How Long To Feed Puppy Food
Puppies need a complete and balanced puppy food until they reach maturity. Although dogs who are one year or older are often considered adults, this isnt always the case.
For dogs, adulthood depends more on breed size than their age. Because large and giant breeds take longer to mature, they need to eat puppy food longer than small- or medium-sized breeds.
Heres how long to feed puppy food based on breed sizes:
- Toy and Small Breed Dogs: Many toy and small breed dogs weigh less than 20 pounds at maturity and reach this size between 9 and 10 months of age.
- Medium Dog Breeds: Medium-sized dogs weigh between 21 and 50 pounds at maturity. They tend to reach maturity around 12 months of age.
- Large & Giant Breeds: Large breeds and giant breeds weigh between 50 and 100 pounds, respectively, and can take 18 months to 2 full years to reach maturity. They need to eat puppy food longer than small- and medium-sized breeds.
If you have a mixed breed dog or arent sure how big your dog will be at maturity, its best to consult with your veterinarian. They can tell you when to switch to an adult dog food and help make it a successful transition.
As puppies get older and reach maturity, it is important to monitor their food consumption. Leftovers in a bowl could signal that your puppy is getting full and needs less calories throughout the day. Start by offering less food per feeding and continue to monitor his body condition, says Purina Nutritionist Karina Carbo-Johnson, MS.
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.
You May Like: Buying Dog Food With Food Stamps
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.
Read Also: Royal Canin Gastrointestinal Low Fat Liquid
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.
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.
LEARN ABOUT OUR NEW APP
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.
Also Check: Can I Get Dog Food With Food Stamps
When To Switch A Puppy To Two Meals A Day Feeding Guide
This post may contain affiliate links. We may earn money or products from the companies mentioned in this post.
It may not seem like it, but your puppyÃ¢s first year will fly by, and that tiny pup will grow into an adult dog in the blink of an eye.
Transitioning from three to two meals a day is one of the biggest milestones in your pupÃ¢s life and has a huge impact on their overall health. Knowing when to switch a puppy to two meals a day will put your pup on the right track to becoming a happy and healthy adult.
When my dog was still a puppy, I heard different advice about how often and how much he should eat. Some said once a day, others advised twice a day.
I was even told to keep the bowl full at all times and let my pup eat at will. To be honest, none of this made any sense, and I wasnÃ¢t willing to risk my pupÃ¢s health and well-being based on other peopleÃ¢s opinions.
IÃ¢ve come to find that puppies are a lot like human babies: They need several smaller meals throughout the day and do best on a strict schedule.
And while all dogs are individuals, all puppies should start at four meals a day and gradually transition to two meals a day during their first year of life.
In this article, IÃ¢ll tell you why a regular feeding schedule is so important and when to feed a puppy two meals a day. Keep on reading to learn everything you should know about your puppyÃ¢s nutritional needs.
You May Like: Is Crave Dog Food Grain Free
How Does Your Vet Play A Role In Your German Shepherds Nutrition
Melissa Smith notes that timing is everything when it comes to switching from puppy to adult food, and your vet will play a leading role.
One of the reasons why timing is so important is because the calorie content of puppy food is so high, which can make the young adult dog gain weight too quickly, in the wrong places, particularly the belly area, where fat can be dangerous.
A growth spurt after a year is possible in German Shepherds, particularly males, and your vet may have a good idea of when the growth will finish. However, what about Shepherds that are not purebred?
This question is very reasonable, as it is a little more difficult to guess when a mixed-breed is done growing. Weekly measurements can be an excellent way to track the dogs growth.
Compare your measurements to popular GSD growth charts for reference.
Consider making sure your vet is on-board as you make the transition from puppy food to adult. Your vet will be able to spot any nutritional deficits that require addressing.
Another advantage is being able to ensure the dog has proper bone growth.
Your dogs medical history will also be a factor in when the switch to adult food takes place.
If your German Shepherd has needs that require a special diet, your vet will be able to provide valuable guidance about the appropriate timing.
Even though you might find it challenging to think about obesity when your dog is transitioning out of puppyhood, this stage is not too early by any means.
