As your puppy grows, he/she requires more calories and nutrients than an adult dog. Therefore, the best food for puppies contains higher levels of certain nutrients than adult dog food. For instance, there can be an omega-3 fatty acid present in mother’s milk, more DHA for faster brain and vision development into the adult stage, more calcium to develop strong bones and teeth faster, and more protein and fat to boost growth.
An adult dog does not need that many calories but a nutrient-dense formula suitable for this stage of life. Rich puppy food can drastically cause weight gain in adult dogs. Therefore, switching your puppy’s diet to adult food is necessary. But what’s the right time for that? Here’s a look.
When to Transition a Puppy to Adult Dog Food
The time when a pup matures into an adult varies with breed sizes. Larger dogs mature slower than smaller dogs. Usually, dogs younger than 1 year are regarded as pups. During this time, it’s essential to feed them the best food for puppies. However, how to know exactly when to transition to adult dog food when your pup hears 1 year of age? Of course, you can ask your vet about it. But you can also estimate the right time yourself. The best indicators for that are dog age, breed and size.
- For a small or medium breed puppy: When small and medium breed pups are roughly 1 year old, both are regarded as adults. So, use your furry buddy’s birthday as an indicator for switching to adult food. However, toy breeds are often considered adults at about 9 months of age.
The weight of the dogs of these breeds differs. Small breed pups generally weigh less than 10 kg when they have matured. However, medium breed puppies usually weigh 10-25 kgs at the time of maturity.
- For a large or giant breed puppy: Consider transitioning to adult dog food when your puppy is 18-24 months old. Giant or large breed pups take a little more time to attain maturity. So, many of them continue to grow until they turn 2 years old.
The weight of the puppies of these breeds varies highly. So, it’s difficult to understand all by yourself when to switch from puppy to adult food. Because maturity and adulthood are usually hard to predict, you can consult the vet or even the rescue group or breeder from where you adopted the little one to learn the best time to transition from foods for puppies.
Once you know the time to bring in adult dog food, consider introducing it to your dog’s diet gradually. So, it’s a good idea to slowly increase the ratio of adult food to puppy food over 7-10 days. In this matter too, you can always consult the vet. Keep weighing your dog from time to time to see if he/she is gaining the right weight which means getting proper nutrition. For that, consider buying dog food from the same brand of the best food for puppies.