How Long To Feed Puppy Food (And Why)?

Exact Answer: 9 To 12 Months

Puppies need complete and balanced puppy food or also known as puppy diet until they reach the age of maturity. In general, dogs who are one year or older are often considered adults, however, this is not always true. Talking about dogs, adulthood majorly depends more on breed size than their age. The reason behind that is because dogs of large or giant breeds take longer to hit the level of maturity as compared to dogs of smaller breeds. Therefore, such puppies need to eat puppy food for a longer duration of time than small or medium-sized breeds of dogs.

How Long To Feed Puppy Food?

Large breed dogs or also known as giant breed dogs are the ones that weigh between a range of 50 pounds to 100 pounds. To be more specific, giant breed dogs are the ones that weigh more than large breed dogs. Such breed dogs can take anywhere between 18 months to 2 complete years to reach maturity. Thus, as a result, the dogs of these breeds need to eat puppy food for a minimum of 18 months to a maximum of 2 years. This period is the longest duration of time for puppies to feed puppy food.

Dogs of medium-sized breed are the ones which weigh between a weight range of 21 pounds to 50 pounds when they reach the level of maturity. Dogs of this breed tend to reach maturity around 12 months of age. Thus, it is important to feed puppy food to dogs of such breed for about 12 months.

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Small breed dogs or also known as toy breed dogs are the ones that weigh less than 20 pounds when they reach the age of maturity. The dogs of this breed reach this size, which means, the age of maturity between 9 to 10 months of age. Therefore, such dogs should be fed puppy food for at least 9 to 10 months.

Here is a quick summary of how long to feed puppy food to puppies depending upon the breeds of dogs:

Breed Of DogTime
Large breed dogs18 months to 2 years
Medium-sized breed dogs12 to 14 months
Small breed dogs9 to 10 months

Why Does It Take That Long To Feed Puppy Food?

To know how long one should feed puppy food to his or her puppy, the major thing to be considered is the breed of the dog. The reason behind that is because puppy food is meant to be fed to the puppy until it reaches the age of maturity. Once you are sure that your puppy has reached the age of maturity, you can decide to switch to adult food for your puppy.

For example, if your puppy will reach the level of maturity at the age of 12 months, you can then start to gradually transition his puppy food to an adult formula around its first birthday. Talking in general, it can take about 7 days to 10 days to make the switch or change the diet completely. Moreover, the owner needs to plan for the transition in diet before you start feeding him completely adult food.

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Moreover, when you will stop feeding puppy food, you must also change more than just the food he eats. As the diet and food change, the number of meals and portion sizes, and other such things change too. However, if you have a dog of mixed breed or you are not sure how big your dog will be at maturity or when will your dog hit the age of maturity, then it is always best and recommended to consult with your veterinarian. Veterinarians are professionally trained doctors for animals and can tell you when to switch to adult dog food and help make it a successful transition for your dog. 

Conclusion

When you feel that it is the right time to transition puppy food to adult dog food, it is important to do so gradually. A gradual transition helps prevent stomach upset, whereas a clear cut and out of a sudden transition in the food and diet can lead to many health problems for the dog.

References

  1. https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Jill-Villarreal-3/publication/341215989_Puppy_food_preferences_are_maintained_in_adulthood/links/5eb436e1299bf152d6a482da/Puppy-food-preferences-are-maintained-in-adulthood.pdf
  2. https://www.vettimes.co.uk/app/uploads/wp-post-to-pdf-enhanced-cache/1/and-they-called-it-puppy-food-preferences-and-behaviours.pdf
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