When To Stop Soaking Puppy Food
The question pertaining to when to switch from puppy food is linked to the basic question of when to stop soaking puppy food. Well, soaked food like gruel or mush is ideal to be given for only the weaning period that is the initial 2 months of your puppy. Once this period is over, you should start changing from soaked food but the change should be gradual and one step at a time.
Smaller and larger breeds of puppies will start looking fully grown at between six and eight months and around 24 months respectively. But, they are still teenage puppies inside and therefore, still, need high-protein dog food to terminate their growth.
Whether it is a change from soaked food to dry ones or from one brand of food to another, the change should be gradual and also restricted. This is because your puppys stomach is very sensitive at this stage and can be easily upset with the change.
So, give them the time to adjust. The best way to go about it is by mixing a little bit of their old food to new one and then, slowly adding more over the course of 10 days till your puppy is used to eating the new form/brand of food.
When you switch from soaked or wet food to dry food, your puppy will automatically take some time to adjust. He will require more water to chew the food actively and will also take longer to eat. The texture will seem odd to him, so make sure food is tasty enough to draw his interest.
When Should I Stop Feeding Puppy Food
The right time to transition from puppy food to adult food varies for each dog. Your puppys age, breed, expected adult size, and current health status will all impact when the diet change should occur.
For most dogs, its recommended to wait until they are fully grown before changing to an adult diet. Small and medium-breed dogs are typically finished growing at around 8 to 12 months of age, while large and giant breeds may not reach their full adult size until 18 months of age. If youre unsure of your dogs breed, a good rule of thumb is to wait until your dog is about a year old.
Some dogs may need to transition earlier if they have medical problems that can be managed with diet changes, such as food allergies or digestive issues. Your veterinarian can help you decide the best time to make the transition and choose an adult dog food that will be best suited to your dog.
How Does The Right Food Play A Role In Your German Shepherds Health
The Happy Puppy Site states that a lot of problems German Shepherds can encounter are due to bone growth that occurs too rapidly. These issues include hip dysplasia.
Choosing the right food and feeding the right amount both play a leading role in making sure your puppy grows at an acceptable rate.
The first several months of a German Shepherd Dogs life are crucial for ensuring an appropriate growth rate.
A raw diet might prove beneficial once your dog has reached adult size. One of the possible benefits is reducing the possibility of hip dysplasia.
When your puppy has a growth rate that follows a proper pace, the dog will reach the appropriate proportions when they are supposed to.
Even though all dogs run the risk of injury, a puppy that grows at the appropriate rate has healthier bones.
Also Check: Purina Dog Food Good
What Is The Optimal Way To Feed Your German Shepherd Puppy
According to Barbara Lopez, all feeding changes should be made gradually to ensure the best possible results.
The food recommended by the breeder or rescue organization should be used for the first few weeks to avoid digestive disruption, and kibble should be mixed with a little water.
Clean water should be available to your puppy all day but taken up at night.
Puppies between eight and 12 weeks old do best with being fed three or four times daily. After 12 weeks, feeding your puppy twice a day is fine.
Any changes to the amount of food a puppy eats should be done gradually.
Puppies will experience their most significant growth rates between three and six months old.
Its essential to monitor your puppys weight during this time because, even at this age, getting overweight can lead to joint problems later in life.
Fun Facts To Incorporate:
- Large-breed puppies require fewer calories per unit of body weight and mature at a slower rate compared to small-breed puppies. : Pet Food Manufacturers Association
- Growing puppies require about twice as many calories per pound of body weight as an adult dog of the same breed. : The National Academies Press
- The Association of American Feed Control Officials is a voluntary membership association made up of officials in the industry. The organization develops standard ingredient definitions and nutritional requirements for pet foods, though they are not a regulatory agency with any power of enforcement. : PetMD
- About half the calories puppies consume are used in tissue growth and skeletal development. A diet that is too calorically dense may result in excessive growth and potential skeletal abnormalities. : VCA Hospitals
Also Check: Can Dogs Eat Breadfruit
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.
Senior Dog Health: Urination Bowel Movements And Appetite
Pay attention to what might be subtle changes in your dog’s habits: Is she drinking more water or urinating larger amounts? These behaviors might indicate a liver or kidney problem. Have your dog’s bowel movements shifted? This could indicate a digestive issue. Diabetes or digestive problems might cause your dog to eat more but still lose weight. Knowing the dog’s patterns can help the veterinarian determine a course of treatment.
Also Check: Purina Vs Pedigree Puppy Food
Senior Dog Health: Preventive Health
At this stage, Murray recommends taking your dog to the vet twice a year. “So much can happen to an elderly dog,” she says. Your veterinarian can take blood annually to test liver and kidney functions. “Discovering problems early is extremely important,” she says. Your vet can be on the lookout for conditions that often affect older dogs, such as anemia and arthritis.
When A Dog Wont Eat: Summary
If a dog wont eat or eats too little is can be a sign of a health problem. So if your dog starts to look underweight, seems unwell, or if you are worried, have him checked by your vet.
If your dog wont eat or drink, he needs to see a vet now. Take your adult Labrador to the vet if he hasnt eaten anything at all for more than 24 hours even if he doesnt have any other symptoms. Unless you know theres a good reason like moving house.
