When Do You Start Feeding Puppies Dog Food: The puppy stage is an important time in your dog’s development. It is crucial to provide your furry friend with the right kind of nutrition during these important months. Puppy food is known for being high in calories, ensuring that your playful pup is able to continue exerting energy without sacrificing their health.
However, dogs cannot eat puppy food forever. At some point, you need to switch your furry family member’s diet from puppy chow to adult food. Pet owners often struggle with the question of when do you start feeding puppies dog food. To make things easier, we have created a detailed guide, below, that can help you.
As a general rule, you should switch your dog over to adult food once they reach maturity. This typically happens once a breed reaches its full size. Due to the variety of breeds, different sized dogs tend to mature at different times. For example, smaller dog breeds mature faster than larger ones.
Once your dog approaches maturity, you should start looking for other signs that they are ready to switch. Start the transition process early, so once they have fully matured, the are exclusively eating adult dog food.
Toy breeds mature the fastest, with most reaching maturity as early as nine months old. Dogs that weigh 30 pounds or less mature around 10 to 12 months of age. Medium-sized breeds, or dogs that weigh between 30 and 80 pounds, mature between 12 to 16 months of age. Large breeds can take anywhere from one to two years to reach full maturity. If you have a mixed breed dog, you may want to consult with your vet to be sure you start the transition process soon enough.
Along with age, your pet’s behavior may also determine when they are ready to make the switch to adult food. In particular, watch how they react during meal times. Dogs that skip meals or stop devouring food they otherwise may have enjoyed might be ready to switch away from puppy food. The large calorie count in food meant for younger dogs could fill up a dog ready to switch to adult food much faster.
You should keep a close eye on your dog’s behavior after you switch them over to adult food, especially in the first few weeks. Look for signs of digestive issues, lethargy, or a dramatic increase in energy.
These signs often mean that you need to look into other dog food brands. In other cases, it might mean that you are over or under feeding your dog. Be sure you keep in touch with your vet during this time, just in case you have additional questions about your dog’s unique reaction to new food. Your vet also might have suggestions about food brands for your dog.
Most people feed their puppies three times a day. Growing puppies have higher metabolism and generally need to eat more often than adult dogs. Once you switch your dog over to a diet of exclusively adult food, you can cut back on the number of meals you feed your dog. As your dog ages, they need fewer calories and more nutrients.
This makes it important to ensure you buy the right type of food for your dog’s age. It also means serving smaller portions to aging dogs. A young dog who has recently entered maturity may need two full-sized meals a day, while older dogs may only need two half-portions per day to stay full.
Abruptly switching the brand or type of food you feed a dog can cause a lot of digestive distress. Depending on the breed and your dog’s internal sensitivities, it could even cause health complications.
The best way to make this change is to do so over the course of four days. On the first day, make a 75/25 mix, with 75 percent of the bowl being puppy food. On the second day, create a 50/50 mix. The third day should see a 25/75 mix, with only 25 percent of the bowl being filled with puppy food.
On the fourth and final day, you should be feeding your dog 100 percent adult food. If you notice any digestive distress or lethargic behavior throughout this process, do not proceed any further with the food transition process and contact your vet. You may need to try a new brand of dog food, or your dog may not be ready to switch to adult food after all.
To ensure your dog stays as healthy and energetic as possible, it is important to pay attention to their dietary needs. Part of this involves answering the question of when do you start feeding puppies dog food. Adult dogs who consume puppy food are at increased risk for becoming obese and developing health problems including orthopedic issues as they age. Switching on time ensures their nutritional needs are met, leading to longer, happier, and healthier lives.
Hello, my name is Angela Miller. Several years ago, I rescued a little seven-year-old Bichon Frise. I started looking into dog nutrition so I could keep my little love bug for as long as I possibly could. I love my dog too much to feed him unhealthy food. I hope some of the things I've learned along the way will help you and your dog.