Homedog health & care

When To Stop Feeding Puppy Food?

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Puppies need a lot of calories to speed up their growth. That’s why we often feed them puppy food three or four times a day. Once their growth in height starts to slow down, you should start changing to the adult-formula diet. It ensures your dogs to gain the same benefits as they did from their puppy food. And greater than that, doing so will make the whole transition easier.

But when to stop feeding puppy food as your dog is ready for the adult food? This post will give you the right answer to this question!

5 Visible Signs It’s Time to Stop Feeding Puppy Food

Puppy’s Coat Becomes Dull and Flaky

It’s when your puppy lacks Omega-3 or Omega-6 fatty acids in their diet. This is a common cause of highly flaky and dull-looking coat in pets. Not just dogs, but also cats who need a great variety of Omega-3s to become healthier from the inside out. As you see, dog’s skin or coat can be a great sign telling us that it’s time to make a change in their diet.

Your Puppy Gets Weaker

Have you ever seen your dog go through an illness or a stressful moment in life? Any of these might cause him to be a bit exhausted. If so, it’s time to transition to the adult dog food, but with the higher levels of antioxidants.

They’re well-known for increasing the pet’s immune response to speed up the dog’s recovery. For this reason, your dog can get back on their feet sooner. For safer results, consult with a veterinarian before making any change in diet. 

It Has a Hefty Tummy

It won’t take much time for your dog to have some extra weight. This can be seen noticeably with little dogs. But if you want it to shed more inches, focus on a diet made for weight loss. Let’s keep the proper amount of nutrients your dog needs, from vitamins to minerals.

This diet guarantees your dog to be on the way to a healthier weight. Again, it’s best to ask your veterinarian for more nutritional methods.

Your Pet Has Allergies

Dog allergies happen commonly, and the food is only one of so many potential causes out there. Not to mention the cause, the itchy dogs should be given a low-allergen food that helps lower the number of possible allergens. Consult with the veterinarian who will prescribe you a suitable dog diet based on your puppy’s particular demands.

It Experiences the Upset Stomach

Having loose stool or upset stomach is said to be the outcome of the low-quality of the food you’re feeding your puppy. It’s seen as a big inconvenience for all pet owners. It causes their pets to feel uncomfortable the entire time. Ensure to talk to your pet nutritionist for the best solution to switch to the best dog food. Or if possible, try to find a diet for upset stomach suiting your pet.

When to Change from Puppy to Adult Food?

The aim of using puppy food is to provide them with enough nutrition a growing dog needs. Thus, the puppy needs to consume puppy food until he or she no longer grows up. However, it’s recommended to feed them only in the first year. This is considered the general rule of thumb, especially for the little breeds.

In reality, you’ll see that some other dogs can’t grow more in height but only in chests after the first year, such as Pitbulls or Labradors. It’s when your puppy almost reaches the adult size, and this is when to stop feeding puppy food!

Before starting the gradual switch to an adult-formula food, come to ask yourself a few following questions:

  • Is your puppy one year old? Has it stopped growing yet? The best time to transition your puppy food to an adult formula is when he or she no longer grows up.
  • What is the breed size of your puppy when it gets mature? Small, medium, or large? The essential element to determine when to feed adult dog food will be the puppy’s size at its maturity.
    Note that small breeds often stop growing earlier than big breeds. Both small and medium breeds are known to arrive their fullest adult size at the age of one. So, when your puppy is a big breed, he won’t stop growing until reaching 18 - 24 months.
  • Have you discussed this issue with your veterinarian? Each dog is different, so consulting a veterinarian will be a must do.

After all, most dogs become mature at approximately one year of age. This is the right time to wean the puppy slowly over a period of time. It might last from two to three weeks on his or her new diet. Once the puppy has come to his adult size, it’s time to move to an adult formula. Be sure to transition slowly to reduce dietary upset.

For about ten days, slowly mix more of the new food and less of the present food until your pet gets familiar with his new food. More importantly, take the following guidelines to know when to stop feeding puppy food based on your breed dog type:

  • Little breed dogs (20 pounds and less when fully mature) are often ready to switch to their adult formula. It happens when they reach 9-12 months of age.
  • Medium breed dogs (20-50 pounds when fully mature) won’t be ready to change to their adulthood until they reach 12-14 months of age.
  • Giant breed dogs (over 50 pounds when fully mature) might not be ready to move to the new food until they arrive between 12-24 months of age.

How to Change from Puppy to Adult Food?

For dogs of all ages, they should have a balanced, decent, and natural diet that suits them no matter how old they are. It’s fine to concentrate much on your puppy or adult diet as stated by the pet food industry. But we suggest you feed your dogs a good-quality, balanced, organic, and even homemade diet without caring much about the age.

If it’s the homemade diet, let’s give your dogs more nutrients they need in the form of vitamin supplement. This offers them the great longevity and health benefits that can last a long time. Make sure to check with your veterinarian for help in deciding if anything further is needed.

To make your dog’s dietary switch as easy as possible, here’s our basic guide:

  • On the first day, you can fill the dog’s food bowl with 75% puppy food and only 25% adult dog food. Next day, lower the amount of puppy food to 50% while increasing the adult food to 50%. On the third day, offer the dog with around 25% puppy food but 75% adult food. For the last day, you can fill its bowl with 100% adult food without needing to mix with any puppy food.
  • When the puppy doesn’t appear to be ready for the new adult food, just switch its formula type. For example, you can change from chicken to lamb. But avoid returning to its puppy diet before. 


Hopefully, our article is informative enough to help you get the best answer to “when to stop feeding puppy food?” Once your puppy comes into adulthood, he or she needs a sort of nutrition that suits his or her new body. It also means a better-quality adult formula. And giving your pet the right diet, it’ll help the dog live a longer and healthier life. 

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