Can Adult Dogs Eat Puppy Food
Short answer yes, but they probably shouldnt. Puppy foods are specifically designed to accommodate growth. Once your dog has reached adulthood, the only way a puppy food will help them grow is out.
Obesity is already a big problem for pets, so feeding a high calorie food, like puppy food, to a dog that doesnt use those calories willlead to unwanted weight gain.
This is not to say that puppy food is never recommended for adult dogs. Under special circumstances, and with a vet’s recommendation, puppy foods can be fed to adult dogs temporarily. Here are a few situations that might warrant feeding puppy food:
- Pregnancy/weaning – pregnant and nursing dogs are giving most of their calories and nutrients to their pups. Puppy food is a great way to ensure that mom is getting enough of the right nutrients until the pups are done being weaned.
- Underweight in some cases of severe weight loss caused by starvation or illness, your vet might recommend feeding a calorie-dense diet like puppy food to help get more calories in smaller portions. This will allow your skinny dog to build muscle faster.
- High energy Some breeds have a need for speed and a typical diet just cant meet their energy needs. To maintain muscle and energy, a puppy formula might help to keep them energized and strong.
Outside of the above special cases, feeding a puppy food to an adult dog full-time isnt recommended.
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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
Eyes on your furry friend. Not his food.
How To Know If Your Puppy Is Fat
Pet obesity is a huge problem in the UK, with studies suggesting that 56 per cent of the nations dogs are overweight or obese. Fat dogs will struggle more to enjoy life and the likelihood of them suffering from serious conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, breathing problems and cancer, is increased. These health problems wont just put a strain on your wallet as they are costly to treat, but they could cause heartache too as each tends to lead to premature death. They are also at greater risk of arthritis, which is painful for dogs. Managing your pups food intake alongside suitable exercise for their age is the best way to prevent them getting fat.
Many dog owners dont recognise that their pet is overweight, but there are simple and easy ways to check. Look straight down at your pups body from above. Your pets waist should taper in to give an hourglass shape. If they look oval from above you will need to think about cutting down on their food intake, and if the hourglass shape is too extreme they are underweight.
Gently run your hands along both sides of your dogs chest and you should be able to feel their ribs through a thin layer of fat. The ribs should not be highly visible as they would be in an emaciated dog, but neither should it be difficult to feel them through a layer of fat.
These body scoring images will give you a good guide on what a healthy pup looks like:
Page last updated 12/07/2021
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What To Do When Your Dog Wont Eat
If your dog is lethargic, vomiting, or having diarrhea in addition to not eating, see your veterinarian right away. If you dont see any of these, here are some ways to try to entice your dog to eat:
Add water or no-sodium chicken broth to the dog food and let it soak for several minutes to soften it.
Heat canned food for a few seconds in the microwave . Canned food can become scorching hot quickly, so feel the food first to avoid any burned tongues.
Try mixing some plain, boneless, skinless boiled chicken and rice with their kibble to encourage them to eat.
Add a probiotic such as Purina Fortiflora or Advita on top of the food. Not only can this make the food more palatable, but it can also help any inflamed or irritated intestine heal by rebalancing a healthy gastrointestinal flora.
If you have tried these tricks and your dog continues to refuse his food, he should be seen by his veterinarian to rule out any underlying medical conditions.
Unless explicitly prescribed by your veterinarian, your dog should not be given any over-the-counter gastrointestinal medications like Imodium or Pepto Bismol, as these could cause serious side effects or even interact with medications that your veterinarian may want to give. It is best to consult with your veterinarian before attempting to treat symptoms at home.
A Dogs Digesting And Pooping Time
The digestion process is a continuous one in which food is repeatedly broken down, digested, and then finally excreted out of the body, leaving only the waste behind.
The entire process of digestion is completed in 6-8 hours, which is much faster than humans . The reason is that they have very short and simple digestive tracts.
However, the answer to how long after a dog eats does it poop also depends on a few different factors, such as the breed and its weight.
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When Can Puppies Eat Dry Food
Feeding Your Puppy: Whats the best dry puppy food? Healthiest puppy food? Best puppy food grain for sensitive stomachs? Our guide.
Theres nothing quite like the early days of puppyhood. Its the start of your journey together a special friendship that lasts a lifetime. At the start, you teach them new tricks, watch their confidence grow and spend countless hours cuddling up to them on the sofa. These moments make the sleepless nights worth it.
In these early stages, youll start to notice your pup developing a tendency to think with their stomach and let their appetite do the talking a trait that stays with most dogs. Watch out for those puppy eyes at dinner time.
What they eat at the beginning has a big say in things like the growth of muscles, teeth and bones. Thats why when it comes to food, its important they have everything they need to support them through their early development. Its our job to make sure we get dinner time spot on.
Whats The Best Time To Feed My Puppy
Once you know how much and how often to feed your puppy, youll need to create a feeding schedule for them. Taking the amount of food your pup needs and dividing it into smaller meals is the best and easiest way to do this. To keep things even simpler, base their feeding schedule around your own breakfast, lunch and dinner. The main thing to remember is consistency. Feed your dog at the same time every day to help your pup get used to the process. Also, make sure to feed your pal as early in the evening as possible to ensure they completely digest their food before bedtime. That way, accidents inside the house will be less likely.
Should I Leave Food Out For My Puppy?
Dont leave food out for your puppy unless you cannot find a way to provide a mid-day meal when youre at work. Free-choice feeding is a recipe for unhealthy eating and elimination habits. Not only does free-choice feeding frequently lead to overweight pets, its also a strain on their developing immune and digestive systems. If you must leave food out when your puppy is younger, be sure to eliminate free-choice feeding once he is old enough to transition to 2 to 3 meals per day.
