Puppies and adult dogs require a proper diet as part of their care. Puppies require special food designed to encourage their growth and development, as most owners are aware. Many dog owners, on the other hand, are unsure when it’s time to transition to adult dog food. This is due to the fact that there is no universal norm that applies to all dogs. Dogs mature at different speeds. You and your veterinarian can figure out when the optimum moment is to switch your puppy’s diet.
Feeding Puppy Food
To maintain their growth, development, and high energy levels, puppies require more calories than adult dogs. Puppies require around twice as many calories as adult dogs of the same size. As your puppy grows older, his growth slows and his caloric requirements decrease. If you continue to give puppy food after your dog has stopped growing, your dog will acquire weight. Obesity can quickly develop from excess weight, resulting in a slew of health issues.
When to switch from puppy to dog food
Puppies are considered puppies until they reach the age of one year. Various breeds, on the other hand, age at different rates. Many huge and giant breed dogs, for example, are considered puppies until they are two or more years old, so they will need to eat puppy chow over the age of one. Some little dog breeds, on the other hand, achieve adult size before they reach the age of one. When it comes to your dog’s diet, your veterinarian is the best source of knowledge, therefore seek guidance before switching to adult food.
Whether it comes to selecting when to transfer to adult dog food, the idea is to do so around the time the puppy stops growing but before he starts accumulating weight. Keep track of your puppy’s weight and height, and check for statistics that are increasing more slowly. Most dogs reach a growth plateau around the age of one year, but you may notice a slowdown in growth as early as eight or nine months.
Getting a Glimpse of Your Dog’s Weight
Keep in mind that weight increase does not always imply growth. Your dog may be overweight if he is gaining weight but not growing taller or more muscular. In a few easy actions, you can improve your dog’s physical condition at home:
- Run your hands along the ribcage of your dog. You should be able to feel a thin layer of fat covering the ribs. If you can’t feel your dog’s ribs, he’s probably overweight.
- Take a sidelong look at your dog. The upward tuck of the tummy should be visible. A dog that is overweight will have little or no tuck.
- From above, take a look at your dog. At the waist, just past the ribs, there should be some narrowing. An overweight dog has a straight or bulging line from the ribcage to the hips.
- If your dog has noticeable ribs and a small waist, he may be underweight. To be sure, get your dog or cat examined by your veterinarian.
If your dog is under a year old and appears to be gaining weight, you may only need to lessen the portion size or frequency of meals before switching to adult food. Young puppies should be fed three times a day, according to veterinarians. When they reach adulthood, though, most puppies can eat three meals every day.
How to Make the Diet Change
To avoid gastrointestinal distress, every diet modification should be made gradually. Depending on how you do it, this process can take a week or two.
Choosing the perfect food for your now-adult dog may require some effort and research. You might keep the same brand of food but switch to an adult formula. Of course, your veterinarian can assist you in selecting a proper diet.
Determine the portion amount of adult dog food you will eventually need to feed based on your dog’s current weight once you’ve chosen the adult dog food. Then, gradually add a little amount of adult food to the puppy food, gradually increasing it at each meal. You could want to make a timetable so you don’t have to remember how much of each animal to feed. When switching diets, many veterinary practitioners advise using the “3 by 3” method:
- Feed 1/3 adult food and 2/3 puppy food for the first three days.
- Feed 1/2 portion of adult food and 1/2 portion of puppy food on days 4-6.
- Days 7-9: Feed two-thirds adult food and one-third puppy food.
- From day ten forward, feed a full serving of adult food.
Keep an eye on your dog’s appetite and bowel motions during the transition. If your dog has diarrhea or vomiting, ease up on the changeover. If GI distress persists, you may need to switch to an adult diet and restart the transition. If your dog has been vomiting or has diarrhea for more than a day, contact your veterinarian.
In the next months, keep an eye on your dog’s weight to make sure you don’t need to modify portion sizes. Also, as indicated by your veterinarian, maintain up with annual or biannual veterinary wellness check-ups.
It’s critical to understand when a puppy should transition from three to two meals per day for his or her overall health and development.
Assuring that your puppy receives all of the nutrients he or she requires according to their life stage can help them grow into a happy, healthy, and strong adult dog.
Also, See Best Puppy Food for Boxers