Large To Giant Breeds
Large to Giant breeds can often take double the time to reach their mature weight and height. Therefore they are technically puppies for longer. On average it will take a larger breed a year and a half to reach their adult weight and a giant breed two years. These large breeds are often at risk of irregular growth due to an improper diet. This can include moving your puppy onto dog food too quickly. Problems such as joint pain and arthritis can occur. Hence why it is so important to begin switching your puppy to dog food at the right time.
At the beginning of a puppys life, they will be taken to the vets regularly for check-ups, shots, and possibly neutering/spaying them. We advise consulting a vet during one of these visits about their advice with your particular large breed pup. As this is from a professional, you can feel confident in knowing you are providing the best care for your dog. Furthermore, they can look at your dog as an individual and give tailored advice and check their growth rate right then and there.
The Importance Of Age
Itis extremely important that you follow the guidelines for your dog’sbreed and not switch his food too soon or too late. Small-breed dogswill require the earliest switch because their bones are naturallysmaller and their full maturity will be reached much quicker than thatof a large-breed dog. A dog who intends to weigh 100 pounds full grownhas a lot more growing and maturing to do before he can reach the samephysical state of maturity as the small-breed dog.
Ifyou switch your dog’s food too soon, you may notice that he is notprogressing developmentally the way that he should. Likewise, if youwait too long to switch the food, your dog may not be getting enough ofthe nutrition that he needs and his health may begin to suffer from it.This is why it is important to switch from puppy food to adult dog foodat the appropriate time.
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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Can Puppies Eat Treats
While we typically consider dog treats to be akin to junk food, puppies can have treats. Treats are a great option to help with training your puppy, but only in moderation.
Ideally, your vet should be able to supply you with some great options as far as treats go.
Generally, when shopping for dog treats, pay attention to what is inside of them and make sure that they are appropriate for your puppy.
Softer treats work better for training and make sure that they do not contain any allergens. Avoid preservatives and look for healthy ingredients like vegetables. But even with the healthiest treats, only supply them in moderation.
What Nutrients Do Puppies Need
One of the most uncommon questions that we have seen is what kind of nutrients do puppies need? Puppies and adult dogs do not have the same nutritional needs, which is why you cannot feed a puppy adult dog food.
Puppies need higher levels of carbohydrates, proteins, micronutrients, and calories in order to stay healthy.
But, a puppys mouth is smaller and they do not have adult teeth to work with. So not only do you want to avoid adult dog food because of the nutritional factor, you also want to avoid it to protect your puppys teeth.
Beyond that, you will want to be sure that the food that you have chosen is a healthy option for your puppy since not all dog foods are the same.
You will be looking at dry dog food, wet dog food, and even the option of raw dog food, so pay attention to the type.
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When Is The Right Time To Switch To Adult Dog Food
Determining when to make the switch from puppy to adult dog food depends on your puppys size and breed, as well as his metabolism. Simply put, small and large breed puppies develop at different rates, meaning that some dogs will make the switch to adult food at different life stages. At Bil-Jac, we agree with our friends at VetInfo.com and recommend the following guidelines:
- Smaller breeds mature more quickly and can be switched at about 9 months to 1 year
- Medium breeds can be switched at around 1 year of age
- Large and giant breed dogs can transition anywhere from 1 year to 18 months
Of course, one to two years is quite a wide range of time. Every dog is different, so keep an eye on how much food your dog eats. Skipping meals or leaving some food behind is one notable sign that your furry friend is ready for a switch. If you notice that your best friend is regularly leaving some of her puppy food behind in the bowl, its probably time to make the jump to an adult formula.
Your dogs body condition can also help you figure out when its time to switch to adult food. Since puppy formulas are designed to support rapid growth, once a puppy is first weaned, splitting up meals info three feeding a day si recommended.
From The Age Of Three Weeks
Milk teeth start to come through. This is the time to start the dietary transition from milk to solid foods with your puppy. We recommend doing this by gradually introducing semi-solid food:
- Dilute the portion of kibble you’re about to give your puppy with warm water to form a paste.
- Later youll need to gradually reduce the amount of water you add, so that he starts getting used to a more solid consistency.
- Its a good idea to feed several times a day between milk feeds. This way you wont overburden your puppys gastrointestinal tract, and itll be easier for him to digest and absorb nutrients.
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Feeding Your Dog Through The First Year
Once your puppy is weaned, dietary changes will happen often. Stay flexible and keep an open line of communication with your veterinarian to ensure proper feeding habits.
- 6-12 weeks Puppies this young have just weaned successfully and are ready to receive nutrition solely from dog food. Puppies may need three to four feedings per day to help stabilize energy levels and should slowly transition from moistened food to regular food by 10 or so weeks for large breeds and 14 or so weeks for small breeds.
- 3-6 months Puppies are beginning to lose their puppy bellies during this period, and your veterinarian may recommend reducing feedings by one if appropriate. Its essential to watch your puppys weight to ensure growth doesnt happen too quickly.
- 6-12 months Your puppy is transitioning to fewer feedings and becoming closer to its adult weight and body. Once your puppy reaches around 75% of its expected adult weight, your veterinarian may suggest transitioning to adult food for good.
How To Change Your Dogs Food
Switching your dogs food abruptly can cause gastrointestinal upset such as vomiting, diarrhea, and a decreased appetite. Any time you decide to change your dogs food, you should transition to the new diet gradually in order to give your dogs system time to adjust to the change. Ideally, these transitions should happen over 5-7 days. During this transition, you will gradually incorporate more and more of the new food by mixing it with your dogs current diet. For most dogs, a good diet transition will look like this:
- Day 1: 25% new diet and 75% old diet.
