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Say hi to Buddies, your partner in pet parenthood! Get tips and advice from a community of like-minded Pet Parents and trained pet pros, shop, earn rewards, and track your pals wellness all in one convenient place.;Learn More
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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.
How Long Should A Dog Take To Eat His Dinner
Some people leave food down for their dogs to graze on. I prefer my dogs to eat their meals up fairly quickly. Some dogs are more likely to be picky if they know they can come back to their dinner later on. So I recommend you take up your dogs bowl after ten minutes if he hasnt finished what is in there.
He wont come to any harm if he hasnt devoured the lot. Plus, he will eat more enthusiastically at the next meal if he is a little hungry.
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Should I Feed My Dog Raw Meat
Over the last ten years a more natural raw diet of meat and bones has become increasingly popular. Some people now believe that raw meat is the best food for Labrador Retrievers and many other breeds of dog. This is despite some websites giving out dire warnings of the dangers of letting dogs consume bones.
I wrote a fairly in-depth article on why I switched to raw food for my dogs some years ago. You can read about that and discover much more about raw feeding in Raw Feeding: A Natural Diet For Dogs. And you can also find out a lot more about raw feeding in Tom Lonsdales excellent books on the subject*.
Unfortunately, raw feeding does seem to attract a few extremists. Plus, it can be tricky to find objective and unbiased discussions of the pros and cons of raw feeding on the internet.
The Labrador Site Founder
Pippa Mattinson is the best selling author of The Happy Puppy Handbook, the Labrador Handbook, Choosing The Perfect Puppy, and Total Recall.
She is also the founder of the Gundog Trust and the Dogsnet Online Training Program;
Pippa’s online training courses were launched in 2019 and you can find the latest course dates on the Dogsnet website
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Transition Time: When To Switch Puppies To Adult Dog Food
Puppy food is specifically formulated to support the rapid growth and high energy needs of a puppy in his first year. However, your little furry friend isnt going to be a puppy forever.
At some point, every puppy needs to make the switch from puppy food to adult dog food. Adult food is designed to help maintain your dogs good health through his prime, but it can be tricky to figure out exactly when your precious puppy is ready for some big boy food. To help, weve put together some tips on when and how to switch your dog to adult food.
We Arent The Only People That Have Converted To Making Homemade Dog Food And Are Loving The Results Check Out The Links Below For More Homemade Dog Food Recipes Your Pup Will Love
Easy Crockpot Dog Food from Damn Delicious || This simple homemade dog food recipe combines ground beef, brown rice, kidney beans, butternut squash, carrots, and peas in the slow cooker so you can set it and forget it!;
Homemade Dog Food Recipe from College Housewife || Elizabeths sweet dog Rascal suffered from all sorts of health issues which led them to having him allergy tested. Turns out Rascal was allergic to all sorts of things even beef! So, Elizabeth developed a;homemade dog food recipe that is just perfect for Rascals sensitive belly that is filled with ground turkey, sweet potatoes, carrots, and zucchini squash and macaroni noodles!
DIY Homemade Dog Food from Damn Delicious||Chungahs dog Butters battle with stomach issues led her to start making dog food at home. This recipe is easy to make and super good for your pups too! It combines a delicious blend of 50% protein, 25% veggies and 25% grains and is made of ingredients like ground chicken, brown rice, shredded zucchini, spinach, carrots, and peas.
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Giving Water To Your Labrador
Puppies and older dogs need water available to them at all times during the day. It is ok to take your puppys water away an hour before bedtime to help with housetraining. Provided that it is at least an hour since his last meal.
Kibble fed dogs drink quite a lot of water, raw fed dogs may drink very little. This is normal. Check out this article: how much should my Labrador drink;for more information.
What Kind Of Snacks Can I Feed My Dog With Kidney Disease
Our dogs walk a bit on the wild side when it comes to snacks as they love thin apple slices, banana chunks, carrots, whole unsalted peanuts in the husks, and dehydrated sweet potatoes! Dogs with kidney disease should avoid meat based chews/treats that are high in phosphorus, so you may find that you need to explore doing friendly fruit and veggies for treats like we have. We still on occasion will offer Hooch bully sticks;or a jerky treat, but it is better for him if we limit his intake due to the levels of phosphorous that those treats contain.;
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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.
Who Should Not Use A Bland Diet
This diet isn’t for pets with chronic diarrhea or vomiting. Those pets may have problems that need to be dealt with through discussions with your veterinarian.
This diet is not ideal for dogs with true food allergies, or inflammatory bowel disease. However, if you know what your dog is allergic to and choose an appropriate protein source, you may work around this.
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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.
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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When Do You Stop Feeding A Puppy Dry Food
Four feedings a day are usually adequate to meet nutritional demands. Large breeds should be fed unmoistened dry food by 9 or 10 weeks; small dogs by 12 or 13 weeks. 36 months: Sometime during this period, decrease feedings from four to three a day. A pup should be losing her potbelly and pudginess by 12 weeks.
