How long should puppies eat puupy food? My guys are just 5 months now but I have heard a lot of different things from 6months to 18months? When do you make the switch?? They are Australian Shepherds (medium breed). Thanks
i would ask in order of preference, a canine nutritionist, holistic vet, your breeder. most large dogs about this size i've found most recently don't really need puppy food. my breeder recommended feeding adult kibble in addition to the raw/home cooked diet she helped me put together. puppy foods tend to have more protein, fat, and calcium than adult food and cause faster growth. a lot of the late research shows that a smaller adult dog...i.e. not so long legged and large is actually a healthier dog musculo-skeletally. mine are both golden bitches, on 62 lbs and one 52 lbs. The smaller one ate no puppy food and was raw weaned.
it is very very important thought that a puppy has the right mix of protein, calcium, phosphorous, fat, and calcium/phosphorous ratio. picking the usual grocery store or pet store chain foods is not generally well balanced enough in puppy or adult formula to feed a puppy optimally. so while i have all these suggestions there is no substitute for going to a professional and making sure you get the right nutrients no matter what food you feed.
there's no hard rule about puppy food, but there are hard rules from research about what they need to grow healthy bones etc. some breeds are considered puppies until they are 2 years old and some less. if you find a good adult food for them now that gives them what they need as puppies then a later change may not be needed. you're not going to find this food going to the grocery store though. most commercial kibbles are higher than AAFCO guidelines meaning your dog may grow too fast and have weaker bones and associated problems like dysplasia etc.
do a little research and ask your vet. just remember not all vets are nutritionists and many sell science diet which i don't think is good to feed a dog with all the corn/sugar. particularly the dogfoodproject site has a lot of info on how to read labels and evaluate ingredients.
i like innova, evo, canidai, blue buffalo, solid gold, wellness and many others but these seem pretty easy to find at smaller natural pet supply stores that do not sell animals. look for places that sell natural and raw diets and you'll be more likely to find these other foods. you can also order on line from many places.
good luck and long happy lives to your pups!! :dogbiggrin: