Health & Nutrition

Tips for Transitioning: How to Switch Dog Food Safely

Young Woman Feeding Her Dog Bowl of Kibble

There comes a time in every dog’s life when they need a change in food. Maybe you are switching dog food because your dog has grown from puppy to adult, or adult to senior. Or perhaps your dog has a new need, or their tastes have simply changed. Whatever the reason for changing dog food, it’s important to know how to switch to a new dog food gradually.

How to Transition Dog Food

Your dog may enthusiastically dive into their new dog food, but their system will likely need some time to adjust to a new diet. When switching dog food, our nutritionist Sara recommends making a slow, measured, and gradual change between over a 7-10 day period to help your dog avoid digestive upset. That’s something that both you and your dog will appreciate!

Transitioning from one dog food to another graduallyTransitioning from one dog food to another gradually
Over the course of 7-10 days, gradually increase the amount of new dog food in the bowl until your dog has made a full transition to their new food.

When to Switch to Adult Dog Food

Since no two puppies are exactly alike, how do you know when to switch to adult dog food? The answer isn’t always straightforward. But considering your dog’s breed size and talking to your veterinarian can provide some good guidelines for when your unique dog will reach maturity.

  • Toy breed dogs: Typically, the smaller the dog, the faster your dog will reach adulthood. You can consider your toy breed dog an adult typically around 9 months of age.

  • Small breed dogs: Based on the unique nutritional requirements of small breed dogs, most should switch to adult dog food when they’re 12 months old.

  • Medium breed dogs: Medium breed dogs typically reach maturity when they’re 12-14 months old.

  • Large & giant breed dogs: Large and giant breed dogs have unique nutritional needs due to their size, and the most important and rapid changes occur when they’re puppies. As large breed dogs are considered puppies until they’re about 18-24 months old, having a thorough understanding of what’s best for their unique nutritional needs from the beginning is crucial.

How To Feed Your Dog’s Growing Needs

As your dog grows, their dietary needs change. Each blend of Just Right is uniquely crafted to support your dog’s lifestage or lifestyle, so you never have to worry if you are missing an important dietary milestone.

Follow these tips for feeding your dog at each lifestage:

  • Puppy food should help support areas like healthy brain and vision development, proper bone and muscle growth, and a strong immune system. · Now that you know when to switch from puppy food to adult dog food, keep in mind that adult dog food should help support their unique nutritional needs and lifestyle.

  • Consider your dog’s activity level, skin and coat health, body condition, and digestive health.

  • As your dog grows, their metabolism changes can lead to weight gain or loss of lean body mass, so calories and type of diet should be adjusted accordingly.

  • Dog food designed for the nutritional needs of your dog – from puppy to senior — should help support areas like bone and joint health, strong muscles, and changing activity level.

Ready to switch dog food? Create your dog's personalized blend of dog food that grows and changes as your dog does. Start your dog’s unique blend today.