What Is The Difference Between Adult Dog Food And Puppy Food
Adult dogs and puppies are two completely different animals. They have different nutritional needs and different levels of energy. How do you know if you should be feeding your puppy a puppy food formula or a dog food formula? Lets take a look at the difference between adult dog food and puppy food so that you can make the best decision possible.
Pregnant Or Nursing Dogs
Pregnant and nursing dogs have different nutritional requirements than other adult dogs. These dogs should be eating food that is calorie dense and high in protein. Look for foods that are at least 22 percent protein.
It may seem unusual, but feeding puppy food, like Purina Pro Plan Focus Puppy Chicken & Rice Formula Dry Dog Food, to a pregnant or nursing dog is a good way to meet these requirements. Because puppies, like pregnant and nursing dogs, also need more calories and protein than other dogs, food made for them is suitable for dogs who are moms or moms-to-be too.
And heres the good news for your pregnant or nursing dog: Unless she is overweight, you can let her have all she wants.
How Much And When Should You Feed Your Dog
This will vary from dog to dog, but a general rule of thumb is for every 10 lbs your dog weighs they should be fed roughly 1 cup of prepared food.
For our 80 lb Hooch, that means 2 meals a day each containing 4 cups of food. It is important to note that, dogs with kidney problems often feel better when fed several small meals throughout the dayrather than just one or two large meals, so you may find that you need to adjust your feeding schedule as time goes on accordingly to keep your pup comfy!
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How Can You Tell If Your Puppy Is Getting Enough Food
This one can be tricky! Some pups are food motivated and will jump at the chance to enjoy a delicious meal or snack. Allowing your puppy access to food at all times is not recommended as it can lead to excess weight gain.
When your pup is actively growing , they might be really hungry. It’s hard work to grow and learn! To keep your puppy well fed, create a feeding schedule that offers 3-4 smaller meals throughout the day. Your puppy will need a lot of sleep, so the first few weeks you have your puppy they will probably be eating or sleeping for most of the day.
If your puppy is still acting like they are starving or doesn’t seem to have enough energy try increasing portion sizes a little. If you’re not sure how much is ok, check with your vet. As puppies grow so quickly when they’re small, you will want to ensure they are getting enough nutrition.
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Dog Articles: Health
Puppy, adult and senior: all three stages are important times in your furry pals life when its appropriate to ask your veterinarian about your dogs diet.
Growth foods necessary at the puppy stage have higher protein levels and calorie counts to meet your pups developmental needs. But once your pup is six to 12 months old those needs change.
Thats usually when your puppy is nearing his adult height and can transition to adult food. Spaying or neutering usually occurs at this age as well, lowering your dogs need for increased energy hence a reason to switch from puppy to adult dog food.
Breed size matters
Switching to adult food coincides with maturity, but due to the large variety of breeds, different dogs mature at different rates. Smaller breeds tend to mature faster than larger breeds:
Dogs up to 30 pounds mature around 10 to 12 months of age.
Some toy breeds can mature as early as seven to nine months old.
Medium breeds, up to 80 pounds, mature between 12 to 16 months.
Large breeds can mature at 12, 13, or even 14 months old.
Giant breed dogs can take up to two years to reach full maturity.
No more three squares a day
Most pet parents feed two half-portions of adult food when their dogs are over a year old.
Eyes on your furry friend. Not his food.
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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.
When To Switch To Adult Dog Food
There is no one single time that is ideal for every dog to switch from puppy food to adult dog food, but there are clues you can look for to adjust your petâs diet to meet its changing nutritional needs. As a general rule of thumb, puppies are ready to switch to adult dog food when they reach 75-85 percent of their adult size, at which time their growth rate naturally begins to slow. At what age this happens, however, will depend on the dogâs breed and anticipated size.
- Toy, teacup, and tiny breeds â 6-7 months old
- Small dog breeds â 9-11 months old
- Medium dog breeds â 12-14 months old
- Large dog breeds â 15-18 months old
- Giant dog breeds â 18-24 months old
These ages are just guidelines, however, and your dogâs activity must also be taken into account when considering the switch to adult formula food. More active and energetic breeds or dogs that get more exercise may rely on the extra energy of puppy food to meet their needs until they are closer to their adult size, while more sedentary dogs could be ready to switch to adult food sooner. Furthermore, your dog will give clues that it isnât satisfied with puppy food when it starts eating less or rejecting puppy food, is generally less âpuppy-esqueâ and hyper, and is sleeping a bit more. As their formerly youthful behavior changes into adult behavior, you will know your puppy is ready for adult dog food.
