Puppy Food.When pet owners open their hearts and homes to a new puppy, they are often supplied a sample package of the food their pet has been eating at his temporary home. If the pup is still small, it is likely he or she will be eating food formulated for pups by the pet food industry. At what point should you switch to adult dog food? Should you change in one day, or gradually? How you handle changes in your pets’ diet may mean the difference between success and a messy failure.
In general, most dogs mature into adults around the age of one year. Large and giant breed pups start off their life growing more slowly and are not considered to be adults until between 18 and 24 months. Should you choose to continue feeding your pet commercial dog food, you will want to switch from a puppy formulation to adult formulation around the time your dog reaches maturity. Gradually wean your dog from one formulation to the other slowly over a period of two to three weeks. Dogs of all ages need a high-quality, balanced natural diet that meets all their needs no matter their age. One example of how to gradually wean your dog from one diet to another is:
- Day One/Two: Feed 75% old diet and 25% new diet
- Day Three/Four: Feed 50% old diet and 50% new diet
- Day Five/Six: Feed 25% old diet and 75% new diet
- Day Seven: Feed only new diet
While many pet owners focus on puppy, adult, or senior foods as determined by the pet food industry, I recommend feeding a natural, organic, high-quality diet that is homemade, no matter what the pets’ age. Providing your dog with extra nutrients in the form of high quality supplements can offer longevity and wellness benefits for your dog that last for many years.