Puppy Food Has Nutrients Growing Dogs Need
Puppy food has a lot of extra nutrients and protein that adult dog food may lack.1 A growing dog thats building muscle and bone needs more nutrients and calories to maintain healthy development. Puppies, especially those of a larger breed, need the right amount of fatty acids, fiber, and protein, along with controlled amounts of calcium so bones grow at the proper rate. They also need certain omega-3 fatty acids for proper development.2 This is why puppies need food formulated for their nutritional needs, rather than adult dog food.
AvoDerm Natural dog food offers two formulas created especially for puppies. The canned Puppy Chicken & Rice Formula has chicken as the first ingredient to help any puppies with food sensitivities to other proteins. Its also made with avocado, which is rich in antioxidants that can help promote a healthy immune system.
If you prefer dry kibble, AvoDerm Natural dog food offers a Puppy Chicken Meal & Brown Rice Formula. This has just the right balance of protein, fat, and nutrients that puppies need. Its also corn- and wheat-free, which is great for puppies with more sensitive stomachs.
Follow The Feeding Directions On The Bag
Theres no universal portion that will meet the needs of every pup. Whether youve opted for a puppy formula or an all-stages formula, follow the feeding directions provided by the brand to guide you. High-quality brands, like NutriSource, are dense in calories and nutrients, which means youll need to put around 30 to 40% less food in the bowl than you would, say, a supermarket brand. Using your puppys age and weight as a guide, you can adjust the portion as they grow.
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Find A Similar Dog Food Formula
Pick a new dog food that closely matches the previously used variety. For example, if your dog was eating a lamb and rice product that was recalled, purchase another companys lamb and rice formulation. Read the ingredient list. If you can match up the first few ingredients, the foods will be fairly similar. Also, review the guaranteed analysis on both labels. Avoid big changes in the percentages of protein, fat, and fiber, whenever possible.
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.
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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 To Transition Your Dog From Puppy Food To Adult Food
Once youve determined it is time to switch from puppy food to adult food, you need to slowly transition by slowly introducing adult food to your dog.
Never switch your dog’s food all at once. Its good to transition over a 7-10 day period by gradually mixing in more adult food to puppy food. Each day slowly transitioning the food over, expect a mild amount of stomach discomfort as your dog gets used to the new food.
Each day feed a little less of the puppy food and a little more of the adult food until you are exclusively feeding the adult food. This gradual transition over a period of 7-10 days will help you avoid unnecessary stomach upsets or extra soft stools that could cause accidents in the home.
For example – On the first day replace 1/8 of the puppy food portion with 1/8 of the adult food. Continue to add your dogs adult food and remove the puppy food over the next 7-10 days. At the end of the 7-10 days you should have fully transition to adult dog food.
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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.
When Should I Switch My Puppy To Two Meals A Day
The best time to switch your puppy from three to two meals a day is when they are between six and 12 months old. Keep in mind that most toy and small breed dogs can make the switch to two meals a day when they are between seven and nine months old. Large and giant breeds, on the other hand, can continue eating three meals a day until they are between 12 and 14 months old.
There are many factors that affect your dogâs nutritional needs and the number of meals they should have during the day. Spayed and neutered puppies, for example, are less energetic than their intact counterparts and therefore need less nutrient-dense food and fewer meals. Generally, you can transition a spayed or neutered puppy to adult maintenance food, to lower their calorie intake and prevent obesity.
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How To Choose A Dog Food
Choosing an appropriate diet for your dog is a complicated process. The sheer number of dog food options available is overwhelming. Unfortunately, there is no one diet that is best for every dog. Just like humans, dogs are individuals and their dietary needs vary depending on factors such as age, health, and personal preferences.
To make the process even more complicated, there are also a lot of myths about dog food on the internet. Many people fall victim to advertising campaigns or scare tactics warning them away from commercial dog foods. Fortunately, the World Small Animal Veterinary Association has published a guide entitled The Savvy Dog Owners Guide: Nutrition on the Internet to help pet owners decipher fact from fiction when doing their own research about dog food.
Learning how to read a pet food label can also help demystify the process of choosing a dog food. The information on a pet food label is guided by the Association of American Feed Control Officials . AAFCO is responsible for establishing definitions for many of the terms you will find on a bag of dog food. Understanding these labeling requirements can make it easier to identify which products are best for your dog. Look for the words complete and balanced diet on the label.
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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When To Switch A Puppy To 2 Meals A Day From 3
As you will already know, puppies develop very quickly and need to take on a lot of food at regular intervals to grow healthy. You will have already been feeding your puppy 3 times or more daily, but at what point do you switch a puppy from 3 to 2 meals a day?
Heres what you need to know about daily feeding amounts, with the short answer you came for first. Theres more to get right though so please do read on further.
When to switch puppy to 2 meals a day? You can move to 2 meals a day from 3 with most puppies from 6 months onwards. Prior to this, puppies will need feeding 3 or even 4 times a day to help aid health development. Its also important to keep them on puppy food until theyre at least one year old.
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According to Barbara Lopez, all feeding changes should be made gradually to ensure the best possible results.
