How Should I Transition My Dog To Adult Food
Transitioning to a new diet should always be done gradually to prevent causing a digestive upset. A good diet transition should take at least 7 days but may need to be longer if your dog has digestive sensitivities or is prone to diarrhea. When you begin a diet transition, on day 1, start by mixing around 25% of the new diet with 75% of the puppy diet. As long as there are no signs of digestive upset, you can increase the proportion of the new diet to 50% after a few days. Finally, you can continue slowly increasing the ratio of the new diet to 75%, then 100%, when your dog should be eating the new diet with no adverse symptoms.
If at any point your dog develops symptoms of an upset stomach such as diarrhea, loss of appetite, flatulence, or bloating, this is a sign that the guts are not yet adapted to the new diet. Slowing down the transition or adding a probiotic supplement can usually resolve this issue. However, If the symptoms persist for more than 24-48 hours, switch to a bland diet of boiled chicken and rice, white fish, or scrambled egg, and contact your veterinarian for further guidance.
How And When To Transition Your Puppy To Adult Food
Puppies grow quickly, therefore requiring special food that contains more protein and calories than adult food. As they mature their nutritional requirements change and puppy food is no longer required so, transitioning to adult food at the right time can be crucial, and switching too early can result in bone and joint abnormalities. So, when is the right time to switch and what is the best way to go about it? Carry on reading for our top tips on how and when to transition your pup to adult food.
Timing is Key
Transitioning to adult food should coincide with maturity however this is not always universal among all dog breeds. Larger breeds mature slower than smaller breeds. In general, small and medium dogs reach maturity around 9-12 months, with large dogs at 12-15 months and giant breeds 18-24 months.
Watch for Signs
Growing puppies have higher energy needs than adult dogs but once they have reached maturity their metabolic rate slows. Your dog will give you signs when theyre ready to transition to adult food they may skip meals or leave food they would have normally eaten. The calorie-dense puppy food will have filled them up much quicker and fulfilled their energy demands when they have reached maturity.
Do it Gradually
How Much Do They Need?
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How To Transition Puppy To An Adult Dog Food
When you stop feeding puppy food, you must change more than just the food he eats. The number of meals and portion sizes will shift, too.
Most puppies eat three meals a day, but adult dogs can eat just two meals per day. The feeding guide on your dogs food label will tell you how much to feed your dog each day and to split the amount into two meals.
When its time to transition your puppy to an adult dog food, do so gradually. A gradual transition helps prevent stomach upset.
Heres a sample transitional feeding plan:
- Days 1 to 2: Feed 3/4 of the normal amount of puppy food and add 1/4 adult dog food.
- Days 3 to 4: Serve half puppy food and half adult dog food.
- Days 5 to 7: Feed 1/4 puppy food and 3/4 adult dog food.
- Days 8 to 10: Serve only adult dog food.
If your dog resists eating the adult food or experiences an upset stomach, extend the transition time as needed. Consult with your veterinarian for more help if needed.
For more information and tips on puppy and dog nutrition from our experts, visit our Pet Expertise page.
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Feeding Puppies During First 6
Like human babies, growing dog babies should be fed specially formulated food. Do not feed adult dog food as it can cause nutrient deficiency and be harmful to their health and well-being.
Small breed puppies should eat dried food till the age of 12 to 13 weeks whereas large breed dogs should continue it till 9 to 10 weeks.
Is My Puppy Underweight
Full or partial anorexia in dogs can lead to a multitude of life-threatening health problems, including the body shutting down to save energy. Prolonged underfeeding will mean your puppy doesnt get the nutrients they need to grow properly, and can lead to stunted growth, brittle bones and a weak immune system both in the short and long term. Anorexia is a condition which should be treated seriously and urgently. If your puppy doesnt eat after 24 hours or continually vomits up his or her food, seek help from your vet.
Similarly to an overweight dog, there are ways of telling if your puppy is underweight:
- The ribs and spine are obviously pronounced, even when you are not touching their sides
- When feeling their ribs, you feel no hint of fat nor muscle.
An anorexic puppy is much harder to manage than an overweight pet, largely because there are so many things that can cause the problem, including hormonal imbalances and psychological issues. It is also harder to get a dog eating again after it has stopped than it is to control the diet of an overfed puppy. Once your vet has diagnosed the problem and come up with a plan for you to follow, you will likely need to begin feeding your puppy small but regular meals until they are able to digest food properly again.
