It would be best to switch from puppy food to adult dog food when your Golden Retriever puppy reaches adolescence, anywhere from 12 months to 18 months old. Another clue is when your puppy reaches 75 to 85 percent of his adult size.
Compared to their smaller counterparts, large breeds, such as Golden Retriever, German Shepherd, or Labrador, tend to grow slower because they have more room to fill before reaching their full size, which is why you shouldn’t rush your puppy’s transition.
- Do you believe this is the right time to change your Golden puppy’s food?
- Are you looking for the right way to transition your Golden puppy to adult dog food?
If the answer to the above questions is yes, you might want to read on to find helpful tips to assist you in transitioning your puppy’s food.
Other Signs You Puppy is Ready for Adult Dog Food
When it comes to switching puppy food, most dog owners base their decisions on their puppies’ size and age. Those are good as a rough guideline, but not entirely accurate. Aside from age and size, your pup’s activity level also plays an important factor in considering your pup’s readiness.
Active Goldens eat puppy food longer than the calmer ones. If your Golden is one of those non-stop “let’s run and play” type of pup, he will need more calories in his meals to replenish the energy spent. Because adult dog food is not as rich as the puppy version, he can only rely on the puppy food to meet his needs until his behavior changes to adult behaviors.
Once your dog has almost reached maturity, his behaviors will automatically change. This change in behaviors is another sign your Golden puppy is ready to transition to adult food.
Some of those signs are:
- Your puppy begins to sleep more and becomes less energetic.
- Your puppy starts losing interest in their puppy food.
- Your puppy often has stools after eating his puppy food.
Due to the many factors involved, if you’re still unsure whether you should change your puppy’s food, it’s best to talk to a veterinarian to be sure of when to switch your Golden puppy to regular dog food.
Why Transition Your Golden Retriever Puppy’s Food to Adult Food?
When your puppy is growing, he needs more calories and protein than an adult Golden to support his growth. That is why puppy food is designed to have more calories, calories, protein, and other nutrients beneficial for his development.
But once he reaches maturity, his puppy food, although beneficial during the puppy stage, can do more harm than good. Because of the high-calorie content, if an adult Golden eats puppy food regularly, in the long term, it can cause him soft stools or diarrhea, and obesity.
How to Transition Your Golden from Puppy Food to Adult Food
After deciding it is the right time to switch your Golden puppy to adult dog food, the next thing to consider is how you will go about it. The best way to transition your puppy is to gradually mix in more adult food to your puppy food until he is ok with having only adult dog food in his bowl.
Don’t rush everything, or you’ll put your dog at a higher risk of getting digestive problems like diarrhea and vomiting. For most dogs, the whole process usually takes about 7 to 14 days.
You can start by mixing your Golden’s food, so it’s about 75% of puppy food and 25% adult formula. After a few days, switch the ratios to 50/50. After a few more days, continue to increase your adult dog food intake while reducing the amount of puppy food.
At the end of 10-14 days, if your dog can eat adult food without any problems, then you can eliminate the puppy food completely.
What Food Do You Transition Your Puppy To?
Here at TrainYourGSD, we recommend three major dog food brands for Golden Retriever puppies who are ready to switch their diets to the adult formula: Royal Canin Adult Dog Food, Purina Pro Plan, and Hill’s Science Diet.