How long should puppies be on puppy food and how do you know when to stop feeding puppy food? We’ve shared everything you need to know about puppy food to ensure your pup gets the nutrition they need to grow big and strong!
What makes a food suitable for puppies?
Puppies are constantly growing and require a diet that is formulated to meet their nutritional needs and supports proper growth and development. This includes appropriate amounts of fat, vitamins and minerals, energy-providing carbohydrates, and other nutrients. More nutritional elements significant to a puppy’s diet and growth include DHA to support brain development, antioxidants to promote a strong immune system, and high protein for lean muscles.
When choosing a food for your puppy, look for the following on the label:
- “Complete and balanced”
- “All Life Stages”
- (For large breed puppies) “including the growth of large breed dogs”
These statements indicate that the diet is suitable for puppies according to AAFCO Dog Food Nutrient Profiles.
Large breed puppies (defined as >70 lbs. fully grown) have extra nutritional needs that contribute to the appropriate and gradual growth of their larger skeletal framework.
When feeding your puppy, be sure to check feeding guidelines on the bag and consult with your veterinarian to make sure your puppy is getting enough food. Growing puppies may need up to twice the amount of food as an adult dog.
When should a puppy transition to adult food?
The age at which a puppy reaches adulthood (their full-grown size and weight) can vary by breed and other factors. Typically, dogs will be fully grown by age 1, but large breed puppies may continue growing until age 2. It’s important to stop feeding puppy food when the time is right and transition to an adult diet and decrease the amount of food so your dog does not become overweight.
Many dog foods are nutritionally formulated to meet the needs of both puppies and adult dogs so always refer to the label for the AAFCO nutritional statement!
Stella & Chewy’s offers a variety of raw and kibble diets that are formulated to meet your puppy’s needs. Learn more about choosing a diet for your puppy.