If you do choose to feed your puppy before walking, make sure you wait at least 15 minutes before feeding them on return from your walk. If your puppy is hot and panting, she needs to calm down before taking in any food. Otherwise, shell gobble her food down and end up with bloat again.
Finding The Adult Right Food
Not all pet food is made the same way. When it comes to finding the right formula, look for a food that is gently cooked and highly digestible. A slow-cooking process, like the Bil-Jac Nutri-Lock cooking method, helps to protect the key nutrients your dog needs his daily diet.
Dry foods that are cooked quickly in large batches at high temperatures and pressure, the way most dog foods are processed, can have nutrients damaged in the cooking process. In turn, your furry friend could suffer from an upset stomach and even loose stools.
Its also good to maintain some consistency with your food choices. If youve been feeding your puppy a super-premium puppy food like Bil-Jac, its just as important to feed him a super-premium adult food as well.
Youll also want to match your dogs size with the right formula. Dogs don’t require a breed-specific dog food, but their size does make a difference in their metabolism. As such, you’ll want to select a high-quality dog food made for large breeds, small breeds, or more average-size dogs to match your particular pooch.
Can Puppies Eat Adult Dog Food
What can puppies eat? Can I feed my puppy adult dog food? What food is the best for puppies? New puppy owners may find themselves asking these questions and more. Making sure your puppy has all the nutrition he needs is one of the most important things you can do to help him grow into a strong, healthy dog. Puppies and adult dogs have different nutritional needs, and as a result, its important to feed your puppy a complete and balanced food formulated for his life stage.
When can puppies start eating dog food? Generally, puppies begin to transition to adult food when they have reached maturity for their breed size. But this varies widely. Its important to not rush to feed a puppy adult food since he is building the bones, teeth, organs, etc. This early growth is something hell need for a lifetime, so you want them to be the best they can be. As with anything else, it usually requires greater resources to build something than to maintain it. 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.
Raw Fed Dogs And Small Children
I dont recommend raw feeding in families with very small children. This is because raw fed dogs get messy. It is hard in this situation to keep raw meat juices containing pathogens, away from children too small to understand the importance of hand washing
The important fact here is that there is no right;way to feed a dog. No single best way to provide a balanced diet.
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Changing From A Puppy To An Adult Dog Diet
Once your puppy reaches maturity, you can transition their diet and care so youre making sure they get exactly what they need now theyre fully grown.
Adult dogs need two meals a day, and a food that is nutritionally balanced to give them the energy they need without too much fat. You can transition to a new food gently by introducing it slowly over a week: mix it with their puppy food, gradually increasing the percentage of new food, so your dog gets used to it.
How Puppy Food Is Different Than Adult Dog Food
Puppies require richer food higher in protein, nutrients, and calories to support their accelerated growth, energetic play, and changing physical condition. Many types of puppy food also have smaller kibbles or softer formulas to better accommodate a puppyâs size and more delicate teeth. Puppy foods are often higher in calcium, sodium, and potassium than adult dog food, as well as more heavily enriched with different enzymes that puppies need for healthy growth.
As puppies grow older, however, their natural growth slows and their energy levels decrease, and they no longer need a rich, puppy formula food. In fact, giving adult dogs a diet of puppy food can lead to obesity or other health problems, such as faster growth that can contribute to hip or elbow dysplasia or other deformations that can create difficulties for adult dogs. It is important, then, to recognize when your puppy is ready for adult dog food and change its diet accordingly.
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When Should Puppies Switch To An 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.
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.
Grapes And Raisins: Cant Eat
You should never feed grapes or raisins to your dog.
Grapes and raisins contain toxic compounds that are harmful to dogs. They have the potential to lead to rapid kidney failure and death .
Even small amounts of grapes and raisins can make your dog sick, so its important to avoid giving them to your dog altogether.
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How Much Slippery Elm Should I Give My Dog
Dogs take slippery elm in different amounts.
Many dog owners give their dogs 100 milligrams per 10 pounds, and many inflammatory conditions require giving slippery elm multiple times daily.
Its always best to talk to your veterinarian before giving any medication to your pet. They can give you the right dosage based on your dogs needs, health, size, and age.
How To Properly Transition Your Dog’s Food
There are plenty of reasons you may want to switch your dogs current food. Perhaps your dog has been diagnosed with a health issue, youre looking to switch to a more premium dog food, or maybe your dog is just getting older and needs something that better fits their changing nutritional needs.
It is important that your dog switch their food gradually. Switching dog food too fast can lead to tummy trouble for your furry companion. This is particularly important after adopting a dog from shelter; while it is often a good idea to keep your dog on the same food that he was fed at shelter, if you do decide to feed something else you might need to be even more patient. While a dog is adjusting to a new home, he might have anxieties and as a result digestion issues. Because of this reason, many pet parents may blame the food for the digestion issues. While that can be possible, its best to not do a bunch of switches in the first month or so until your dog starts to get familiar with their new home.
To transition, mix your dogs current food with their new food. Over 7 days, gradually decrease the amount of the current dog food while increasing the amount of new dog food.
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