Why Should You Be Careful In Switching Dog Food
A sudden change in food can be very stressful for your dog. As a result, they may stay away from their regular diet, vomit, produce loose stool, or have an unusual bowel movement for a few days.
If you are thinking of switching your dogs food, it is important to contact your veterinarian first. You need to know the specific nutritional requirements of your dog so that your vet will recommend a good choice for your pets diet.
How To Know When To Switch To Adult Dog Food
How long should a puppy eat puppy food? Maybe youve wondered this yourself, and rightly so. It can be a confusing topic, but its important to know when your puppy is ready to make the transition to adult dog food.
The important thing to realize is that because puppies are still growing, they need more calories and nutrition than adults. In fact, feeding an adult diet to a puppy could lead to nutritional deficiencies.
Likewise, feeding a puppy diet to an adult could cause excessive weight gain and its related issues. This is important to avoid, since obesity is the most common nutrition-related issue for canines. Knowing when to switch to adult dog food will help your puppy grow into a happy, healthy dog.
That being said, theres no one-size-fits-all answer to this question. Instead, youll want to change from puppy food to dog food based on your dogs breed, size, and age. Read on to learn how and when to switch to adult dog food.
How To Make The Diet Change
Any diet change should be done gradually to avoid gastrointestinal upset. This process can take a week or two depending on how you do it.
It may take some time and research to choose the right food for your now-adult dog. You may wish to stick with the same brand of food but switch to an adult formula. Of course, your vet can help you find an appropriate diet.
Once you have chosen the adult dog food, determine the portion size of adult food you will eventually need to feed based on your dogs current weight. Then, add a small percentage of adult food to the puppy food, increasing it a little at each meal. For simplicity, you may want to work out a schedule so you are not trying to remember how much of each to feed. Many veterinary professionals recommend the 3 by 3 approach when switching diets:
- Days 1-3: Feed 1/3 portion of adult food and 2/3 portion of puppy food
- Days 4-6: Feed 1/2 portion of adult food and 1/2 portion of puppy food
- Days 7-9: Feed 2/3 portion of adult food and 1/3 portion of puppy food
- Day 10 and on: Feed full portion of adult food
During the switch, watch your dogs appetite and bowel movements. Slow the transition if your dog experiences diarrhea or vomiting. If GI upset continues, you may need to choose a different adult diet and re-start the transition. Contact your vet if your dog has vomiting or diarrhea for more than a day.
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The Best Way To Swap Your Pups Food
When you are ready to switch from puppy to adult food a gradual transition is recommended. Planning this transition over a period of a few days is always best rather than an abrupt switch. Doing this over a seven-day period is the gold standard. This is to avoid the possibility of an upset stomach from the change in formulation and ingredients. You can do this by mixing the puppy and adult food and slowly increasing the ratio of adult to puppy food.
When To Make The Switch
Depending on your puppys breed and size, youll likely switch to adult dog food between seven and 14 months.3 Puppies need the most food when they are around six- to 12-weeks-old. At this stage, you will need to feed them three times a day. As your puppy gets older, youll gradually reduce the feeding to twice a day.
Small breed puppies may be ready to switch to adult food around seven to nine months of age, while larger breeds may not make the switch until theyre between 12 and 14 months old.4 In general, its better to make the switch a little too late rather than too early.
Talk to your veterinarian about when you should switch your pup to adult food since the exact timing will depend on your puppys breed, size, and health. Sometimes it can take longer than 14 months if your puppy is still growing.Some dogs even take up to 24 months to reach their full size.5
When making the switch to adult dog food, consider a nutritious and flavorful variety like AvoDerm Natural Lamb & Sweet Potato recipe for dry kibble. If your pup prefers wet food, try the AvoDerm Natural Original Wet Canned Food Beef & Potato Stew Recipe.
If youre worried about transitioning your puppy to adult dog food, consider moving to an all-life-stages variety of dog food first. All-life-stage varieties, like AvoDerm Natural Salmon & Vegetables Recipe, are suitable for puppies and can be a great way to help your puppy make the transition to adult dog food.
