Is Your Puppy Ready for Adult Dog Food?
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When, Why, and How to Start Feeding Your Pup Grown-up Nutrition
As your puppy grows into an adult dog, he needs nutrition that keeps his body as strong as your love, and that means a high-quality, premium adult formula such as IAMS™ ProActive Health™ Adult MiniChunks
The Benefits of Feeding Premium Food
Why move your grown-up pup to a premium adult dog food? Because quality counts. It's crucial to continue his superb puppy nutrition into adulthood. Downgrading to a lower-quality brand at this stage of his life may upset his digestive system, and won't provide him with the same level of nutritional excellence he was raised on.
Think of a baby. When it's time to start giving him solid food, you wouldn't dream of feeding your child anything less than the best nutrition you can buy. The same is true for your maturing puppy. He needs the best age-appropriate food there is to help maintain his overall health.
Premium foods, such as IAMS, are specifically designed to provide your dog with a food that has:
- High-quality ingredients
- High total-diet digestibility
- Balanced, optimal levels of protein, fat, fiber, carbohydrates, vitamins, and minerals
- A nutrient-dense formulation appropriate for a particular life stage
- Consistent, high-quality, natural-ingredient recipes that do not change because of manufacturing costs
- Specific fatty-acid balance to help maintain healthy skin and coat
- Great palatability and taste, based on feeding trials
- Met or exceeded the Association of American Feed Control Officials guidelines
- Product guarantees
What does it all add up to? A happy, healthy dog. With premium dog food, you can expect key indicators that contribute to providing your dog with a long, healthy life:
- Exceptional muscle tone
- A shiny, luxurious coat
- Healthy skin and bones
- Clean teeth
- Clear, bright eyes
- Small, firm stools
Founded on more than 60 years of research into canine nutrition, premium formulas from IAMS help maintain your dog's health and provide him with the nutrition he needs for a long life. Basic brands may not provide these benefits or match the level of expertise that goes into every bag of dog food from IAMS.
When to Switch
Your puppy's transition to adult food should begin when he approaches adult height. His breed type will also help determine when to switch. 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 that weigh 20 pounds or less when fully grown are usually ready to eat adult food at 9 to 12 months of age.
- Medium-breed dogs that weigh between 20 and 50 pounds as adults normally mature at 12 to 14 months of age.
Large- and giant-breed dogs, those weighing more than 50 pounds when fully grown, might not be ready to switch to an adult food until they're 12 to 24 months old.
Make the Transition
To avoid upsetting your dog's intestinal tract or causing diarrhea, make the change from a puppy formula to an adult diet over a period of four days by mixing the two foods in your dog's bowl.
- Day One: Fill your dog’s bowl with 75% puppy food and 25% adult food.
- Day Two: Mix the adult and puppy food in a 50/50 ratio.
- Day Three: Feed your dog a mixture that’s 75% adult food and 25% puppy food.
- Day Four: Switch to 100% adult formula.
How much food should you give your dog? Check the daily feeding recommendations established by the pet-food manufacturer and read the label. Dan Carey, DVM and Director of Technical Communications at IAMS, suggests using the recommendations, then weighing your dog each week. If he's gaining or losing weight and shouldn't be, slightly decrease or increase his daily intake, and weigh him again in another week.
If you have specific concerns about your dog's weight, talk to your veterinarian. He or she can assess your dog's needs and give you a feeding recommendation.
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- adp_description_block223Understanding 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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