Puppies need to eat more frequently than adult dogs. And lack of appetite in small puppies is unusual. If your normally hungry puppy refuses two meals in a row, have him checked by a vet. Dont delay. Whenever in any doubt visit your vet.
But is your dog is just being picky about what he eats hell eat one thing but not another and has no other symptoms at all? The chances are he is training you to feed him the diet of his choice.
For fit, healthy and happy dogs you can, if you wish, cure your dogs picky eating using the system described above. Let us know how you get on in the comments section below!
You May Like: Best Food For Pomeranian Puppies
Small To Medium Breeds
For many small to medium-sized dogs, the rule of thumb is your dog will be cutting back on calories sometime in the 5- to 7-month range. At 12 months, you may notice your pups calorie needs have scaled back again. At that point, when theyve reached full size, that puppy is ready to make the switch from a puppy formula to an adult formula.
If youre feeding an all life stage food as opposed to an adult-specific food, you can safely switch a small to medium sized dog at any point.
Things To Look For In Foods For Dogs
While puppy foods and dog foods differ in their precise nutritional requirements, there are a number of characteristics that you should look for in any food that you offer your precious family member. Some of the most important traits of good foods include:
- Good foods feature a protein as the primary protein source. Dogs and puppies of all ages are best supported by a meat-based diet, so look for things like deboned chicken, duck, beef, pork or salmon as the first listed ingredient.
- Good foods dont include unnecessary additives, including dyes or flavors. Artificial colors and other additives do not add anything important to your puppys diet, and they may trigger food allergies. Fortunately, most high-quality puppy foods now leave these types of ingredients out of their recipes.
- The very best foods are made in a country with high food-safety protocols. Countries like the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and those of Western Europe typically have sufficient regulations in place to help ensure your puppys food does not contain any harmful ingredients, while those made in other countries often lack such regulations.
- Good foods may include by-products and meat-meals, but they must be specifically identified. By-products and meat-meals sound thoroughly disgusting to most people, but they often represent a viable and perfectly acceptable ingredient for your pups food but they must be identified by species so that you know what your dog is getting.
Read Also: Can You Buy Dog Food With Food Stamps
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.
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!
You may also be interested in
Don’t Miss: How To Soften Hard Dog Food
What Types Of Foods Should A German Shepherd Puppy Never Get
Medium-length beef marrow bones can be a tasty treat in addition to their food, especially if stuffed with pumpkin without any spices or peanut butter.
However, avoid pork or poultry bones, because these can splinter very easily.
Gravy should never be given as a treat because of its potential to cause diarrhea. Another concern is that gravy might contain spices possibly toxic to dogs. Avoid feeding table scraps for the same reason.
There are concerns about some kibble-based dog foods that owners should be aware of, according to Anna Burke.
These foods include grain-free varieties high in potato and legume content like lentils or peas. Such ingredients increase the risk of canine dilated cardiomyopathy.
Large dogs like Shepherds may be somewhat more prone to this condition.
Raw food diets can be poor choices for German Shepherd puppies because it is harder to regulate your dogs growth on this diet than you can with regular puppy food.
If you want to consider this diet, wait until your dog has achieved adult size.
Avoid homemade diets, as these are mostly deficient in crucial nutrients that growing puppies require.
If you do feed one of these types of diets, consider adding a diet base to the dogs food to ensure they receive the proper nutrition.
Finding The Adult Right Food
Not all pet food is made the same way. When it comes to finding the right formula, look for a food that is gently cooked and highly digestible. A slow-cooking process, like the Bil-Jac Nutri-Lock cooking method, helps to protect the key nutrients your dog needs his daily diet.
Dry foods that are cooked quickly in large batches at high temperatures and pressure, the way most dog foods are processed, can have nutrients damaged in the cooking process. In turn, your furry friend could suffer from an upset stomach and even loose stools.
Its also good to maintain some consistency with your food choices. If youve been feeding your puppy a super-premium puppy food like Bil-Jac, its just as important to feed him a super-premium adult food as well.
Youll also want to match your dogs size with the right formula. Dogs don’t require a breed-specific dog food, but their size does make a difference in their metabolism. As such, you’ll want to select a high-quality dog food made for large breeds, small breeds, or more average-size dogs to match your particular pooch.
You May Like: How To Soften Dog Food For Puppies
My Puppy Is Begging Should I Feed Him People Food Or Table Scraps
One little French fry will invariably lead to another, and another. Before long, an obese dog will be crowding you off the love seat. Also, a steady diet of table scraps can create a nutritional imbalance, and certain ingredients and spices in your favorite dishes can cause upset stomach in dogs.
The pleading gaze of a begging dog can be irresistible. This is no accident. During his long partnership with man, the dog has perfected cunning methods of exploiting the human habit of associating food with affection. In prehistoric times semi-domesticated canines first cultivated human beings as a food provider. As the two species grew closer, dogs modified begging behaviors to maximize results: The more pathetic a dog seemed, the more scraps were tossed his way. Dogs have since refined this approach into a low-risk, high-reward hunting technique.
But dont be fooled: Begging is not an emotional crisis or a test of your love. Its what scientists might call an evolutionary survival strategy, or what the rest of us might call a scam. Allowing your dog to guilt you into overfeeding him, or serving him a steady diet of table scraps in a misguided show of affection, can have harmful or even fatal results.
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.
Read Also: Where Is Zignature Dog Food Sold