Owning a new puppy is an exciting, hectic time between training, socializing, and vet visits. As your puppy grows, you might wonder: How long should my puppy be on a puppy diet? Or when should I transition my puppy to adult dog food?
Puppies have different nutritional needs than adult dogs, and it is recommended they continue to follow a puppy diet until they reach their full maturity. A puppy diet is different from the diet of an adult dog in that it contains a higher fat and calorie content to meet the growing needs of your puppy. When your dog reaches the end of its growth stage, their nutritional needs change. It is important that you switch them to a more suitable diet to support their overall health!
How do you know when your dog has reached maturity?
Generally, a dog’s breed size will determine when they are done growing, usually somewhere between 10 months to 2 years. Here’s a general guideline for when different dog breed sizes reach adulthood:
- Toy or small breed dogs (under 20 lbs) 9 -10 months
- Medium breed dogs (20-60 lbs) 12 – 14 months
- Large breed dogs (60 lbs +) 16 – 24 months
How do I transition my puppy to an adult diet?
When transitioning your puppy to a new diet at any stage, start by mixing 25% of the new food with 75% of their current food, then gradually increase the new food over the course of 10-14 days until you’re feeding them 100% of the new food.
The specific ratios between new and old formulas will depend on your dog, so keep an eye on the stool and slow down if necessary!
How to feed large breed puppies
It is important to note that large and giant breed dogs (maturing over 70 lbs) have different growth requirements and should not only be on a puppy diet for a longer period of time, but they should be on a diet appropriate for the growth of large breed puppies until they reach maturity.
What about an all-life stages diet for puppies?
Many ORIJEN® diets are formulated to meet the nutritional requirements for dogs at all life stages, so they can be fed to both puppies and adult dogs!
If you have an adult dog and want to feed the same recipe to your new puppy, or if your puppy is sensitive to an ingredient in the puppy recipe, there are more choices that may be suitable!
You can make these diets appropriate for a puppy by increasing the daily feeding amount as follows:
- For puppies 1 and 1/2 to 3 months old, feed 2x the active adult amount for their current weight
- From 3 to 6 months old, feed 1.5x the active adult amount for their current weight
- From 6 months until maturity, feed 1.25x the active adult amount for their current weight
Adult dog food diets we recommend
Every dog is unique, so not all dog food recipes will work for each dog. Finding the appropriate recipe can take some trial and error, but here are a few suggestions to consider!
Now that you’ve made the switch, make sure you’re following the feeding chart and monitoring your dog’s growth. The recommended daily amount should be divided into two feedings during the day. Our charts are based on the diet of an “average dog,” but know that you can adjust the daily amount up to 10% to suit your dog’s unique needs. The energy required to support a dog’s metabolism may be higher with an active dog, while a dog that is less active and weighs the same will need fewer calories to maintain their health.