Puppy food...How long?

Gucci George is 9 months old now and I really am wondering when to introduce adult food! He is on Nutro Large Breed Puppy which recommends that it is fed up to one year. That seems like too long to me, though I realize that this is specially formulated for large breeds, so maybe that's what we should do!

I really would welcome all your comments! What do you feed your puppies? How long? How is adult food introduced when the time comes?


Colleen and Gucci George=>I don't care what I'm eating...as long as I'm eating!
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Clyde is 10 months and still on his puppy food. He's still doing well on it (good weight, steadily growing) so I'm going to keep him on longer for awhile. I don't trust the bag at all but my vet suggested the same thing that I was thinking (who knew I'd be right about anything?). With him, switching won't be a problem since he'll eat anything new since he thinks that it's Lucy's and he LOVES bothering her so much!
We transitioned Bogart from Nutro LB Puppy food
to Nutro LB Adult food at 11 months. It took us 1 month
to achieve the transition. For us going slow works well
with no problems ie diarrhea .

When you are ready to switch, start with 1/4 cup Adult
with 3/4 Puppy food for about 5 days, then increase to
1/2 Puppy food and 1/2 Adult food for 5 days. Next to 3/4 Adult food and 1/4 puppy food for 5 days. Then to
1 cup Adult. Keep an eye on the stool output and
convert slower if soft stools or diarrhea occur.

We did the same process converting the cups of Puppy food
to Adult food in same manner. At the end of the 4-5 week
period he was on Adult formula of 4 cups, at 1 year old.

There are many preferences on converting to a new
diet and when, but this worked well for us.

We are transitioning to Canidae now using the same approach.

Good luck!
A couple of weeks ago I had an interesting discussion with my vet about just this subject. He is an "older" vet (by older I mean in his 50's not just out of school) and a graduate of Cornell Vet school. He sees both large and small animals. He said that he sees far more problems these days from "over nutrition" than from under nutirition and actually feels that after 6 months the high protein puppy foods are too much. He recommends a good quality adult food at that time rather than puppy food. He said that smaller breeds have kidney and liver problems because of the high proten and that the large breeds like OES have problems with too rapid bone growth.

I had never heard that perspective before, I had always heard that you should feed puppy food for at least a year.
That is the old way of thinking that I've always thought as well Tasker's mom! I just keep hearing with all the research done now, with dog food that you should use it longer! For instance, I don't remember there ever being a Large Breed puppy food available for my last guy. We used Nutro as well back then and as far as I can remember there was just one puppy food available thru Nutro. Did the vet mention anything about these special formulas for large or small breeds. Did he think that it makes a difference for how long you feed it? I am just interested if he was talking generically (sp) or did he get into the above mentioned?

Zahra, thanks for the advice on the transition! We certainly don't like sheepies to have the runs! :oops:

Colleen and Gucci George
Because oes range so vastly in size not all would be considered large breed, neither of my girls fall into that category. I kept them on puppy food (not large breed) up until a couple of months ago, and they are 19 months and 13 months old. Now they are on adult formula, but still not large breed.
When I got Maggie (2 yrs in Sept - presently on adult) last month I asked my vet about switching Barney (9 months) over to adult rather than carry two types of food. He said it would be all right. The transition is gradual since I still had a good bit of puppy formula, so it will be 10 months before its all gone. Moreover since Barney is so hyper with Maggie, the reduced protein level (27% - puppy to 21% - adult) should deflate his balloon a bit. Both dogs are 80-90 lbs. With the hot weather, neither are outside getting normal exercise, and have cut back on their consumption.
George, how are thing going? Are the kids getting along yet without too much intervention?


Things are improving slowly. I decided to use a variation of amichien bonding - separation, followed by 5 minutes of ignoring, then praise. The other day I let them together in the kitchen. When they started getting violent I separated them, put them both in separate rooms and closed the door. After about 5 minutes, I let them back together, made them each lay down, and proceeded to cook supper for myself, at one point they started to go at one another and I poinded the table with my fist making a loud noise. They stopped looked and sat down; I was amazed. I finished supper, did the dishes, then gave them each a treat - an 8" rawhide bone.

I still am not to the point a leaving them alone outside together; but I think they are fast approaching the time when they can have the run of the house together while I'm here. The next problem is how to keep them from eating out of each other's dish and stealing each other's bones or toys. I am however meeting with a professional trainer this week about a more structured approach. This gentleman, former DEA agent, trained dogs for the agency.

On the lighter side, on Carl's advice I purchased 2 Hindes brushes. I wish I had a photo of the results. Maggie loved the brush - I left it on the window sill after brushing her; when I came back the pin cushion was separated from the wooden handle which she had chewed up! :( Right now grooming is difficult since the grooming table is located in the garage (not movable) which is too hot except very early in the morning. And although they both walk well together, did you ever have to pick up after two dogs you're walking? I'm trying to figure out how to regulate their habits so they don't have to eliminate when we walk.

Life is fun with an OES, with two it becomes hilarious - never boring - one more and I'll be a basket case! :D :D :D
Lol. All you really need is one OES-- put him with any other dog and everything's nuts!

