light brown puppy happy outside in the grass
light brown puppy happy outside in the grass

Is Your Puppy Ready for Adult Dog Food?

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


Plan to reexamine your puppy’s nutritional needs between 12 and 24 months of age (depending on breed size). Learn when to switch your puppy from their current food to an adult formula — and how to easily make the transition.


When to Transition from Puppy Food to Adult Dog Food 

Your puppy’s transition to adult food should begin when they approach adult height. Their breed type will also help determine when to switch, as will their size. For instance, 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 that weigh 20 pounds or less when fully grown are usually ready to eat adult food at 9 to 12 months of age.
  • Medium-breed dogs that weigh between 20 and 50 pounds as adults normally mature at 12 to 14 months of age.
  • Large- and giant-breed dogs that weigh 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.


IAMS puppy to adult dog food feeding schedule transition chart


How to Transition from Puppy Food to Adult Dog Food 

To avoid upsetting your dog’s intestinal tract or causing diarrhea, gradually 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. Follow these guidelines:

  • Day one: Fill your dog’s bowl with 75% puppy food and 25% adult food.
  • Day two: Mix the adult and puppy food in a 50-50 ratio.
  • Day three: Feed your dog a mixture of 75% adult food and 25% puppy food.
  • Day four: Switch to 100% adult formula.


day 3 of puppy to adult dog food feeding schedule transition chart

Why Feed Your Dog a Premium Food? 

You know that quality counts, so you feed your puppy a premium food that provides balanced nutrition. What food should you choose when they grow into an adult?


Feeding them a high-quality adult food like IAMS™ Adult Minichunks will help them maintain the same superb nutrition they received as a puppy. In contrast, switching to a lower-quality brand at this stage of your dog’s life may upset their digestive system and won’t provide them with the same level of nutritional excellence they were raised on. Check out our Dog Food Selector to find the right food for your all-grown-up pup!


Premium adult dog foods like the ones we make at IAMS™ are specifically designed to provide your dog with:

  • High-quality ingredients that support whole-body health
  • Balanced levels of protein, fat, fiber, carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals
  • Omega-6 fatty acids that help nourish and support your dog’s skin and coat


What does it all add up to? A happy, healthy dog.

  • Understanding Puppy Food Nutrition Labels
    Understanding Puppy Food Nutrition Labels

    Understanding Puppy Food Nutrition Labels

    How much do you know about the food you’re buying for your puppy? When shopping for puppy food, pay attention to these three sections of a dog food label.



    1. The Ingredient Panel

    This section lists all the ingredients that make up the product. The ingredients are listed in descending order according to weight before cooking. In dry food, look for a source of high-quality animal-based protein: chicken or lamb, for example. Dogs thrive on animal proteins.

    Manufacturers who use large amounts of vegetable proteins might be saving money by providing basic — but not optimal — nutrition. You should also avoid artificial colors and flavors, which offer no nutritional benefits.



    2. The Guaranteed Analysis

    Near the ingredient panel should be a chart of percentages called the "guaranteed analysis." These figures reveal the basic nutrient makeup of the dog food's formula and protein content. The minimum percentages of protein and fat and the maximum percentages of fiber and moisture (water) should be listed.



    3. The Manufacturer’s Name and Address

    This information must be included on the label by law. A toll-free number or web address for the manufacturer may also be listed. Manufacturers who list a phone number, such as IAMS™, generally have a high-quality product and welcome consumer calls and questions. If you would like information about IAMS products, visit our website or call us toll-free at 800-525-4267.

     article understanding puppy food nutrition header
    Understanding Puppy Food Nutrition Labels
    Understanding Puppy Food Nutrition Labels
    Understanding Puppy Food Nutrition Labels
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