Moving From Puppy Food To Adult Dog Food
So, we are now back at the original question when is the right time to switch your puppy from puppy food to adult food? Well, that all depends on when your puppy has reached their adult weight. This will vary from breed to breed. As a general rule, small breeds reach full growth much quicker than large breeds. Every dog will differ, and so it is important to monitor your own puppys growth in consultation with your vet, but as a general rule:
- Small breed dogs are fully grown at 9-12 months.
- Medium breeds get there at around 12-15 months.
- Large breeds about 15-18 months.
- Giant breeds 21-24 months.
It is a good idea to monitor your own puppys growth about every 2 months or so. You can do this using a growth chart, such as those provided by the waltham institute , and discuss with your vet if theres anything unexpected . It is also a good idea to check with your vet when you suspect your puppy is fully grown and you are thinking of making the transition to adult food, just to make sure that they agree!
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When To Change From Puppy Food To Dog Food
During the first months of your dogs life, food is essential to ensure proper growth and development. Its the stage when more energy input is required and you should provide your dog with food thats 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 well 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 dogs development and growth. Thus, your puppys 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, its 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.
If you want to read similar articles to When to Change from Puppy Food to Dog Food, we recommend you visit our Pets category.
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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.
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The Best Rule Of Thumb For Making The Switch
Every dog is different, but in general, its a good idea to switch over to adult food once your puppy reaches about 85 percent of his anticipated maturity weight. So if your Chihuahua is expected to reach a weight of six pounds at maturity, switch her over when she weighs about five pounds.
If you have a very large or giant breed, ask your vet for advice or consider having an x-ray performed to determine whether your dogs skeleton is mature enough to make the switch.
Bully Max: A Dog Food For All Ages
Transitioning to adult dog food the right way is a simple but important step to ensure your furry best friend is healthy and happy. Just make sure you make the switch at the appropriate time based on the breed of your dog. And always remember to transition your dogs food gently and gradually, over a period of one to two weeks.
Another option is to choose an All Life Stages formula, which is a dog food thats been formulated and approved for both puppies and adults. Here at Bully Max, we produce an high protein dog food thats packed with natural, healthy and high quality ingredientsand its an All Life Stages formula, making it a perfect choice for your dog no matter how old.
They grow up so fast, dont they?
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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. Its 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 pets diet.
More Or Less Activity
If, for example, you have a working dog, then you will absolutely have to create a balanced diet that will provide them with the energy that they need to get through every day. Is their current food doing enough to support their working day?
On the other hand, if your working dog is entering its retirement years as a senior dog, it will not require as many calories as it once used to. To best handle their decrease inactivity, you will have to adapt their diet to their new situation.
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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.
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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How To Change A Puppy’s Food
Whether youre changing your pups food out of preference or because youve been advised to do so by their vet, we recommend transitioning them slowly over two weeks to avoid any problems.
Sudden changes that arent taking place under a vets guidance and observation can lead to more problems, particularly when it comes to stomach upsets and other digestive issues, so slow and steady is best to give their delicate systems time to adjust.
Days 1-3: For these first few days, put their regular food in one bowl and a few teaspoons of the new food in another bowl. Let them sniff it and get used to it and dont worry too much about whether or not they eat it at this stage.
Days 4-6: Start mixing the two foods together, placing about three-quarters of their regular food and one-quarter of their new food in the same bowl.
Days 7-10: If the previous few days have gone well and theyre eating the new combination, give them equal portions of the old and new food.
Days 11-12: Swap the ratios now, giving your pup three-quarters worth of new food and one-quarter worth of their old food.
Days 13-14: Phase the old food out completely.
Once youve reached the end of the two-week period, your pup should be happily chowing down on their new food, but there are a few things worth watching out for while theyre making the transition.
Adverse Food Reactions In Dogs
An adverse food reaction is a blanket term used to describe a number of different food-related illnesses in dogs such as food allergies, food intolerance, and other gastrointestinal diseases. Many people will describe their dogs as having food allergies but this is not always accurate. True allergies involve a very specific response from the dogs immune system and this is not definitively diagnosed in many cases. Thus, it is more accurate to refer to these events as adverse food reactions.
Adverse food reactions can present with gastrointestinal symptoms, cutaneous symptoms, or a combination of the two. Gastrointestinal signs of an adverse food reaction include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and changes in appetite. Cutaneous symptoms include a wide range of signs such as itching, skin inflammation, hair loss, and many different types of rashes. There are many other illnesses that can cause similar symptoms, so it is important to have your dog evaluated by your veterinarian if these symptoms occur.
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Should We Switch A Dogs Food
Some common health conditions require pet parents to switch their dogs food. That might mean a new brand of kibble or new food altogether.
If your dog is refusing their food, then they could be telling you that they no longer like it or that they no longer have an appetite, meaning that something could be wrong. Depending on the reason, you may have to transition their food to better help them recover. Your vet, of course, will tell you if this is necessary.
Diet changes are also needed when a puppy grows up, after surgeries, when a dog begins to age, etc. A senior pet is going to need a vastly different diet from that of a puppy.
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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.
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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.
If Your Puppy Is A Large Or Giant Breed:
You should switch to an adult dog food when your puppy is anywhere from 18 months to 24 months old. Large or giant breed puppies take a little longer to reach maturity, and many of them are still growing until they turn two years old. Large or giant breed puppies weight varies greatly, so it doesnt offer as good an insight on when to switch from puppy food to dog food. Since maturity and adulthood can be difficult to predict, you can talk to the shelter, breeder, or rescue groups where you adopted your dog as well as talking with a veterinarian to be certain of when to switch a puppy to dog food. The importance of switching lies with nutrition.
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What Happens If You Feed A Puppy Regular Dog Food
Its very possible that you will be worried about the safety of your puppys adult dog food if his big brother dishes out kibble to him, or if his small digestive upset causes him to ingest bits. Adults should avoid a consistent feeding schedule of dog food in the long-run, however, because these foods will cause long-term injuries.
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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Food Transitioning Over 7 Days:
Once youve selected your dogs new diet, we recommend a transition period, changing their old food to their new food over a 7-day period. This process involves mixing the two foods together until your dog is solely on the new diet.
For the first two days of the transition period, feed 75% old diet and 25% new diet. If your dog is fed multiple times a day, ensure this split occurs at each meal. For days three to four, split the diets 50:50 50% old food and 50% new food.
If at any time during the transition your dog begins to have a loose bowel movement, stop the transition and take a step back. This process doesnt need to be finished within seven days if your pets stomach gets upset, so take your time and work to what your pet can handle.
If after day four your pet is looking good, eating the food willingly and has normal stools, then for days five and six feed 25% old food and 75% new food. Then finally, on day seven, feed 100% new food. Your dog is now fully transitioned onto their new 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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