When to Switch Puppy to Dog Food?

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Author: Jacob Kay

Are you a new puppy owner wondering when to switch your puppy to adult dog food? Not to worry – we’re here to help!

In this blog post, we’ll provide all the information you need about puppy nutrition and transitioning from puppy food to adult dog food.

Raising a puppy is hard work, but it can also be incredibly rewarding. Let’s get started and make sure your pup is getting the best nutrition for their growth and development!

Switch puppy food to dog food
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What Does Puppy Food Have That Adult Food Doesn’t?

Before knowing when to switch puppy to dog food, you should know what is difference between puppy food and dog food.

It is very important to serve the right food to your puppy. Because the initial days after they are born are the foundation.

The three essential things that must be present in a puppy’s food are protein levels, energy levels, and calcium to phosphorous ratio.

Puppy food to Dog Food
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Protein is necessary for a puppy to develop muscle strength. Energy means calories, which level helps in overall growth and also in training. But if the energy level is too high, then it can make your puppy obese. The presence of calcium to phosphorous in food is equally important. It helps the puppy to strengthen its bones. Too high or too low a ratio of calcium to phosphorous in food will lead to bone weakness in adulthood.

When to Switch From Puppy to Dog Food?

Coming back to the real question that when to switch from puppy to dog food? It is not certain, as it may vary from breed to breed. Switching puppy to dog food can be determined by some parameters. let me put it in a way to make it more simpler to understand. I would suggest you monitor the puppy’s growth by consulting your vet.

We will divide dog breeds into three categories large, medium, and small. And according to this, you need to feed puppy.

  • Toy and Small Breed Dogs: Small breed dogs are usually less than 20 pounds in weight and to reach maturity it takes between 9 to 12 months.
  • Medium Dog Breeds: Medium size dogs weigh between 20 to 50 pounds and normally they tend to get mature at the age of 12 to 14 months.
  • Large & Giant Breeds: This breed takes the longest time to reach maturity which is 18 to 24 months. Large-size dogs weigh 50 to 100 pounds at the time of reaching maturity.
Size of dog
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If you have a mixed breed, then consulting your vet would be the best option as he can suggest you the best time to stop serving puppy food.

Unlike humans, animals have a sense of how much they should eat. Therefore, if you find surplus food in their bowl, you might have been serving more calories than your puppy actually needs.

How to Switch Puppy Food to Dog Food?

By now, you know when to start giving adult food, but now the question is how to switch puppy to dog food?

Animals are very sensitive about their surroundings, so if you are making any kind of change make it gradually. According to experts at hillspet you should gradually decrease the amount of current (old) dog food while increasing the amount of new dog food“.

Day 1: 25% new diet and 75% old diet.

Day 3: 50% new diet and 50% old diet.

Day 5: 75% new diet and 25% old diet.

Until now, if you have observed any kind of medical problem, step back and contact your vet as soon as possible.

Day 7: 100% adult formula.

Days can vary if your puppy does not accept the new diet quickly.

Switch Puppy food to dog
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What Is the Best Food for Puppies?

Every dog has their own preference for food type. Some prefer dry food some prefer wet, whereas some enjoy both. Currently, many pet-food brands come up with canine nutrition, which are suitable for both large and small breeds.

Canned food: Canned food is most popular among dogs. It is quite expensive to feed and also whole meat meal is not good for dogs in long run, instead, you should include nutritional food.

Semi-moist food: This kind of food is made in such a way that it tempts your dog, like hamburgers.

Kibble: Kibble considered as most economical dog food among all. You can bring it anywhere and feed it like a treat. Many dog trainers also use kibble in training as a reward. It offers a whole nutritional pack and It comes with all types of dogs, suitable to their size and age.

Moreover, many dog owners claim that the hardness of kibble helps their dogs in their health of dental growth. Additionally, kiddle also work as cheery on a cake. When you mix it with canned and semi-moist food you can make dog food tastier.

How Much You Should Feed Your Dog?

The answer to how much quantity of food you should feed your dog can not be certain. It varies on many factors like age, weight, activity level, and sometimes health.

Weight: Your dog should always maintain the ideal weight. To know what his ideal body condition is, you can visit the vet. You can also use the BCS method “The pet version of BMI is called BCS (Body Condition Score) and it is a quantitative, yet subjective, method for evaluating body fat” says Dr Krista Williams, DVM, from VCAHospital.

If your dog is not in proper body condition, then you may need to adjust his diet that how much and what will your dog eat.

Activity Level: Activity level depends upon how much you are playing with your dog. It also includes if you take your dog on a simple walk or hilly run. Dogs who are lazy and obese are also supposed to take less calories and energy food.

Dog activity
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Age: The age of your dog will determine the amount of food and what kind of food he will eat. If he is less than 12 months old, then you need to feed the puppy food. The benefit of feeding food according to their age helps them to grow healthier.

If your dog is sick or suffering from any medical condition. Then you should consult your vet and serve a different diet irrespective of these factors

Therefore, these three are the main parameters which you should consider before feeding your dog.


Does it make a difference if my puppy has been spayed/neutered?

Yes and no. The energy level of a dog can only be decided after surgery, it can also vary from breed to breed. Thus, it is better to consult your vet and serve food according to your dog’s requirements. Otherwise, unknowingly you can make your dog either skinny or obese

How to choose the best adult dog food?

You should choose a known dog food brand. Specially which has gone under AAFCO feeding trials. Additionally, you should also consider your dog’s preference.

Should I feed him people food or table scraps?

Big no, never feed your dog any table scraps. It can be harmful to your dog if you feed your dog anything fried. Table food is usually suitable for the human digestive system not for dog’s. If you want to give treats you use kibbles.

Should I stop my puppy from drinking too much water?

Water is an essential part of any living thing. It would be considered a crime if you deprived your dog of drinking water. But if you think your puppy is drinking too much water, then you should consult your vet.


Confidently, we were able to give you relevant information regarding the question: of when to switch puppy to dog food.

Let’s quickly recall!

It is always exciting to see your puppy grow and become an adult dog. It is your responsibility to monitor his health. If you are still thinking about when to switch from puppy to dog food, take it slow. It is better to give adequate time to your puppy to reach maturity. Otherwise, his muscles and bones will remain weak. Before starting to give adult food to your puppy, it is better to consult a vet.


  1. Yamka, R. (2019, April 25). Do AAFCO feeding trials matter for pet food nutrition? Retrieved January 12, 2024, from
  2. Chewy Editorial. (2022, November 4). Puppy Feeding Guide: How Much to Feed a Puppy & More. BeChewy. Retrieved January 12, 2024, from
  3. Dog Nutrition Tips. (n.d.). ASPCA. Retrieved January 12, 2024, from
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Jacob Kay
Jacob Kay is a Veterinary Advisor and Editor at WWD. He’s also a dog lover and has two pet dogs of his own. He has extensive knowledge in the field of veterinary medicine and is always happy to share his insights with others.

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