How And When To Switch From Puppy To Adult Dog Food

Your puppy has stopped growing 

After knowing when your puppy should stop developing based on breed size predictions, watch for symptoms of slowing or stopping growth.

The American Kennel Club (AKC) has set normal weights for each breed, which you can use to figure this out. You can ask your vet to help you figure out if your mixed-breed dog has hit its adult weight for its size.   

Your puppy is gaining weight 

When dogs get close to adulthood, they don't need the extra protein, fat, and calories that come from puppy food to help them grow and develop quickly. At the same time, they start to feel less energetic. 

Your puppy’s growth plates are closing 

Your puppy's lengthier bones' growth plates are soft cartilage that hardens into calcified bone as it ages. Pet parents may notice changes if they run their hands down their dogs' rib cage, but skeletal growth plate closure is only visible on X-rays.

Your puppy isn’t as hungry 

If your puppy leaves food in their bowl, they may be ready for adult food. Your dog may not be as hungry as they used to be when they needed to fuel their puppy antics because their energy levels decline with age.  

Your puppy is experiencing stomach upset 

Schechter believes diarrhea, vomiting, or other gastrointestinal difficulties suggest it's time to transition your dog's food from puppy to adult.

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