Correctly Changing Puppy Food - Process and Steps for a Healthier Dog
07.12.2022 - Reading time: 3 minutes
When do I give puppy food, when do I switch to adult food, and can I alternate feeding? Many dog owners ask this question. Puppy food is ideal for growing dogs because it is particularly rich in easily digestible proteins that the small dog’s stomach can utilise well.
It is important to follow the manufacturer’s recommended feeding amount. Each treat, chew bone etc. must be subtracted from the ration so that it does not become overfed. Care needs to be taken here: if too much energy is given, it can increase the puppy’s growth rate. This in turn can lead to permanent damage to bones and joints. The ultimate size of the dog is genetically determined and cannot be influenced by food. This means that too much food will make the dog grow faster but not bigger. To ensure that you find the right food for every age, breed and size, there is a range of wet and dry food tailored to the specific needs and also the size.
Rule of thumb: change feed at around nine months
Tip: if you look at the packaging, you can also see how long and how much of this food you should give. Smaller breeds grow up faster than large, heavy breeds. As a rule of thumb, puppy food can be given for about nine months to one year, then the change should be made. An exception to this rule are the giant breeds, which should be fed a low-energy puppy food with special ingredients for gentle bone growth for much longer.
Conversion step by step
If you are planning to change from puppy food to a different food for the adult dog, then please proceed slowly and step by step. Every day, replace a little bit more of the puppy food with the new food, until after about ten days there is only the new food in the bowl. If the dog refuses the food outright, it sometimes helps to warm it up a little, because this makes it smell stroger. This is an incentive for the dog’s nose.
When a change of feed may be needed
However, a change of food can also be considered if its life circumstances change: Is the dog undergoing special training, is it being challenged mentally or physically? Does it need to recover, perhaps from an illness or operation, is a female dog becoming a mother? Then it also makes sense to change the food and adapt it to the higher or changed consumption. On the other hand, there are also light products for our chubbier four-legged friends, for a healthier, slimmer dog. Under no circumstances should you simply reduce the amount of food or let the animal go hungry. If you are unsure about the amount or composition of a food, ask for advice at your local Maxi Zoo store or ask your vet.