Have you ever wondered why puppies eat different feed than adult dogs? What are the differences between the puppy and adult feed? Let's solve these and other doubts.
Why should puppies eat differently than adult dogs?
Puppies need to eat more protein, fat, and some minerals than adult dogs. In addition, puppy's feed also contains more calories than those of adults. Keep in mind that puppies are not only growing, but also tend to have a higher level of activity. That is why it is very important to feed your dog according to each stage.
There is also specific feed for puppies of large and small breeds. This classification is due to the fact that puppies of large breeds have a higher risk of joint problems related to development (for example, dysplasia).
One of the aggravating factors is that the puppy grows too fast. That's why feeds for large breed puppies are lower in fat and have less calcium and phosphorus. The ratio of calcium and phosphorus is also regulated so that dogs can grow healthier.
What happens if I feed a puppy with an adult's feed?
As we have just seen, the puppies have specific nutritional needs that are essential for proper growth. If you feed a puppy with adult's feed, it increases the risk of nutritional deficiencies.
What if I give an adult puppy's feed?
Puppy’s feed contains more fat and protein than an adult dogs’ feed. If you continue to feed your dog with puppy's feed beyond what is recommended, the risks of overweight, and even obesity increase.
There are exceptions:
For lactating bitches (who have just given birth) it is recommended to give them puppy's feed precisely because it has higher fat and more calories than adult's feed. While they are nursing the young, bitches consume much more calories, so it is advisable to switch to a puppy's feed so that they do not lose too much weight. Before doing so, consult your veterinarian.
Some adult dogs with a very high degree of activity may need more protein or fat. There are specific feeds for active dogs, as well as feed brands with more or less protein or fats, but there are also cases in which it is recommended to give these dogs puppy's feed. However, as always, it is better to consult the specific case with the veterinarian.
When should I change from puppy's feed to adult's feed?
Ideally, consult our online veterinarian in the specific case. Feed labels usually carry recommendations on when it is necessary to change from puppy's feed to adult's feed, but your veterinarian knows your dog better.
Usually, the change will be made when the puppy is about to reach his adult size. This happens at different times according to the individual. Small dogs usually reach this point at 9-10 months, while large or giant dogs can continue to grow until 12-16 months of age.
Remember that if you change his feed, and especially if you change brands, it is advisable to do it little by little to avoid digestion problems. Mix the two types of feed gradually until the new feed is fully introduced.
If the dog refuses to eat the feed, you can try different tactics. If they do not work, check with your veterinarian to make sure the dog does not have a health problem.