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High Fat Foods Are Bad For Adult Dogs
Puppy food has a higher fat content than adult dog food, which helps to support healthy growth in little pups. According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, all puppy foods that follow the feeding profiles of the Association of American Feed Control Officials contain at least 3 percent more fat than adult dog foods. This difference can make your adult pooch sick because high-fat foods can cause pancreatitis in our fully-grown canine companions, according to WebMD. A fatty meal like a portion of puppy food could trigger this condition, which causes vomiting and diarrhea due to the inflammation and swelling of the pancreas.
How Do You Determine How Much Food To Feed A Puppy
According to the National Research Council of the National Academies, at least 28 percent of your puppy’s food should be protein, while at least 18 percent of an adult dogs food should be protein. Another way to look at it: a 10-pound puppy who is estimated to grow to about 33 pounds needs about 990 calories daily. About 53 grams should be protein, and there should be 21 grams of fat, according to the council.
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Are All Puppy Life Stages Ok
They eat the same proteins, the same fats, and the same fruits and veggies. This leads us to the conclusion that an all-life stage food is appropriate for puppies, so long as that diet meets the nutritional requirements for omega 3s, minerals, and calories. All life-stage foods are intended to meet these requirements.
Timeline For Small Breeds
Most small breed dogs are fully grown by the time they reach a year of age. At that point, you will definitely be feeding your own dog more sophisticated meals. But how do you work up to that point? Take a look at this guide for more information:
- 6-12 weeks old: You should, at this point, be feeding your little fuzzy friend puppy food. You will likely be starting out on wet food or dry food mixed with warm water about 3-4 times a day until your pup is 12-13 weeks old. At this point they are able to be fed dry puppy food on its own.
- 3-6 months: You will still feed your pup puppy food, but you will be able to lessen the frequency of feeding times or lower the portion sizes.
- 7+ months: Now is the time to begin feeding small dogs adult food if they seem ready to take that leap. Always ask a vet first because each case can be different, but you should be good to go!
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Whats The Difference Between Puppy Food And Adult Dog Food
As far as puppies eating adult dog food, there are nutritional differences between puppy food and adult dog food.
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Puppies grow like weeds during their first few months and they need a food that can provide more protein and energy to meet their requirements. Certain amino acids, not just more protein, are especially important for growing puppies. Many puppy foods are also higher in calories than adult dog foods.
Puppies also need some nutrients that adult dogs dont particularly need such as DHA , an omega-3 fatty acid that helps with neural development. Its important for a puppys brain and visual development.
Puppies also require specific levels of calcium and phosphorus. These levels have to be precise, especially for large breed puppies. Large and giant breed puppies that dont get the right levels of calcium and phosphorus can be prone to orthopedic diseases such as hip and elbow dysplasia.
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Adult dogs dont need many of the extra nutrients that puppies require while they are growing. Most adult dogs are fairly tolerant of a wider range of nutrient levels. Most adult dogs do well eating dog foods with moderate protein and fat levels unless they are very active or involved in performance work when they would need a food that provides more energy.
Body Development Requires A Rich Diet
Finally, in order to turn into a healthy and strong dog, a puppy needs food packed in protein, minerals, and vitamins, like Calcium, Iron, beta-carotene and more. Adult dog food has more controlled nutrient value as when fully developed, they dont require these energy bombs to remain healthy. So if you give your little pooch adult dog food on several occasions, theres really nothing to worry about, but in the long run it may have a negative effect on proper body development.
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Can I Give My Puppy Table Scraps
For a number of reasons, it is not a good idea to regularly feed your puppy table scraps. First off, it can lead to behavior issues that will make family mealtime less than enjoyable. More important, human food doesn’t properly fuel a puppy. Puppies also have a different digestive system and nutritional needs, so table scraps can lead to vomiting, diarrhea, and other unfavorable conditions.
