If your puppy is growing and you're starting to wonder when it's time to switch to adult food and how to make the transition as smooth as possible, this blog post is for you!
What makes puppy food different to adult dog food
Pups require a lot of nutrient and calories to support their growth and development. They also need smaller kibbles, adapted to their size and teeth. But as they get older, their growth rate slows down and their nutritional needs change. Which is why it's important to switch to adult dog food on time.
The right time to switch over
There is no universal rule when it comes to starting the transition and your vet will be able to offer personalised advice. However, as a rule of thumb, puppies are ready to transition when they reach 75% of their estimated adult size. This time depends on their breed:
- Very small breeds – 6-7 months old
- Small breeds – 9-11 months old
- Medium breeds – 12-14 months old
- Large breeds – 15-18 months old
- Giant breeds – 18-24 months old
Your puppy's activity levels also play a part in the decision to transition. Indeed, super active and energetic pups might need to stay on puppy food longer to meet their energy requirements, whilst less active puppies may be ready for adult dog food earlier on.
Observing your pup's reaction to their food can also give you some clues, for instance if they start turning their nose away from their puppy food.
How to transition from puppy to adult food
The most important is to transition slowly, in order for your pooch to avoid digestive issues and/or rejecting their new food.
The transition should be complete in at least 7 days, at most 14 days. These guidelines can help make the transition smooth for your pooch and yourself:
- Start with the 25/75 ratio: 25% adult food and 75% puppy food per meal.
- After a few days, if your puppy gets on well, change to 50/50
- After about a week, they should be ready for the reverse 25/75 ratio, in other words, only 25% puppy food and 75% adult food.
- If your puppy is still finishing their meal and doesn't have any digestive issues, then you can completely eliminate the puppy food from their diet.