Do you remember the first day you brought your small puppy home? How they tripped over their toys, wagged their tiny tails, and gave you those adorable puppy dog eyes? Now, as they rapidly grow and develop, an important question arises: when and how should you transition your small breed dog from puppy food to adult dog food?
Understanding Your Pup’s Nutritional Needs
Like human babies, puppies require a diet that’s rich in both fats and calories to support their rapid growth. This is especially true for small breed dogs, whose growth spurts can be incredibly swift. As your puppy matures and their growth slows, these nutritional needs change.
When is the Right Time for Transition?
The question of timing is pivotal. Small breed dogs, typically weighing under 9 kg, reach maturity around 10-12 months of age. That’s when you should consider transitioning them to adult dog food.
The Transition Process: Step-by-Step
Transitioning your puppy to a new diet shouldn’t be done abruptly. Start by mixing 25% of the new adult dog food with 75% of their current puppy food. Gradually increase the amount of new food over a period of 10-14 days until you’re feeding them 100% adult food. Keep in mind, your dog’s individual needs may require adjustments to these ratios. A good indicator of your dog’s digestion is their stools. If you notice any irregularities, consider slowing down the transition process.
All-life Stages Diet: An Alternative Path
There’s another way! Many ORIJEN® diets are formulated to meet the nutritional needs of dogs of all life stages. These foods are suitable for both puppies and adult dogs, making them a flexible option. If you have an adult dog and a new puppy, or if your puppy has specific dietary needs, these diets can be a great choice.
For puppies aged 1 ½ to 3 months, feed twice the active adult amount for their current weight. Between 3 to 6 months, reduce this to 1.5 times the active adult amount. From 6 months until they reach maturity, feed them 1.25 times the active adult amount.
Recommended Transition Diets
Choosing the right dog food is crucial, as not all recipes are suitable for all dogs. Small breed dogs, for example, have unique nutritional needs. Transitioning from ORIJEN® Small Breed Puppy to ORIJEN® Small Breed or ORIJEN® Small Breed Marine Fish can be an excellent choice for these pups.
Once you’ve made the transition, remember to follow the feeding chart We recommend splitting the suggested daily amount into two meals. Our charts are based on an “average dog”, but feel free to adjust by up to 10% to cater to your dog’s unique needs. Remember, an active dog may require more calories, while a less active one will need fewer to maintain a healthy weight.
Your Dog’s Health, Our Priority
We understand that making dietary changes for your dog can be daunting, but it’s an important part of ensuring their long-term health. Choosing the right food and making the transition at the right time is key. Take a look at ORIJEN’s selection of specially-formulated puppy and adult dog foods to find the best choice for your beloved pet. Your dog’s nutritional needs may change, but ORIJEN’s commitment to their health and happiness remains constant.