Here is the best way to switch puppy to dog food slowly and effectively with harming the health of the puppy. Also, find how to start replacing the mother’s milk with puppy food and at what age you should start feeding your dog an adult food.
Harmonious growth of the puppy is impossible without a balanced diet. In the first weeks of life, mother’s milk serves as such food. But the baby grows every day, its needs change and the body needs more nutrients than it contains in milk. In his diet gradually introduced solid food, but the transition from milk to the adult diet will take a long time. How and when should a puppy be transferred to a dog feed?
Puppies grow even faster than human children. The newborn puppy is completely defenseless, but at the age of 2-3 weeks his eyes and ears open, and he is ready to study the world around him. Until then, all the necessary nutrients the baby receives from the mother’s milk. As he grows, he needs more vitamins and minerals, and milk can no longer cope with his function. Therefore, at the age of 2-3 weeks of the puppy, you need to start feeding the starter food.
The starter is the first lure. It does not replace mother’s milk but complements it and prepares a transition to self-feeding. If you are a supporter of a natural type of feeding, then as a starter puppy should be given a natural, suitable food for him. If the puppy will eat dry food, then the starter should be special. It is better to choose a starter and the subsequent full-feed of one brand.
Switch puppy to dog food
Choose one type of feeding: natural or ready (Packaged). You cannot combine them!
If you want the puppy to start eating solid foods, it can be soaked with warm boiled water a few minutes before feeding or used in its original form. The approximate rate of feeding is indicated on the package but may vary depending on the needs of the puppy or type of dog breed. During the feeding period, the puppy continues to eat mother’s milk. He receives a sufficient amount of nutrients and is gradually prepared for self-feeding.
In the absence of a start food, an abrupt transition from milk to full-fat for puppies would be accompanied by enormous stress. A puppy, accustomed to liquid food, cannot switch quickly to solid food. As a consequence, there would be digestive disorders and an imbalance of substances in the body. The starter food allows you to solve this problem.
Keep in mind that in the access to the puppy there is always fresh drinking water.
At 2 months, thanks to the starter food, the puppy is already ready to give up milk and switch to independent food. With a natural type of feeding diet should be built, consulting with a veterinarian. Balancing components at home is difficult, so you will need expert support. With ready-made fodders, everything is simpler, since their composition is already balanced. The only thing is, you need to choose a good food super premium class.
After your puppy get used to the solid food he will slowly stop drink mothers milk and after 18 to 24 month of age, the dog can be switched to adult food, the time to switch also depends on health and type of dog breed. So, it is always advisable to consult a veterinarian or expert dog breeder before switching puppy to dog food.
Transfer puppy to solid food
In 2 months of the pet, it is still impossible to transfer to the adult forage, he needs a special diet for puppies. Approximately one year (and for larger breeds – more) the body will continue to grow, and it will require more energy, protein, vitamins and minerals than an adult dog. Therefore, rations for puppies and adult dogs differ. For example, feeds for puppies contain more protein.
Starters and full-feed fodders for puppies also differ in composition. For example, Monge starters have an increased content of proteins and fats, and their granules are smaller in size. Full-feed for Monge Puppy puppies contains the optimal amount of easily digestible proteins, carbohydrates and a full range of nutrients, which in milk for a growing puppy is not enough.
To translate the pet from the dog food to the adult should be approximated a year, but depending on the breed, this period may vary. Large dogs develop slower than miniature dogs. Accordingly, they need more nutritious food longer.
Scheme of puppy transfer to adult forage using the example of Monge feed
The transition to an adult diet should be carried out smoothly. First, the food for the puppies is mixed with the food for the dogs and gradually completely removed from the diet.
Choose a dog food
Some kind of packaged food are not recommended since the stores are constantly emerging new brands. Read reviews, even better, ask experts and vet.
There are only a few general recommendations:
- Don’t go for cheap. A good feed contains natural ingredients, so it cannot be very cheap.
- Choose food for a particular breed. On the packaging, it is always written, for which breeds this food is suitable.
- Follow the instructions on the packaging. Each food has its nutritional value, so the volume will be individual.
- Natural food is not a homemade meal from the table. The dog has other needs than people.
- If the dog has an allergy, you will have to switch to hypoallergenic food. Always consult the veterinarian before switching to any kind of packaged food.
Transfer a dog to dry food
Suppose that the dog eats canned food, and you decided to transfer it to dry food. This cannot be done abruptly, otherwise the stomach can react incorrectly, constipation or diarrhea will begin. The fact is that a special microflora is created in the stomach, which helps to process exactly the diet that you give to the dog. If the diet is changed too sharply, the microflora will not cope.
Correctly to translate a dog on a dry forage it is necessary gradually. So, the dog’s body will have time to get used to the new diet.
To the current diet of the dog, add a small portion of the dry food. For example, one-quarter of the daily portion. This part should be given separately, so as not to mix dry food and old food. You can feed in the morning natural food, about three-quarters of the daily portion, and in the evening give the remainder in the form of dry food. Within a few days, this part should be gradually brought to 100%. Increase it only if the dog does not have a negative reaction.
Make sure that the dog always has drinking water. When going to the dry food, she is likely to start drinking more, which is normal. If the dog refuses to eat dry food, you can mix it with natural food for the time of transfer.
In the same way, you can transfer the dog to another dry food. For example, you fed the dog for a long time with food with chicken, and suddenly an allergy began to manifest itself. If you just change the brand and will feed the same chicken, the allergic reaction will not go anywhere. The basis of the feed must completely change. Introduce a new feed gradually to check how the dog reacts to it.
Transfer a dog to a natural feed
Transferring dog to natural food is not easy for both dog and the owner. The main danger is inadequate or unbalanced nutrition. Ready feeds take into account the needs of the dog in all trace elements, and it will be difficult to do it yourself. An approximate diet for a dog can look like this: 40-50% of meat, 30% of fermented milk products and the rest fiber. For example, it can be cottage cheese and kefir with bran in the morning and meat in the evening. Periodically treat with vegetables and fruits. To transfer a dog on natural food, it is necessary also gradually, keeping track of the state of health of a dog.
Understand the dog response to new food
To understand the dogs respond well to the new food you need to keep eye on the dog:
- The stomach reacts first, and if everything is normal with him, then the dog can eat a new diet without harm to health.
- Good health of the dog. The pet does not complain about anything, behaves as usual.
- If the weight was all right, with the new food, it should not change.
- Healthy appearance. The dog does not itch, the coat has retained its color and shine.
- Good mood and well-being of the dog after switching to a new food. The dog retained its former cheerfulness and activity.
It is advisable to choose food within the same brand. The transition to a new diet is always a stress for the body, especially when the composition is categorically different from the previous one, as occurs with the scale from different manufacturers.
Approach the choice of food responsibly, because a balanced diet is the main investment in the health of your pet.