How Do I Know If Im Feeding My Puppy Enough
Your puppy should be eating enough to grow and gain weight at a steady, healthy rate. Puppies that grow too quickly or become overweight are more prone to develop orthopedic problems, so it is important not to over-feed your puppy. Ideally, your puppy should maintain a healthy lean body weight. Your veterinarian evaluates this using a numerical scale called the Body Condition Score.
The Body Condition Score is determined by evaluating the fat deposits over the dogs ribs, hips, and spine and assigning a number on a scale from 1 to 5 or from 1 to 9, with 1 being extremely underweight and 5 or 9 being obese. An ideal Body Condition Score is a 3/5 or a 5/9, depending on the scale your veterinarian uses.
To determine whether you are feeding your puppy enough, ask your veterinarian to evaluate your puppys Body Condition Score, or learn how to evaluate the Body Condition Score at home. If the number is too low, you may need to increase the amount of food you are feeding your puppy. If the number is too high, your puppy is overweight and you will need to decrease the amount of food you are feeding to reach an ideal score.
What Should I Be Feeding My Puppy Now That Theyre An Adult Dog
Find the food that best suits your dogs unique circumstances using our Food Finder tool. If your puppy is already on super premium puppy food we recommend keeping them on this quality of food as they become an adult, as a complete and balanced diet provides your dog with numerous health benefits. For puppies that have not been fed super premium food, transition them to this new diet using the guide below.
All super premium food contains guaranteed quality ingredients so you know exactly whats in your dogs food, and it is created using a scientifically formulated recipe that takes into account health issues, lifestyle and breed so you can find the perfect one to suit your best friend. Your dog will be tip-top shape inside and out with ingredients like DHA, an omega 3 fatty acid, that supports their brain, nervous system, and encourages a healthy skin and coat.
What these highly digestible ingredients mean for you is that your dog will produce smaller, firmer and less smelly stools for you to clean up, and their bolstered immune system will help your pet live a long and healthy life together with you.
Dont worry if your dogs a fussy eater, if they arent 100% satisfied with your purchase, our Super Premium Food Promise means you can receive a replacement product or full refund. And if youre a member of Petbarns Friends For Life loyalty program, youll get great rewards from every dollar spent!
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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What Is Puppy Food Made Of
The transition from puppy food to adult food is an important time in your dogs life. It marks a stage of substantial growth and sets the puppy up for adulthood. Regarding how long do you feed puppy food, you need to understand what this puppy food precisely is.
In terms of a puppys diet, puppy food generally contains more protein content than adult dog food in order to sustain this new growth at a faster rate. Calories also play a crucial role in this stage and at this time, a puppy will generally eat a lot. Depending on the breed of dog, most puppies will continue growing during the first year of life.
Puppy foods provide the extra calories and nutrients that young dogs need until they are at least one year old. Depending on the breed of your dog, your vet will be able to tell you when to change from puppy food, more specifically, the exact age of your puppy.
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 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.
How To Transition Your Dog To Adult Food
Once youve decided when to give your puppy adult food, the next question is how. Switching abruptly, even if the adult dog food is the same brand as the puppy food, can upset your dogs digestion. The best plan is to make a gradual change by giving your dog a mix of the puppy and adult food. You gradually reduce the portion of puppy food while increasing the amount of adult food over a few weeks. Heres how.
Week 1: Feed two parts puppy food to one part adult dog food.
Week 2: Feed equal portions of puppy and adult dog food for a week.
Week 3: Feed one part puppy food to two parts adult dog food for a week.
Week 4: Begin feeding adult dog food exclusively.
If your dog experiences any stomach upset such as loose stools, you can slow this down. Try two weeks at each stage instead of one. If you are sticking with the same brand of dog food, your dog is likely to have a smooth transition. But do not worry if they have some mild tummy upset for a couple of days. Thats normal. If it persists, however, do speak to your vet. It could be that your pup needs a sensitive food such as Leader Adult Sensitive.
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When To Change From Puppy Food To Dog Food
During the first months of your dog’s life, food is essential to ensure proper growth and development. It’s the stage when more energy input is required and you should provide your dog with food that’s rich in nutrients and protein, calcium, phosphorus and fibre that has a high energy concentration. Getting rid of puppy food and starting with adult food before time can result in serious abnormalities, especially in the joints. To prevent this from happening and to know when to change from puppy food to dog food, check out this article at OneHowTo and we’ll give you all the details, depending on the breed of your dog.
The change of dog food from puppy to adult must be done at the end of the dog’s development and growth. Thus, your puppy’s breed plays a crucial role, since each one develops at a different time.
Small breeds, such as Chihuahuas or Yorkshire terriers, reach maturity long before the larger breeds. Puppies belonging to these breeds reach adult size at around 10 months old. Therefore, it’s at this point that you should change the puppy food to regular adult food and reduce the number of feeding times daily. If you want to know how much food to give your dog depending on its age and size, check out this article on how much to feed your dog.
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Signs That Your Dog Might Need To Change Diet
- A dull, flat coat may be an indication that your dog isnt getting the right nutrients from their diet.
- Loose stools and flatulence can be a sign of food intolerance or the result of a lower quality food.
- Low energy levels.
- Overweight or obese dogs may require a new diet, rather than simply reducing their existing diet, to ensure they continue to receive the proper complete and balanced nutrition they need while safely and slowly working to reduce their weight for healthy weight loss.