Foods you should NEVER feed your dog include:
Grapes and raisins Xylitol Chocolate or anything with cacao beans
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The Dangers Of Dogs Not Eating
While it is not going to cause a lot of problems if your dog doesnt eat for a day or two, if he goes for extended periods of time without eating, there could be several dangers. For instance, even if they do have an adequate water supply, they can still become dehydrated after a while. Other dangers of dogs not eating include:
- Alertness They have a lowered state of alertness when they arent receiving proper nutrition.
- Aggression Dogs that are not getting enough to eat can become agitated, and eventually become aggressive.
- Activity When dogs arent getting proper nutrition, you will notice that they become less and less active over time.
Summary: How Long Do You Feed A Dog Puppy Food
With all this info in mind, its important to recognise the different energy levels of an young adult dog vs the different calorie needs of a growing puppy.
Puppy foods are designed specifically to help them grow.
Adult dog foods are designed to help an adult maintain and thrive.
If youd like to learn more about the dog growth stages, from puppy to adult download this free eBook
If youd like to learn more about dog growth stages, from puppy to adult
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My Puppy Is Begging Should I Feed Him People Food Or Table Scraps
One little French fry will invariably lead to another, and another. Before long, an obese dog will be crowding you off the love seat. Also, a steady diet of table scraps can create a nutritional imbalance, and certain ingredients and spices in your favorite dishes can cause upset stomach in dogs.
The pleading gaze of a begging dog can be irresistible. This is no accident. During his long partnership with man, the dog has perfected cunning methods of exploiting the human habit of associating food with affection. In prehistoric times semi-domesticated canines first cultivated human beings as a food provider. As the two species grew closer, dogs modified begging behaviors to maximize results: The more pathetic a dog seemed, the more scraps were tossed his way. Dogs have since refined this approach into a low-risk, high-reward hunting technique.
But dont be fooled: Begging is not an emotional crisis or a test of your love. Its what scientists might call an evolutionary survival strategy, or what the rest of us might call a scam. Allowing your dog to guilt you into overfeeding him, or serving him a steady diet of table scraps in a misguided show of affection, can have harmful or even fatal results.
When And How Often Should I Feed My Puppy
From when you bring your puppy home at eight weeks until they are four months old, its best to feed them four meals a day. At four months, reduce this to three meals a day and when they turn six months, reduce to two meals. Continue a morning and evening meal for your pups life.
When you choose to feed your pup their meals is up to you, but we recommend spacing out meals evenly throughout the day. Remaining consistent will help get them into a routine, which will make life easier for you and them. We also recommend avoiding strenuous exercise after eating, which can lead to vomiting and potentially bloat.
You may have read that people should always eat their dinner before the family pet gets theirs this comes from a very outdated concept of dog behaviour and is based on the now-debunked idea that you need to show your dog who is boss . While it is important to teach your dog good manners around food so they are well-behaved and dont eat things that could cause them harm, your puppy isnt planning a household takeover! Whats more important to a puppy is routine and consistency, as this will ensure they understand what you expect of them and grow into a confident dog who trusts you. Feeding your pet at the same time each day will help get them into a routine, and ensuring everyone in the family consistently sticks to any doggy rules you decide upon will help your pup to understand what youre asking of them more quickly.
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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.
Do Puppies Need To Be Fed A Special Diet
Diet is extremely important for a growing puppy. There are many commercial foods specially formulated for puppies. These foods meet their unique nutritional requirements and should be fed until twelve to eighteen months of age depending on the breed of puppy and body condition. To minimize developmental problems, large breed dogs should eat a large-breed puppy food and then transition to an adolescent formula until they stop growing. Puppy foods are available in dry and canned formulations.
“Diet is extremely important for a growing puppy.”
Discuss diet choices with your veterinarian. The diet should contain optimal levels of the omega-3 fatty acid, DHA , a nutrient that is important for the development of the puppies’ brains and eyes. It is generally a good idea to avoid generic brands of food. It is recommended that only food with the AAFCO certification is purchased. Usually, this information is very easily seen on the food label. AAFCO is an organization that oversees the entire pet food industry. It does not endorse any particular food, but it indicates if the food has met the minimum requirements for nutrition, which are set by the industry. Most of the commercial pet foods have the AAFCO label. An ideal diet will have completed feeding trials prior to marketing their food .
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How To Wean Puppies
As for a 5-week-old puppy feeding schedule, this is around when most people will start to wean their puppies.
- For what to feed puppies who are weaning, use a commercially made, balanced food. Kibble should be softened with water or broth to a soupy texture, or you can add a little extra water to wet puppy food.
- To get the puppies interested, dip your finger into the mush and then let them lick it. Puppies quickly learn to lap up the food.
- Make sure each pup is getting their fair share. Separate dog bowls given under supervision is ideal.
- While feeding puppies your weaning mix, there is no standard set of directions for how much a puppy should eat. Continue to weigh your puppies daily. You want pups that are growing but not overweight.
- If the puppies are still nursing a bit, figure on offering them three or four meals a day as a puppy feeding schedule. Toy and small breed pups may need some extra snacks, as they are susceptible to hypoglycemia .
- Nutritional weaning is complete when the puppies are eating only puppy food and no longer nursing at all. When litters and moms are kept together, pups are usually eating only puppy food at around 8 weeks of age.
How To Switch To Adult Food
When a puppy grows at the age of an adult, his diet needs to be changed to help him have a healthy life. But because dogs are very sensitive to sudden changes, youll need to do that gradually.
Here is our advice: Start by mixing puppy dog food and adult dog food. At the first day, mix 10% adult dog food with 90% puppy food. Keep this formula for the following 2-3 days, then raise the percentage of adult dog food to 20%. Repeat it on the next days until reaching 100% of adult dog food.
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