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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.
Growth foods necessary at the puppy stage have higher protein levels and calorie counts to meet your pups developmental needs. But once your pup is six to 12 months old those needs change.
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.
What Foods Are Dangerous For My Puppy
Some foods that people enjoy can be harmful to dogs. Keep your puppy away from avocados, chocolate, grapes, raisins, macadamia nuts, and raw bread dough made with yeast. Also avoid onions, garlic, and chives milk and large amounts of dairy products such as cheese alcohol coffee and caffeine salty food, such as potato chips and food sweetened with xylitol, such as gum, baked goods, and candy. Xylitol, also used in products such as toothpaste, can cause liver failure in dogs.
Pregnant Or Nursing Dogs
Pregnant and nursing dogs have different nutritional requirements than other adult dogs. These dogs should be eating food that is calorie dense and high in protein. Look for foods that are at least 22 percent protein.
It may seem unusual, but feeding puppy food, like Purina Pro Plan Focus Puppy Chicken & Rice Formula Dry Dog Food, to a pregnant or nursing dog is a good way to meet these requirements. Because puppies, like pregnant and nursing dogs, also need more calories and protein than other dogs, food made for them is suitable for dogs who are moms or moms-to-be too.
And heres the good news for your pregnant or nursing dog: Unless she is overweight, you can let her have all she wants.
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When To Make The Transition
Decipheringwhen to make the switch from puppy food to adult food can have a bigimpact on your dog’s health. You want to make sure that your puppy isstill getting the nutrients that he requires, and at the same timeswitching him to adult dog food when his nutritional needs change. Buthow do you know when your dog’s nutritional needs have changed?
Theanswer is relatively based on the size and breed of your dog. Whilemixed dogs can be a little more complicated to gauge, you can still usethe overall size of your dog as an indicator of when his food needs tobe changed. So, the first thing you will need to do is determine whichof the following categories that your dog fits into: small-breed,medium-breed, large-breed or giant-breed.
Dogsthat are considered to be small-breed dogs typically do not grow toweigh more than 20 pounds. Small-breed dogs can safely be switched toadult formula around nine months of age. A medium-breed dog is the nextstep up, averaging a full grown weight of 20 to 50 pounds and requirewill require that their food be switched at around one year of age.
Largeand giant-breed dogs, on the other hand, will both fall into the sametime range for having their food switched. These breeds of dogstypically grow to be anywhere from 50 to 150 pounds and they should beswitched to adult dog food around one to two years of age.
Can I Switch My Dogs Food Within The Same Brand
It should not harm Chloe to change her food every 6 weeks, provided that the transition is made gradually by mixing the old and new foods together over 5-7 days. The transition should be made gradually, even within the same brand, since the foods likely have different protein and/or carbohydrate sources.
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How To Feed Your Dogs Growing Needs
As your dog grows, their dietary needs change. Each blend of Just Right is uniquely crafted to support your dogs lifestage or lifestyle, so you never have to worry if you are missing an important dietary milestone.
Follow these tips for feeding your dog at each lifestage:
Puppy food should help support areas like healthy brain and vision development, proper bone and muscle growth, and a strong immune system. · Now that you know when to switch from puppy food to adult dog food, keep in mind that adult dog food should help support their unique nutritional needs and lifestyle.
Consider your dogs activity level, skin and coat health, body condition, and digestive health.
As your dog grows, their metabolism changes can lead to weight gain or loss of lean body mass, so calories and type of diet should be adjusted accordingly.
Dog food designed for the nutritional needs of your dog from puppy to senior should help support areas like bone and joint health, strong muscles, and changing activity level.
Ready to switch dog food? Create your dog’s personalized blend of dog food that grows and changes as your dog does. Start your dogs unique blend today.
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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What About Organic Puppy Food
There is no official definition for organic pet food yet, although you may see some pet foods labeled this way. The U.S. Department of Agricultures National Organic Program, which regulates the use of an organic label, is weighing a November 2008 recommendation from its standards board and is expected to issue rules soon.
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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Why When And How To Switch Your Puppy To Adult Dog Food
Right now, your puppy probably has a ton of energy and wants to play all the time!
And a lot of that energy will continue into adulthood. But, just like us human beings, its natural to have some slowing down of their metabolism as they exit their childhood and teen years and grow into an adult.
Thats the main reason your puppy will need a change of food
Chart Your Puppys Weight And Growth
- There are growth-and-weight charts available in print and online. Weigh the puppy weekly and record his progress, comparing him to breed-appropriate weight charts. Adjust his food intake to achieve an average rate of growth.
- Weighing a dog, even a squirming puppy, is easy. Just weigh yourself, then weigh yourself holding the puppy. Subtract the differencethats the puppys weight. Voila!
- Dont worry about an ounce or two either way no two dogs, even within breeds, are built exactly alike.
- A young dog carrying too much weight has an increased risk of orthopedic problems, due to stress on immature joints. Obesity can also lead to diabetes, diseases of the heart and other organs, and general lethargy.
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Should Dogs Eat The Same Food Everyday
Dogs get tired of eating the same thing every day. Theyre fine eating the same thing all the time. Once you find a food that works well for your dog, stick with it. If you do need to change their food, do it slowly over a few days. Give your dog a bit more of the new food and a bit less of the old food each day.
