You have to be careful when switching your puppy’s food. Puppies have very sensitive stomachs and are easily upset. You’ll want to transition larger breed pups from puppy food sooner than you would a smaller breed. Puppy foods have a higher level of calcium in them than adult foods and it is the calcium that makes your pup’s bones grow faster. You’ll want to slow down the bone growth of larger breeds to prevent stress on the joints that can cause problems later in life. You will want to switch at approximately 4 months of age. Small to medium breeds can stay on longer, switching at six to nine months. It is best to consult your breeder or vet for information about your specific breed to know exactly when to switch to adult food.
How to Switch Your Puppy’s Food
If you want to switch your dog’s food, you will need to make a gradual change so your puppy or dog doesn’t end up with an upset stomach. Your food change should take approximately a week to ten days to occur. Start with feeding him his regular amount of puppy kibble and adding 5 to 10 pieces of the new food. Gradually increase the proportion of new food to old food over the time span until he is eating 100% new food.
My Puppy Has Diarrhea
If during the switching phase your puppy ends up with diarrhea, it could be that you are switching his food too fast. See the section on My Puppy Has Diarrhea for more information.
If you’ve switched your puppy or dog over to his new food and he’s developed diarrhea, it could be the new food you’ve chosen isn’t agreeing with your puppy. Follow the instructions for fasting your dog and giving him a plain diet in the My Puppy Has Diarrhea section. Once your puppy’s is okay, try another brand of food using the switching process above (remember to switch very slowly!) Look for a dog food that is a bit lower in protein, it could be that the food you’ve chosen is too rich for him. As with anything out of the ordinary with your puppy or dog, you should consult with your vet to make sure it’s not something more serious.
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