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How to Transition Your Puppy to Adult Food

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How to Transition Your Puppy to Adult Food

Your puppy’s nutritional needs will change as he grows into adulthood, but how do you know when your puppy is ready for adult food?
 

Depending on his breed size, at some point between 12 and 24 months of age, you should reexamine your puppy's nutritional needs and choose the right adult formula. His adult food could depend upon his metabolism (Does he gain weight easily?) and his activity level (Is it low, normal, or high?) These factors can help you find the ideal food for your dog.
 

The transition to a premium adult formula should begin when your dog approaches adult height and weight. The kind of dog you have will determine the right time to switch. When you do switch to adult formula, follow the same four-day process as you did when introducing your puppy to premium puppy food.
 

Small-breed dogs tend to mature physically much sooner than large-breed dogs. Follow these guidelines to help you decide when to switch formulas:
 

  • Small-breed dogs (20 pounds or less when fully grown) are usually ready to transition to an adult formula when they are 9 to 12 months of age.
  • Medium-breed dogs (between 20 and 50 pounds when fully grown) normally mature at around 12 to 14 months of age.
  • Large-breed dogs (more than 50 pounds when fully grown) might not be ready to switch to an adult food until they are between 12 and 24 months old.

 

 

Why Switch to an Adult Formula?

As your new puppy quickly matures into adulthood, he needs nutrition appropriate for his "new" body. That means a high-quality, premium adult formula. Most veterinarians agree that feeding a complete and balanced premium food, such as IAMS™ ProActive Health™ Adult MiniChunks, throughout your dog's adulthood can promote a long and healthy life.

  • Recognizing the Signs of Bloat in Your Dog
    Recognizing the Signs of Bloat in Your Dog

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    Recognizing the Signs of Bloat in Your Dog

    What Is Bloat?

    Bloat is a life-threatening condition that acts rapidly and can lead to death within hours if not recognized and treated immediately. Unfortunately, the cause of bloat remains unknown at this time.

     

    The scientific term for bloat is gastric dilatation-volvulus or GDV. Bloat is characterized by rapid and abnormal expansion of the stomach with gas (dilatation). This can be followed by rotation of the stomach (volvulus). This rotation closes both the entry to and exit from the stomach. The blood vessels also are closed down, and blood flow is restricted.

     

    What follows is an increase in pressure inside the stomach and compression of the surrounding organs. Eventually, shock will occur as a result of the restricted blood flow. Here are a few key facts about bloat:

    • Bloat should always be treated as a medical emergency.
    • Bloat can kill a dog within hours after onset.
    • The cause of bloat is unknown.
    • Bloat affects 36,000 dogs in the United States each year; 30% die as a result of this condition.
    • Bloat can occur in dogs of any age.
    • Certain breeds are more susceptible to bloat, particularly deep-chested dogs.
    • The stomach rapidly expands with gas then rotates on the long axis. Entry to and exit from the stomach is prohibited, causing blood vessels to close and restriction of blood flow.

     

     

    Signs of Bloat

    Bloat is a true medical emergency, and early identification and treatment is critical to survival.

     

    In the early stages of bloat, the dog will be very uncomfortable. You might see him pacing and whining or trying unsuccessfully to get into a comfortable position. He might seem anxious, might lick or keep staring at his stomach, and might attempt to vomit, without success.

     

    Other indications of bloat can include weakness, swelling of the abdomen, and even signs of shock. Signs of shock are increased heart rate and abnormally rapid breathing.

     

    If you notice these signs, call your veterinarian immediately!

     

    • Whining
    • Inability to get comfortable
    • Pacing or restlessness
    • Pale gums
    • Unproductive attempts to vomit
    • Abnormally rapid breathing
    • Increased heart rate
    • Anxiety
    • Pain, weakness
    • Swelling of the abdomen (particularly the left side)

     

     

    Helping Prevent Bloat

    These suggestions could help you prevent bloat in your dog. However, they are based on suspected risk factors and are not guaranteed to prevent the onset of bloat.

     

    • Feed small amounts of food frequently, two to three times daily.
    • Avoid exercise for one hour before and two hours after meals.
    • Don't let your dog drink large amounts of water just before or after eating or exercise.
    • If you have two or more dogs, feed them separately to avoid rapid, stressful eating.
    • If possible, feed at times when after-feeding behavior can be observed.
    • Avoid abrupt diet changes.
    • If you see signs of bloat, call your veterinarian immediately.

     

     

    Digestible Foods

    Another way you might help prevent bloat is to feed a high-quality, highly digestible food with normal fiber levels.

     

    Feeding management offers the best method available for reducing risk until the exact cause of bloat can be identified. Although not 100% effective, these measures can reduce the number of dogs that face this serious, life-threatening condition.

     

     

    High-Risk Breeds

    • German Shepherd
    • Bouvier de Flandres
    • Great Dane
    • Boxer
    • St. Bernard
    • Doberman Pinscher
    • Bloodhound
    • German Shorthaired Pointer
    • Irish Setter
    • Gordon Setter
    • Borzoi
    • Irish Wolfhound
    • Dachshund
    • Labrador Retriever
    • Basset Hound

    Recognizing the Signs of Bloat in Your Dog
    Recognizing the Signs of Bloat in Your Dog
    Recognizing the Signs of Bloat in Your Dog
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