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_block439A Healthy Diet for Your Dog Can Mean Good Health for You
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As a veterinarian, I’ve found that pet owners take seriously the responsibility of ensuring their dogs live healthy, happy lives. They worry about making sure their dog gets enough exercise, receives regular wellness checks and receives balanced nutrition that gives them energy to run and play.
What some people don’t realize is that owning and caring a dog can improve the owner’s health as well. Spending quality time with your dog and providing them with quality nutrition is good for the dog and can help ease stress and anxiety levels for you. Studies have shown that owning a pet can decrease blood pressure, cholesterol levels and triglyceride levels1 — which is great news for your heart health.
In short, when your dog is getting the best care, proper exercise, nutrition and love, they can enjoy a long and healthy life. And that can ultimately make you healthier, too!
So what does that mean when it comes to feeding your dog?
Many owners see their dog as part of the family, and that sometimes means they will feed their dog like they feed themselves. For example, some people may choose low-carb or gluten-free diets for themselves and do the same for their pets. However, while this instinct comes from a place of love, many owners don’t realize that their dog’s dietary needs differ from their own.
Take grains for example. As a veterinarian, it’s important for me to note that grains are good for your dog. Yes, you read that right — they’re good!
A very small percentage of dogs may have a food sensitivity that requires a special grain-free diet or a dog food without a certain protein. However, this is not necessary for the vast majority of dogs. Most dogs benefit from a complete, balanced diet with healthy grains, high-quality proteins and essential vitamins and minerals.
Here’s why: Grains are a good source of carbohydrates that provide healthy energy. Some grains, like rice and wheat, provide “quick” energy, while other grains, like barley and sorghum, take longer to convert to energy. A combination of these different grains can offer a time-released energy source that helps dogs sustain energy. The whole grains in IAMS dog food are a beneficial mix, as they supply steady energy.
In addition to the grains you’ll find in IAMS food, you’ll also find high-quality proteins, like chicken and lamb, as well as essential nutrients needed to help support heart health. Together, this combination will give your dog a steady source of energy to be active on walks, runs, hikes or play sessions around the house.
For your dog to be healthy and happy, be sure you feed them a well-balanced diet and allow them enough exercise time. In return, you’ll get unconditional love, plenty of sweet doggy snuggles and maybe even more exercise — just a few of the ways you and your dog are joined at the heart.
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