How To Transition Puppy To An Adult Dog Food
When you stop feeding puppy food, you must change more than just the food he eats. The number of meals and portion sizes will shift, too.
Most puppies eat three meals a day, but adult dogs can eat just two meals per day. The feeding guide on your dogs food label will tell you how much to feed your dog each day and to split the amount into two meals.
When its time to transition your puppy to an adult dog food, do so gradually. A gradual transition helps prevent stomach upset.
Heres a sample transitional feeding plan:
- Days 1 to 2: Feed 3/4 of the normal amount of puppy food and add 1/4 adult dog food.
- Days 3 to 4: Serve half puppy food and half adult dog food.
- Days 5 to 7: Feed 1/4 puppy food and 3/4 adult dog food.
- Days 8 to 10: Serve only adult dog food.
If your dog resists eating the adult food or experiences an upset stomach, extend the transition time as needed. Consult with your veterinarian for more help if needed.
Why Do We Need To Switch From Puppy Food To Dog Food Golden Retrievers
There are actually many reasons why you may want to switch your goldens kibble food. One of the reasons is that, as the puppy grows older, they will need more nutritional value because its what their body demand. They will need more high source of nutritional needs so they can stay healthy and preserve they well-being.
But the first few weeks of the transition period are not that easy. Your golden retriever might experience tummy issues. You got to make an extra effort to identify the right food for your puppy during his period of becoming an adult dog. That said, you need to regularly consult with your vet and strategize about the week of the transition period so your dog will become safe with no gastrointestinal tract issues.
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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Learn All About Grains In Pet Food
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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.
Difference Between Puppy And Adult Dog Food
Now, lets talk about the type of food we are talking about. Its not much of a mystery that puppy food is for puppies.
To be more specific, puppy food contains all the essential nutrients for the dogs growth at an early age.
They have the right amount of calories for your puppy, unlike the treats you occasionally give them, which doesnt help much in your puppys growth. Puppy food can either be wet or dry.
On the other hand, adult dog food is essential for the perfect formation of the structure of your dog. As we know, proteins are the bodys building blocks, and most of them are present in adult dog food.
So, adult food offers a protein-rich diet. But, know that too much protein can cause abnormal growth of bones in your dogs body.
When it comes to Labradors, they are vulnerable to the problem of overweight. But, theres nothing to worry about as adult food provides lower calories so that your dog can eat without getting fat.
Moreover, the food products are formulated especially for the larger breeds like Labradors so that their joint and bone formation is always on track. What more can you expect from dog food?
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How Do I Know If Im Feeding My Puppy Enough
Your puppy should be eating enough to grow and gain weight at a steady, healthy rate. Puppies that grow too quickly or become overweight are more prone to develop orthopedic problems, so it is important not to over-feed your puppy. Ideally, your puppy should maintain a healthy lean body weight. Your veterinarian evaluates this using a numerical scale called the Body Condition Score.
The Body Condition Score is determined by evaluating the fat deposits over the dogs ribs, hips, and spine and assigning a number on a scale from 1 to 5 or from 1 to 9, with 1 being extremely underweight and 5 or 9 being obese. An ideal Body Condition Score is a 3/5 or a 5/9, depending on the scale your veterinarian uses.
To determine whether you are feeding your puppy enough, ask your veterinarian to evaluate your puppys Body Condition Score, or learn how to evaluate the Body Condition Score at home. If the number is too low, you may need to increase the amount of food you are feeding your puppy. If the number is too high, your puppy is overweight and you will need to decrease the amount of food you are feeding to reach an ideal score.
How Should You Shift Your Puppy To Adult Food
The big switch to grown-up food can be trying on your dog’s digestive system, so a cold-turkey approach is not advised. To get an idea of how this transition works, here is an example from Danielle MÃ¼hlenberg, a dog trainer with Pawleaks:
“I transitioned my Rottweiler from puppy food to a raw diet when she was six months old. I was feeding my dog a high protein âgrowth’ food which should be transitioned earlier at about 6â12 months of age. A healthy raw diet was always my long term plan and with this diet, you have to be even more careful than just switching to adult food. A dog is naturally made to eat raw meat but a puppy that has been raised with commercial food is not used to this.
I slowly started sprinkling raw meat, organs, vegetables, or fruit over her daily meals and always monitored her well-being by checking the stool. Then I began to replace small amounts of puppy food with her new diet. Depending on how well your dog takes it, you can start with a smaller or larger amount. Gradually build up the replaced amount over time.
This transition can take a few days or a few weeks. I tried it really slowly so it took me about three weeks. A few days in, my puppy started vomiting. If this happens to your dog, it means that you have switched too fast and you should take a step back. She felt immediately better the day after that. Six months later, she loves her new food and is healthier than ever.”
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When To Switch From Puppy Food To Adult Dog Food
In general, dogs that are less than one year of age are considered puppies. It is important that during that year they are being fed puppy formula pet food. But if you have a puppy nearing one year of age, do you know when to switch to adult dog food? A veterinarian is always a good resource, but you can gauge the best time to switch too.
How Much Should I Feed My Puppy
Puppies need to take in a lot of calories to fuel their rapid growth. At the start, that means about twice as many per pound as an adult dog of the same breed. Puppies grow the fastest in their first five months.
Look for feeding charts on commercial puppy food labels. You can use them as a guide. They provide recommended amounts based on a puppys age and weight. Adjust as necessary to keep your puppy in the best condition, something you may need to do weekly.