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When Should You Stop Feeding Your Dog Puppy Food
The age for transitioning from puppy to adult dog food is based on your dog’s own characteristics, health, lifestyle and the brand of dog food they are being fed. Every dog is different so we strongly recommend you speak with our healthcare team before changing to an adult food. As a basic guide small dogs can change at around 12 months of age, and large dogs can change around 15 months of age. We provide this information with great caution and would prefer for you to contact us at any time to discuss your puppy’s nutritional program.
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.
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Puppy Guide: How To Feed Your Puppy
- Growing puppies require more calories, fat, protein, and essential nutrients per pound than older dogs.
- High-quality, balanced food that provides the right ratios of nutrients, and supplies healthy fats, is key!
- 1-6 weeks: Puppies should be fed by their mother for the first four weeks. At four weeks, you can start introducing soft food.
- 6 weeks to 6 months: Feed your pup three to four times a day. Be sure to feed a diet thats made to fuel puppies growth and development.
- 6 months and up: transition to once or twice-daily feeding and stick with this schedule.
- Be careful not to over-feed. Too-rapid weight gain and growth can cause skeletal problems, and contribute to obesity.
- Weight management is important, even for puppies. Its important to know the right amount of calories your pup should eat. Dont rely on scoops. A fresh food plan makes it easy to feed the right amount, and to adapt as your puppy grows.
When it comes to feeding a puppy, theres no shortage of answers, advice, products, and promises aimed at new puppy owners. While some of it is more marketing than substance, puppies do have different dietary needs than adult dogs, and good food, served in the right amount, is essential for your growing pup. Its important to familiarize yourself with some of the basics, so we provided answers to the big questions here.
What should puppies eat?
What to feed your puppy: 1-6 weeks
What to feed your puppy: six weeks to 6 months
The healthy fat factor
6 weeks to 6 months
Puppy Feeding Chart By Age
Now that you know how much to feed your dog, you can create a puppy feeding schedule by age. It used to be common practice to adopt a puppy at 45 days because this is the time they are weaned from their mothers milk. Recent studies in puppy development and behavior tell us that puppies need to be with their mom and siblings at least 2 additional weeks. This way the puppy starts learning important canine behaviors and his development is better. If you havent adopted your puppy yet, I recommend you bring your new puppy home between 56-60 days of age. If your puppy is a rescue and is no longer with mom and siblings, then adopt him right away. Between 2-3 months of age puppies can graze at their food which can be available at all times, just make sure your puppy is eating enough but not too much. This is also socialization time, which means you need to introduce your puppy to as many things, people, dogs and experiences as possible. These experiences need to be positive and the best way to make something positive is to pair it with food.
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Hope this information helps you create the best puppy feeding schedule!
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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.
Special Considerations And Additional Tips
Pregnancy: Pregnant or nursing dogs need energy-dense foods with increased calcium content so be sure to transition them during this special time to puppy food.
During pregnancy or nursing, large breed dogs should be switched to regular puppy food, not a large breed puppy food.
Health Reasons: If your veterinarian has recommended therapeutic dog food for a specific health condition, please be sure to discuss transitioning to the new dog food in detail. There could be some special considerations and suggestions as far as the transition schedule to ensure success.
Transitioning Between Dry and Wet: Whether your dog is getting older and needs a softer food or youre just looking to provide a different texture and taste, transitioning between dry and wet dog food should follow a similar transition schedule of mixing in the old with the new.
If you decide you just want to use canned dog food as a topper to their normal dry food, be sure to check with your vet on the proper amounts, so as to not go over his daily caloric intake requirements.
For whatever reason you need to update your dogs food, switching food while mixing in some of the old food is the best way to ensure your switch is a successful one. Remember that whenever youre making a decision about your pets health, you should consult your veterinarian and adhere to the recommended feeding guides on your pet foods packaging.
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Dry Food Wet Food Or Both
Many pet-food companies have worked with canine-nutrition scientists to develop special formulas for both large- and small-breed puppies.
- Canned food is the most expensive to feed, and dogs often find it most palatable. Be careful of all-meat claims, though. Your dog should have a complete, balanced diet to fulfill nutritional requirements. Meat alone may not do it.
- Semi-moist food is available in one-serving packets. It is usually made to look like hamburger.
