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.
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.
How To Change Dog Food Quickly
You might be in a situation where your new dog’s previous food is unknown to you, and his old food simply isn’t something you can get your hands on. In this case, consider introducing your dog to his new food slowly by feeding him small meals every few hours, keeping an eye out for signs of trouble in between meals. If necessary, choose an easily digestible formula to start off with. Once he’s used to it, gradually switch him to your preferred brand or formula.
The potential stomach ache should be enough of a reason to go slow when transitioning dog food, but above all, consider the numerous changes your new dog is already dealing with as he settles into his new life. Like people, dogs take comfort in the familiar. Being served the food he knows during his first few days with you will help him feel more at home in his new digswhich is just as good for his emotional health as it is for his digestion.
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When Should A Puppy Transition To Adult Food
The age at which a puppy reaches adulthood can vary by breed and other factors. Typically, dogs will be fully grown by age 1, but large breed puppies may continue growing until age 2. Its important to stop feeding puppy food when the time is right and transition to an adult diet and decrease the amount of food so your dog does not become overweight.
Many dog foods are nutritionally formulated to meet the needs of both puppies and adult dogs so always refer to the label for the AAFCO nutritional statement!
Stella & Chewys offers a variety of raw and kibble diets that are formulated to meet your puppys needs. Learn more about choosing a diet for your puppy.
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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How Long Will My Dog Have Diarrhea After Changing Food
Switching your dogs food is sometimes necessary, or sometimes it might just be time to change things up. That said, changing your dogs food will probably cause some degree of diarrhea, just so you are prepared. This is normal, and it should not last for too long. Lets take a closer look at this issue.
Unique Problems With Puppies
Your puppys diet and care will need to take into account two specific problems that affect young dogs far more than adult dogs: their delicate digestive system and their reduced immunity.
A puppy has a weaker digestive system than an adult dog, particularly immediately after theyve been weaned, and its easily upset by changes in environment or new foods. They need to be given food that is the right size, shape and texture to make it easy to eat, and highly digestible so they can get all the nutrients they need from it without it causing stomach upsets.
Between the ages of four to 12 weeks, puppies enter a phase called the “immunity gap.” This is where their mothers immune support, passed through her milk, is lessening but their own natural defenses arent fully developed. During this time, their diet is a key way to support this process and boost their immunity through nutrients like vitamin E.
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How Much Food Should I Give My Puppy
Theres a saying in canine feeding: Watch the dog, not the dish. Body condition, not the amount eaten or left in the bowl, should determine portion sizes. Portion sizes depend on individual metabolism and body type, and nutritional requirements vary from dog to dog. If your puppy occasionally skips a meal or picks at food, dont worry. It could mean she is ready to eliminate a feeding or that you have given her too much, in which case simply reduce the quantity served.
Also, if you are doing treat-based training with your pup, adjust the amount you feed at mealtime accordingly. Whenever training with treats, keep the treat as small as possible.
What Kind Of Puppy Treats Should I Give
Many pet owners like to reward their dogs with treats, but its best to limit them. Because puppies need so many nutrients to grow, its important to give them food that provides complete and balanced nutrition. A puppy should get most of their calories from puppy food rather than from treats, which typically dont provide complete nutrition.
Aim for no more than 5% of calories from treats, say nutrition experts at the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. Choose treats that are the right size for your puppy. A Yorkshire terrier, for instance, doesnt need an extra-large dog biscuit. And avoid table scraps, which teach your puppy at a young age to beg for treats at the table and can cause digestive upset and pancreatitis, a serious illness.
Consider giving other types of treats to deepen the bond with your puppy. Healthy snacks like bits of carrot, green beans, or bell peppers give your puppy something to crunch without many calories. And remember, in your puppys mind, spending time with you is the best treat of all.
Play is a treat, training is a treat, learning tricks is a treat, Buffington says. Dogs are a pack species, and they want to be a member of the pack. Anything a member of the pack does with them is positive reinforcement.
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What A Puppy Needs From Its Diet
A puppys body is going through significant changes as it grows rapidly, whatever size or breed it is. Puppies require greater calcium in their diet than adult dogs to support the proper development of their skeleton.
They also need more protein, as they are rapidly building muscle and other body tissues. Their food should be more energy-dense than a fully grown dogs, as they are unable to eat as much but need plenty of energy to support their developing physiology.
The Right Way To Switch Foods
The best way to switch dog food is by doing so gradually, so it is something that takes a bit of planning.
Ideally, for the first 5 to 7 days, mix only 25% of the new food with 75% of the old food. In the second week, change the ratio to 50/50.
Then in the third week, change the ratio to 25% old food and 75% new food. Then, finally, after about three weeks, you can give your dog only the new food. Also, adding some digestive aids also helps.
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Identify When He’s Not Ready
Your dog may not seem to tolerate the new food, no matter how slowly you go, and that’s OK too. Slowly shift him back to the old food and start again with something else after giving his tummy a break. It could be that the new dog food contains ingredients to which your dog has an intolerance or allergy. If you continue to have trouble changing dog food, or if his stools contain blood or an unusual color, you should consult a veterinarian.
Time Flies When Youre With Your Furry Friend
It would be adorable if our canine companions could be puppies forever. However, switching from puppy food to adult food is an important step as your puppy grows. Your puppy will become a full-fledged adult before you know it, so get all the puppy kisses and love while you can! Regardless of their age, its crucial to feed your children well it can make all the difference in the world in their health as they grow and mature.
Want to learn more mealtime tips and other ways you can help support your four-legged friend? Join our Best Friends Club to receive our exclusive email newsletter full of interesting articles and members-only discounts on Bil-Jac dog food, treats, products, and other training tips.
