The food that you give your dog is very important with regard to its health and development.
It is crucial that you understand which food is best for your canine companion before making a decision. This will help to ensure a long and healthy life for them.
Nutritional Requirements: Adult Dogs vs. Puppies
The fact is that puppies and adult dogs have different nutritional requirements. A dog that is still very young and developing needs tons of different nutrients that aren’t as important for adults.
Giving a little puppy adult food on a regular basis will almost certainly stunt its development, which is the last thing you want. A nutrient deficiency in a young dog can lead to all sorts of health problems.
There is a very good reason that adult and puppy foods exist separately. Each of these types of foods has different ingredients to match the nutritional requirements of dogs at different life stages.
Puppies need tons of protein in their daily diet, which includes a wide range of amino acids like arginine, histidine, and leucine. These amino acids help your puppy to grow into strong and healthy adults. While adult dogs also require protein in their diet, they don’t need nearly as much as puppies.
Puppy food also has a lot more calories in it than adult food, and for a very good reason. Young dogs that are still growing need the extra calories to develop normally. Giving an adult dog puppy food each day will inevitably lead to unhealthy weight gain.
Feeding by Age
1. From 6 to 12 Weeks Old
When your puppy is six to twelve weeks old, it is important that you give it actual puppy food. Make sure that the food you give your dog is formulated for this age group. There are certain nutrients your young puppy needs at this stage of life that it cannot get from adult food.
2. From 3 to 6 Months Old
When your puppy is three to six months old, you’ll want to continue giving them puppy food three to four times each day. If their body hasn’t started evening out yet, you’ll want to keep the portions small for each meal.
3. From 6 to 12 Months Old
If your puppy is anywhere from 6 to 12 months old, you’ll want to transition them to adult food. If you have a small dog, you can start at around 7 months old. Larger dogs should be given adult food only when they have reached one year old.
4. One Year Old and Beyond
After your dog turns one year old, you can start giving them half the amount you were before for each meal, two times daily.
Making the Switch to Adult Dog Food
There are some things that you will need to keep in mind when making the transition from puppy to adult food with your dog. The more you learn about doing this, the smoother the transition is going to be overall.
1. When can a Dog Start Eating Adult food?
As we mentioned above, the age at which a dog can begin eating adult food varies depending on the breed. A majority of dogs can be put on an adult diet by the time they are 18 months old.
2. Take it Slow
It is also important that you transition your dog from adult to puppy food slowly. This will ensure that your dog adjusts to its new food without any issues. You should keep about ten percent of their old food in the bowl for the first few days. This is the best way to transition your puppy to their new food.
The fact is that some dogs take to their new adult food faster than others. You might have to keep some of their old food in the bowl for up to a week. If they still don’t want to eat it, you can always try giving them a different kind of adult food.
What to Look for in Dog Food
Whether you need to buy a puppy or adult food, there are a number of things that you’ll want to look for. It is important that you choose a certain food that will benefit your dog and help to keep it healthy.
1. No Additives
It is crucial that you avoid getting any dog foods that have any additives. This includes dyes and artificial flavors. These ingredients add nothing to the nutritional value of the food, and they can actually harm your dog’s health in various ways.
2. Made in the USA
You’ll also want to make sure that the food you buy your dog was manufactured entirely in the USA. This guarantees high-quality control standards, so you will have nothing to worry about. Buying dog food that comes from other countries is simply a risk you don’t want to take.
3. High-Quality Ingredients
Make sure that you take the time to look at all of the ingredients in each dog food before choosing one to feed your pet. It is important that you know what is in the food and the overall quality of the ingredients.
- The fact is that puppies and adult dogs have very different nutritional requirements.
- Puppy food tends to have a lot more protein and calories than adult food, because that is what growing dogs need.
- You should avoid giving your dog any adult food until it is at least a year old. Some dogs shouldn’t be put on an adult diet until they are 18 months or so.
- Make sure that you transition your dog to its new adult food slowly. Mix in about ten percent of their old food with the new food for the first few days.
- It might take your dog up to a week to get used to its new food.
- Look for dog foods that have a completely natural formula with no additives.
- You need to feed your dog a food that is formulated for their particular age group.
- Take the time to look over the ingredients of each dog food before choosing one in particular.