How to Transition Your Puppy to Adult Food
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Your puppy’s nutritional needs will change as he grows into adulthood, but how do you know when your puppy is ready for adult food?
Depending on his breed size, at some point between 12 and 24 months of age, you should reexamine your puppy's nutritional needs and choose the right adult formula. His adult food could depend upon his metabolism (Does he gain weight easily?) and his activity level (Is it low, normal, or high?) These factors can help you find the ideal food for your dog.
The transition to a premium adult formula should begin when your dog approaches adult height and weight. The kind of dog you have will determine the right time to switch. When you do switch to adult formula, follow the same four-day process as you did when introducing your puppy to premium puppy food.
Small-breed dogs tend to mature physically much sooner than large-breed dogs. Follow these guidelines to help you decide when to switch formulas:
- Small-breed dogs (20 pounds or less when fully grown) are usually ready to transition to an adult formula when they are 9 to 12 months of age.
- Medium-breed dogs (between 20 and 50 pounds when fully grown) normally mature at around 12 to 14 months of age.
- Large-breed dogs (more than 50 pounds when fully grown) might not be ready to switch to an adult food until they are between 12 and 24 months old.
Why Switch to an Adult Formula?
As your new puppy quickly matures into adulthood, he needs nutrition appropriate for his "new" body. That means a high-quality, premium adult formula. Most veterinarians agree that feeding a complete and balanced premium food, such as IAMS™ ProActive Health™ Adult MiniChunks, throughout your dog's adulthood can promote a long and healthy life.
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- adp_description_block63Understanding Puppy Food Nutrition Labels
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How much do you know about the food you’re buying for your puppy? When shopping for puppy food, pay attention to these three sections of a dog food label.
1. The Ingredient Panel
This section lists all the ingredients that make up the product. The ingredients are listed in descending order according to weight before cooking. In dry food, look for a source of high-quality animal-based protein: chicken or lamb, for example. Dogs thrive on animal proteins.
Manufacturers who use large amounts of vegetable proteins might be saving money by providing basic — but not optimal — nutrition. You should also avoid artificial colors and flavors, which offer no nutritional benefits.
2. The Guaranteed Analysis
Near the ingredient panel should be a chart of percentages called the "guaranteed analysis." These figures reveal the basic nutrient makeup of the dog food's formula and protein content. The minimum percentages of protein and fat and the maximum percentages of fiber and moisture (water) should be listed.
3. The Manufacturer’s Name and Address
This information must be included on the label by law. A toll-free number or web address for the manufacturer may also be listed. Manufacturers who list a phone number, such as IAMS™, generally have a high-quality product and welcome consumer calls and questions. If you would like information about IAMS products, visit our website or call us toll-free at 800-525-4267.
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