How and when to switch from puppy food to adult dog food
The three age categories for a dog’s life span are puppyhood, adulthood and senior years. Your dog’s diet will change as it ages to meet its changing nutritional needs. Their appetites may change as they age. It is important to determine the right time to switch brands or types of kibbles to suit your dog’s needs and preferences.
Puppy food is packed with essential nutrients and calories to build bones and muscles and strengthen their bodies. Adult dogs need calories, nutrients, protein, and other essential nutrients to maintain their strength while maintaining a healthy weight. Dogs require different dietary needs, so they must receive the right food for their age.
These tips help you decide when and how to switch your dog’s diet to adult dog food.
- Take into consideration the dog’s age and breed size.
Dogs aged six to twelve months often show readiness to transition to adult dog food. These signs may include the dog eating leftovers after every feeding session or skipping meals. This indicates that the dog is ready to transition to adult food.
These are just a few signs you should consider when switching to adult dog food.
Smaller breeds like corgis, pugs and chihuahuas mature quicker than those of larger breeds. Many reach adulthood between seven and nine years of age. Medium-sized breeds like basset hounds and border collies mature between 12 and 16 months. The maturation of the largest dog breeds such as Saint Bernards, Great Danes, Rottweilers and Rottweilers can take up to two years.
Your veterinarian can recommend the best dog food for your pet. This will help prevent obesity and nutritional deficiencies. This is crucial to ensure that mature dogs don’t get puppy food. It can lead to bone weakness, diarrhoea, weight gain, and other health problems.
- Adjust Food Portions and Feeding Times
Dogs require more nutrition to grow and develop, so they are allowed to eat small meals throughout the day.
A puppy as young as four months may have to eat solid food up to five times daily. Feeding is typically done between breastfeeding sessions to help the puppies transition to solid food and wean them from breast milk. They can now have up to three meals per day after four months. To maintain their balance, they should only consume 10% of their daily nutrition.
According to the old saying, a dog’s caloric needs decrease as they age. It is important to change to adult dog food that meets their needs. To ensure good weight management and proper digestion, the dog’s food intake should gradually be reduced to just two meals per day. It is important to adhere to a specific feeding schedule to achieve this. This will help to prevent grazing and promote healthy eating habits, like slow chewing and eating.
Each food portion should be prepared and measured according to the label. It is important to take into account the dog’s health and weight. To avoid overeating, you should limit the number of treats your dog receives to no more than one or two per day.
- Watch Your Dog’s Food Behaviour
Watching your dog’s feeding habits can also help determine if it is ready to eat adult food. You can tell if your dog is ready to change its diet by observing how much food it eats each feeding and whether it has any changes in appetite. After each feeding session, you will leave more leftover puppy food if the dog is ready to eat lighter meals designed for adults.
Your dog might suddenly become pickier or lose appetite. You may notice that some dogs skip meals or become sluggish due to the high-nutrient puppy food. If this happens, contact your veterinarian immediately to seek treatment. Talk to your vet about how you can help your dog adapt to adult nutrition and eating habits.
- Transition Gradually
After you have confirmed that your dog is ready for adult food, it’s possible to create a feeding plan to ease your dog’s transition to the new diet. Depending on food preferences and appetite, it will take time for your dog to get used to eating less than twice daily. You can offer adult dog food on certain days of the week to help your dog become more comfortable with its new nutrition plan.
You can consult your vet if your dog needs a special diet or has health problems. Some dogs may take longer to adapt to a new diet. Finding the right flavours and brands for your dog might take several attempts. It is important to be patient when transitioning your dog’s diet and make any adjustments that will help them eat the right food and nutrients.
- Encourage Healthy Mealtime Behavior
It is a good time to transition to an adult diet and to help your dog behave better during meals. Healthy feeding habits can make mealtimes easier and more enjoyable for your dog. This will also help to improve your dog’s overall health and well-being.
If your dog is prone to eating fast, you can encourage it by changing the food and portions. Dogs that eat too much food will benefit from smaller meals at regular intervals. This will help them to unlearn their old eating habits and consume a reasonable amount of food each feeding session.