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.
What Puppy Food Should I Feed My Pregnant Dog
During pregnancy and breastfeeding, one of their nutrient-dense Science Diet puppies food provides the ideal amount of energy. Poor quality food or insufficient nutrition, as well as short-term changes in diet, can lead to weak puppies or even severe illness in puppies if they receive too little feeding while pregnancy.
When Should I Stop Feeding Puppy Food
The right time to transition from puppy food to adult food varies for each dog. Your puppys age, breed, expected adult size, and current health status will all impact when the diet change should occur.
For most dogs, its recommended to wait until they are fully grown before changing to an adult diet. Small and medium-breed dogs are typically finished growing at around 8 to 12 months of age, while large and giant breeds may not reach their full adult size until 18 months of age. If youre unsure of your dogs breed, a good rule of thumb is to wait until your dog is about a year old.
Some dogs may need to transition earlier if they have medical problems that can be managed with diet changes, such as food allergies or digestive issues. Your veterinarian can help you decide the best time to make the transition and choose an adult dog food that will be best suited to your dog.
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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.
The Benefits Of Feeding Premium Food
Why move your grown-up pup to a premium adult dog food? Because quality counts. It’s crucial to continue his superb puppy nutrition into adulthood. Downgrading to a lower-quality brand at this stage of his life may upset his digestive system, and won’t provide him with the same level of nutritional excellence he was raised on.
Think of a baby. When it’s time to start giving him solid food, you wouldn’t dream of feeding your child anything less than the best nutrition you can buy. The same is true for your maturing puppy. He needs the best age-appropriate food there is to help maintain his overall health.
Premium foods, such as IAMS, are specifically designed to provide your dog with a food that has:
- High-quality ingredients
- Clear, bright eyes
- Small, firm stools
Founded on more than 60 years of research into canine nutrition, premium formulas from IAMS help maintain your dog’s health and provide him with the nutrition he needs for a long life. Basic brands may not provide these benefits or match the level of expertise that goes into every bag of dog food from IAMS.
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Why Adult Dog Food Is Important
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.
Example Puppy Feeding Schedule
Just to help you on the way, here is an example puppy feeding schedule. Of course, you can adapt this to suit your own routine as long as you pay attention to the above advice.
Feeding schedule for an 8 week old Labrador puppy
My puppy feeding times for 8-week-old puppies tend to be something like this:
You dont need to be a slave to the clock, but this is just to give you an idea. A few minutes or even half an hour earlier or later wont cause problems.
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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?
What Is The Best Type Of Food To Transition Your German Shepherd Puppy To
Puppy food for large breeds with a high protein level is best for German Shepherd puppies.
Whenever possible, it is always a good idea to continue the same brand and essential formulation, but to switch to the adult version when appropriate.
You will not only avoid any issues with finicky behavior but will also help ensure that your puppy continues to meet its essential nutritional needs.
The outcome of taking these steps will be better overall health for your dog.
Replace 1/4 of their current food with the new food for two days.
Then, you will replace half the food for two days and three-quarters for two days, ultimately making the switch totally to the new food. This process should take two to four weeks.
This video helps put the process of switching your dog over to another food into perspective. This relatively simple step is an essential way of making sure that your dog is nourished.
Avoid adding supplements, because they may add too many nutrients that are already present in the food.
Eggs, cooked vegetables, or yogurt make suitable additives for better digestion or flavor variety if you want to provide a treat.
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Which Puppy Food Is Best
Premium dog biscuits offer the best all round diet for growing puppies. Premium ranges are developed by veterinary science experts and take into consideration the development of your dog’s body including the immune system and vital organs, skin and coat health as well as stool formation .
Introducing solid food to your dog is easiest done with a small kibble. There are also some brands which offer a rehydratable option. This means the kibble are soaked before feeding which makes it easy for weaning.
Depending on the breed and size of your puppy they should be fed a puppy growth product. There are several products available offering a small breed or large breed variety.
Keeping Your Puppy At The Right Weight
It is important that your dog does not get too fat or too thin. However, you have some leeway, and you should increase or decrease his rations accordingly as he grows.
The most common problem is puppies that get too fat. Although we all love cuddly Labrador puppies, they should not be rotund!
By three months or so, they should have definite waist just like older dogs. Check out this page for more information. Dont forget, if you are unsure about your puppy, your vet is the best person to give you some great guidance.
Of course, the other side of the weight issue is puppies that look too thin. That can be another important issue.
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What Is The Best Food To Feed A Pregnant Dog
How Do I Know If My Puppy Is Eating The Right Amount
Veterinarians evaluate dogs using a body conditioning score, which ranges from one for emaciated, to five for obese. It’s normal for very young puppies to have some baby fat, but after the first 8 to 10 weeks, “puppies should be a two”, Buffington says.