Also Check: Can You Buy Dog Treats With Food Stamps
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.
When Should I Switch From Puppy Food To Adult Food
Knowing when to start the switch from puppy food to adult dog food depends on your puppys breed. Roughly, toy, small and medium dog breeds mature between six to 12 months, while large breeds, who have much more growing to do, mature at 12 to 18 months, although some can take longer. For advice on your puppys specific breed, check their food packaging, or consult a vet.
If your dog liked the food you had been feeding them as a puppy, it is a good idea to stick to the same flavours when transitioning to adult dog food. Start slowly by feeding your dog 90% of their usual puppy food with 10% of the new adult food mixed in. Then, once you are sure your dog is eating their food without any problems, you can gradually increase the ratio of adult food to puppy food over the course of a week or two.
You May Like: Little Caesars Dog Food Recall
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.
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.
Also Check: Can Food Stamps Buy Dog Food
What Are The Signs That The Puppies Are Not Doing Well And What Do I Do
Puppies should eat or sleep 90% of the time during the first two weeks of life.
“If they are crying during or after eating, they are usually becoming ill, are not receiving adequate milk, or the mother’s milk has become infected .”
If they are crying during or after eating, they are usually becoming ill, are not receiving adequate milk, or the mother’s milk has become infected . A newborn puppy is very susceptible to infections and can die within a few hours of becoming ill. If excessive crying occurs, the mother and entire litter should be examined by a veterinarian as soon as possible.
Puppies should gain 5-10% of their body weight daily. When the mother’s milk supply is inadequate to support this, supplemental feeding one to six times per day is recommended and should be performed routinely on any litter with greater than five puppies. There are several excellent commercial milk replacers available. They require no preparation other than warming. These milk replacers should be warmed to 95°to 100° before feeding. Its temperature can easily be tested on your forearm: it should be about the same temperature as your skin.
Any milk replacer that is used should contain optimal levels of the omega-3 fatty acid, DHA , a nutrient that is important for the development of the puppies’ brains and eyes. Goat milk is not recommended as it is far too low in protein and fat. Supplemental feeding may be continued until the puppies are old enough to eat puppy food on their own.
What Sort Of Diet Is Recommended For Dogs Today
A good diet for your dog will depend partly on their age and their needs. As you have read above, puppies require a lot more calories than a fully grown dog due to their development.
As dogs enter their later life, they will need even fewer calories, but require more fibre in their diets.
Ideally, a dogs diet would be balanced and contain minerals and nutrients as a human would. Nutrition should come from meat and fish, along with whole grains, fruit, and vegetables.
Also Check: Can You Buy Dog Food With Snap Benefits
Why Switch From Puppy Food To Adult Dog Food
Because of that faster metabolism of youthand the nutritional demands of growthpuppy food is formulated with more calories, fat, protein, and certain other nutrients than adult dog food.
All of this is very important during puppyhood. Its the right nutrient profile to help your puppy grow up strong and healthy.
However, for most adult dogs , puppy foods provide a far higher calorie density than they need.
So, unless you really cut back on their quantity of food , theres a good chance your dog will gain weight if they continue to eat their puppy food as an adult.
Considering the health risks that come with obesitysuch as arthritis and increased risk of orthopedic injuries, diabetes, cancers, and other health problemsits best to keep your young adult pup at a healthy weight, right from the start.
Consider The Pet Family
In the instance of multi-pet homes, owners also will have to keep a watchful eye on feeding behaviors among dogs. For pet parents who are prepared to share food between growing pups and adult dogs, there may be some fights at the dinner table. So, it is vital to run interference, or feed dog separately to ensure that everyone is consuming their fill.
In the instance that a pup is less than enthusiastic about his new pet food, dog owners might need to patiently reinforce that its what dinner appears like now, and he must eat up when it is in his bowl an additional feeding-conundrum which might be all too familiar to dog owners whove had to use the same type of training methods with their kids at the dinner table. Even though a young puppy might resist at first, he will thank you when he appreciates his newfound adult doggy stamina, appetite, and strength, courtesy of his well-timed adult food routine.
Read Also: Is Caesars Dog Food Healthy