Puppies in front of the food bowl are almost a bottomless pit.
The lively whirlwinds also need a lot of energy to fully grow and become healthy young dogs.
But how long should you give puppy food and what else needs to be considered? This article explains it to you!
In a nutshell: How long do I give my dog puppy food?
How long one should keep puppy food depends on the expected size of the dog.
Most dog breeds are physically fully grown after 9 to 12 months and no longer need puppy food after that time.
Very large dogs, on the other hand, grow for up to 18 months and still need the highly specialized puppy food.
How long puppy food in large breeds?
Basically, the bigger the dog gets later, the longer a dog needs puppy food.
This is because they take much longer to be considered fully grown. Puppy food optimized for growth is therefore important, especially for their bones and joints.
This can take up to 18 months for giant dogs. You can get the exact period and further information from the breeder or your veterinarian.
It is therefore often advisable to buy special puppy food for large breeds. This enables growth that is gentle on the bones and does not make you fat.
How long puppy food in small breeds?
Small dog breeds are usually adult in weight and size after a year and no longer need puppy food.
However, puppy food should not be discontinued before the 10th month, because the nutrients are not only intended for physical growth, but also support overall development.
It ensures healthy teeth, a functioning digestion and a strong immune system.
Therefore, the puppy food should be changed slowly between 3/4 year and one year, but not before.
What should I watch out for when switching from puppy food to adult food?
It is important that the switch from puppy food to adult food is done carefully.
If the smell and taste of the food changes from one day to the next, a dog may refuse to eat out of skepticism.
Ideally, mix a little adult food into the puppy food and increase the ratio over 10 to 14 days until it’s completely replaced.
Not only does the dog’s taste buds get used to the new food better, but the digestive tract also has enough time to adjust to the new nutrient composition.
When buying, pay attention not only to the label “puppy food” and “adult food”, but also to the size information on the package.
Fixed feeding times should be observed early on and when reducing the amount of meals, the times should be kept as similar as possible.
This prevents begging from creeping in and aids the puppy’s digestion.
What should good puppy food contain?
High-quality puppy food is very high in energy because the puppy uses a lot of it as it grows.
It also contains a large amount of high-quality, easily digestible protein, calcium, and phosphorus.
Normally it is a complete feed, so it does not need any supplements.
It used to be thought that a high protein supply was harmful to puppies.
This has now been clearly refuted by science, but the myth persists.
How often should you give puppy food?
In the beginning, a puppy needs 4 meals a day because its stomach can only hold small amounts of food.
In addition, a puppy cannot judge how much food is enough and can then overeat.
Although there are no “fat” puppies, too high a calorie intake only leads to stronger growth, but too rapid development is harmful to the skeleton.
The puppy then also does not learn how to regulate its feed and is then exposed to a much higher risk of developing obesity than an adult dog.
At 6 months, the amount of food can be divided into 3 meals.
In the case of very large dogs, it is sometimes advisable to stick to the 4 meals for a longer period of time, as they have a high food requirement and should not eat too much at once.
From the age of 1 year, small and medium-sized dogs only need 1 meal a day, as they are usually fully grown by then.
Large dogs should reduce to 2 meals between 1 and 2 years, but continue into adulthood.
How was the transition from puppy food to adult food for your dog? When did you know he needed adult meals? Tell us about your four-legged friend in the comments!