their first five months.
Look for feeding charts on commercial puppy food labels. You can use them as a guide. They provide recommended amounts based on a puppys age and weight. Adjust as necessary to keep your puppy in the best condition, something you may need to do weekly.
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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.
When Do I Switch My Puppy To Adult Dog Food
Depending on the breed, most dogs will not stop growing for the first year or two. You can continue feeding them a puppy formula until their growth plates have sealed, as long as they are not overweight. However, you must work closely with a veterinarian to assess your puppys body condition score. This will ensure that your puppy switches from puppy to adult dog food at the ideal time. Your veterinarian can also recommend how much adult dog food you should give your dog, as too many extra calories and nutrients may be harmful.
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When To Take Dog Off Puppy Food: Make The Transition
In order to avoid causing diarrhea or upsetting the dog’s intestinal tract, make the switch from a puppy formula to adult diet over a span of 4 days by blending the two foods in the dog’s bowl.
- Day 1: Fill up the dogs bowl with 25 percent adult food and 75 percent puppy food.
- Day 2: Blend the puppy and adult food in 50/50 ratio.
- Day 3: Feed the dog a mix that is 25% puppy food and 75% adult food.
- Day 4: Change to 100 percent adult formula.
How quantity of food should you provide your pet? Check the day-to-day feeding suggestions set forth by the pet-food manufacturer and check its label. Its recommended to utilize the suggestions, rather than weighing the dog every week. If he is losing or gaining weight and should not be, somewhat increase or decrease his day-to-day intake, and weigh him once again in another week.
If you have certain concerns about the dog’s weight, speak with the vet. She or he will evaluate the dog’s needs and provide you a feeding suggestion on when can puppies eat dog food.
Do Puppies And Adult Dogs Have Different Nutritional Needs
Its less about the content of the food, and more about the amount. Puppies will need more protein, fat and micronutrients than adult dogs, Patton says, because they need to gain weight. That can be accomplished by increasing the volume of the food. Most puppies need twice as many calories per pound of body weight as an adult dog, Patton explains.
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The Timeline Of Puppy Growth And Dietary Needs
As puppies age and grow into fully grown adults, they switch up their food routines. This is usually done in very specific stages of life, and for great reasons that will be covered later on.
This schedule varies by breed, which is an important distinction because differently sized breeds grow at different rates!
First, though, you may be wondering why to even bother sticking to a set routine at all. Why not just feed them adult food when you think your pups teeth are strong enough? Lets talk about that.
Choosing An Adult Dog Food
Once you are able to recognize the signs of adulthood in your pup and you are ready to make the switch to adult dog food, you should look for only the best that stores have to offer. It is important that their food leaves their bellies feeling happy, and also meets their nutritional needs. While researching doggo nutrition on the internet, you may find yourself in confusion with the myths and misinformation. Make sure to check your sources when making this decision and always consult with a veterinarian if you are unsure.
Learning how to properly read the label on the food packaging is also crucial when choosing the best fit food for your doggo. The Food and Drug Administration has made it mandatory to to include 8 key pieces of information, including product name and list of ingredients, which can be helpful when making this decision. Its also good to remember that some ingredients may be pawesome for some furry friends, they may not be best suited for others.
Your pups whole future is in your hands. It is up to you to shape him into a happy, healthy adult by making the right decisions when it comes to nutrition! Give your pet the life he deserves by knowing when and what to feed him.
And remember, puppyhood is fast and is gone before you know it. Make sure to savor the time when your pup is young, and take lots of pictures along the way!
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When Should I Start Feeding A Puppy Adult Dog Food
Puppies come in all shapes and sizes. That means that the timetable to start feeding a puppy adult dog food can be different depending on his breed, size, and other factors. Some puppies mature much faster than others so they will need to make the switch to an adult food earlier. Other puppies can go on eating a puppy food for over a year! Here are some tips to help you know when to start feeding your puppy adult dog food.
Is It Unhealthy For An Adult Dog To Eat Puppy Food
My 2-year-old dog, Toby, won’t touch anything other than the puppy kibble he’s been eating since I first got him. He’s healthy, but I’m worried he might not be getting the nutrients adult dogs need.
R.D., San Antonio, Texas
Commercial pet foods made specifically for the first year of a dog’s life have all the right stuff vitamins, minerals, nutrients to ensure puppies grow up big and strong. But sooner or later all pooches, including finicky ones like Toby, need to switch to an adult variety. It’s not that puppy kibble lacks something an older dog needs just the opposite. Formulated to fuel a growing animal, these high-octane chows simply contain too many calories for dogs who have reached their full size.
To introduce a more age-appropriate menu without causing Toby digestive problems , add a tiny bit of adult mix to his regular meal. Continue to slowly increase his daily intake of adult chow, while reducing the amount of puppy food, until you transition Toby completely to the new stuff. Incidentally, this method also works like a charm when you’re changing from one brand of kibble to another.
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How To Switch From Puppy Food To Adult Dog Food
When one is making a change in the puppys diet, this change must be regulated gradually and consistently.
This doesnt put pressure on the puppys digestive system and it is easier for them to get used to the new food.
The entire household should be committed to the dogs dietary plan. If the puppy looks all grown up, do not start feeding the puppy adult dog food.
Always check in with the veterinarian whether the puppy is fully matured or not. Ask for suggestions to find the best food options for the puppy.
Puppy Food Vs Adult Food
Who would have thought that food made for the same species can be so different? Its different because puppies and adults have different dietary requirements as they grow older.
Puppies require a lot more proteins and calories than adults but even after a nutritional diet, they remain skinny. This is because all the proteins and extra vitamins are used up to help them grow.
Since India does not have any specific guidelines for pet food formulas, we have added the guidelines forwarded by the Association of American Feed Control Officials . The below outline of vitamins and minerals are a mandatory guideline for dog food formulas in the United States.
Arginine, isoleucine, leucine, lysin etc are different varieties of protein. Arginine is a growth hormone. The other nutrients include amino acids, calcium, phosphorus, fat, sodium etc. As you can see that allocated requirement for all the nutrients is higher for puppy food.
Adult dogs need the same nutrients as puppies but their requirement is much lesser than adult dogs.
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How To Choose The Best Adult Dog Food
You should choose an adult dog food formula from a dog food company that has undergone AAFCO feeding trials. This means that the specific formulation of the diet has been fed to dogs to make sure there are no deficiencies. As surprising as it may seem, many dog food companies make their food based on a recipe and never feed it to actual dogs before sending it into the stores. You want to choose a pet food company that invests in scientific research and consults with veterinary nutritionists to provide a dog food that is specially balanced for the pets lifestage.
You will also want to pay close attention to the AAFCO statement on the adult dog food formula. If the food is labeled as an All Life Stage food, the formula may have more fat and phosphorus than your adult dog needs. Discuss with your veterinarian what is best for your dogs specific needs.