How Long To Feed Puppy Food
Puppies need a complete and balanced puppy food until they reach maturity. Although dogs who are one year or older are often considered adults, this isnt always the case.
For dogs, adulthood depends more on breed size than their age. Because large and giant breeds take longer to mature, they need to eat puppy food longer than small- or medium-sized breeds.
Heres how long to feed puppy food based on breed sizes:
- Toy and Small Breed Dogs: Many toy and small breed dogs weigh less than 20 pounds at maturity and reach this size between 9 and 10 months of age.
- Medium Dog Breeds: Medium-sized dogs weigh between 21 and 50 pounds at maturity. They tend to reach maturity around 12 months of age.
- Large & Giant Breeds: Large breeds and giant breeds weigh between 50 and 100 pounds, respectively, and can take 18 months to 2 full years to reach maturity. They need to eat puppy food longer than small- and medium-sized breeds.
If you have a mixed breed dog or arent sure how big your dog will be at maturity, its best to consult with your veterinarian. They can tell you when to switch to an adult dog food and help make it a successful transition.
As puppies get older and reach maturity, it is important to monitor their food consumption. Leftovers in a bowl could signal that your puppy is getting full and needs less calories throughout the day. Start by offering less food per feeding and continue to monitor his body condition, says Purina Nutritionist Karina Carbo-Johnson, MS.
Puppy Food Is Too Calorie Dense For Older Dogs
Aside from puppy food having the wrong dietary focus for your senior dog puppy food is very high in fat. Higher fat content makes puppy food very calorie dense. Healthy, senior dogs do not require foods that are focused on being calorie-dense. If youve ever considered a raw diet for your senior dog, you can come back to this beginners guide: Starting a Senior Dog on a Raw Diet.
Are Apples A Healthy Treat That Dogs Can Eat
A healthy dog is a happy dog. And as dog lovers, that is the ultimate goal. We rely on our pups for entertainment, unconditional love, and a lifelong friendship. They depend on us to keep them healthy and fit.
Giving them nutritious treats is a great way to keep those tails wagging. The benefits that they get from the prolific amount of nutrients in apples are virtually incalculable.
Low in protein and calories, apples provide all their health benefits without filling up your dog’s tummy, leaving plenty of room for the regular diet of healthy food that is so important in developing dogs’ bodies.
Our dogs are treated to an apple a day very first thing in the morning. We simply remove the core and seeds, chop them into bite-sized pieces, and serve them in the dog’s bowls. They get their daily apple fix while we sip coffee, it’s a beautiful thing and they LOVE it!
The following is a list of the main nutritional components in apples and how they keep dogs healthy:
Read Also: Who Makes Pedigree Dog Food
Organ Disease Or Dysfunction
Puppies can suffer from problems in their liver, kidneys, endocrine/hormonal system, and pretty much any other organ or part of their body. It can be the result of problems they were born with , an infection, toxic injury, or something else theyve picked up.
For example, puppies with liver shunts will have stunted growth, poor muscle development, abnormal behavior such as head pressing, seizures, circling, etc. They may also have vomiting, diarrhea, or abnormal appetites.
Acute kidney failure due to a toxin or infection can cause decreased appetite, abnormal urination, vomiting, nausea, diarrhea, etc.
Is Your Dog Pregnant Or In Heat
Early in pregnancy, your dog may have a reduced or absent appetite. If your dog is in the middle or late part of her gestation, she may eat less because her stomach has less room to expand due to the presence of puppies, but she should make up for this by eating a smaller amount more frequently.
Regardless of what point of gestation your dog is in, if she has not eaten in over 24 hours, your veterinarian should be called right away to ensure that everything is okay.
Dogs in heat may also have a decreased appetite, which is considered normal. However, if she goes longer than 48 hours without eating anything, she should be checked by her veterinarian. If she is lethargic, vomiting, having diarrhea, or drinking and urinating more than usual, she should be seen by her veterinarian right away, as this could indicate an infection in the uterus known as pyometra.
You May Like: Is Beneful Dog Food Killing Dogs
Choosing The Right Bowls
Every dog is different and has different habits. This is especially true for eating. Take a close look at how your dog eats. If your dog is a gulper, has trouble chewing or swallowing, or is limited in mobility, their bowl might need to reflect that.
Most bowls are a pretty standard shape and size, but some variations may actually improve your pets eating habits. Check out some of the unique food bowls to help your pet eat better.
|Messy eaters need high-sided dishes to avoid making a bigger mess than necessary.
Why Cant Puppies Eat Adult Dog Food
Since puppies are still growing, they burn a ton of calories and need a lot of protein, fat, calories and minerals in their food to keep them healthy, and adult dog food just isnt sufficient for all of a puppys needs.
Adult food does not have the proper nutrients needed for a growing puppy, Dr. Ochoa told The Dodo. Puppies need higher protein content, fats and minerals than adult dogs do. These puppies are quickly growing and have high energy levels that need more nutrients than older dogs.
