Feeding Puppies: When Can You Switch from Puppy Food to Adult Dog Food?

Is your puppy approaching adult size? It happens in the blink of an eye. While your puppy may look larger than he did a few months ago, he should still be eating the specialized nutrition in puppy formulas. So when can puppies eat adult dog food formulas?

Before you switch your puppy to an adult formula, ask yourself the following questions:

  • Is he one year old? Has your puppy stopped growing? The best time to switch your puppy to an adult formula is when he stops growing.
  • What is your puppy’s breed size at maturity? Small? Medium? Large? An important factor when determining when to feed adult dog food formulas is your puppy’s size at maturity, because smaller breeds stop growing sooner than larger breeds. Small and medium-size breeds reach their full adult size around age one. If your puppy is a large breed, he may not stop growing until 18-24 months.
  • Have you seen your veterinarian? All dogs are different. Ask your veterinarian about the right time for your puppy to start eating an adult formula.

Choosing what to feed your dog can be confusing during this transitional time. You may even be wondering, can puppies eat adult dog food formulas, or can adult dogs eat puppy food formulas? Adult dogs and puppies have different nutritional needs and do best on foods that are formulated for their specific life stage. Puppies, for example, need more protein than adult dogs to help fuel their growing bodies, and they benefit from DHA to help support vision and brain development. To give your puppy a great start, he could benefit from eating a puppy formula like Purina ONE® SmartBlend® Healthy Puppy Formula until he stops growing.

Once you’re certain that your puppy has reached his adult size, it’s time to switch to an adult formula. Be sure to transition your dog to his new food slowly to minimize dietary upset. Over the course of about ten days, gradually mix in more of his new food and less of his current food, until he’s only eating the new food.

As your dog’s body grows and changes throughout his life, his nutritional needs change as well. Giving him the right food to support these changes is one of the most important things you can do to help your dog live a long, healthy life.