When, Why, and How to Start Feeding Your Pup Grown-up Nutrition
As your puppy grows into an adult dog, he needs nutrition that keeps his body as strong as your love, and that means a high-quality, premium adult formula such as IAMS™ ProActive Health™ Adult MiniChunks
Why move your grown-up pup to a premium adult dog food? Because quality counts. It's crucial to continue his superb puppy nutrition into adulthood. Downgrading to a lower-quality brand at this stage of his life may upset his digestive system, and won't provide him with the same level of nutritional excellence he was raised on.
Think of a baby. When it's time to start giving him solid food, you wouldn't dream of feeding your child anything less than the best nutrition you can buy. The same is true for your maturing puppy. He needs the best age-appropriate food there is to help maintain his overall health.
Premium foods, such as IAMS, are specifically designed to provide your dog with a food that has:
What does it all add up to? A happy, healthy dog. With premium dog food, you can expect key indicators that contribute to providing your dog with a long, healthy life:
Founded on more than 60 years of research into canine nutrition, premium formulas from IAMS help maintain your dog's health and provide him with the nutrition he needs for a long life. Basic brands may not provide these benefits or match the level of expertise that goes into every bag of dog food from IAMS.
Your puppy's transition to adult food should begin when he approaches adult height. His breed type will also help determine when to switch. Small-breed dogs tend to mature physically much sooner than large-breed dogs. Follow these guidelines to help you decide when to switch formulas:
Large- and giant-breed dogs, those weighing more than 50 pounds when fully grown, might not be ready to switch to an adult food until they're 12 to 24 months old.
To avoid upsetting your dog's intestinal tract or causing diarrhea, make the change from a puppy formula to an adult diet over a period of four days by mixing the two foods in your dog's bowl.
How much food should you give your dog? Check the daily feeding recommendations established by the pet-food manufacturer and read the label. Dan Carey, DVM and Director of Technical Communications at IAMS, suggests using the recommendations, then weighing your dog each week. If he's gaining or losing weight and shouldn't be, slightly decrease or increase his daily intake, and weigh him again in another week.
If you have specific concerns about your dog's weight, talk to your veterinarian. He or she can assess your dog's needs and give you a feeding recommendation.
Does your mature dog sniff at his bowl and walk away instead of digging in? You may think he’s just being picky, but it’s important to keep an eye on how much he’s eating — especially if he’s a senior. While age-related diminishment of the senses of smell and taste may account for some of his disinterest in food, appetite loss can also indicate a serious medical problem.
“It’s important to give your dog enough calories because weight loss can be debilitating to senior pets,” says Wendy Brooks, D.V.M., who warns that a loss in appetite should be mentioned to your vet. A good rule of thumb: If your pet hasn’t eaten in a day, make a visit to the vet. Here are six ways to entice your canine friend with a nourishing meal.
Many animals find canned food more palatable because they like the taste and texture, Brooks says. You can top their favorite dry food with room-temperature wet food.
Dogs like a warm or room-temperature (not hot or cold) meal. Avoid serving him day-old wet food from the refrigerator, and keep his food away from heat. Another reason he might not be eating: It's too hot outside.
Dogs prefer consistency when it comes to their food. Don't change every day, but try a new flavor, such as lamb or chicken, and see if he responds (it may trigger his sense of smell). To avoid an upset stomach, introduce a new food by mixing it with his old food in equal increments each day.
Common mature-dog health issues, such as arthritis or joint pain, can make it difficult for him to access his bowls. Keep food and water where he spends most of his time. Put a water bowl on all floors of the house, too.
Older pets are at a higher risk of dehydration. Provide a clean bowl with fresh water at all times. It will help prevent disease, such as a kidney condition, and aid in digestion.
Dogs are people pleasers. If you see him eating, give him a little verbal reward. He'll know it makes you happy and will repeat the behavior.