Your puppy is growing slowly and you are wondering when to introduce adult dog food to him. Adult dog food is specially prepared for dogs that have grown already. So, how do you know when to leave puppy food and start adult dog food? Here’s some useful information.
How is Puppy Food Different than Adult Dog Food?
Puppy food differs from adult dog food basically in that puppy food is designed specially to meet the nutritional needs of growing dogs.
Just like humans, in first few months puppies grow quite quickly and hence they need food that is high in protein, calcium and energy, and also has a lot of vitamins and minerals, as compared to the adult dog food. The higher amount of particular ingredients in puppy food is just not suitable for adult dogs.
Contact your Upper North Shore Vetto know what the best adult dog food brands are. These foods also differ according to the nutritional needs of different breeds. For example, the amount of the kibble in a dog food may also be targeted for particular ages and breeds of dogs.
For puppies of smaller breeds, you may need to get a dog food with smaller pieces of kibble that would suit better to their small mouths. This makes eating easier for them.
When to Switch to Adult Dog Food?
The reason for confusion about when to introduce adult dog food to your puppy is also that it changes with activity level, breed and even overall temperament of the particular dog.
The dog’s breed is always a decisive factor regarding when to switch, but it can be just about the dog’s size. If your dog is a healthy big one like a Labrador, you can obviously switch just in his younger age than you would have to if you have a small weak Shih Tzu.
The important thing to observe while feeding your puppy is that he maintains his optimum healthy weight, without becoming under or overweight. To maintain a rapid development of your puppy, you need to give him puppy food specifically designed to induce bone and muscle growth.
If you have a small dog like a Shih Tzu and are wondering what the best age to switch to adult dog food is, the answer is that it varies, but for smaller breed dogs like that it’s from 12 to 24 months, while for larger dogs like a Labrador, this can be cut down between 12 and 18 months.
Should You Switch All At Once?
Switching to adult dogs gives the best results when done in stages rather than all at once.
Switching dog food is normally the easiest to do when you maintain the same brand, at least during the time of switching. Experts recommend mixing together the puppy and adult dog food for a few days while switching, sticking to the same brand.
Even if you change the brand, this mixing can work by adjusting the quantity of new food.
Over weeks, you can slowly increase the proportion of the new brand of adult dog food which will enable your dog’s stomach and taste to adjust to the new food.
What’s the Correct Portion?
Whether it’s a puppy or an adult dog, you should be careful while feeding him to keep away from over or underfeeding. Consult a West Lindfield vet to know the correct quantity.
You should be quite strict regarding meal times. Read the feeding guidelines which you trust or those which are normally offered on the back of the pack of the dog food and set feeding times of 3 to 4 times a day, and observe them strictly.