Why Should You Transition From Puppy To Adult Dog Food
When your puppy is growing, they will need more nutrients and calories than an adult dog, which is why most puppy foods have greater levels of protein and fat to support growth, as well as nutrients like DHA. Once your puppy reaches adulthood, they wont need as many calories.
As the energy requirement for growth drops off, adult dog food is then required as it tends to have a fat and protein content to match their demands. If the drop in protein & fat content didnt happen, you would run the risk of having an overweight and hyperactive dog.
How Long Does It Take For A Dog’s Stomach To Settle After Changing Food
It depends on how upset your dogs stomach is as to how quickly it will settle down again. If your dog has slightly soft stools you may find this self-resolves in a couple of days.
If, however, your dog has reacted very poorly to a change in diet and has very runny stools, then you may need to intervene with a few days of bland, easy-to-digest food. Cooked chicken or fish and boiled rice tend to settle most dogs down, and you could use some dog probiotics too to help improve their gut flora again.
If things arent resolving or your dog seems unwell then always seek help from your vet in case there is something else going on.
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Is There A Difference Between Puppy And Adult Dog Food
There is a bigger difference between puppy and adult food than just the picture on the front of the pack. In fact, they are two entirely different diets.
Pooch & Mutt offer both a wet and dry puppy food, both of which are junk-free and meet all of your little ones needs. Puppy food is an excellent source of nutrition for growing puppies who are developing at a rapid rate. They need a large amount of calories to ensure they mature appropriately. They also have a high demand for minerals such as Calcium and Phosphorous as their skeleton grows. So, puppy food is more calorie dense and contains a different ratio of vitamins and minerals than adult food does.
Be sure to switch your puppy on to a high quality and well-balanced adult dog food such as Pooch & Mutts Adult Superfood.
Variability In Our Dogs Diets
All complete and balanced pet foods, even the ones made of the best ingredients, contain a premixed vitamin/mineral supplement. This is intended to ensure that the finished products contain a minimum amount of the nutrients deemed vital for canine health. This is needed because many of the nutrients present in the food ingredients are destroyed in the manufacturing process, and because its difficult to find food sources of some nutrients, especially the trace minerals.
Despite the inclusion of the vitamin/mineral premixes, however, laboratory analysis of the finished pet food may reveal a wide range of levels for all the nutrients contained in the finished products. The Association of American Feed Control Officials provides guidelines for minimum levels for most nutrients, and maximum levels . Within this basic framework, however, manufacturers have a lot of room to formulate their products to different levels, based on their own research, experience, and philosophies.
In fact, an interested dog owner can find quite a bit of variability in the nutrient levels in different pet foods that is, if the maker will disclose this sort of minutiae.
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When To Stop Feeding Your Dog Puppy Food
Proper nutrition is an important part of caring for puppies and adult dogs. Most owners know that puppies need food specifically made to promote growth and development. However, many owners struggle to determine when the time is right to switch to adult dog food. This is because there is no rule that applies to all dogs. Different dogs grow at different rates. You and your vet can estimate the best time to make the change to your puppy’s diet.
When Are Small Medium And Large Breed Dogs Considered An Adult Dog
Small breeds grow up faster and grow at a more even rate than large breeds. They tend to be considered an adult dog at 12 months.
Medium & large breeds grow in two phases as a puppy. The main growth phase is during the first six months, some puppy breeds can reach up to 75% of their adult weight at this stage. The moderate growth phase is 6 18 months. Medium & large breeds tend to be considered an adult dog from 15-18 months.
Depending on the breed size of your favourite four-legged friend, at some point between 12 and 24 months of age, you should re-examine your puppy’s nutritional needs and choose the right adult formula. If youre unsure on the best times to transition, make sure you get in touch with your vet or our team!
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How To Change Your Dog’s Food
You might want to change your dogs food to a new brand or type, either for preference or because you have been advised to do so for a medical reason.
Its always best to change the food gradually, over a couple of weeks. This may seem like a long time, but its best to be patient to avoid any problems.
Never change their food suddenly unless you are advised to do so by your vet. This is because sudden changes to diet can cause a tummy upset or even diarrhoea, and for some pets it may make them less likely to eat the food offered to them.
Day 1-3: Introduce a small amount of the new food separately
- Give your dog their regular meal as normal. On a separate plate or bowl, put down a small teaspoonful of their new food.
- Keep them on separate plates or bowls and dont mix the foods together yet. This is to introduce them to the new food slowly.
- Theyll probably sniff it, and may even eat it .
Day 4-10: Increase the amount of new food and decrease the amount of old food
Day 10-14: Gradually phase out the old food completely
- Once your pet is consistently eating the mix of new food alongside the old for at least a week, start phasing out the old food
- Again, if they dont want to eat it at any point, then you may need to decrease the amount of new food for another few days.
When Should You Switch From Puppy Food
There are a number of rules out there regarding when to make the switch from puppy food to adult dog food, and recommendations vary depending on your dogs breed size. Some say that you should switch your puppy to an adult recipe when his growth in height starts to slow down.
Even once your puppy reaches his adult height, he may continue to fill out a little in terms of muscle mass but he wont need quite so much energy. For small-breed puppies, this usually happens between 8 and 10 months of age and, for large-breed puppies, somewhere between 12 and 24 months.
Another rule you may have heard is the 80% rule that you should switch your puppy to an adult recipe when he reaches about 80% of his expected adult weight. Again, this will come sooner for small-breed puppies than for large- and giant-breed puppies. Your veterinarian can help you guess at your dogs expected adult weight.
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