When to switch a puppy to adult dog food


Picking the right moment to switch your puppy to adult dog food can be daunting. Our guide explains when to change and how to do it

When to switch a puppy to adult dog food

Switching puppy to adult food quick takeaways

  • Puppies have different nutritional needs than adult dogs.
  • It’s important to change your pup’s diet at the right time – around 9-10 months for smaller dog breeds and around 12-18 months for larger ones.
  • High-quality raw foods like the Natures Menu Complete and Balanced range will give your young dog everything they need


Puppies can grow up quickly. Your dog can grow from a fluffy pup to a lively young adult in what feels like the blink of an eye. And knowing when to change your dog’s diet is important.

As they grow into adult dogs, our pups start to have different dietary requirements. Their puppy diet will contain all the nutrients to help them build lean muscle, healthy joints, teeth and skin – as well as giving them enough energy to bounce through the day.

As they become older, they’ve done most of their growing and can move to a diet more suitable for daily maintenance.

Most good pet food brands offer lifestage ranges, which cater from tiny puppies to senior dogs.


What’s the difference between puppy and adult food?

In general, a puppy’s diet should contain high levels of protein, and the right balance of calcium, phosphorous and fat.

This nutrient-rich food helps them to build healthy bones and muscles as well as giving them enough energy to cope with all that hectic growing.

Diets for adult dogs will be formulated to provide balanced nutritional support while maintaining a healthy body weight rather than increasing it.

At Nature’s Menu, our experts have created a complete and balanced range of raw food for puppies and adult dogs (just add your dog’s age to our quick questionnaire). Our puppy nuggets support healthy growth and are enriched with prebiotics for digestive well-being.


At what age should puppies eat adult food?

Generally, your puppy will be ready to make the switch when they reach around 80% of their expected adult body weight.

There are other things to think about too, though. Small breeds like Yorkies, Jack Russells and Dachshunds reach maturity more quickly than medium and large breeds like Spaniels and Labradors, so they might need to go onto adult food sooner

As a rough guide, little dogs will be ready to move onto an adult diet around 9-10 months old. For larger breeds, it could be 12-18 months old. If in doubt, ask your vet for advice.


How crucial is the timing when switching to adult food?

It’s important to make the change at the right time for your dog. Change too early, and your pup risks missing out on nutrients vital for their development.

Leave it too late, and your adult dog could be eating nutrient-packed food they don’t really need, leaving them open to potential weight gain.

If you’re at all concerned about when to make the decision, your vet will be able to help.


How often should you feed a puppy as they grow into an adult?

Young puppies need small, frequent meals to help them digest, so you could be feeding them around 3-4 times a day at first.

As they move on to adult dog food, you can reduce this to twice a day. Check the feeding guidelines on packets and use these and your dog’s weight and activity levels to work out how much to feed per meal.

As with any new food, introduce it slowly over a week to avoid digestive upsets.


How to pick the right adult food

Pet food comes in all shapes and sizes, from cans to kibble to raw. What you pick is up to you, as long as your pooch likes it too!

Always go for a good-quality brand that uses quality ingredients. Look for a high proportion of the ‘named’ ingredient, too, whether that’s chicken or salmon.

Try our personalised meal plans with high-quality raw ingredients to help keep your dog healthy and happy.