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Things To Keep In Mind When Feeding Your Puppy
Bringing home a new puppy is a wonderful thing, but its also an adjustment that your family and pup will need to get used to. Paying close attention to his ever-changing nutritional needs is one of the most essential ways to keep him on track to lead a healthy life.
Your puppys feeding schedule should stay as regulated as possible, especially when hes very young. A very young puppy should continue eating the same food the breeder or shelter has been feeding him for a few days to help settle him into his new surroundings. Whenever you switch him to a new food, do it gradually. Mix a little of the new food in with the old, gradually increasing the proportion of new food over the course of a week. This is easier on his stomach and will help him get used to the flavor and texture. Putting your puppy on a daily feeding schedule will regulate his digestion and make housetraining easier for both of you.
If youre not sure whether you switch food from what the shelter or breeder has been feeding your puppy, be sure to ask your vet at your pups first veterinarian appointment. Your vet will be able to provide recommendations based on your puppys health, breed, rate of growth and more. Even if you have had a puppy in the past and fed him a certain type of food it is still wise to consult your vet as different dogs have different nutritional needs.
What Types Of Foods Should A German Shepherd Puppy Never Get
Medium-length beef marrow bones can be a tasty treat in addition to their food, especially if stuffed with pumpkin without any spices or peanut butter. However, avoid pork or poultry bones, because these can splinter very easily.
Gravy should never be given as a treat because of its potential to cause diarrhea. Another concern is that gravy might contain spices possibly toxic to dogs. Avoid feeding table scraps for the same reason.
There are concerns about some kibble-based dog foods that owners should be aware of, according to Anna Burke.
These foods include grain-free varieties high in potato and legume content like lentils or peas. Such ingredients increase the risk of canine dilated cardiomyopathy. Large dogs like Shepherds may be somewhat more prone to this condition.
Raw food diets can be poor choices for German Shepherd puppies because it is harder to regulate your dogs growth on this diet than you can with regular puppy food. If you want to consider this diet, wait until your dog has achieved adult size.
Avoid homemade diets, as these are mostly deficient in crucial nutrients that growing puppies require.
If you do feed one of these types of diets, consider adding a diet base to the dogs food to ensure they receive the proper nutrition.
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How Much Food Do They Need
The amount of adult food you should give your dog depends on their size, breed, metabolic rate and activity level. They no longer need as much fuel for growth and development, and theyre typically much calmer than their younger-selves. As they mature, their metabolic rate will decrease, so you may need to reduce their portion sizes or decrease the amount of times you feed them in the day. Pups should be fed smaller portions more often, typically eating about three or four small meals a day, however when they transition on to adult food you should cut down to twice a day.
Here at Harringtons, our range of dog foods provide a balanced, tasty meal thats full of natural goodness and packed with plenty of minerals and vitamins. With options for puppies through to adult and even senior dogs, were with you every step of the way, providing delicious, nutritious food which makes for strong, healthy and happy dogs. Our recipes are tail-waggingly good, and our portion guides make it clear how much and how often you should feed your pooch!
Its important you calculate their portion sizes with any treats or snacks in mind as the calories can quickly add up, and much like us, being overweight can lead to a whole host of health problems for your pooch. Be sure theyre eating a complete, balanced diet and get plenty of exercise to stay fit and well.
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Tips For Making The Transition
Diarrhea and other digestive issues are common among puppies. While these symptoms can be associated with viruses like parvovirus and distemper or intestinal parasites, some puppies simply have a tougher time weaning off of their mothers milk and onto solid food. This being the case, the last thing you want to do is change your puppys diet all of a sudden.
Switching puppy food cold turkey can result in gastrointestinal upset and, quite frankly, it can be pretty unpleasant for both you and your puppy. If you want to know how to switch dog food without diarrhea, its pretty simple: do it slowly.
Ideally, any changes in your dogs diet should be made slowly. Experts suggest a transition period of at least 5 but optimally 7 to 14 days. This means youll have to start making the switch before you run out of your puppys current food. Youll need to mix some of the old food with the new food to get his body used to it.
