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Walk down the dog food aisle of any large pet-supply store, or peruse the shelves at a boutique pet-food shop, and you can quickly become overwhelmed. This is especially true for puppy owners, and probably even more so for first-time puppy owners. When did it get so complicated? Back in the day, dog food options were far more limited, and even responsible dog owners didn’t worry too much about what went into their dog’s dish.
The process may now be somewhat more involved, but that’s a good thing. Higher quality ingredients with better sourcing and specialized diet formulas lead to overall better health for our puppies. And every bit as important as what to feed your puppy is having an understanding of his special nutritional needs.
All puppies are different, so if you have any concerns or questions about your puppy’s food, feeding schedule, or nutritional health, always consult your breeder or veterinarian—that’s what they’re there for.
Many puppy owners wonder, “How long should I feed puppy food?” Here is a general timeline for what your puppy needs at each stage of his first year of life.
Read Dr. Kristy Conn’s Advice:
Congratulations on your newest four-legged addition to your family. I understand the excitement and trepidation that comes with bringing home a furry ball of joy. You want to do right by her and that includes making sure she is getting the correct amount of nutrition. This is a popular time of year for bringing home puppies so I’d like to take the opportunity to review basic puppy feeding guidelines for the first year of life while covering your question which may also answer any future questions you or other readers may have.
Move on From Puppy Food
Puppy food is very high in calories and nutritional supplements so you want to switch to adult food once your puppy begins to approach maturity. There is no set age when the switch should be made because it will vary with the breed and individual dog.
In general, the smaller the dog the faster they reach maturity. Small breeds up to 30 pounds mature around ten to twelve months of age although some toy breeds reach maturity even sooner. Medium breed dogs up to 80 pounds will reach maturity between twelve to sixteen months and I believe your puppy may fall into this category. It really depends how much Great Pyrenees she has in her. Large breed dogs weighing more than 80 pounds can take up to two years to reach maturity.
When making the switch to adult food, do it slowly over the course of one to two weeks by gradually mixing in increasing amounts of the adult food with decreasing amounts of her puppy food to minimize gastric upset.