Protein and calcium help with muscle and bone development, DHA promotes brain development, and fat and calories are used up by all the playing and growing.
A puppy whos fed adult food and doesnt get all the nutrients he needs could have developmental problems, so its super important to feed your pup a food thats appropriate for his life stage.
Don’t Miss: When Do I Stop Giving My Dog Puppy Food
Recipes With Apples Your Dog Can Eat
If your dogs are like mine, they’ll eat fruits like apples anytime, anywhere, and anyway you can think to give it to them. Some dogs, like our Rebel, will immediately devour apples without giving it a second thought. Others may need a bit more coercion to realize that they like apples too!
For very small dogs or picky eaters – Start small! Try adding a little shredded apple into their food. Sometimes new flavors and textures can be overwhelming for people and our dogs are the same. Our oldest dog wouldn’t touch an apple a year ago and now he looks forward to eating an entire apple each morning just diced into his bowl but it started with shredded apple first.
Try it sauced – A little unsweetened apple sauce is a wonderful treat for you and your dog! I like to just omit the pumpkin and add a spoonful or two to our dog’s protein-packed yogurt bowls on occasion. They love it!! If you have a small dog or a dog with sensitive teeth this would be a great option too.
We treat with apples in all sorts of ways over here, but this next suggestion is our dog Rebel’s favorite! You see, Rebel is a chewer – it’s all that pit bull in her DNA! She gets bored easily too…which can lead to destructive chewing behaviors.
The halved banana just slips right down into where the core and seeds were, so it isn’t a hard-to-make treat either. As it melts the banana transforms into the consistency of ice cream – creating a lickable melty center to this frozen treat that literally drives her bananas!
Faqs About Dog Feeding Guidelines
How often should I feed my dog?
- Puppies should be fed 4 meals a day, bringing this down to 3 meals a day at the age of 4 months until your pup is 6 months. It is important that the puppy is fed a diet designed for its age and breed size. There are diets specifically designed for puppies and young dogs which will ensure the growing dog receives the nutrition required for healthy growth and bone development. Browse our puppy food here.
- For dogs of 12 months or older, feed 1-2 times a day. Small breeds burn energy quicker than large breeds and should be fed 2-3 small meals a day. Little and often is key! Browse our adult & senior dog foods here.
How much should I feed my dog?
Choose a high-quality dog food like our grain-free Canine Choiceand look at the recommendations on the label. Most high-quality dog foods recommend approximately 1-1/2 cups per 10kg of body weight per day for smaller breeds, since they require 15-25% more calories per pound than larger breeds. Large and giant breeds are more often fed 1 cup per 10kg.
You must also consider the following, and adjust the food amount accordingly:
Actual calorie content of the food, current weight and projected target weight if necessary
The activity level of your dog, low/moderate etc
Other environmental variables
Any additional calories from treats or table foods
Does the amount to be fed in the feeding guidelines pertain to each meal or the daily amount?
How should I determine what to feed my dog?
Also Check: Dog Food Puppy Large Breed
Are Treats An Okay Meal For An Older Dog
When an old dog doesnt eat due to loss of appetite, some dog owners may resort to feeding it treats only. Although dogs generally enjoy eating treats, it is best to avoid making treats its primary source of nutrients.
An old dog not eating the appropriate type of treats can have negative impacts on their health. Calorie intake is important for a senior dog, so select treats that are low in calories.
Besides offering treats formulated for senior dogs, you can also feed your senior dog common human foods like berries as a snack. Your older dog may be more enticed to eat its regular food if you provide it with a yummy treat like peanut butter.
When Does A Dog Need To Switch To Senior Dog Food
Dog life-stage classifications can help you know when your dog is considered a senior. Depending on their breed and size, most dogs are considered to be mature adults between 6 and 8 years old. In most cases, a dog older than 8 years will move into the senior category.
While these age classifications can be helpful in guiding food choices, its important to remember that animals are individuals. Just because they reach a certain age does not mean they are necessarily old on a physiologic scale.
The aging process differs for each dog, and just like with people, it may look, feel, and affect them all differently. If your senior dog is healthy and maintaining a good weight, a new dog food may not be needed.
Your veterinarian is your best ally in determining when your dog is ready to transition to a senior diet.
You May Like: Where To Buy Pro Pac Dog Food
The Importance Of Taking Action
Please, please dont assume all changes in your dogs behaviour are natural signs of aging. Often they indicate a problem, and something caught early has a better prognosis. In the case of a senior dog, especially one with health issues who wont bounce back as quickly as a younger or healthier dog might, its extremely important.
If your dog is not eating or seems less enthusiastic than normal, I recommend you contact your vet. It doesnt mean theres a health problem, it could be the result of:
- Changes to your dogs normal routine
- Recently moving house
- The addition of a new family member
- Eating something during a walk or outing that has caused an upset stomach
When To Switch To Adult Food
In general, dogs are considered puppies until about one year of age. However, different breeds age at different rates. For example, many large and giant breed dogs are considered puppies until two or more years of age and will therefore need to remain on puppy food beyond age one. Conversely, some small dog breeds reach adult size before the age of one. Your veterinarian is the best source of information when it comes to your dog’s diet, so ask for advice before making the switch to adult food.
