One of the most important aspects of caring for a puppy is making sure they get the right nutrition. Puppy food is specially formulated in order to provide puppies with all the vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients they need to grow and develop properly. While it’s important to feed puppies the proper food up until a certain age, there comes a time when you should stop feeding them puppy food and start transitioning them to adult dog food. Knowing when that time is can be challenging, so here’s a checklist for your puppy of what you should know about when to stop feeding your pup puppy food.
What Is the Point of Puppy Food?
First, let’s consider why it’s important for puppies to eat puppy food. Puppy food is specifically formulated for puppies’ nutritional needs and has higher levels of protein, fats, vitamins and minerals than adult dog food. This helps ensure that growing dogs get all the necessary nutrients required for healthy development. In addition, puppy food also contains kibble that’s smaller than is found in adult dog food, which makes it easier to chew and digest.
Generally speaking, it’s recommended that puppies stay on puppy food until they reach about 50% of their expected adult weight. This usually happens around 10 months old for small-breed dogs, while large-breed dogs may take as long as 14 months to reach this milestone. However, each individual dog will grow at their own rate and may reach this point sooner or later than average. It’s a good idea to check with your vet before making any changes to your dog’s diet so you can be sure you’re doing what’s best for them.
When and How to Change to Adult Dog Food
Once your dog has reached 50% of their expected adult weight or once they turn one year old (whichever comes first), it’s time to slowly transition them off of puppy food and onto adult dog food. This will ensure they get all the nutrients they need as they continue growing into adulthood. Start by mixing just a small amount of adult dog food into their regular puppy kibble and gradually increase the ratio over the course of several weeks until only adult dog food remains in their bowl.
Keep an eye on your dog during this time for any signs of digestive upset or discomfort – puppies with food sensitivities may be especially affected by changes in their diet. If you do notice any watery stool or diarrhoea, consult your veterinarian immediately. While it’s most likely a result of their new food, these symptoms can be an indication of a deeper medical issue or disease that may have devastating health consequences if left untreated.
When transitioning from puppy food to adult dog food, it’s important that you stick with high-quality brands that are designed specifically for adult dogs rather than generic formulas. While it may be attractive to only have to buy one type of food throughout your dog’s life, these types of kibble may not be nutritionally complete. Adult dog foods are designed to meet the nutritional needs of fully grown dogs more accurately than all life stages formulas which means your dog will get exactly what they need at this stage in their development without any unnecessary ingredients or fillers.
It can also be helpful to keep an eye on how much your dog is eating during this transition period as some dogs may eat less due to being full faster or simply not being used to the new type of kibble yet. If you notice that your dog isn’t eating enough, make sure they’re getting plenty of exercise and playtime throughout the day so they’re able to work up an appetite before mealtime comes around.
A frequent complaint among novice dog owners is that their puppy doesn’t like to eat their adult food, no matter how much is in their bowl. Adding wet foods such as canned dog food or meal toppers into their bowl once in a while can help encourage picky eaters. If you want a low-calorie option, soaking the kibble in a low-sodium chicken or beef broth can help make it easier to eat. Just take care to check the ingredients of these additives, as they may contain things like garlic or onion, which are toxic to dogs.
Overall, it’s important for dog owners to pay close attention when transitioning from puppy food to adult dog food in order to ensure that their dog is getting all the essential nutrients necessary for proper growth and development now that they’re no longer considered a “puppy”. Remember that your dog is relying on you for everything they need to thrive. While it’s a responsibility that cannot be understated, it is also a great chance to give your dog the absolute best life that they can possibly live. With a little effort, your loyal companion will be happy, healthy and content with their life in your care. So, there are many things to consider when adopting a puppy.