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Can An Adult Dog Eat Puppy Food? Everything You Should Know!

Dogs are the ideal companion for individuals of all ages, and they come in a range of sizes and types. It is essential to supply your dog with a food that fulfills their individual nutritional requirements, regardless of their breed or age.

You may be asking whether an adult dog can consume puppy chow. The answer is true, however for the vast majority of adult dogs, this diet is not optimal and may cause long-term health problems.

Because puppy food is often heavier in calories and fat than adult dog food, it is not advised for adult dogs unless they have a special requirement, such as during pregnancy or lactation.

Continue reading "Can an Adult Dog Eat Puppy Food? Everything You Should Know!" by BestForPets (bestforpets.org) for more details.

Can an Adult Dog Eat Puppy Food? Everything You Should Know!


All ages of dogs are absolutely fine to consume puppy food. The recipes include no dangerous components, and feeding them sometimes to an adult dog is harmless.

Despite the fact that puppy food is safe for dogs of all ages, it is not the optimum diet for the majority of adult dogs.

Puppies have different dietary requirements than adult dogs due to their fast growth and development. Typically, puppy food has more calories and protein than adult dog food to encourage their growth.

Calcium and phosphorus are two minerals and vitamins that are crucial for a puppy’s development and are found in higher concentrations in puppy chow.

Adult Food vs Puppy Food

Calories: Average puppy food includes 300-400 calories per cup, whereas average adult dog food contains 200-400 calories per cup. Many adult dogs require just approximately 300 calories per day, thus giving them puppy food might lead to weight gain, especially in petite or sedentary breeds.

Protein: On average, puppy feeds include 22-32% protein, whereas adult dog foods contain 18-28% protein. Puppies require more protein than older dogs since they are still growing and building muscle. Adult dogs with underlying renal or liver problems may be harmed by excessive protein since it might place additional stress on these organs.

Fats: On average, puppy feeds include 8-16% fat, whereas adult dog foods have 5-15% fat. Fat is a concentrated source of energy that aids in the growth and development of pups. Older dogs do not require as much fat in their diet, and excessive fat can cause obesity.

Long-Term Risks

While theoretically an adult dog can consume puppy chow, it is not the best diet for them. For most adult dogs, puppy chow is excessively heavy in calories and fat, leading to weight gain if eaten regularly.

It is advisable to feed your adult dog food specifically made for adults, as this will better match their nutritional demands and help them maintain a healthy weight. If you are uncertain about the sort of food to give your dog, you should seek the advice of your veterinarian.

Can Puppies Eat Adult Dog Food?

Although it is not advised to feed pups adult dog food on a daily basis, it is OK for them to consume on occasion.

Calorie and protein content are the primary distinction between puppy food and adult dog food. To assist their growth and development, puppy chow contains more of these nutrients.

Adult dog food may not contain the same quantities of essential nutrients and may not supply everything pups need to grow and develop normally.

Puppy meals that are specially created to fulfill the particular nutritional demands of pups are the best alternative for them.

How Dogs Nutritional Requirements Change Through Their Lives

Your dog passes through a variety of life phases, and their dietary requirements also fluctuate accordingly. Diet is the foundation of a dog’s metabolism and life processes, which is why it is crucial to understand their demands at each life stage.

The duration of a dog’s life stage depends on its breed, particularly its size. Giant breeds, for instance, are considered pups for up to two years, although tiny breeds can move to adult food at 10 months.


Puppyhood is an important period for your dog, during which they will swiftly grow and develop. Puppies require a high-calorie, nutrient-rich diet to sustain their rapid growth.

Puppy food is often richer in calories and more easily absorbed than adult dog food. In addition, it is often enriched with extra necessary vitamins and minerals to promote the growth and development of your dog.


When your dog approaches maturity, their metabolism will begin to slow down and they will burn less calories. As a result, it is essential to switch to adult dog food after the dog has reached maturity. Adult dog food is often lower in calories and fat and more nutritionally balanced than puppy food.


When your dog hits its senior years, its calorie requirements will continue to decrease. Typically, senior dog food is formulated to satisfy the special nutritional needs of senior dogs, such as joint support and weight management.

Throughout the later years of a dog’s life, a nutritionally balanced diet for senior dogs is crucial for keeping them healthy and active.


If your female dog is pregnant or breastfeeding, her caloric and nutritional requirements will rise. To encourage the growth of the puppies, pregnant and nursing dogs should consume a high-protein and lipid-rich diet.

Throughout her pregnancy and while she is nursing, many veterinarians advocate giving a pregnant female puppy food, as it will supply her with the extra calories and nutrients she requires.

Even after pregnancy, when she lactates and feeds, she will require more calories than before, so puppy chow can be continued for a few months. This diet nourishes both her and her puppies through her milk production.

Intact or De-sexed

Intact (not spayed or neutered) dogs have differing dietary requirements than their altered counterparts. To sustain their reproductive organs and general growth and development, intact dogs require a greater amount of calories and protein.

In contrast, spayed and neutered dogs have a lower caloric and protein need since they lack reproductive organs. This is why it is essential to provide children with a diet tailored to their needs.

Final Thoughts

Like to humans, dogs experience many periods of life. At each stage, their bodies have varying dietary needs. It is crucial to be aware of these changes and to make dietary adjustments accordingly.

As clarified in “Can an Adult Dog Eat Puppy Food? Everything You Should Know!” by BestForPets (bestforpets.org), puppy food is best reserved for the puppy, since they require the additional calories and minerals for growth. But, as kids reach maturity, it is appropriate to transition them to an adult diet.

While there are broad suggestions for the sort of food to give your dog at each life stage, it is always advisable to contact with your veterinarian to ensure that they are receiving the greatest nutrition possible.

Author Image

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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