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Keep An Eye On Their Size And Weight
The puppy pudge and potbelly should be gone by the time your young dog reaches one year old. At the same time, they shouldnt look too skinny or underweight.
Generally speaking, you should see a dip between the stomach and hips if youre looking at your puppy from the top down. Its OK if their ribs are showing, you just dont want their skin to look sunken between them. They should be lanky, not emaciated.
How To Switch Your Dog’s Food Safely
Switching dog food cold turkey may not seem difficult for some dogs, but a thoughtful and gradual food transition can help your dog avoid any side effects of switching, like diarrhea or stomach upset.
To help you with the switch and dog food transition, refer to the 7-Day Transition Schedule below:
Days 1 and 2
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Changing Puppy Food: When To Transition To Adult Dog Food
When you first get a puppy, you should be feeding them a high-quality, nutritionally balanced puppy food that will help them grow and develop into healthy adult dogs. However, dogs nutritional needs change at each life stage, so at some point you will need to make the transition to a food suitable for older dogs. Read on to learn more about changing puppy food and how to successfully make the move to adult dog food.
When can puppies eat adult dog food?
Once they are weaned off their mothers milk, puppies should be fed a calorie-rich puppy food containing the right balance of nutrients for healthy growth and development. If puppies are given regular dog food, they may not develop properly.
When your puppy reaches adulthood, you can make the switch to adult dog food. This could be anywhere from around 9 months to 24 months, depending on their size and breed, so always check with a vet first.
Be aware that puppy food has a much higher calorie content than adult dog food, and if you continue to feed your dog puppy food after they have matured, they may quickly gain weight. You should weigh your puppy regularly to check how they measure up against breed guidelines and take them to the vet if you are concerned about their weight.
Changing puppy food
As well as the type of food, you should also start to change the frequency of feeding. Puppies require numerous small meals a day so as not to overburden their small stomachs, but as your dog gets older, they can be reduced.
When Should A Puppy Start Eating Solid Food
Puppies should get solid food starting at about four weeks, when theyre not able to get all the calories they need from their mothers milk. Most puppies are weaned by six weeks.
Joseph Wakshlag, DVM, PhD, is assistant professor of clinical nutrition at Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine. He tells WebMD that for puppies younger than eight weeks, you may need to moisten dry food until it feels spongy.
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The Timeline Of Puppy Growth And Dietary Needs
As puppies age and grow into fully grown adults, they switch up their food routines. This is usually done in very specific stages of life, and for great reasons that will be covered later on.
This schedule varies by breed, which is an important distinction because differently sized breeds grow at different rates!
First, though, you may be wondering why to even bother sticking to a set routine at all. Why not just feed them adult food when you think your pups teeth are strong enough? Lets talk about that.
What Should Anyone Look For When Buying Packaged Dog Food
As there are so many options, it can be tough to decide which food is best for the dog. Some meals will merely be for all periods of development, while others will be for phase of growth, adult stage, and elderly stage.
Once deciding the part of life food you want to hunt for, comparing product information is the easiest method to start choosing a company. When reading a product label, the components are listed from the biggest to the slightest amount. Companies could conceal the number of unpleasant components by categorizing them independently and obscuring the percentage of the food they help compensate.
Youll want to notice a range of nutritious components on the product description. Fruits, cereals, and greens, in contrast to meat, may be digested and provide nutrients to dogs. A excellent dog food will have a mixture of these components, whereas the greatest dog meals will include the top quality versions of each. Maize, cornbread, soybeans, and gluten should be avoided since they are difficult for puppies to process.
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Do Consider Adding Water To Dry Kibble
There are plenty of dogs and cats that love their dry kibble. But if your pet has begun showing less interest in the food, it may be time to add a little “gravy.” It’s real simple, too. Just take about a ¼ cup of filtered water and add it to the top of the bowl of kibble in order to moisten and enhance the flavor of the pet food. Cats often stand to benefit the most from doing this, as they frequently have issues with dehydration. Consult your vet if your pet would benefit from adding water to your pet’s diet.
Signs Its Time To Switch From Puppy To Adult Food
Once your dog reaches a certain weight or age, youll need to transition to adult dog food. Please note that these are rough estimates for weight and ages, and you should consult your vet to determine whats best for your dog.
- Toy breeds : around 9 months old
- Small breeds : around 12 months old
- Medium breeds : around 12 months old
- Large breeds : 18 to 24 months old
- Giant breeds : 18 to 24 months old
Its best to ask your vet about your dogs diet. And if youre unsure about your dogs breed, consider doing a canine DNA test.
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Reasons For Changing Dog Foods
Its okay to switch dog food. In fact, at some point, it may be necessary. Here are a few reasons you may need to switch up your dogs food:
- Age: Around their first birthday , puppies need to transition to an adult dog food. Around age seven, most dogs are considered senior and may benefit from switching to a senior formula.
- Weight: If your dog is not his ideal body condition, your veterinarian may recommend a weight management formula. Not all weight changes need to be addressed through a change in the food itself. It may just require feeding more or less of the current food. Your veterinarian can help you determine whats best for your dog.
- Activity Levels: Dogs who participate in shows, sporting or agility events or who have demanding jobs may need a formula to support those activities. These types of dog foods often have higher levels of protein and calories. As dogs retire from these activities, they may need to switch to a lower-calorie food to avoid unnecessary weight gain.
- Health: Some foods have been formulated to help veterinarians nutritionally manage certain health conditions. For example, your veterinarian may prescribe a therapeutic formula to help support the unique nutritional needs of dogs with GI conditions.