When To Switch A Puppy To Adult Food

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Puppy next to food bowl (caption: When To Switch A Puppy To Adult Food)Switching a puppy to adult food isn’t a “one-size-fits-all” approach. It can vary based on your dog’s breed, age and weight. We can help you determine when is the best time for you to switch your dog’s food and how to transition them successfully.

Article Overview

How Long Should A Puppy Be On Puppy Food?

In general, dogs are considered puppies if they are less than 1 year old. During this first year of life, they require a puppy-formulated diet to ensure they are getting the proper nutrients for growth. However, the time your dog is on puppy food can vary based on your dog’s breed size.

Signs It’s Time To Switch From Puppy To Adult Food

Once your dog reaches a certain weight or age, you’ll need to transition to adult dog food. Please note that these are rough estimates for weight and ages, and you should consult your vet to determine what’s best for your dog.

  • Toy breeds (4 to 7 pounds at maturity): around 9 months old
  • Small breeds (8 to 20 lbs at maturity): around 12 months old
  • Medium breeds (21 to 50 lbs at maturity): around 12 months old
  • Large breeds (51 to 85 lbs at maturity): 18 to 24 months old
  • Giant breeds (more than 85 lbs at maturity): 18 to 24 months old

It’s best to ask your vet about your dog’s diet. And if you’re unsure about your dog’s breed, consider doing a canine DNA test.

When To Switch A Puppy To Adult Food Infographic

Why Transition From Puppy To Adult Food

Puppies require different nutrients and calories than adult dogs. Puppy-formulated foods typically have higher protein and fat to help them grow. They also often include DHA, which is also in mother’s milk.

Once your puppy is fully grown, they don’t need as many calories. If you continue to feed puppy food to an adult dog, it could result in the dog gaining excess weight.

How To Switch A Puppy To Adult Food

If you need ideas on which food is right for your dog, check out these dog food delivery options. The fresh foods make it easy to customize your dog’s diet based on age, weight, etc. and it ensures you will have food on hand at all times.

When it is time to switch to an adult food, make sure you do it slowly. You’ll want to transition your dog’s food over multiple days and watch for any upset stomach issues. To learn how to adjust a dog’s diet correctly, read our full article on how to safely change your dog’s food.

What dog food do you plan on transitioning your puppy to?

About The Author:

Kimberly received her Bachelor of Arts in multimedia journalism from Simpson College. She has been writing about dogs since 2014, covering subjects such as dog insurance, training, health, accessories, and more. Her work has appeared in many notable brands, including The New York Times' Wirecutter, Reader's Digest, Forbes, People, Woman's World, and Huffington Post.

Kimberly's natural curiosity helps her research as she seeks the truth when learning about, comparing, and personally testing canine products and services. With every piece she writes, her goal is to help our readers find the best fit for their unique needs. Kimberly grew up in a family that loved Labrador Retrievers and remembers running and playing in the yard with them as a child.

In 2017, she and her husband adopted their Coonhound mix, Sally, from a local shelter. Kimberly’s research was put to good use since Sally faced some aggression issues with other dogs and needed some training to be an inside dog. She worked daily with Sally and sought help from professionals to help Sally become the happy pup she is today. One of Kimberly’s favorite pastimes is spoiling Sally with new toys, comfy beds, and yummy treats (she even makes homemade goodies for her). She tries to purchase the safest products for Sally and knows that each canine has their own specific likes and dislikes. Kimberly is passionate about dogs and knows the bond between humans and canines is like no other.

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