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Hi all, I have a couple of basic questions about transitioning dog food. I have a 10-month old English cocker spaniel who appears to be close to her full growth/height, etc., as her growth spurts seemed to have tapered off. We're also getting close to the end of her current large bag of puppy food, and our only option at the store is to buy another (expensive) 30-pound (15kg) bag of the puppy food when we run out in a month (a 30 pound bag lasts us 3 months or a little more), or go ahead and order the adult food and start transitioning her.

I obviously want to do what is best for my sweet pup, and I know it would be ideal to transition her at 12 months, but I also would prefer not to waste any dog food if possible.

To that end, I was wondering (1) would it be ok to start transitioning her to adult dog food now, when she is 10, 10 1/2 months old, without harming any continuing development? If that would not be good, then (2) would it be ok to continue to feed her puppy food until she is 14 months old and then transition her to adult food? Which option would be better?

I know continuing to feed puppy food may lead to weight problems, especially in cockers, and we are very careful about how much we are feeding her to make sure she grows the right amount but doesn't get too pudgy.

Any advice would be much appreciated! Thank you in advance!
 

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Edit to be more specific: I'm going by American guidelines so it is possible that a European dog food would fit under different definitions but the basis of the nutritional ideas would be the same.

There isn't really such a thing as "puppy" food so you can be pretty flexible depending on your dog. My 7 year old and 3 year old dogs just finished a bag of "puppy" food because it was a brand I wanted to try and it had the right protein and fat percents for them.

There are two nutrient profiles under AAFCO guidelines: growth and reproduction (aka "puppy food") and adult maintenance. There are minimum and maximum content guidelines for each, for example for protein or calcium or fat etc. So many formulas actually overlap if you take a close look at the guaranteed analysis of the puppy formula and adult formula from the same brand. An "All Life Stages" food is actually one that meets the more stringent guidelines for growth and reproduction (aka "puppy" food) and many brands are labeled All Life Stages now so many adult dogs are basically eating "puppy" food.

As for getting fat, it is the calories and protein/fat content that matter. While the minimums for protein/fat for growth and reproduction foods are set higher than the minimums for an adult maintenance food, the minimums are quite low for both (I think 22% protein and 18% protein respectively) so you just have to look at the guaranteed analysis to compare brand to brand and formula to formula

Giant breed dogs have some specific nutrient needs as puppies due to their rapid growth stages but for a medium sized dog like a spaniel, there's nothing wrong with feeding puppy food as long as she is doing well on it and then when you're near the end of the bag, switching to any formula that has a nutrient profile you want such a medium protein or high protein etc.
 
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