Saturday, May 25, 2024

Puppy Food To Adult Food

How To Switch A Puppy To Adult Food

What’s the Difference between Puppy Food and Adult Dog Food? By Purina

When it is time to switch to adult food, make sure you do it slowly. Youll want to transition over multiple days and watch for any upset stomach issues. To learn the correct way to adjust a dogs diet, read our full article on how to change your dogs food safely.

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Is Adult Dog Food Really Different From Puppy Food

If you just adopted a new puppy, you might want to just get him regular adult dog food to make it easy since there are so many options out there.

It turns out puppy food and adult dog food are actually really different, and theres an important reason why you shouldnt feed your puppy adult dog food.

The Dodo spoke to Dr. Sara Ochoa, a veterinarian consultant at Senior Tail Waggers, to find out why puppies cant eat adult dog food and how to choose a puppy food.

How Much Food Should I Give My Dog Daily

Most pet parents feed their puppies three meals a day. When your puppy ages out of puppy food, experts recommend cutting that down to two meals a day, each consisting of a half-portion of adult dog food.

However, each dog will have individual needs in terms of nutrition. Blue Buffalo recommends that pet parents follow their dogs lead regarding how much he or she may need to eat. Therefore, if an older puppy starts not eating all of his food at every meal and still acts normally otherwise, he simply may not need any more calories that particular day, even if his weight and age correlate with a specific amount on his dog food label. There isnt a predetermined amount of dog food that every dog needs.

Observe your dog to see if theyre eating all their food. Additionally, watch how your dogs physique changes. If your dog is starting to get a bit rounder, it may be time to cut back. You can also weigh your dog regularly to ensure that theyre staying within a healthy weight range.

If your puppy isnt as excited about its food or is regularly skipping meals, your dog is probably ready to switch to adult 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.

Why Adult Dog Food Is Important

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Puppy food is nutrient rich and high in calories to support your puppys growth, development and high energy levels.

Continuing to feed puppy food past the point of maturity could cause him to become overweight, which can lead to other health problems.

Choose a complete and balanced adult dog food formula once your puppy reaches maturity to help him maintain his ideal body condition.

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Why When And How To Switch Your Puppy To Adult Dog Food

Right now, your puppy probably has a ton of energy and wants to play all the time!

And a lot of that energy will continue into adulthood. But, just like us human beings, its natural to have some slowing down of their metabolism as they exit their childhood and teen years and grow into an adult.

Thats the main reason your puppy will need a change of food

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Is Dry Kibble Or Canned Food Best For My Puppy

Generally, your choices of puppy food are either wet or dry food. Wet food is easier for your puppy to digest but lacks other positive features puppy kibble offers. Most vets recommend dry kibble because it has the highest protein content, cleans your puppys teeth when he eats and is relatively affordable. It also doesnt spoil as quickly as wet dry food.

The food you provide for your puppy is the best opportunity you have to ensure that your pup has fewer healthy problems throughout his or her life. A nutrient-dense, high-quality food that is formulated specifically for puppies is one of the best investments you can make in the health and development of your sweet puppy. Be sure to choose a high-quality puppy food for your newest family member!

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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.

A Perfect Time To Switch To Adult Food For Your Labrador Puppy

When to change your puppies food to adult food

At this stage of your pups development, breed-specific foods have greater levels of protein and calories that required for proper growth.

A labrador puppy can start eating adult dog food once they reach the age of 12-18 months, certain factors need to be considered.

Have you ever wondered why puppies and adults eat different food? Relax, Im glad you asked.

Youve surely thought about this before, so Im assuming many of you already know the answer for the rest of you who dont, here it is.

Puppy food is specially designed to be nutrient-dense to meet their nutritional needs. On the other hand, adult dog food contains nutrients that suited to animals that have passed their growth phase.

As they grow, what they need to eat changes. From puppyhood through teenhood, and later on into a dogs senior years, it is important to consult your pets veterinarian on what to feed your dog.

Here are some factors to consider:

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When To Switch A Puppy To Dog Food

According to Dr. Ochoa, you should wait until your puppys fully grown to start feeding him adult dog food.

The age at which a puppy matures will depend on his size, so when you can start feeding dog food will vary. This may be at 6 to 8 months for smaller dogs , 12 to 16 months for medium-sized dogs , and 2 years for large- and giant-breed dogs , Dr. Ochoa told The Dodo.

When Is The Best Age To Make The Switch

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. The point at which a dog reaches maturity or adulthood varies from breed to breed. Generally, giant-breed dogs take longer to mature and will need to stay on a puppy diet for longer than small to medium-sized breeds.If youre not sure when your dog will reach maturity, check out our guide below or have a chat with your vet.

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Can Puppies Eat Adult Dog Food

While it is not recommended to feed puppies adult dog food on a regular basis, they can eat it on occasion without any harm.

The main difference between puppy food and adult dog food is the calories and protein content. Puppy food is higher in both of these nutrients to support their growth and development.

Adult dog food does not contain the same levels of these nutrients and may not provide puppies with everything they need to grow and develop properly.

Specially formulated puppy diets are designed to meet the unique nutritional needs of puppies and are the best option for them.