The food recommended by the breeder or rescue organization should be used for the first few weeks to avoid digestive disruption, and kibble should be mixed with a little water. Clean water should be available to your puppy all day but taken up at night.
Puppies between eight and 12 weeks old do best with being fed three or four times daily. After 12 weeks, feeding your puppy twice a day is fine. Any changes to the amount of food a puppy eats should be done gradually.
Puppies will experience their most significant growth rates between three and six months old. Its essential to monitor your puppys weight during this time because, even at this age, getting overweight can lead to joint problems later in life.
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How To Stop Your Puppy From Eating Other Pets’ Food
The best method to stop your puppy trying to eat from bowls that are not theirs is to feed your animals in different rooms. If you have multiple puppies, for example, a litter, try to chain feed them. This means feeding one in an isolated room and as soon as it is finished, bring in the next puppy and their meal. Another option is feeding the animals at the same time in different rooms. As then all the individuals will be distracted. However, if for example, you own a cat who will graze and eat throughout the day, move their bowl. Put it on a surface your dog cannot reach or in a room they are not allowed in. Make sure to train them so they do not attempt to reach the bowl or bark at it.
How To Switch Your Dogs Diet
Even when your dog is ready for a dietary change, it is important to make the transition slowly. Switching foods too quickly can lead to digestive difficulties such as diarrhea and vomiting, and if the symptoms are severe, your dog may associate illness with the foodâs texture or flavor and reject it completely. By gradually switching to adult food, however, you can ease your dog onto a new diet with less difficulty. When it is time to make the switch, start by offering your dog 75 percent puppy food with 25 percent adult formula. Offer that meal for a few days, then change the ratios to 50/50. After a few more days, lower the amount of puppy food to just one-quarter of each meal, and when that is easily acceptable to your dogâs tastes, eliminate the puppy food altogether. Every dog may be different with how easily they switch diets, but ideally the transition will not take more than 7-14 days, and will cause a minimum of digestive disruption.
At the same time you are changing the composition of your dogâs meals, make sure you are also switching any treats to adult formulas, and adjust how much you offer at any one meal to give your dog the right nutrition without encouraging obesity. The number of meals you feed your dog each day may change as they age, but consult with your veterinarian for more precise guidelines that will best suit your individual dogâs nutritional needs.
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Can My Puppy Have Regular Dog Food
We would strongly recommend not giving your puppy regular dog food. Puppies have nutritional requirements that adult dogs do not and vice versa. Therefore, by feeding your puppy mature dog food, they are receiving excess nutrients and missing nutrients and nutritional amounts.
Most commonly, puppies will get too small an amount of protein and calories which means their growth will be stunted and their health will suffer. This can lead to joint pains and arthritis. Furthermore, not having the right nutrients can lead to a weakened immune system at best and serious deficiencies or toxicities that can lead to organ failure at worse.
How Do I Know The Puppy Food Will Meet My Dogs Needs
The Association of American Feed Control Officials sets nutrient guidelines that most pet food manufacturers follow. Check the package label for a statement saying the food is formulated to meet AAFCO nutrient guidelines for complete and balanced nutrition, or that feeding trials following AAFCO guidelines have substantiated that it provides complete nutrition.
Along with that statement, the label should give the life stage the food is suited for. Puppies should be eating food labeled for growth or for all life stages.
After a month or six weeks on the food, assess your puppys health. They should be playful and energetic, with a shiny, thick coat. Formed brown feces are a sign that your puppy is digesting most of the nutrients in the food.
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How Many Times A Day Should I Feed A Two
A two-month-old puppy should be fed four small meals a day spread evenly throughout the day and always at the same times. An eight-week-old puppy will still only eat canned puppy food, which means that you will need to feed larger amounts to account for your pupâs daily nutritional needs.
At this time, you may also want to try adding a few bits of dry kibble into your pupâs wet food to start getting them used to the feel and texture of kibble. Since your pup should transition fully to dry puppy food by age of 10 weeks, now is the perfect time to start introducing them to it. Even when you start feeding kibble, your puppy will still need to have four equally spaced meals a day until they reach three months.
Tips For Transitioning Your Puppy
When you are ready to switch your puppy over to an adult recipe, you need to be careful about how you make the transition. Dogs are notorious for reacting poorly to sudden changes in diet.
If one day you give your dog a bowl of puppy food made by Brand X and the next day you give him a bowl of adult dog food made by Brand Y, you shouldnt be surprised if your dog spends a lot of time in the backyard for the next few days you may even have some messes to clean up inside the house.
The best way to avoid this unpleasantness is to transition your dog slowly from one product to the next. Here is a simple formula to follow when you are ready to make the switch:
- Day 1 Mix 75% of your puppys current food with 25% of the new food.
- Day 2 Mix 50% of your puppys current food with 50% of the new food.
- Day 3 Mix 25% of your puppys current food with 75% of the new food.
- Day 4 Give your dog 100% from the new food.
If at any point during the transitional period your puppy develops digestive issues, your best bet is to go back one step and keep feeding your puppy that ratio until the digestive issues go away. Then, move to the next step and stay there for a few days before you move on.
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