As with any other family member, you want to keep you canine companion healthy. Choosing a high-quality dog food isn’t enough. You have to make sure he is getting the correct type of dog food. Feed him puppy food until it’s the correct time to transition to adult food.
Puppy food is specifically designed to meet the needs of a growing body. These mixes are packed with vitamins and nutrients, such as calcium, that help bones, muscles, organs and joints grow. If you tried to feed puppy food to an adult dog, it would be too rich and could cause growth problems for the adult dog. Don’t feed your puppy any adult dog food until the proper age, as he won’t get the proper nutrients that he needs to grow big and strong.
Adult Dog Food
Adult dog food is designed to maintain a healthy weight while providing enough energy for his daily needs and to help repair any damaged body tissues. You should ensure that you’re feeding your adult dog according to his age, weight and activity level. If he is inactive and you feed him enough for a highly active dog, he will gain weight. On the other end, a very active dog being underfed will not fare very well, either.
Choose a high-quality dog food that is specifically designed for your dog breed. Buying a large pellet dog food designed for a large breed for your shih tzu will prove hard to swallow for the little guy. Look on the back of the dog food packaging for recommended serving size for your specific dog. You can also use a dog food calculator, such as the one on DogFoodAdviser.com, to determine the correct amount that your dog needs per day.
Age and Feeding Frequency
You should feed a puppy more frequently than an adult dog. Puppies that are 8 to 12 weeks old should be fed four small meals a day. Lower the feeding to three times a day from 3 to 6 months and two daily after that. Try to keep an established schedule for feedings to keep it consistent. On average, you should introduce your dog to adult dog food around 1 year of age. Due to small and medium breeds maturing sometime around 10 to 12 months and bigger dog breeds maturing between the first and second year, you may want to check with your vet for specific recommendations on the correct timing for your pooch.
When it’s time to transition from puppy food to adult food, keep a few things in mind. Don’t do the transition all in one day; this may cause digestion problems. Slowly transition over the course of a week. Start by replacing one-quarter of the puppy mix with adult food mix on the first and second day. On the third day, increase it to equal amounts. The fifth day can be three-fourths adult mix with one-quarter puppy mix. On the seventh day, you can give him a full serving of adult food.