Thanks to scientific researches, we now know that the dietary requirements of pooches modify with their growth and weight. The optimal way to confirm your pup is healthy and fit is to feed him well-balanced, high-quality, and age-appropriate food.
But, how can you determine when to switch from puppy food to dog food, and what is the right way of transitioning. The answer is reliant on various factors such as his age, breed, and health conditions such as pregnancy.
Your German Shepherd’s Age
We all know that young mutts grow quickly in the first year of their life. Therefore, you need to feed them food that is specifically made to support their fast growth. The puppy food is loaded with essential nutrients, including protein, fats, and vitamins that give newborns a healthy start. When he reaches the age of 12 months, the development process slows down. Many dog owners change their diet around their first birthday, but not all of them. Adult canines don’t need the amount of fat that growing puppies do.
They have different shapes and sizes. Also, there is a huge difference between the development of the small and large breeds of dogs.
Small Breed Dogs
A small and medium breed doggie will be considered mature at the age of 12 months. So, his birthday will indicate when to move him from puppy food to dog food. Toy breeds are excluded from it. Some pups are considered mature at the age of 9 months, but remember, their weight will be different from each other. Small breed dogs weigh less than 20 pounds in adulthood. However, the medium ones weigh 21 to 50 pounds in adulthood.
Large Breed Dogs
If you have a large breed dog, you can transition him from puppy food to dog food when he is 18 to 24 months old. They take a long time to approach adulthood than small breed puppies. Many of them will still be developing until they turn 24 months old. Since you can’t predict adulthood, so you should get in touch with breeders or rescuers where you adopted your pup and your vet to know about when to shift him from puppy food.
Pregnant dogs need highly nutritious food with a high amount of calcium, so it is better to transition them from dog food to puppy food. You should move the large breed dogs to regular puppy food instead of a large breed puppy food.
If your vet has suggested therapeutic dog food for a certain health problem, then make sure to feed it to him instead of feeding him the food of your choice. To ensure success with the switching procedure, some special things will be considered.
Why It Is Necessary To Consult The Vet Before Switching From Puppy Food?
Dogs meet their vets several times for regular checkups and vaccinations. So, he or she can figure out what is the appropriate time to shift your puppy from puppy food to dog food based on his age, breed, health condition, and behavior. Furthermore, you also have to bear in mind his medication and vaccination schedules, weaning time, feeding time, feeding frequency, and much more. Therefore, we would recommend you prepare a list of all these things before taking your pup to the vet. Your answers can help the vet determine the right time for your dog to move him from puppy food.
Why Timing Matters The Most While Switching From Puppy Food?
Timing is important because if you shift him to dog food too early, it will inadvertently harm your canine’s health as he won’t be getting essential nutrients in the right amount. But, if you move him too late, he will become obese. Both under and over-nutrition can be harmful to them and could lead them to obesity, wobbler syndrome, Osteochondrosis, and hip dysplasia.
Is It Necessary To Shift A Puppy From Puppy Food To Dog Food?
A growing pup needs more nutrients than a mature dog; thus, puppy foods are packed with a high amount of protein, fats, and other vital nutrients to support their growth. It also has DHA, an omega fatty acid that is present in the mother dog’s milk. Once your pooch approaches maturity, he does not require a lot of calories. Highly nutritious puppy food could quickly lead mature dogs to obesity, so switching is mandatory. While feeding puppy food, some dog owners notice weight gain, and then they consult the vet when to move a pup to adult dog food.
How And When To Switch From Puppy Food To Dog Food-German Shepherd Safely?
After deciding it’s the accurate time to transition from puppy to mature dog food, you should follow a seven to ten-day switching schedule, slowly increasing the portion of dog food.
- Day 1 to 2: 75% old food and 25% new food
- Day 3 to 4: 50% old food and 50% new food
- Day 5 to 6: 25% old food and 75% new food
- Day 7 to 10: 100% new food
Your dog may approach adulthood in less than 12 months, or it could take as long as 24 months, depending on his breed. It is better to talk to your vet about when to switch from puppy food to dog food for a more precise time customized for your dog’s individual needs. Switching his food is a slow procedure, but it is worth the time and stress. The gradual transition will not only lower your tension but transform your puppy’s digestive system as well.