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Adult dog food - When to switch from puppy food?

Adult dog food - When to switch from puppy food?

You should always take into account your dog's age when deciding which food to give them. Adult dogs and puppies have different nutritional needs at different stages in their life.

Puppy needs vs adult dog needs

The main reason puppy food is different from adult dog food is because of the additional calories puppies need to sustain their energy, as well as supporting the development of their body and bones. Therefore, their diet should be packed with nutritious calories, from a healthy mix of proteins, fats and carbohydrates. However, puppies that are allowed to become 'chunky' or 'roly-poly' - characteristics once seen as healthy, can result in obese adult dogs and dogs with musculoskeletal problems. 
Puppy food is also higher in protein (specifically amino acids, the building blocks of protein) and some vitamins and minerals. Puppy food usually has higher levels of Omega 3 for brain and visual development too. Most importantly, puppy food needs to have very specific ratios of calcium to phosphorus (often lower levels than adult foods), especially for larger breeds. Calcium is important for bones, but excess calcium can be detrimental and a supplement is not recommended unless prescribed by your vet.

Rapid growth and being overweight can be risk factors for joint problems such as hip dysplasia. Traditionally, it was thought that too much protein was to blame, but research shows too many calories from fat and an incorrect calcium to phosphorus ratio are more detrimental for joint health.
You must also take into account that a puppy’s stomach can’t hold as much as a fully grown dog, therefore it’s a good idea to feed them small amounts, but more often. Make sure you are consistent with your feeding routine so that you avoid creating a fussy eater!

When should you transition to adult food?

Transition totally depends on the breed of you furry friend. At some point between 12 and 14 months of age, you should re-examine your puppy’s nutritional needs and choose the right adult formula.
Smaller breeds with an adult weight of up to 10kg, tend to grow up a lot faster and at a more even rate than their larger counterparts. They are usually considered an adult after 10 months.
Medium to larger breeds, with adults weighing over 11kg grow in two stages as a puppy. The first and most important growth stage is during the first six months, some puppy breeds can grow up to 75% of their full adult size at this stage. Following this comes the moderate growth phase between 6-18 months. It’s between the 15-18 month period that medium and large breeds tend to be considered an adult.

However, if you are unsure about when to transition from puppy food to adult food, please do not hesitate to contact our team. We will help you make sure your dog is getting the right food to keep them healthy!


phone: 01793 887 555


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