Puppies are all about change, much like children. They change in size rapidly, their behaviour changes as they learn, and eventually their eating habits and needs change. As your puppy grows into adulthood his nutritional needs change, so how do you know your puppy is ready for adult dog food?
A general rule is, dogs that are less than 1 are considered puppies, and it is important during that year that they are being fed puppy formula pet food which is high in nutrients. As your puppy approaches that one-year mark it’s time to start the switch to adult dog food. A vet is always a good person to ask, but you can also gauge the best time to switch.
Experts have put together tips to help you figure out when to make the change.
Some indicators are: dog size, breed, and age.
When to switch a puppy to adult dog food
SMALL OR MEDIUM BREEDS:
Both small and medium breed puppies are adults at one year of age, your dog’s birthday indicates when to switch from puppy food to adult food. Toy breeds are an exception to this, some are considered adults at nine months of age. Small breed puppies are those who weigh less than 9kgs fully grown. Medium breed puppies weigh between 9.5kgs to 22.5kgs fully grown.
LARGE OR GIANT BREEDS:
For a large or Giant Breed dog it is recommended you switch to an adult dog food when your puppy is 18 months to 24 months old. Large or giant breed puppies take longer to reach maturity, and many of them are still growing until they turn two years old. Large or giant breed puppies’ weight varies so drastically that it does not offer insight on when to switch from puppy food to Adult dog food.
The importance of switching your dog from Puppy food to Adult dog Food lies in the nutrition it is providing your pet.
Why do you transition from Puppy Food to Adult Dog Food?
When your puppy is growing they require more nutrients and calories than an adult dog. Puppy foods have higher levels of protein and fat to support growth, as well as nutrients like DHA, an omega fatty acid found in mother’s milk. Once your puppy reaches adulthood they do not need as many calories. If you continue to feed your dog puppy food they can quickly gain weight. So the transition timing is important for your dog’s health. A proactive approach is better for the puppy’s health if you are not sure of when to switch your vet or local pet store will assist.
HOW DO I MAKE THE SWITCH?
After deciding it is time to switch your puppy to adult dog food, you should begin the process slowly. Transition your puppy to adult food over a 10-day period. Mix the puppy food with the new adult food gradually increasing the ratio of adult food to puppy food. After 10 days your pet should have adjusted to their new food.