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Puppyhood is so much fun! But eventually, pups grow up.
The fun doesnt end with puppyhood, though. If anything, your friendship will grow even deeper with each year of having your dog by your side.
During this transition into adulthood, you may be wondering when does my puppy need to eat adult dog food?
Read on for more information on making this important change
What About Dog Food For All Stages Of Life
While dog food for “all stages of life” is an option, its not ideal. All life stages food doesn’t differentiate between puppies and adult dogs. Instead, it meets the nutritional requirements for both. If you opt for this type of food, be very careful to watch portion sizes as this type of food is higher in calories than dog food specifically formulated for adult maintenance.
If you are interested in all life stages dog food, make sure it is high quality and the packaging lets you know it meets the nutritional levels established by the AAFCO.
Allen Foster is a writer for BestReviews. BestReviews is a product review company with a singular mission: to help simplify your purchasing decisions and save you time and money.
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. BestReviews and its newspaper partners may earn a commission if you purchase a product through one of our links.
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How Do I Know If Ive Chosen The Best Puppy Food
So, you think youve found the best puppy food for your furry friend. But how can you know for sure? There are a few simple ways to tell if the food youve chosen is right or not. Namely, by monitoring your poochs coat, energy levels, and their poop .
After about a month on your chosen puppy food, give your furbaby a once-over. Their coat should be thick, shiny, and healthy-looking, and they should be just as energetic as youd expect a puppy to be. Their stools should be reasonably solid and brown, as this indicates theyre properly absorbing all the beneficial minerals and nutrients in their food.
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From Six To 12 Months
When they reach six months of age, puppies enter an adolescent stage and their nutritional needs change. So, if you were wondering when you should switch your puppy to two meals a day, now is the right time!
Bear in mind, most veterinarians recommend spaying and neutering puppies at this age , since this is the time most males become sexually mature. If you decided to spay or neuter your pup, know that the procedure affects your dogâs nutritional needs.
Desexed puppies and dogs have lower energy requirements than their intact counterparts and need a different type of food. Consult your vet about switching your pooch from puppy food to adult maintenance formula. Feeding a nutrient- and calorie-dense puppy food to a desexed dog can lead to obesity, so donât wait long to transition your pooch to a new food.
You should also know that most smaller breeds can make a switch from three to two meals a day when they are around seven or nine months old. Small dogs need less time to grow up and reach adulthood than larger breeds and consequently have different nutritional needs. If you have a toy or small breed dog, feed them with small breed puppy food.
Small breed dog foods generally have more calories and are specially formulated to meet the higher energy needs of a small dog. You should keep this in mind when picking out food for your pup, since feeding an unappropriate diet can have an adverse effect on your pupâs growth, energy levels, and overall health.
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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.
Timeline For Small Breeds
Most small breed dogs are fully grown by the time they reach a year of age. At that point, you will definitely be feeding your own dog more sophisticated meals. But how do you work up to that point? Take a look at this guide for more information:
- 6-12 weeks old: You should, at this point, be feeding your little fuzzy friend puppy food. You will likely be starting out on wet food or dry food mixed with warm water about 3-4 times a day until your pup is 12-13 weeks old. At this point they are able to be fed dry puppy food on its own.
- 3-6 months: You will still feed your pup puppy food, but you will be able to lessen the frequency of feeding times or lower the portion sizes.
- 7+ months: Now is the time to begin feeding small dogs adult food if they seem ready to take that leap. Always ask a vet first because each case can be different, but you should be good to go!
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Can Adult Dogs Eat Puppy Food How To Simplify Mealtime
If you have more than one pet, mealtime might be something of a pain. Your puppy eats this food, your other dogs eat that. But what if you could simplify it by feeding everyone the same food? Were here to answer the question Can adult dogs eat puppy food?
Juggling different diets is difficult enough, but you also have to worry about your pets sampling each other’s meals. So can adult dogs eat puppy food, or the other way around? Technically yes, but thats only part of the answer.
Puppies and adults have different dietary needs, so lets start by pointing out what it is that puppies need that an adult dog doesnt.
