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Introducing adult food

Now that your puppy is nearly full grown you should start to think about transitioning him from his regular puppy food, to a more grown-up food more suited to his needs.

A new food should always be introduced gradually, even if your dog appears to like it. This will help reduce the chance of him developing a stomach upset following the food change. Changes to diet affect different animals in different ways, so it is important to manage the change carefully. In general, dogs are creatures of habit. Your dog may require some help changing foods, especially if used to having just a single type of food. Another example would be if he is used to a varied diet, but the vet has recommended a more controlled diet due to allergies, kidney disease or needing to lose weight.

You might like to try some of the following suggestions to ease the transition between foods:

  • Gradually introduce the food over 5-10 days
  • Introduce approximately 10% of the new food each day, mixed in with the old food. Increase the proportions by 10% each day until you reach the full amount of the new food.
  • Avoid feeding chilled foods
  • You can change the texture of canned food by adding a small amount of warm water to soften it and make it easier to mix the old and new food types together
  • Don't be tempted to add human food titbits to the new diet. Most dogs will end up eating the human food instead and this can develop into a bad habit long term
  • Keep a bowl of clean fresh water available at all times.
  • No dog should be starved whilst trying to introduce a new food.
  • If you are really struggling to change your dog's food, speak to your veterinary surgeon or nurse to see if they have any extra behaviour tips to help you.

Your dog may require a change in food to help manage a medical condition. If this is the case, it is important to follow any advice given by your veterinary surgeon. Appetite can be affected by disease, so speak to your vet to see whether there is any special feeding advice for your dog.

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