- Kibble is the most economical, and the major makers offer a complete and balanced diet for dogs of all sizes and ages. Dry food can be fed exactly as it comes from the bag.
Some dog owners say there is an oral-hygiene advantage in hard kibble because the friction produced helps to keep the gums and teeth healthy. Kibble can be moistened, either with water or canned food. Although unnecessary, that addition may make food tastier.
Do Puppies Still Need Milk After 8 Weeks
Puppies usually do not need milk after 8 weeks of age and in fact, stop taking milk a few days before then. However, depending on the breed and the specific health of your puppy, he might need some amount of milk until about 6 to 10 weeks of age. During the weaning period, the best form of milk for the puppy is his mothers milk, if available. The change from this nursing milk to commercial puppy milk to ultimately no milk should be gradual and well calculated.
Avoid feeding your puppy with cows milk because it doesnt suit most breeds of puppies, especially those that are lactose intolerant. Also, your puppy needs certain levels of phosphorus and calcium to fulfill his nutritional needs at this crucial stage of his life and growth. Cows milk does not contain the required levels and is also diluted, implying that your puppy can suffer from diarrhea and get quickly dehydrated.
The commercially-available puppy milk replacer formulas, if chosen well, are good options for your puppy. They can be available in liquid form or as a powder that needs to be reconstituted. Consult your vet for the precise brand of formula to be given, depending on the age, breed and overall health of your puppy.
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Feeding A French Bulldog Puppy Puppy Wet Food
Wet food has much the same pros and cons as kibble. Its easy to prepare, but you do not have complete control over your pups diet.
Another good thing about wet food is that it keeps your dog hydrated. However, due to the water in wet food, it has fewer calories. Your pup will need to eat more wet food than dry food, making it the more expensive of the two.
Wet food is also messier than dry, especially if your pup is a messy eater.
What Causes Changes In A Dogs Coat Condition
Changes in diet can lead to changes in your dogs skin and coat condition, but the most common causes are season and life stage. As cold weather approaches, most dogs grow a thick coat to help keep heat in and cold air out. As the weather warms up, they shed their thick, heavy coat.
Most puppies are born with soft, fuzzy hair, but as they age, they grow a coarser coat. Pregnant or nursing dogs also might experience a change in coat condition or hair loss. And, just like humans, a dogs hair might thin out and become coarser and white as they reach their mature years.
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How Feeding Changes As A French Bulldog Puppy Ages
As puppies get older and bigger, they will need more calories to stay healthy. As you can imagine, the amount of food a four-week-old Frenchie eats will not be enough for a full-grown pup!
French Bulldogs are considered adults after one year. If youre switching from puppy to adult food, you would begin to swap foods around this time.
As we discussed earlier, when swapping foods youll want to give your pup ¼ new food and ¾ old food for the first few days. Then, ¼ old food and ¾ new food for another few days, before giving them just their new food.
This avoids giving them tummy problems. It also gives you time to watch your dog. If they vomit, stop eating, or show allergic reactions or other symptoms, consult your veterinarian.
Keeping a dogs adult food similar in ingredients to their puppy food will lessen these problems and make the transition easier.
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Why Do Dogs Need Different Diets As Puppies
Petey the #littleshipoo is just #4months and growing in #cuteness everyday.
Dogs have different nutritional needs at different stages of their life. These are the basics of canine nutrition. Dogs as puppies need more nutrition and calories per pound of their body weight for faster and apt growth.
When puppies grow into adults, they have achieved a balanced skeletal structure and stopped growing. So if they continue eating puppy food as adults, they will ingest extra calories which could lead to other health problems. However, this isnt always the case because an adult dogs body tells him to reduce the amount of food. You may also start noticing unfinished food bowls when your pupper is finally transitioning into an adult doggo.
But you cant always rely on a dogs instincts. Some might find puppy food more palatable than adult food due to the high protein and fat contents in it. And continue enjoying it which may result in weight gain, obesity, and other related problems. Now you know why dogs need a different food when they turn into adults. But this again raises a question, how all-stage dog food works!
All high-quality industrial dog foods are tailored the way that they have nutritional value and calories stated by AAFCO for different stages of a dogs life. For instance, if a dog food is meant to feed a puppy, it should conform to AAFCO guidelines. These foods also contain supplements to ensure the dog gets the optimum nutrition in a puppy stage.