When deciding on the right time to feed adult dog food, the goal is to switch to adult food around the time the puppy stops growing but before he starts gaining excess weight. Keep track of your puppy’s weight and height and look for the numbers to increase at a slower rate. Most dogs will begin to reach a plateau around one year of age, but you might notice the growth slow down as early as eight or nine months of age.
You May Like: What Foods Can My Dog Eat
Look For A Senior Dog Food That Is Similar To Their Current Food
If your brand does not offer a senior version, look for senior dog foods with similar ingredient and nutrient profiles. For example, if your dog has always eaten a chicken and rice kibble, look for a senior dry food with similar ingredients.
If your vet has suggested a different formulation, brand, or variety, take a closer look at the ingredients and make your selection based on your dogs unique needs.
Goal: Boost A Senior Dogs Focus And Energy Levels
Challenge: If your former Olympic-caliber sprinter seems to be slowing down, dont despair. Your dog will need more sleep and rest in the golden years. But sometimes, both dogs and their humans develop a habit of inactivity in the brain and body that can age an older dog more than necessary.
Solution: First, put your dog on a low-carb, high protein diet to maintain a healthy metabolism. Lots of dog foods are higher in carbs than you think. Get savvy about reading ingredients lists, learn how to calculate carbs, and choose a food thats no more than 20 to 25% carbs. A Pup Above recipes are just 4 to 5% carbs! Next, get your dog moving and grooving with a little fun. Bring in new toys, take on new adventures, and literally keep teaching that old dog new tricks!
Don’t Miss: What Grain Free Dog Food Is Safe
How To Transition Your Puppy To Adult Food
To transition your puppy to adult dog food takes some time and patience. Switching food brands, in general, is always a bit sensitive. It can cause stomach upset if you switch over cold turkey.
Related: How To Change Dog Foods.
The best way to do this is to mix in adult food with your puppys food little by little. Your dog will get acclimatised to the new food and adjust to eating it all of the time. When doing this, be wary of calorie intake and portion control. Puppy food and adult food do not have the same calorie density.
Here are some tips to make the transition as smooth as possible:
1. Keep the same brand as their puppy foodBrands want to keep you loyal. The adult versions of the puppy food you buy are likely just as appetising and nutritious. But if that doesnt work…
2. Switch brands or flavours It may be clashing with the puppy food or just not to their taste. Some dogs are fussier than others. 3. Make the meal more flavourfulAdding a bit of onion and garlic free gravy to the kibble can make it more enticing to eat. We dont recommend you make a habit of this. Gravy has high sodium content and raises the calorie count of the meal overall. But a little bribery doesnt hurt from time to time. If you are struggling to get your puppy to eat the grown-up food, this is a nice treat to get them going.
Why Feed Your Dog A Premium Food
You know that quality counts, so you feed your puppy that provides balanced nutrition. What food should you choose when they grow into an adult?
Feeding them a high-quality adult food like will help them maintain the same superb nutrition they received as a puppy. In contrast, switching to a lower-quality brand at this stage of your dogs life may upset their digestive system and wont provide them with the same level of nutritional excellence they were raised on. Check out our to find the right food for your all-grown-up pup!
Premium adult dog foods like the ones we make at IAMS are specifically designed to provide your dog with:
- High-quality ingredients that support whole-body health
- Balanced levels of protein, fat, fiber, carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals
- Omega-6 fatty acids that help nourish and support your dogs skin and coat
What does it all add up to? A happy, healthy dog.
IAMS Checkup Challenge
Continue scrolling for next content
Also Check: Who Manufactures Members Mark Dog Food
Can I Feed My Adult Dog Puppy Food
Every dog owners faced the conundrum at some point: the family dog is hungry, the regular food is empty or unavailable, and someone well-meaning offers a bag or bowl of puppy food instead. Taken at face value, its easy to rationalize just swapping the two brands out. After all, theyre both made for dogs, look similar, smell the same, and probably taste similar to him as well. The short answer is that yes, owners can feed an adult dog puppy food in a pinch, but its not something that should become habitual for several reasons:
Remember that dogs become used to their brand of food: Human stomachs can get upset and prone to urgent bathroom needs when a new food is suddenly introduced, and dogs are no different. Normally when switching dog food brands, veterinarians recommend a slow transition, mixing the food over several days or weeks into one to the other.
A sudden bowlful of puppy food can send an adult dogs stomach on strike and in some instances, leave pet parents with an unhappy pup, or an uncharacteristic accident inside. If hes resisting a new brand of food when you are trying to switch your dog to adult food, try adding a little wet food or gravy on his adult food to make it more enticing.