Switching from Puppy to Adult Dog Food

by Dr Lee Danks. Published 20 January 2021

Switching from Puppy to Adult Dog Food
When should I transition my puppy to adult food?

We generally say that puppies grow until 12 months of age, however this does vary by breed and expected adult weight. For small breeds with up to 5kg expected adult weight food transition from puppy to adult diets should start as early as 8 months, while medium breeds (expected adult weight of 15kg to 30kg) transitioning to adult food between 12-15 months of age is the best approach.

With their particularly long growth periods, large and extra-large breeds can go as long as 18-22 months until they transition to adult food. As always and if you have specific questions or concerns, it is always best to check with your Vet in your regular visits.

What is the transitioning process?

When switching your dog's food from one type to another, including puppy food to adult food, it’s important to do so slowly.

Vets usually recommend doing this over 1-2 weeks (2 weeks is better), regardless of what diets you’re transitioning between. The natural processes and good bacteria in your precious puppy's gut needs time to adapt and change, to cope with digesting the different food.

What will happen to my puppy if I don't transition them properly?

Overall digestion, including stomach capacity, enzymes that break down their food, it’s movement through the gut and even the good bacteria in your puppy's gut can be overwhelmed. If feeding guides aren’t followed and a transition period isn’t allowed, the entire system can be overwhelmed. What does this mean?

This is likely to result in temporary diarrhoea.

It is very common for puppy's to have softer stools during the transition period, and this isn’t usually anything to worry about. This should all resolve by the end of the transition period.

So, how do I transition?

Below is a guide on how to transition your puppy from Black Hawk puppy food to adult food.

 

Black Hawk takes the same approach to the formulation of all of our recipes - across both our puppy and adult foods. This means that the raw materials are very similar, as well as the priority we place on digestibility.

If things go wrong...

If your dog is continually experiencing a digestive upset, with soft stools, diarrhoea, vomiting or goes off their food and seems generally unwell, then we suggest you see your veterinarian.

A Note on Feeding Guides

When feeding your puppy and well into adulthood, it's important to use the feeding guidelines on the back or side of the bag.
These portions tell us how much to feed per day, so just divide the total amount into the number of times you plan to feed your puppy per day to determine the amount of food to feed for each meal.

If you have questions about feeding guidelines, Black Hawk foods or general pet care, you can find a lot of information on our website, or feel free to contact our team.

Read Next: My new puppy - A comprehensive guide