Is Your Puppy Ready for Adult Dog Food?
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When, Why, and How to Start Feeding Your Pup Grown-up Nutrition
As your puppy grows into an adult dog, he needs nutrition that keeps his body as strong as your love, and that means a high-quality, premium adult formula such as IAMS™ ProActive Health™ Adult MiniChunks
The Benefits of Feeding Premium Food
Why move your grown-up pup to a premium adult dog food? Because quality counts. It's crucial to continue his superb puppy nutrition into adulthood. Downgrading to a lower-quality brand at this stage of his life may upset his digestive system, and won't provide him with the same level of nutritional excellence he was raised on.
Think of a baby. When it's time to start giving him solid food, you wouldn't dream of feeding your child anything less than the best nutrition you can buy. The same is true for your maturing puppy. He needs the best age-appropriate food there is to help maintain his overall health.
Premium foods, such as IAMS, are specifically designed to provide your dog with a food that has:
- High-quality ingredients
- High total-diet digestibility
- Balanced, optimal levels of protein, fat, fiber, carbohydrates, vitamins, and minerals
- A nutrient-dense formulation appropriate for a particular life stage
- Consistent, high-quality, natural-ingredient recipes that do not change because of manufacturing costs
- Specific fatty-acid balance to help maintain healthy skin and coat
- Great palatability and taste, based on feeding trials
- Met or exceeded the Association of American Feed Control Officials guidelines
- Product guarantees
What does it all add up to? A happy, healthy dog. With premium dog food, you can expect key indicators that contribute to providing your dog with a long, healthy life:
- Exceptional muscle tone
- A shiny, luxurious coat
- Healthy skin and bones
- Clean teeth
- Clear, bright eyes
- Small, firm stools
Founded on more than 60 years of research into canine nutrition, premium formulas from IAMS help maintain your dog's health and provide him with the nutrition he needs for a long life. Basic brands may not provide these benefits or match the level of expertise that goes into every bag of dog food from IAMS.
When to Switch
Your puppy's transition to adult food should begin when he approaches adult height. His breed type will also help determine when to switch. Small-breed dogs tend to mature physically much sooner than large-breed dogs. Follow these guidelines to help you decide when to switch formulas:
- Small-breed dogs that weigh 20 pounds or less when fully grown are usually ready to eat adult food at 9 to 12 months of age.
- Medium-breed dogs that weigh between 20 and 50 pounds as adults normally mature at 12 to 14 months of age.
Large- and giant-breed dogs, those weighing more than 50 pounds when fully grown, might not be ready to switch to an adult food until they're 12 to 24 months old.
Make the Transition
To avoid upsetting your dog's intestinal tract or causing diarrhea, make the change from a puppy formula to an adult diet over a period of four days by mixing the two foods in your dog's bowl.
- Day One: Fill your dog’s bowl with 75% puppy food and 25% adult food.
- Day Two: Mix the adult and puppy food in a 50/50 ratio.
- Day Three: Feed your dog a mixture that’s 75% adult food and 25% puppy food.
- Day Four: Switch to 100% adult formula.
How much food should you give your dog? Check the daily feeding recommendations established by the pet-food manufacturer and read the label. Dan Carey, DVM and Director of Technical Communications at IAMS, suggests using the recommendations, then weighing your dog each week. If he's gaining or losing weight and shouldn't be, slightly decrease or increase his daily intake, and weigh him again in another week.
If you have specific concerns about your dog's weight, talk to your veterinarian. He or she can assess your dog's needs and give you a feeding recommendation.
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- adp_description_block489Does Dog Food Expire & How To Know If It Has?
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As a pet parent, do you find yourself wondering how long does dog food last? If so, you’re not alone! In this blog, we will take you through everything you need to know about dog food expiry.
Dogs require a balanced meal every day. As a pet owner, you can choose between dry and wet foods. Dry dog food usually resembles a biscuit or kibble. On the other hand, wet dog food combines meat products or other protein sources with a gravy that incorporates grains, minerals, and vitamins. Whatever your dog finds palatable, make sure their nutritional requirements are met.
Diets that are high in protein are good for dogs. A significant source of energy is found in dietary fats, which are either derived from plant seed oils or animal fats. They offer essential fatty acids, like omega-3s, that are necessary to preserve the health of your dog's skin and coat. Additionally, carbohydrates support your pet's digestive health and provide energy for them to continue with their regular activities.
While it is important to focus on your pet’s daily nutritional intake, you should also make sure that the food packets are still fresh. Serving expired dog food will deprive your canine companion of the key vitamins and minerals they need to keep healthy. Hence, it is important to examine the labels and expiration dates before making a purchase.
Understanding Shelf Life Vs Expiry Date
The amount of time a product is useable and suitable for consumption is referred to as its shelf life. In contrast, expiry date is the last day that a perishable product, like food, will be at its highest quality.
If you are wondering does dog food expire, the answer is a yes. In fact, the contents and types of preservatives used do affect the shelf life of a food item. So, to guarantee your dog's safety, pet food producers set expiration or best by dates. Unopened canned foods have a shelf life of two years from the date of manufacturing, whereas unopened dry pet foods typically have a shelf life of 12 to 18 months. Plan to open and use the dog food before the expiration date. You can usually find this date on the bottom of the can containing dog food.
Effects Of Eating Expired Dog Food
Now that you know dog food expires, let’s examine the effects of serving expired food to your pet:
After consuming spoiled food, dogs generally exhibit the same gastrointestinal symptoms as people do. These symptoms could include vomiting, diarrhea, and passing wind. Spoiled foods can also contain bacteria that can disturb the equilibrium in the gut and intestines, causing the body to excrete more fluids in an effort to wash them out. What’s more is that moldy dog food can contain mycotoxins like vomitoxin, which can cause serious gastrointestinal disorders.
Dogs can become paralyzed from botulism. It is a rare condition occurring when canines consume contaminated food. The poison gets absorbed in the intestines and passes into the bloodstream, thus paralyzing dogs.
Other health issues
Another consequence of feeding your pet spoiled dog food is malnutrition. Before turning moldy, spoiled foods usually lose their vitamin and mineral value. This suggests that even if the food doesn't upset your dog's stomach, it is still not giving your pet what they require. Your dog may become lethargic if daily nutritional demands aren't met. This can eventually result in bone issues and organ failure, if not recognized as early as possible.
Best Practices For Storing Dog Food
Even if you have a food item that is still within its best by date, improper storage could lead to early contamination and food degradation. Here are some steps you must take to prolong the shelf life and maintain food quality:
Purchasing multiple boxes of treats may save you from making repeat visits to the shop. However, keeping so much stock might increase the likelihood that your dog's food goes bad before it gets completely consumed. Therefore, shop frequently if you don’t want your dog’s food to expire.
Refrigerate wet dog food
The shelf life of fresh, wet items can be increased by keeping them in the freezer. Any unopened canned food should be sealed with plastic wrap and stored in the refrigerator.
Use clips to store dry food
Use chip clips to seal the food bags and keep moisture out. You could also store your pet’s food in its original packaging and stack it in a cool, dry place with little exposure to heat and light. Avoid keeping dry dog food open.
What To Do With Expired Dog Food?
Dog food that has expired needs to be tossed out right away. There are also waste management facilities that compost used pet food.
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