How Long Do You Feed A Dog Puppy Food? (12 Best Experts Say This)

As often as we’re asked how long do you feed a dog puppy food, it’s quite remarkable how many people are genuinely worried about moving their puppy to adult food either too soon or too late.

You should feed a puppy on puppy food while they’re younger than 12-months, but the transition process can start earlier.

Your dog is a puppy for as long as you want them to be. Nobody is going to tell you different. But in the interests of answering this specific question of how long do you feed a dog puppy food the appropriate time to stop feeding puppy specific food is no later than 12-months old.

how long do you feed a dog puppy food

Why?

Because in purely simplistic terms, at 12-months old your puppy is technically an adult.

Let’s break down the puppy to adult dog process.

As you can see, puppy growth stages can seem like a flash before our eyes.

Puppy development – the baby to the teenager to the adult dog

Puppy (young)

Adorable. Surprisingly obedient. Love to be around you. Often bolder than you’d expect. Sleeps a lot.

Puppy (16 weeks)

Personality developing. More cautious about certain scenarios. A little more mischievous. Willing to explore more. Sleeps a lot.

Puppy (6 months)

A little less obedient. High energy. Sleeps far less. More interested in food. More demanding and in pursuit of mental stimulation.

Puppy (6 months to 12 months)

Personality shining through like a beacon. Sometimes obedient, sometimes wilfully challenges instructions that you know for certain the pup understands.

Physically very active, but prone to exhausting themselves quickly in short bursts.

At 12-months old your dog’s needs are different, particularly their nutritional requirements.

Summary: How long do you feed a dog puppy food

With all this info in mind, it’s important to recognise the different energy levels of an young adult dog vs the different calorie needs of a growing puppy.

Puppy foods are designed specifically to help them grow.

Adult dog foods are designed to help an adult maintain and thrive.

If you’d like to learn more about the dog growth stages, from puppy to adult – download this free eBook

Free Book (useful for all dog owners)

If you’d like to learn more about dog growth stages, from puppy to adult – download this free eBook

Remember the pet food you give to your puppy should be based on various factors.

  1. Nowadays there are foods for large breeds, toy breeds and various breed specific foods.
  2. Always feed your puppy with the highest quality food you can afford. You never get the chance to have that vital first 12 months of your dog’s development back again.
  3. Switch from puppy food to adult dog food at or before 12-months old
  4. A puppy’s mother s milk helps them develop for the first weeks of their lives, after that it’s entirely down to us!
  5. High quality dog food isn’t always the most expensive dog food (do research for reviews)
  6. Decide how many times a day you want to feed your dog when they’re an adult and slowly transition to that feeding regime
  7. At 12- months of age your puppy is technically an adult dog
  8. Puppies grow fast. Really fast.
  9. Your puppy may reach maturity (physically) many years earlier than they reach maturity mentally
  10. Feed your dog based on their age, breed type and lifestyle at all times – factoring whether they’re a small, medium or large breed
  11. Keep a close eye on body condition throughout your dog’s life
  12. Develop a strong relationship with your vet. Yes, vet bills can be expensive – but the more often your vet sees your dog, the better they’ll get to know them. If your vet sees your dog for regular checkups, your vet bills will be lower in the long run

Dog nutrition experts views on when to switch from puppy to adult dog food

Some further reading on how long to keep a puppy on puppy food (expert sources)

Puppy feeding fundamentals American Kennel Club
How long do dogs eat puppy food? — age, transition & methods Breeding Business
Puppy Food Types, Feeding Schedule, and Nutrition WebMD
When Should You Switch from Puppy to Adult Dog Food | petmd PetMD
How long should i feed my dog puppy food? Dog Food Guide
Puppy feeding guidelines | schedule & tips | cesar’s way Cesar’s Way
When to switch to adult dog food Purina
Is Your Puppy Ready for Adult Dog Food? | Douglas Feed & Pet Supply –
Granite Bay, CA
Douglas Feed
When to Switch to Adult Dog Food: Dog Food at Different Life Stages Pet Central by Chewy
Is your puppy ready for adult dog food? IAMS
Puppy feeding fundamentals American Kennel Club
When To Switch A Puppy To Adult Food – caninejournal.com CanineJournal.com
When to switch to adult dog food Eukanuba
How Do I Switch or Transition Foods for My Dog? | Hill’s Pet Hill’s Pet Nutrition
Switching to adult food from puppy food | cesar’s way Cesar’s Way