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Can A Puppy Eat Adult Dog Food? (Vet Answer)

The experience of bringing a new puppy home is exhilarating. There is an abundance of snuggling and playing! There are also numerous obligations, such as ensuring your new puppy has the correct nutrients for a long, happy, and healthy life.

But just what should you give your puppy? Is it acceptable to feed your new furry family member adult dog food? Your dog should only consume dog food.

The details can be found in "Can A Puppy Eat Adult Dog Food? (%year% Vet Answer)" by BestForPets (bestforpets.org).

Why Puppies Should Eat Puppy Food

Simply put, the commercial feeds available for pups are formulated to suit the nutritional needs of dogs during their most rapid and intense growth phase.

Puppies’ nutritional requirements differ from those of adult dogs since their bodies must be supported during the period of growth.

Adult dog meals have different nutrient profiles than puppy foods. Consequently, it is preferable to continue feeding your dog puppy chow until it reaches adulthood.

The Difference Between Puppy and Adult Dog Food

Protein content is the primary difference between puppy food and adult dog food. Puppies typically use more energy throughout the day and night than adult dogs, and it’s not simply because they are more hyperactive.

Young puppies expend more energy than older dogs to maintain their body temperature since their bodies are occupied supporting their bones, ligaments, and organs during the majority of their development.

Because to the large amount of energy used, puppy food often has a greater proportion of protein than adult diet.

The size of the kibble also distinguishes puppy food from adult dog food. Puppy chow is often of a smaller size to make it easier for little mouths and teeth to chew.

In addition, adult dog food often contains higher quantities of calcium and phosphorus, which are known to induce hip dysplasia and osteoarthritis in developing puppies that consume excessive amounts of these minerals.

What About Dog Food That Is Designed for All Life Stages?

Canine food that is classified as suitable for all life stages is greater in nutrients than adult food, but not so much as to cause weight gain in adults. The nutrients are also sufficient to promote healthy growth in puppies.

While it is normally healthy for pups to consume food that is good for all life stages, the meal may be too calorie-dense and rich for senior dogs who don’t move as much anymore.

When to Transition a Puppy to Adult Food

A puppy should not begin eating adult dog food until it has stopped growing, which can occur anywhere between 12 months and 2 years of age, depending on the dog’s size and breed.

Consult with your veterinarian and follow their suggestions to determine when you should transfer your puppy to adult dog food.

When transitioning your puppy to adult dog food, you should do so gradually so as not to upset their digestive system.

Begin by substituting approximately a quarter of the puppy food with adult food at each meal. Once it is evident that your dog can adapt to the transition, divide each meal into equal portions of puppy food and adult food.

If that goes smoothly, it should be safe to switch to adult dog food in its entirety. This should be done whenever you switch from one type of dog food to another, even if you are only switching brands.

A Final Recap

As noted in Can A Puppy Eat Adult Dog Food? (Vet Answer)” by BestForPets (bestforpets.org), your puppy should continue to eat puppy food until they stop growing, which might be between 1 and 2 years. Your veterinarian should be able to inform you when the transition should begin.

Food prepared for all life stages should be adequate, but keep in mind that it is not designed specifically with puppies in mind.

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Dr. Deborah Fletcher

Deborah R. Fletcher, DVM, is a skilled veterinarian with more than 15 years of experience dealing with companion and exotic animals. She has experience caring for a variety of animals, including household cats and dogs, reptiles, birds of prey, and even primates. Dr. Fletcher is a valuable part of the BestForPets team, where she contributes to their aim of providing pets and their owners with the finest possible treatment and services.

Veterinarian (DVM) Dr. Deborah Fletcher


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