- Day 3: 50% new diet and 50% old diet.
- Day 5: 75% new diet and 25% old diet.
- Day 7: 100% new diet.
Some dogs with sensitive stomachs, food allergies, or other gastrointestinal diseases may need an even longer transition period. The key to a good diet transition is monitoring your dogs individual response. If, at any point during the diet transition, your dog displays concerning signs such as changes in appetite, vomiting, or diarrhea, you should proceed more slowly. And if you have transitioned gradually and your dog is still experiencing stomach upset, it is best to consult with your veterinarian. In some cases, it may be necessary to choose a different diet.
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Food For Big Puppies & Little Puppies
There are differences between the nutritional needs of small-breed and large-breed dogs, and that is especially true for puppies. Adult dogs who weigh less than 20 pounds are considered small-breed dogs. These puppies grow quickly and may reach adulthood by 9 months. Large-breed puppies , grow more slowlyit takes anywhere from 15 to 24 months to reach full size and maturity.
How Do I Make The Switch
When switching to adult dog food you should allow 7-10 days for the transition. Gradually add more adult dog food and less of their puppy food to your pups dish each day until the change is complete. This gradual transition will help avoid dietary upsets.
Remember individual needs can vary. Feed your dog to maintain an ideal body condition.
Slight appetite changes and occasional digestive upsets are normal in young dogs. If upsets become severe or last longer than a day or two, contact your vet.
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Special Considerations And Additional Tips
Pregnancy: Pregnant or nursing dogs need energy-dense foods with increased calcium content so be sure to transition them during this special time to puppy food.
During pregnancy or nursing, large breed dogs should be switched to regular puppy food, not a large breed puppy food.
Health Reasons: If your veterinarian has recommended therapeutic dog food for a specific health condition, please be sure to discuss transitioning to the new dog food in detail. There could be some special considerations and suggestions as far as the transition schedule to ensure success.
Transitioning Between Dry and Wet: Whether your dog is getting older and needs a softer food or youre just looking to provide a different texture and taste, transitioning between dry and wet dog food should follow a similar transition schedule of mixing in the old with the new.
If you decide you just want to use canned dog food as a topper to their normal dry food, be sure to check with your vet on the proper amounts, so as to not go over his daily caloric intake requirements.
For whatever reason you need to update your dogs food, switching food while mixing in some of the old food is the best way to ensure your switch is a successful one. Remember that whenever youre making a decision about your pets health, you should consult your veterinarian and adhere to the recommended feeding guides on your pet foods packaging.
Can My Puppy Have Regular Dog Food
We would strongly recommend not giving your puppy regular dog food. Puppies have nutritional requirements that adult dogs do not and vice versa. Therefore, by feeding your puppy mature dog food, they are receiving excess nutrients and missing nutrients and nutritional amounts.
Most commonly, puppies will get too small an amount of protein and calories which means their growth will be stunted and their health will suffer. This can lead to joint pains and arthritis. Furthermore, not having the right nutrients can lead to a weakened immune system at best and serious deficiencies or toxicities that can lead to organ failure at worse.
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Is It Worth It To Buy Expensive Puppy Food
Premium food has higher nutritional density, so you can feed your dog less to achieve the same results. Also, premium foods have stable ingredient profiles the composition of bargain brands can vary from batch to batch.
The major dog-food companies invest heavily in product development and research, constantly upgrading formulas to keep up with their competitors. This means that feeding premium food puts you on the cutting edge of canine nutrition.
How Do I Select A High
Start by asking your veterinarian what they recommend, says C.A. Tony Buffington, DVM, PhD. Buffington is a professor of veterinary clinical sciences at The Ohio State University Veterinary Hospital. In the first six months or so, the nutrient needs are changing very quickly. And, they leave the least margin for error. So asking your vet is a good idea since veterinarians typically recommend diets theyve had the most experience with.
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.
What Conditions Can Senior Dog Food Help Manage
There are quite a few diseases that are known to affect aging dogs. Many of these can be influenced or managed, in part or entirely through nutrition. This includes conditions such as:
In some cases, nutritional changes can affect the outcome or slow the progression of a disease process, while in others, it may simply help reduce the signs associated with the condition.
Dogs with dental disease may benefit from senior dry foods with a specific kibble shape, size, and texture to reduce plaque buildup. These may contain added ingredients known to specifically control dental disease.
Alternatively, if your senior dog has lost their teeth, or has few teeth left, your vet may suggest going with a canned food variety for ease and comfort with eating.
Dogs with arthritis may benefit from senior foods with added ingredients that are known to benefit the joints, such as glucosamine hydrochloride chondroitin sulfate and long-chain omega-3 fatty acids , eicosatetraenoic acid , and docosahexaenoic acid ), to name a few. If a therapeutic diet is not suggested, supplements containing these ingredients may be recommended for your senior dog.
If your dog has kidney disease, your vet might recommend a high-quality senior food with low protein. In many cases, a therapeutic diet may be recommended.
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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.
A Vets View On When To Stop Feeding Puppy Food To Your Dog
How to know when it’s the right time to start feeding your dog adult food
If you have a new puppy, you’ll probably have many questions about how to care for them. One of the most common questions about caring for puppies is when to stop feeding puppy food. As your puppy grows into adulthood, youll probably begin to notice many changes in their behavior, appearance, energy levels, and appetite. The best puppy foods provide essential nutrients to help your puppy grow, so its important not to make this transition too early. In general, its recommended that your dog reaches musculoskeletal maturity before transitioning to an adult diet. Read on to learn more about the ins and outs of transitioning your dog onto an adult diet.
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