What Do You Feed Puppies After a Year Old?

by Naomi Millburn
    German shepherds are often 14 months old when they're adult food-ready.

    German shepherds are often 14 months old when they're adult food-ready.

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    Puppies are smaller and oftentimes even more energetic versions of adult dogs, and they don't have identical food requirements to their more mature buddies. Their nourishment needs aren't exactly the same, to begin, and they also call for increased amounts of calories. At one point, however, all of that changes.

    Puppies typically begin the weaning process when they're approximately 4 weeks old, and sometimes slightly earlier than that. They're usually completely done by the time they're at 8 weeks. From the beginning of weaning forward, the only food that is proper for them is puppy food in commercial formulas. Puppy food tailors to the highly particular food demands of the cuties, including how much protein they need. Adult dog food simply cannot gratify what their tiny bodies need to grow into hardy and healthy individuals.

    Certain types of puppies are usually totally ready to begin consuming adult dog food once they reach a year in age. If a pooch is either small, like a Yorkshire terrier, or mid-sized, like a beagle, he fits into this category. Dogs in this size range generally mature faster than the bigger guys do.

    If your pooch is big or "giant" in size, then he's not ready to start eating adult food at one year. Bigger doggies usually are prepared to make the switch when they're somewhere from 14 to 18 months old. They are essentially the late bloomers of the canine world. An example of a large dog type is a German shepherd. A giant dog is a Great Dane.

    It's crucial to take a slow approach over the course of several days when transitioning from feeding puppy to adult meals. If you make an abrupt change to your pet's diet, you could risk the poor thing experiencing an upset stomach. Be gradual in introducing the adult food. Start by feeding mostly the puppy food, and then adding in a small portion of the adult food. Keep upping the amount of adult food -- and decreasing the puppy food -- until finally your dog is eating only the new stuff.

    Whether it takes one year or a little longer, former sweet puppy dogs inevitably turn into sweet adult dogs. Commercial dog foods exist in dazzlingly broad varieties, and because of that, it can sometimes be tough to determine exactly what is most appropriate for your pet. Because of this, working alongside a veterinarian to put together a suitable and nutritious feeding plan for your specific dog is the smart way to go. A lot of factors come into play, from weight to typical physical fitness levels. Many commercial formulas focus specifically on small or big dog breeds. Remember, too, that dogs who are constantly on the move need more energy. Speak to your veterinarian not only about nutritious types of foods, but also about the right portions.

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    About the Author

    Naomi Millburn has been a freelance writer since 2011. Her areas of writing expertise include arts and crafts, literature, linguistics, traveling, fashion and European and East Asian cultures. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in American literature from Aoyama Gakuin University in Tokyo.

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