Avoiding Underfeeding & Overfeeding
We have to address the elephant in the room when it comes to feeding a Dachshund. This breed is prone to weight gain. The risk increases if you spay or neuter your pet because of the change in their metabolism. The change will lower their metabolism, which, in turn, affects your pups recommended daily caloric intake to stay at a healthy weight.
Underfeeding is also a risk for smaller dogs because of the effects of hypoglycemia if theyre not getting enough to eat. Growth and development take a lot of energy, i.e., calories. Thats why puppy foods differ from diets formulated for adults. They also need higher amounts of nutrients to support this time in your pets life.
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Best For Dogs With Food Sensitivities: Merrick Limited Ingredient Diet
Made with 10 ingredients or less
Available in several flavors
For dogs with specific food sensitivities, Merrick Limited Ingredient dog foods are made with 10 ingredients or less, yet they still deliver complete, balanced nutrition to your pet. This line of food is available in both wet and dry formulas, and it comes in a variety of flavors, all of which have deboned meat, fish, or poultry as the first ingredient.
Merrick is part of Nestlé Purina, meaning they use the same team of nutritionists, veterinarians, and behaviorists when creating their dog food formulas. The brand also has its own Ph.D. nutritionists on staff. Merrick dog foods dont contain any fillers, additives, sweeteners, colors, or preservatives, and theyre made in the companys Texas-based kitchen.
No matter what type of dog you own, Purina Pro Plan is a top choice for its dog food. This highly trusted brand is extremely transparent about its processes, and it offers a wide range of formulas for dogs of all sizes, ages, and lifestyles. If youre looking for a less-expensive dog food, Pedigree offers complete and balanced formulas for dogs of all ages.
Dachshund Feeding Guide For Seniors
Senior dogs need fewer calories for several reasons. The most obvious is that they are less active. Optimal weight control involves both activity and intake control monitoring. Both are imperative. Other factors also come into play, such as arthritis and joint health. Therefore, its essential to keep all of these things in the mix.
Commercial dog foods that contain glucosamine are a wise choice. This supplement can make it easier and more comfortable for your pooch to stay active for those daily walks. Likewise, products that contain omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids will support healthy skin and improve the appearance of your pets coat.
Doxies are relatively long-lived, with a lifespan that can reach 16 years. The transition to senior food depends on the individual dog. We suggest consulting with your veterinarian about when its appropriate to make the switch. You should make the change slowly add a bit of the new diet to his current one over several days. It will make it easier on his digestive system.
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When To Switch From Puppy To Adult Food
Small breeds like the Dachshund mature more rapidly than larger dogs like a Great Dane. That may seem contrary, given the sizes of the pups. However, it also involves sexual and physiological maturity, which are not always visible. Those factors are the benchmarks for making the switch from puppy to adult food.
Its essential to understand that foods for puppies and adults differ on a lot of scores. Young dogs need more calories and a higher dose of many vital nutrients. Feeding an adult these diets is a recipe for weight gain and obesity. Thats something you must avoid with a Doxie. It puts undue stress on his back, which can lessen his quality of life.
Can Adult Dogs Eat Puppy Food Faq
To make sure that you can make q fully informed decision about whether to feed your dog puppy food or not, take a look at the most frequently asked questions concerning adult dogs eating puppy food.
Can puppy food give my dog diarrhea?
Puppy food can give your dog diarrhea. Diarrhea is caused by a lack of absorption of water in combination with digestion happening too quickly. Illness, stress, and diet can all induce diarrhea in your dog because they can upset normal digestion. Puppy food can also interrupt normal digestion. The excess fat and protein that cannot be digested properly, it will pass through your dogs digestive system too quickly leading to diarrhea.
Can I feed my underweight dog puppy food?
You can feed your underweight dog puppy food as long as a vet recommends this action. It is important to note that giving your dog puppy food can have negative side effects. Therefore, you need to be careful with the change of diet. However, due to the increased fat and protein content along with a higher number of calories per cup, it can help your dog gain weight quickly. Whether it be from illness or pickiness, sometimes it is most important for a dog to gain weight. However, high-fat foods can also do this so be sure to check out the whole market before making a decision.
How long can a dog eat puppy food?Whats the difference between puppy and adult dog food?