Why Do Puppies Need Different Food

Pedigree Adult Complete Nutrition Food For Dogs

When a puppy is young, they are growing really rapidly much more so than humans at the same life stage. When you think about it, humans reach their adult size by about 18 years of age. Dogs reach their adult size in 9-24 months . So the growth happens over a much shorter time period. The average adult human grows to approximately 25-30 times their birth weight, but the average puppy eventually grows to 40-50 times their birth weight. So, not only does the growth happen over a much shorter time scale, but it is of a greater magnitude also.

With this huge and rapid growth comes the potential for things to go wrong. And, the bigger the dog, the more potential there is for issues. If dogs grow too quickly, or too slowly, or if there is an imbalance in the nutrients that are needed for correct bone growth, then it can lead to joint problems, such as hip dysplasia osteochondrosis or brittle bone disease.

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Puppy Growth Guide: Mental Changes

Mental changes signal the beginning of adulthood as well, and these new developments are just as vital to a dogs happiness and wellbeing. Here are some of the mental changes your pup will go through as he goes through his journey to adulthood:

  • The destructive behaviors that come with puppyhood and adolescence should wear off. Now, your dog knows that he cant go barking mad on your new couch cushions because he is mature enough to realize what the consequences will be.
  • Your pup will bounce off of the walls less. As dogs age, they become a little less energetic. This is especially true if yours has been neutered. These dogs tend to settle down faster than others.
  • Your dog is now able to learn commands more quickly and do more complicated stunts and tricks than a puppy would.

How Often Should I Feed My Puppy

Since puppies tummies are smaller than adult dogs stomachs, you will need to feed your puppy more often. For the first 6 months, most vets recommend feeding your puppy 4 times a day. After 6 months, you can scale down to 3 times a day. After your dog is full-grown, you can feed him or her twice a day.

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When Is My Puppy Ready For Solid Food

Once your puppy is ready to start eating regular puppy food, make sure you are feeding your puppy the best type of food for the breed and right amount as he grows. Talk to your vet or breeder to make sure you are feeding him enough but not too much. Some breeds will continue to beg for food even if they are not hungry, leading to obesity. However, depriving your puppy of needed calories and nutrition can be just as detrimental as too much food.

When Should Puppies Switch To An Adult Dog Food

Can a puppy eat adult dog food?

The simple answer is: When they stop growing.

The more detailed answer involves a few more factors

For example, not all dogs finish growing into adults at the same age.

Individual factors play a role, but on average, small and toy breeds mature faster while larger breeds take longer to finish growing .

Also, when some dogs are spayed or neutered, they may experience an earlier slowing down of their metabolism.

So, your veterinarian may have you monitor their weight more closely after the procedure, and may recommend a transition to adult food a little bit soonerespecially if your pup is already on the plump side for their age.

The exact age is a decision best discussed with your veterinarian.

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When To Switch From Puppy Food To Adult Food

It is clear why puppies need special food and why it is not such a good idea to give the same food to adult dogs unless they are very active working dogs who burn a lot of calories each day. But when exactly do you make the transition?

The best advice is to start moving your dog from puppy to adult food when they reach about 80% of their predicted full size. This differs depending on the dog breed.

As a very general rule, smaller dogs reach maturity faster and are usually already fully grown by one year. Larger dogs need more time and may take 2 to 3 years to reach their full size. Still, every breed is different, and you should research your dogâs specific breed.

When you do make the change, donât abruptly switch them from one food to another. Dogs donât tend to like sudden changes in their diet in general, and the change in the composition of their diet can upset their equilibrium.

Gradually mix their food, starting with 80% puppy food and 20% adult food, slowly moving towards only adult dog food over a period of about a month.

Monitor your dog throughout this period to make sure their energy levels stay consistent. It is also a good idea to stay in close contact with your vet during this vital stage in their lives.

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.

Photo by Bekky Bekks on Unsplash

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What To Do If Problems Arise

If your dog experiences vomiting, make sure they drink plenty of water and avoid feeding them again until their condition has improved. During this transition period, its very important to monitor your dogs response carefully which is why having someone at home during this sensitive period is a good idea. If problems do arise or your pet appears picky about the new food, try extending the transition period. This should help them become accustomed to the change. If problems continue, try changing the brand of dog food or reaching out to your vet for their advice.

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How To Choose A Puppy Food

When looking for a puppy food, a good place to start is by asking your vet for recommendations.

According to Dr. Ochoa, you should look for a food where the protein levels are 22 to 32 percent. This lines up with the AAFCO recommendation for puppy foods to contain at least 22 percent protein and will ensure that your puppy gets all the nutrients he needs to keep up his energy and grow up to be a healthy dog.

In addition to protein, you should check the food bag to see what the nutritional analysis is. Most dog foods will include a breakdown of the percentage of protein, fat and other important nutrients to let you know that the amounts are aligned with those recommended by the AAFCO.

And make sure the food is made with real ingredients, such as lamb, beef and corn. The first ingredient in the food should ideally be a natural ingredient.

Youll also want to be sure to choose food thats made for the size of your puppy. Foods for small puppies and big puppies are formulated differently because they have different growth needs. Small dogs also need smaller pieces of food because they have smaller mouths.

Some brands that Dr. Ochoa recommends include Purina Pro Plan, Royal Canin, Eukanuba and Hills Science Diet.

So its really important to feed your puppy the right food so he grows up to be a healthy dog and has enough energy for the puppy zoomies.

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