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When To Switch To An Adult Dog Food? (Vet Answer)

Puppies are just fantastic; they are vivacious, lovable, and amusing. It only takes one look from those gorgeous puppy eyes to completely captivate the majority of people.

If you've recently acquired one of these lovely animals, you may be wondering how long you should feed them puppy chow to ensure they receive all the nutrients they require to grow up happy and healthy.

The majority of pups may successfully transition to adult food between 7 months and 1 year of age. — The precise timing of the transition will depend on various variables, including the size and breed of your puppy.

When considering whether to begin introducing your puppy to adult food, there are various considerations listed in "When To Switch to An Adult Dog Food? (%year% Vet Answer)" by BestForPets (bestforpets.org) to take into account.

Breed and Size

Bigger dogs, such as Great Danes and St. Bernards, take longer to mature than smaller dogs, such as Chihuahuas and Pugs.

And in case you were wondering, any breed that weighs less than 20 pounds as an adult is called a tiny breed. Breeds with mature weights of 20 pounds or more are categorized as medium or big.

Generally, small breed dogs stop growing between 7 and 9 months of age. Bigger breeds, such as Labradors and German shepherds, typically require additional time to mature.

Several big breeds are not ready to make the transition until they are between 12 and 14 months old. Your pet should continue to consume puppy food until their growth has ceased. Expect to transfer your dog to adult food shortly after spaying or neutering.

How Often Should I Feed My Puppy?

That is dependent on the dog’s age. Successfully weaned very young puppies must eat at least four times every day. Between 3 and 6 months of age, your dog should be able to acquire all the nutrients necessary for growth from three meals each day.

Free feeding, or putting food out for your dog to eat as they please, may not be the greatest option for young dogs, since it is essential to ensure that they do not consume an excessive amount of food.

Several doctors advise measuring your dog’s food to verify you’re feeding the proper amount and putting it out for no more than 10 to 20 minutes so you can monitor its intake.

How Often Should I Feed My Adult Dog?

The majority of veterinarians recommend feeding adult dogs twice daily. It is crucial that your pet be happy, active, and receiving all the necessary nutrition to remain healthy. Free-feeding works well with dry food for energetic dogs that are not susceptible to obesity.

Do I Need to Take Any Special Steps to Transition My Puppy to Adult Dog Food?

Yes! The majority of dogs adjust better when the adjustment is made gradually, often over the course of a week. Add a little amount of the new food to your dog’s current wet or dry diet. Raise the daily amount of adult food while decreasing the quantity of puppy food.

Long and gradual transitions let the stomach and taste buds of your dog to acclimate to the new meal. If you alter your dog’s food too rapidly, he may develop stomach and digestive issues, or he may reject the food because he doesn’t like the flavor.

How Much Should I Feed My Puppy?

Puppies are as unique as humans, and each has its own distinct requirements. Puppies require more calories per kilogram than adult dogs, but their food must be carefully made with the proper quantities of fat and calcium to prevent obesity and joint issues.

Whichever food you choose should come with a daily feeding schedule, which is typically printed on the package’s back. In any case, it is essential to monitor your dog’s overall health, activity level, and growth.

Puppies are typically chubby until about two months of age. Following that, your dog should lose weight and assume a more mature appearance.

The feeding instructions offered by the pet food manufacturer are an excellent beginning point for assessing your dog’s nutritional needs, but ultimately, it comes down to meeting your dog’s demands.

Very energetic dogs, for instance, frequently require more food than the suggested daily intake, whilst less active dogs can occasionally thrive on less food.

Follow your dog’s guidance rather than the instructions on the packaging. If your dog has an hourglass form and you can readily feel their ribcage, they are likely at a healthy weight. In contrast, if you can see your dog’s ribs, it’s likely that they are underweight.

Should I Opt for Dry or Wet Adult Dog Food

After your puppy transitions to adult food, you can feed them kibble, canned food, or a combination of the two. Kibble, or dry food, preserves well and can improve the oral health of your dog.

While dogs are omnivores, they require protein to thrive. Wet food often contains more protein. Insufficient protein intake might result in skin disorders and allergies.

If you are feeding a big dog, you might select a kibble-based diet.

It stores well enough that you may buy it in bulk, which helps reduce the overall cost of feeding your pet. On the other hand, picky eaters typically do better with wet food since it is typically more flavorful and attractive.

Lastly, there are various high-quality wet meals available, some of which contain human-grade proteins and fresh, high-quality veggies, and you can always feed your dog a combination of the two!


While puppies are constantly growing, they require a nutritious diet to thrive. When the puppy reaches adulthood and exhibits the characteristics described in “When To Switch to An Adult Dog Food? (Vet Answer)” by BestForPets (bestforpets.org), you can gradually alter their diet.

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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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