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When Should A Puppy Transition To Adult Food
The age at which a puppy reaches adulthood can vary by breed and other factors. Typically, dogs will be fully grown by age 1, but large breed puppies may continue growing until age 2. Its important to stop feeding puppy food when the time is right and transition to an adult diet and decrease the amount of food so your dog does not become overweight.
Many dog foods are nutritionally formulated to meet the needs of both puppies and adult dogs so always refer to the label for the AAFCO nutritional statement!
Stella & Chewys offers a variety of raw and kibble diets that are formulated to meet your puppys needs. Learn more about choosing a diet for your puppy.
The Best Puppy Diet For A Healthy Start
Give your puppy a strong start in life with NutriSource puppy diets, formulated for small- and medium-breed puppies as well as large-breed puppies. Healthy foods are the foundation for strong healthy teeth, proper nutrient absorption and solid stools . After all, no one wants a puppy with diarrhea!
Not only does NutriSource offer optimal nutrition in the right-sized bites, NutriSource formulates all foods with its innovative Good 4 Life® system. Good 4 Life has the probiotics and prebiotics that optimize your pups development because they help pups body absorb minerals and other nutrients. With less going to waste, youll have fewer messes to pick up in the backyard.
Ready to pick up a bag of NutriSource? Shop local!
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What Kind Of Puppy Treats Should I Give
Many pet owners like to reward their dogs with treats, but its best to limit them. Because puppies need so many nutrients to grow, its important to give them food that provides complete and balanced nutrition. A puppy should get most of their calories from puppy food rather than from treats, which typically dont provide complete nutrition.
Aim for no more than 5% of calories from treats, say nutrition experts at the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. Choose treats that are the right size for your puppy. A Yorkshire terrier, for instance, doesnt need an extra-large dog biscuit. And avoid table scraps, which teach your puppy at a young age to beg for treats at the table and can cause digestive upset and pancreatitis, a serious illness.
Consider giving other types of treats to deepen the bond with your puppy. Healthy snacks like bits of carrot, green beans, or bell peppers give your puppy something to crunch without many calories. And remember, in your puppys mind, spending time with you is the best treat of all.
Play is a treat, training is a treat, learning tricks is a treat, Buffington says. Dogs are a pack species, and they want to be a member of the pack. Anything a member of the pack does with them is positive reinforcement.
When To Switch From Puppy Harness To Adult Harness
- Well, mostly smaller-sized harnesses are good for a puppy between 2 to 6 months of age, and then you can switch to a medium or large harness. Smaller size harnesses are also pretty adjustable, which means they can be easily fit according to the puppy rib cage till 2 to 6 months.
Most vets agree it should be done somewhere between 6 months and 24 months of age, but that’s a big window! The long answer is more nuanced, and it has everything to do with your dog as an individual. The baseline is that you want to switch your puppy to adult food when she is at or around her adult height.
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Rotating Dog Food Is It A Good Idea
Some people like to rotate their dogs food, either using the same brand and different formulas or several different brands. You may have wondered if this is a good idea or not. Afterall, there are a couple of dog food companies that recommend it. Here are some thoughts about this practice.
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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.
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What Does Puppy Food Have That Adult Food Doesnt
The 3 important factors that we need to control in a puppys diet are protein levels, energy levels and calcium:phosphorous ratio.
Protein levels are important for muscle development. Energy levels are important for overall growth. Too few calories will lead to impaired growth, but too many will lead to a growth rate that is too fast, and could predispose to joint problems or obesity. Calcium:phosphorous ratio is vitally important for correct bone development and should be between 1:1 and 1.8:1. This ratio being either too low or too high could lead to bone weakness or conformational problems.
Feeding Your Puppy: A First
- 612 weeks: Growing pups should be fed puppy food, a diet specially formulated to meet the nutritional needs for normal development. Feeding adult food will rob your puppy of important nutrients. Four feedings a day are usually adequate to meet nutritional demands. Large breeds should be fed unmoistened dry food by 9 or 10 weeks small dogs by 12 or 13 weeks.
- 36 months: Sometime during this period, decrease feedings from four to three a day. A pup should be losing her potbelly and pudginess by 12 weeks. If she is still roly-poly at this age, continue to feed puppy-size portions until body type matures.
- 612 months: Begin feeding twice daily. Spaying or neutering lowers energy requirements slightly after the procedure, switch from nutrient-rich puppy food to adult maintenance food. Small breeds can make the switch at 7 to 9 months bigger breeds at 12, 13, even 14 months. Err on the side of caution: Better to be on puppy food a little too long than not long enough.
- After age 1: Most owners feed adult dogs two half-portions a day.
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How To Change Dog Food
This article was co-authored by Beatrice Tavakoli. Beatrice Tavakoli is a Professional Dog Trainer and the Founder/Owner of TAKA Dog Walk in New Jersey. A lifetime dog lover and enthusiast, Beatrice is committed to providing animals with hands-on service dedicated to daily love, adventure, and socialization. As insured and bonded dog walkers, Beatrice, and her staff provide a multitude of services including doggie social hour, day hikes, training, puppy care, canine special events, in-home pet care, boarding, cat care, and customized dog walks. This article has been viewed 25,415 times.
It might appear very simple to change a dogs food. Buy a bag of dog food and offer servings to your dog. In reality, if you dont want a sick or unhealthy dog on your hands you will need to make a gradual change and be cautious when you do. Use some wise decisions when you change your dogs food and your dog won’t experience any negative effects.