The greatest danger is that some human food is simply harmful to puppies. A short list of foods puppies and dogs should never eat includes avocados, bread dough, caffeinated drinks, chocolate, garlic, grapes, onions, raisins, or xylitol.
If your puppy happens to get ahold of some table scraps that fall to the floor , do not fear. As long as table scraps do not become a regular part of your puppy’s diet and they are not one of the aforementioned danger foods, your puppy should be fine.
High Quality Protein For Dogs
When it comes to digestibility and bioavailability, it’s actually a mix of animal-based and plant-based proteins that provide dogs with the highest amount of essential amino acids, says Petfood Industry. Beef, lamb, and poultry don’t provide the optimal ratio of bioavailable amino acids by themselves. That’s why higher-quality commercial dog foods typically include additional protein sources, such as fish and fish meal, eggs, animal byproducts, and plant-based proteins, such as wheat or corn gluten. Such a wide variety of protein sources ensures that their bodies will actually use the essential amino acids and receive better overall nutrition.
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Can My Puppy Eat Adult Dog Food
When can puppies start eating dog food? Generally, puppies begin to transition to adult food when they have reached maturity for their breed size. So if youre feeding your puppy an adult maintenance dog food, he may not be getting all of the essential nutrients he needs in these crucial, early months.
Can My Puppy Have Adult Food
Since adult dog food will deprive your puppy of the nutrition they need during their growing years, we highly advise you not to give your puppy adult dog food.
Puppies that have adult food may have stunted growth, weaker bones, slower brain development, poor reproductive health and so on. It is essential for them to get certain vitamins and minerals during their puppy years because they cannot break it down as they grow older.
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Make The Change Gradually
Regardless of your pups age at the time of the food transition, it is important to make said transition gradually.
Start by mixing in a little adult dog food with your pups typical puppy food diet. About 10% 20% is of the new food is ideal. If your pup tolerates that well , you can double the amount of new food the next day. Always try to minimize intestinal distress, and dont be afraid to slow down the transition if necessary.
It should usually take about a week or so to make the full transition from 100% puppy food to 100% adult food.
How Often Should I Feed My Puppy
Like human babies, puppies start out needing many small meals a day, of a food formulated for their special nutritional requirements. Most, but not all, dogs finish meals quickly. To discourage picky habits, feed at regular times in regular amounts and dont leave food down for more than 10 to 20 minutes.
Your breeder will be an excellent source of guidance for both of these questions, as will your vet.
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Are There Some Ingredients That Are Better Than Others For Puppies
Animal proteins are better than plants for puppies, Patton says. But within meats, there isnt much difference: fish, lamb, chicken and beef will all nourish them. To meet the rest of your puppys nutritional needs, youd need to add fat , nutritious carbs to give them energy and dietary fiber , along with vitamins plus minerals including potassium, phosphorus and calcium. All can be found in a high-quality dog food. Bonus: find one you like, and you wont have to switch companies when your pup gets older.
At Ollie, we make a delicious and nutritious food that is approved for dogs at all life stages. From puppies to senior citizens, we will make sure your dog is well fed over the course of their entire life. When you join Ollie, you’ll take our onboarding quiz. We’ll ask you about your dog’s breed , age, size, current and expected weight as well as how active they are. You’ll be able to adjust your pup’s portion size easily as we provide guidance on calories, not volume. Keeping your pup’s profile up to date as they grow will help us make better recommendations on the serving size and best Recipe for your pup. Have any questions? Our awesome support team is available to help!
The Ollie blog is devoted to helping pet parents lead healthier lives with their pups. If you want to learn more about our fresh, human-grade food, check out MyOllie.com.
General Diet Considerations For Dogs
It is noteworthy that dogs have different nutritional requirements at various stages of their life. Essentially, it means that adult dogs might not need the same nutrients or at least not in the same amount as a young pup would.
Ideally, young puppies need more calories and a balanced diet that can help them grow into healthy dogs. Both development and reproduction are crucial aspects that should be considered during puppy years. In contrast, dogs generally need lower calories .
Apart from the nutritional needs, your puppys jaw strength and oral health also matter while selecting the food. Typically, puppies are fed with soft to chew treats such as jerky for dogs or shredded meat. And as they grow up, they may be given harder foods and treats to chow on, such as bony treats.
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