You can learn to assess your dog at home. At a score of two, which is relatively thin, a puppys ribs may be visible. The tops of the back bones will generally be easily seen. You shouldnt be able to feel any fat on its ribs. You should see a waist when looking down at your puppy and an abdominal tuck when looking from the side.
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Feeding A Husky Puppy Raw
If you dont want to feed your Husky puppy a commercial diet, youre not alone.
Mushers mostly keep their Huskies on a diet of raw meats and bones.
Huskies are one of those breeds that seem to really thrive on a raw diet, compared to a commercial one.
If you want to feed your Husky pup a biologically appropriate raw foods diet, heres a list of things you should pay attention to:
- Macronutrients and micronutrients: Make sure your dogs diet is well-balanced according to the AAFCO recommendations.
- Get an experienced vet on board to help you with nutrient calculations.
- Schedule frequent deworming for your puppyagain, your vet can advise on what is necessary.
- Monitor hygienethis is especially important for you and your family.
- Raw meats can be contaminated with harmful bacteria and parasites.
- To minimize the risk of infection, proper storage and handling of raw meats is crucial.
Heres a helpful article if you want to learn more on feeding a raw diet to your Husky puppy.
If there are small children, elderly people, pregnant women or otherwise immunocompromised individuals in your household, raw feeding may not be a good idea.
Consult your doctor if youre unsure.
Dont Let Your Dog Get Chubby
It is important to be able to judge your dogs body condition score in order to determine how much food you should give.The recommendations on the labels are guidelines only and will not apply to every dog. You may need to feed a little more or less depending on your dogs condition score.
Ideally you should be able to feel but not see the ribs and by looking straight down at your dog while she is standing there should be a recognizable waist. Ask your veterinarian if your dog is at a healthy weight during your next visit and ask for examples of body condition scores.
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Quick Answer: What Age Do I Stop Feeding My Dog Puppy Food
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.
Making The Switch To An Adult Dog Diet
If you feel that its time to transition your puppy to an adult diet, you should first consult your vet. Theyll be able to best tell you when your particular pup is ready to go. But once they give the green light, its important to make a gradual transition.
You can do this by mixing a small amount of adult food into the puppy food increasing day by day until no puppy food is left. At this point, your dog will have stopped eating puppy food entirely.
This transition will help your dogs metabolism slowly adjust to the nutrients and calorie amount that is present in the new formula. It also helps to prevent any gastrointestinal issues that may arise.
Featured Image: Ermolaev Alexander, Shutterstock
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What Other Food Should You Feed With Puppy Kibble
If your are feeding your Labrador puppy kibble, there is no need to provide anything else apart from water. Puppy kibble from a reputable manufacturer is intended to be a complete and balanced food. Some owners like to mix in canned dog food or even scraps of raw food with kibble.
Theres probably no harm in doing this occasionally with an older dog, but with puppies you may find it causes upset tummies and theres a risk that you wont be feeding a balanced diet unless you include considerable variety in your extras.
Stop Feeding Puppy Food
At what age is it appropriate to stop feeding my dog puppy food and do I need to phase it out gradually?
In general most, most dogs mature into adults at about one year of age. Large and giant breeds puppies initially grow more slowly and are considered adults by 18-24 months of age. Wean your puppy gradually over a period of two to three weeks onto her new diet. Dogs of all ages need a balanced, high quality, natural diet that agrees with them no matter how old they are.
Instead of focusing on a puppy, adult, or senior diet as dictated by the pet food industry, I recommend feeding your dogs a high-quality, balanced and natural, organic or homemade dietregardless of age. Provide them with the extra nutrients they need in the form of a good vitamin-mineral supplement, which offers longevity and wellness benefits for your dog that last a lifetime.
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How Much Should I Feed My Husky Puppy
If you have opted for a commercial diet, you usually dont need to worry about calorie calculations.
The packaging of your chosen puppy food should tell you exactly how much to feed your puppy, depending on age and/or weight.
Should you decide on feeding your Husky puppy a raw or homemade diet, determine your pups resting energy requirement and multiply that by two.
This will tell you how many calories your pup needs each day.
The RER depends on your pups current weight, and can be determined with charts.
It Experiences The Upset Stomach
Having loose stool or upset stomach is said to be the outcome of the low-quality of the food youre feeding your puppy. Its seen as a big inconvenience for all pet owners. It causes their pets to feel uncomfortable the entire time. Ensure to talk to your pet nutritionist for the best solution to switch to the best dog food. Or if possible, try to find a diet for upset stomach suiting your pet.
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Learn All About Grains In Pet Food
Grains? No grains? What are they and what do they mean for your dog or cat? Find out on this special Blue Buffalo Grain FAQ page.
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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.
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.