Puppies grow in the blink of an eye. And, without even realizing it, our little friends become big and strong dogs. That is why they need special foods that can meet the physiological essentials they require at each stage of their development.
Usually, during their first months of life, it is necessary to feed them with foods that provide a lot of energy in addition to a large amount of protein, nutrients, fiber, calcium, and phosphorus. Some require grain free dog food. As our dogs grow and become adults, their diet needs to be changed from puppy to adult food.
Once they reach adulthood, dogs need an even greater amount of calories, a higher intake of protein, and eating food from which they can obtain basic amino acids. Most pet owners are aware of this, so they have to change the type of food they feed their dogs. However, some make a big mistake: which is that they do it abruptly.
Consequences of suddenly altering your dog’s diet… Although some modifications in a dogs diet may be necessary, especially as they get older, other variations in their daily diet are harmful and can cause problems if this is done abruptly.
The way in which all these types of alterations affect the health of the animal is manifested in various symptoms, depending on the pathology. If these inadequate nutritional habits are maintained, they can cause diarrhea, vomiting, gas and, in more serious cases, gastritis or gastroenteritis.
For this reason, it is noteworthy to know how and when those changes in the diet of our pets can be made. Thus, they can reduce the risk of suffering from diseases or having to deal with stomach health problems.
The ideal procedure for meal changes… First of all, it is crucial to have a set budget every month for our dogs. This is the best way to ensure that they will follow a consistent diet with the type of food they eat.
Once this is understood, it is equally significant to know that when it is appropriate to make if any, dietary modifications in the dogs’ lifestyle, it must be done gradually, combining the dogs usual food and the new food you want to replace it with.
Also, it is important to know at what stage in our dogs life it is necessary and recommended to make a change in their diet. If you change a puppy’s diet to an adults too soon, they may have abnormalities in their bones and joints.
Generally speaking, it is necessary to wait until the puppy is physically mature in order to do well with a change in his or her diet and for it’s body to adequately adapt to the change in food. This depends primarily on their breed for example:
- For small and medium breeds, such as the Chihuahuas and yorkies, the ideal time for change is between 9 and 12 months after their birth.
- In the case of large breeds such as Labradors and Retriever, it is advisable to make the change between the first 12 and 15 months.
- For giant dog breeds such as Great Danes, Mastiffs and Newfoundlands, the recommended age to alter their diet is between 18 and 24 months.
Remember that all the processes that involve the health of your dog should always be discussed with and under the supervision/recommendation of a professional such as a veterinarian.