How Much Should I Feed My Puppy
The amount of food to feed your pup will depend on the formulation, and the activity and breed of your puppy. According to Dr. Becker, raw-fed puppies need a larger volume of food than kibble-fed puppies, because raw food contains less fat and calories per ounce.
While roly-poly puppies are cute, this physique is not a healthy one according to Drs. Becker, Heilman, and Lauten. Puppies, like adult dogs, should be lean, with a body condition score of 4 out of 9. Rations should be given to achieve and maintain this optimal body shape.
Overfeeding at any time of life can result in obesity, a disease that is associated with an increased risk of several inflammatory diseases including canine cancer.
Puppies will go through their fastest growth spurt between 12 – 16 weeks of age. During this time, you may be feeding your puppy four times a day so that she can meet her energy requirements.
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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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Sign Up To Receive Puppy Tips
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
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 which 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.
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Tips For Transitioning: How To Switch Dog Food Safely
There comes a time in every dogs life when they need a change in food. Maybe you are switching dog food because your dog has grown from puppy to adult, or adult to senior. Or perhaps your dog has a new need, or their tastes have simply changed. Whatever the reason for changing dog food, its important to know how to switch to a new dog food gradually.
When To Make The Switch
Depending on your puppys breed and size, youll likely switch to adult dog food between seven and 14 months.3 Puppies need the most food when they are around six- to 12-weeks-old. At this stage, you will need to feed them three times a day. As your puppy gets older, youll gradually reduce the feeding to twice a day.
Small breed puppies may be ready to switch to adult food around seven to nine months of age, while larger breeds may not make the switch until theyre between 12 and 14 months old.4 In general, its better to make the switch a little too late rather than too early.
Talk to your veterinarian about when you should switch your pup to adult food since the exact timing will depend on your puppys breed, size, and health. Sometimes it can take longer than 14 months if your puppy is still growing.Some dogs even take up to 24 months to reach their full size.5
When making the switch to adult dog food, consider a nutritious and flavorful variety like AvoDerm Natural Lamb & Sweet Potato recipe for dry kibble. If your pup prefers wet food, try the AvoDerm Natural Original Wet Canned Food Beef & Potato Stew Recipe.
If youre worried about transitioning your puppy to adult dog food, consider moving to an all-life-stages variety of dog food first. All-life-stage varieties, like AvoDerm Natural Salmon & Vegetables Recipe, are suitable for puppies and can be a great way to help your puppy make the transition to adult dog food.
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How To Transition From Puppy Formula To Adult Formula Or All
When that one-time ball of fluff is done growing, its time to transition to an adult formula. Sudden changes in food can be upsetting to a dogs gastrointestinal system. For that reason, many brands recommend a phased approach, starting with a small ratio of adult food to puppy food, and gradually increasing that adult ratio.
However, if youre feeding your puppy NutriSource brands from the start, the phased approach isnt necessary. in particular NutriSource chicken and rice recipes transition exceptionally well from puppy to adult formulations.
If youre feeding your dog a brand that does require a phased approach, heres a basic formula to follow:
- Day 1: 80% puppy formula to 20% adult formula
- Day 3: 50-50 mix of puppy and adult formula
- Day 5: 20% puppy formula to 80% adult formula
- Day 7: 100% adult formula
How To Choose The Right Dog Food
High quality dog food will help ensure a shiny coat, healthy digestive and immune systems, and overall good health. The food you feed your dog is a major factor that helps determine her longevity and quality of life.
First of all, dont be fooled by clever pet food companies who use words like all-natural,organic, and holistic. Nobody has defined these terms for dog food, and no one regulates the use of these descriptors. No matter how much you want to believe otherwise, these terms are absolutely meaningless, because theres no way to know whether theyre true. And usually, they arent.
Secondly, a good rule of thumb for picking high quality food is to choose a brand that has a short ingredients list. The longer the list of ingredients, the more likely youll be feeding your dog a lot of unsavory chemicals, fillers, and artificial ingredients.
Finally, choose a dog food that doesnt have artificial preservatives. Look for vitamins E or C as the preservative, and eschew any food that contains harmful preservatives like ethoxyquin, propyl gallate, BHT, or BHA. But dont mix these last two up with DHA and EPA, which are healthy fatty acids.
Youll also want to avoid food with these ingredients:
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How To Choose A Dog Food
Choosing an appropriate diet for your dog is a complicated process. The sheer number of dog food options available is overwhelming. Unfortunately, there is no one diet that is best for every dog. Just like humans, dogs are individuals and their dietary needs vary depending on factors such as age, health, and personal preferences.
To make the process even more complicated, there are also a lot of myths about dog food on the internet. Many people fall victim to advertising campaigns or scare tactics warning them away from commercial dog foods. Fortunately, the World Small Animal Veterinary Association has published a guide entitled The Savvy Dog Owners Guide: Nutrition on the Internet to help pet owners decipher fact from fiction when doing their own research about dog food.
Learning how to read a pet food label can also help demystify the process of choosing a dog food. The information on a pet food label is guided by the Association of American Feed Control Officials . AAFCO is responsible for establishing definitions for many of the terms you will find on a bag of dog food. Understanding these labeling requirements can make it easier to identify which products are best for your dog. Look for the words complete and balanced diet on the label.