Is your puppy ready for adult dog food

Author : David Carter | Published On : 31 May 2021

Our dogs exhibit three life stages: Puppy, Adult and Senior. Although balanced nutrition is a basic necessity throughout a dog’s life, its nutritional requirements are different during all these stages. Only if you’ve raised a pup, you will know how rapidly they grow up. And so, it is essential to provide them with the right food at the right time.  

In this article, we have covered all of the information you need to know about transitioning from puppy to adult food:

How is adult food different from puppy food?

Puppy food is richer in proteins, other nutrients like DHA and calories to meet the needs of a growing pup and playfulness. It is also enriched with high levels of sodium, potassium, calcium and enzymes. In this article, we have compiled all of the information you need to know about transitioning from puppy to adult food.

However, as puppies grow older, their growth slows down and their activity levels decrease.  Adult dogs no longer need such a high calorie diet. Moreover, feeding such rich puppy food to adults may lead to obesity and other health problems. Adult food is mostly focused on maintaining their skin, coat, digestion, joint health and overall well-being. Hence, adults should be never fed puppy food.  

When it is the time to switch to adult dog food?

Although this is the question that almost all pet parents have, there is no specific answer to it. It depends on different factors and your dog’s needs. Here are five things to consider while deciding whether or not your beloved dog is ready for adult food:

#1. Size:

As per a general rule, you can switch your pup’s diet to adult food when it has reached about 75% of its adult size. Therefore, the best time to switch to adult food is when your puppy attains three quarters of its estimated adult weight.

#2. Breed:

You can switch your puppy’s diet to adult food when it’s about to be an adult. So probably, by this time, you can consider it as a teenager. And just like humans, dogs also undergo a lot of changes in their teenage. However, every dog reaches this stage at different times. Mostly, you can anticipate when they will reach this stage depending on your dog's breed's general time to grow up to that stage as mentioned below:


When to switch?

Toy breeds

At the of age 6-7 months

Small breeds

At the of age 9-11 months

Medium breeds

At the of age 12-14 months

Large breeds

At the of age 15-18 months

Giant breeds

At the of age 18-24 months


#3. Temperament:

Your dog’s temperament also plays a vital role in determining if your little Fido is ready to move onto adult food. A dog's attitude can sometimes tell you that they are no longer a puppy now.

Puppies are so energetic and playful that they just run around all the time. But if you find your pup suddenly quite mellow and reclined, it could be a sign that it is maturing. 

#4. Sleep:

Puppies, being highly active, generally tend to sleep 12-14 hours per day. However, once your dog is past the puppy stage, it will spend a bit longer sleeping. Therefore, you should also keep an eye on their sleeping patterns as they help us determine if your dog is a grown up kid now.

#5. Activity levels:

Your dog’s activity levels and fitness also play an important role in this. Some dogs are hyperactive and expend extra energy. These kind of dogs need more calories and hence you might want to transition them to adult food a little later.

On the other hand, some dogs are just couch potatoes and they don’t need extra fuel even in their puppy stage.  These puppies are usually ready to switch to adult formulas a little earlier as compared to their more active peers.

How to switch to adult pet food?

Considering all the above points, now if you feel that your puppy is ready to transition onto adult food, it is essential to do so gradually. Sudden change in their diet may lead to indigestion and other gastric troubles. However, you can reduce the possibility of such problems by combining two foods together.

You can start by adding a small amount or one fourth amount of adult food to your puppy’s food and slowly increase the amount over a month. By the end of the month, you can fully transition their diet into adult food.


As young pups grow so fast before your eyes, this change in their nutrition is extremely important. Choose the best quality premium food for your dog as it will help them live a long and healthy life.