Heres a detailed formula for switching your dogs diet:
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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.
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How Old Is Old
To call a dog “old,” one mustn’t consider chronological age, but rather physiological condition. Aging begins when the body’s systems start to slow down when cells deteriorate faster than the body can repair them. Though the process is different for every animal , dogs are generally considered seniors beginning at around 7 years . If you feed your dog a diet designed to address the nutritional needs of his age, you can best maintain your dog’s overall health and well-being. As your dog ages, detecting and addressing signs of wear and tear or disease early might help your dog adjust more readily to his condition.
How your dog ages has much to do with genetics and environment, but nutrition plays an equally important role. The quality of the food and its ability to maintain and nourish your dog’s cells can slow or delay the effects of aging and help promote a long, healthy life. As your dog ages and his systems become less efficient, he relies increasingly on the food you provide to make up for his body’s shortfalls. According to Michael Hayek, PhD, a research nutritionist at The IAMS Company who specializes in geriatric nutrition, “Aging dogs need the same nutrients as younger dogs however, the quantity or the way the nutrients are provided may change.”
Fructooligosaccharides are a unique fiber source. FOS is a moderately fermentable fiber which can help maintain a healthy intestinal environment.
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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.
Chart Your Puppys Weight And Growth
- There are growth-and-weight charts available in print and online. Weigh the puppy weekly and record his progress, comparing him to breed-appropriate weight charts. Adjust his food intake to achieve an average rate of growth.
- Weighing a dog, even a squirming puppy, is easy. Just weigh yourself, then weigh yourself holding the puppy. Subtract the differencethats the puppys weight. Voila!
- Dont worry about an ounce or two either way no two dogs, even within breeds, are built exactly alike.
- A young dog carrying too much weight has an increased risk of orthopedic problems, due to stress on immature joints. Obesity can also lead to diabetes, diseases of the heart and other organs, and general lethargy.
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How To Transition From Puppy To Adult Dog Food
When you begin switching from puppy to dog food, you want to do so gradually. If you do not do so, you cause the risk of your puppy having an upset stomach, feeling ill and possible vomiting or having diarrhea. To counteract this, you need to gradually mix dog food over the course of a week. Start by mixing one-quarter of the adult food with three-quarters of the puppy food with their daily meals. After a few days, you can begin to mix half of the adult food and half of the puppy food. By day five or six you can mix three-quarters of the adult food to one-quarter of the puppy food. By day seven your pup will be ready for just dog food!
This adjustment period is important, especially if your puppy has a sensitive stomach. But even by gradually switching from puppy to adult food, some things can still go wrong. Sometimes your dog may have an intolerance to an ingredient or certain food type. So you have to find which brand is right for your individual. If you are worried, you can consult a vet and get their opinion.
Large And Giant Breeds
Large breed dogs weigh 50 to 80 pounds at maturity while giant breeds weigh over 80 pounds. Large breeds often take more than 12 months to reach their adult size and giant breeds may take 18 to 24 months.
The primary concern with these puppies is controlling the rate of growth. If large and giant breed puppies grow too quickly, it can stress the developing bones and joints, increasing the puppys risk for orthopedic problems in adulthood. These growing, large breed puppies should be fed a diet of specially-formulated large breed puppy food, such as American Journeys large breed puppy food.
As adults, large and giant breeds need significantly more calories than smaller dogs. Their needs for protein are quite high but controlling the fat content of your dogs diet is essential for preventing obesity. A large-breed adult dog food contains the ideal combination of protein and fat for bigger dogs.
Make the Switch Slowly
When it comes to transitioning your dog onto a new recipe, slow and steady is the way to go. Making sudden changes to your dogs diet can trigger digestive upset which can be unpleasant for both you and your pup. Simply mix a small amount of adult dog food with your puppys current food, slowly increasing the ratio of new to old food over the course of a week or so.
Its important to work with your veterinarian to meet the individual nutritional needs of your pet.
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