Switching Your Puppy to Adult Food

Once your puppy reaches a certain size and weight, it’s time to switch to adult dog food. How do you know when it’s time? As a general rule, you should switch when your dog has finished growing. This usually occurs around his first birthday, but can be closer to his second birthday if he is a larger breed.

It takes less nutrition to maintain an adult dog’s body than a puppy’s fast-growing one.

switching to adult food 

Dogs characterized as small (0-30lbs/0-13.6kg) to medium (30-80Ibs/13.6-36.3kg), typically switch to adult food after one year. Large dogs (80+ lbs/36.3+ kg) should wait longer, until about 18 months. Very large breeds (over 100 lbs/45.4kg) need the extra nutrition in puppy food for nearly two years. You can refer to the guide above or ask your veterinarian directly.

Introducing your dog to adult dog food should be done gradually, over a period of seven to ten days. To begin, mix equal amounts of new and current food in your dog’s bowl. Each day, simply increase the amount of adult food while decreasing the amount of puppy food, making sure to keep an adequate supply of puppy food on hand during his transition. Some dogs can react sensitively to the change. Loose stools or intestinal distress will be your sign to slow the transition down.