Difference Between Puppy And Adult Dog Food
What's different about these two food products that look almost identical?
The main difference is the amount of protein per serving. While most adult dogs can have around 20% of their diet being protein, puppies need at least 30% protein to power their period of growth.
This means more meat protein usually, which is the main reason why puppy food tends to be more expensive than adult dog food.
They also need specific amino acids to support their growing bodies including: valine, threonine, tryptophan, phenylalanine, lysine, methionine, leucine, isoleucine, arginine, and histidine.
Higher protein is usually accompanied by more fat, so puppy foods have more fat than other dog foods as well. This is fine for growing pups, but fully grown dogs can gain weight if they consume too much puppy food. It's ill-advised to give adult dogs puppy food as a protein-rich food option.
Puppies can eat adult dog food without any real side effects but giving them food specially formulated for growing puppies will give them a better start in life.
You can generally move puppies onto adult food sometime between 6-12 months of age. The longer the dog breed takes to reach its full size, the longer you should wait to make the transition.
Smaller breeds tend to complete their growth sooner than larger breeds who take a bit longer to reach their full size. You should research your specific breed before discontinuing puppy kibble.