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What Is Wet Dog Food
The fundamental difference between wet and dry food is the water content. Dry food has a moisture content of between 3 12%, while wet food is between 60 84% moisture.
Wet foods are either canned or sealed in pouches, while dry foods usually come packaged in big waxed paper bags or packaged in cardboard boxes.
Whilst dry food brings many advantages in terms of ease of storage, price and cleanliness, wet dog food can be a good choice for puppies with poor appetites as the smell and texture is more likely to appeal.
When To Switch Puppy To Adult Dog Food
You should switch to adult dog food when your puppy is within the age range of 9-24 months old. As you can see this is quite a big range, so this is just a general rule of thumb. The exact age at which a dog is ready for adult food actually depends on the size of the dogmost dogs should switch to adult food when they are 75-85% of their full adult size.
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Vegetarian And Vegan Dog Diet
Like the human practice of veganism, vegan dog foods are those formulated with the exclusion of ingredients that contain or were processed with any part of an animal, or any animal byproduct. The omnivorousdomestic canine has evolved to metabolize carbohydrates and thrive on a diet lower in protein, and therefore, a vegan diet may be substantial if properly formulated and balanced.
Popularity of this diet has grown with a corresponding increase in people practicing vegetarianism and veganism, and there are now various commercial vegetarian and vegan diets available on the market.Vegetarian dog foods are produced to either assuage a pet owner’s ethical concerns or for animals with extreme allergies.
Due to the exclusion of animal products and by-products, which are primary ingredients of conventional dog food, many nutrients that would otherwise be provided by animal products need to be provided by replacement, plant-based ingredients. While both animal and plant products offer a wide range of macro and micronutrients, strategic formulation of plant ingredients should be considered to meet nutritional requirements, as different nutrients are more abundant in different plant sources. Despite the large differences in ingredient sourcing, studies have demonstrated that a plant-based diet can be just as edible and palatable as animal-based diets for dogs.
Do Puppies Still Need Milk After 8 Weeks
Puppies usually do not need milk after 8 weeks of age and in fact, stop taking milk a few days before then. However, depending on the breed and the specific health of your puppy, he might need some amount of milk until about 6 to 10 weeks of age. During the weaning period, the best form of milk for the puppy is his mothers milk, if available. The change from this nursing milk to commercial puppy milk to ultimately no milk should be gradual and well calculated.
Avoid feeding your puppy with cows milk because it doesnt suit most breeds of puppies, especially those that are lactose intolerant. Also, your puppy needs certain levels of phosphorus and calcium to fulfill his nutritional needs at this crucial stage of his life and growth. Cows milk does not contain the required levels and is also diluted, implying that your puppy can suffer from diarrhea and get quickly dehydrated.
The commercially-available puppy milk replacer formulas, if chosen well, are good options for your puppy. They can be available in liquid form or as a powder that needs to be reconstituted. Consult your vet for the precise brand of formula to be given, depending on the age, breed and overall health of your puppy.
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Rottweiler Feeding Guide: Adulthood
Between twelve months of age to a year and a half, your Rottweiler will achieve its full height.
This may make your pet look a little gangly and awkward, but Rotties dont stop growing muscle and mass-wise until three years of age.
So, you dont have to worry about things like malnutrition if your doggo looks a bit lanky during the age of one to three years.
Think of it as your Rotties teenage phase, which will end soon enough to give way to adulthood.
After your pet crosses the three-year phase, its safe to say your Rottie is an adult. Gone are the puppy fat and spindly legs to make room for a broad-chested, well-muscled canine.
Adult canine food can cater to the needs of your fully grown canine, with essentials like protein, fats, carbohydrates, fiber, and of course, a unique ratio of calcium and phosphorus.
If you keep up with regular vet visits, you wont have to face the consequences of feeding your adult canine puppy food, things like obesity, and other health concerns.
Typically, mature Rottweilers are fed twice a day. Breaking up the meal into smaller parts will not only help keep your pet feeling full for longer, but it will also be easier on your doggos digestive system.
Not to mention, theres that added benefit of stable blood sugar levels which leads to sustained energy levels and keeps your Rottie from feeling lethargic.
Another colossal health concern for large-sized canines is bloat .