I'm glad to hear things are shaping up-- it sounds like they really view you as the boss-- which is great. Mine figured out that I'll never be the boss long ago. :( It sounds like you've come a long way-- just the fact that they can sit together sounds like a great accomplishment. Do you free feed? I feed Clyde and Lucy at the same time in different rooms which seems to help Clyde's tendency to be overly possessive of his own food, but still want Lucy's too! Clyde never allows Lucy near his bowl-- it never gets violent, he just comes bounding over and blocks the bowl. I can't remember if I told this story before, so I'll tell it again if I did. One night, I went to bed early and Clyde came with me. he likes to sleep on the floor by me in front of the fan. Because James was still up, I didn't put up the baby gate to keep Clyde upstairs. Lucy is not a fan of dry food, but, on occasion, she seems to like a few bites of Clyde's puppy food. So, Clyde and I are upstairs with the fan blaring and I had fallen asleep and I woke up a little when I heard him go running out of the room. I was tired and didn't think much of it-- he hears noises outside sometimes. The next morning, James told me what happened. Clyde heard Lucy crunching his food from all the way upstairs in the bedroom, over the noise of the fan, a half closed door and about 100 feet away! He came running downstairs, body slammed Lucy to get her away, ate the last few bites himself and calmly returned upstairs to go to sleep with me. Food possessive? Nah. :)

I'm interested to hear what your DEA trainer suggests (DEA sounds so official!). Keep us posted!
DEA Drug Enforcement Admin. trained dogs to find drugs. He's been training dogs for 45 years. Started training dogs when he was 13. By the time he was 21 he had trained dogs for 13 different police departments.
The rate things are going, though, he might be out of a job here before he gets here Tuesday. The guys have had the run of the house for the last 2 hours, while I ate supper, did dishes, made lunch for tomorrow; and now are both laying next to me in the office while I'm typing this. If this continues till bedtime, I may let go and see what happens. Wow. I don't believe this. :D :!:
YEAH!!!!!!!!!! Sounds great George!!! Things will settle down and you will be in sheepie heaven before you know it!!!!! Best of luck and lots of sheepie hugs your way :D
Great news George! :D
When I got my guy we started to switch him at 6 months. Just bought two bags of food (one adult large breed and one puppy) and started to mix until we were 100% large breed.

Been on ProPlan since the start.
Winston is going to be 9 months old this week. I am still feeding him puppy food. I was also wondering when I should take him off the puppy food. Everyone seems to have different answers on this subject. Winston does not seem to be growing too fast. I think he weighs about 75 pounds now. But maybe mixng puppy food and adult food is a good thing. That way they should not get too much protein.
We also have been very confused by all the different information on when to swith to adult food. We finally did switch to Pro plan large breed food because we were afraid Bodie was growing to fast. He is 7months and weighs about 78 pounds. Our vet says he is fine but our breeder felt he should be switched over at this point. Switching took about 2 weeks and he did fine. We also now give him treats such as carrots and apples. He loves them . He also loves ice cubes cheap treat! Having lost one OES you try to do whatever you can to keep them healthy! Good health to all!
We switched Barney when he was about nine months old (he will be 11 months old tomorrow!).

Since he has bad hips, we were told that this was a good way to prevent him from growing too big, as puppy food with its high nutrient composition can do. We just mixed it in (we decided it was a good time to switch when we were almost out of our puppy food at the time). It took us a little more than a week to switch and everything was fine.

This is just my opinion, but regarding the puppy food, large breed puppy food, etc., I think that a lot of this is just marketing and has arisen with the pet boutique industry and people's desire to have to very best for their dogs, and the companies have seen that people will buy more if it seems more specifically catered to their dog. So instead of a person having a puppy and buying it puppy food, they see that there is a 'medium size dog' puppy food, and they would choose that, even if it was exactly the same as the small puppy or just plain puppy formula. Not that it isn't necessarily a more nutritionally accurate way to feed your dog, but I think a lot of it has to do with profit rather than science.
I just wanted to add in my two cents. Our breeder has recommended to use a large breed puppy food mixed with an adult lamb and rice right at the get go. The puppies at the breeders are on this now and will be what I am feeding once we get him/her home.

Anyone else ever heard this?
Yes, Wendy! Our breeder for our last guy had us do this! He wasn't on puppy food for very long at all! That was over 10 years ago.

I have kept GG on his puppy food and am switching it to a more organic kibble called Natural Life Lamaderm Puppy. It is all organic and farm raised ingredients (no mystery meat products) and I've been adding yogurt to it as well (for his stinky ears) also giving him carrots everyday. So far so good! I think that I will switch him over to the adult food from the same company in a month or 6 weeks (slowly of course) and keep up with adding an egg, veggies and yogurt to keep it all interesting for him!

It's all very confusing, I know! I've also discovered that GG eats a more balanced diet than I do! 8O I was at the local health food market picking up all this stuff for him and realized that nothing in my basket was for me, just the sheepie! And I had considered stopping at McDonalds on my way home for a quick lunch! 8O Now that is just WRONG! :lol:

Colleen and Gucci George=>I love carrots! Mommy took about 14 pictures of me eating one yesterday! I think she is obsessed with me! :twisted:
GG, could you tell your brother that carrots are good? He just picks them up, carries them around and then spits them out and looks at them. (They seem to confuse him!)

Toby is now totally on adult food with the veggie and yogurt chaser.

I wish we would have switched Carl's food a little sooner and maybe he wouldn't be as gigantic as he is now. He was on a very high protein puppy food for about 6 months and our vet told us to switch him totally to adult food as quickly as we could. Seems that at the rate he was growing he would have been pony sized using the timetable on the bag.

You should check with your vet to see what they are reccomending too. They get to physically see and touch your dog and can tell you what would be best for him and his situation.
Sir Gucci's Mom wrote:
It's all very confusing, I know! I've also discovered that GG eats a more balanced diet than I do! 8O I was at the local health food market picking up all this stuff for him and realized that nothing in my basket was for me, just the sheepie! And I had considered stopping at McDonalds on my way home for a quick lunch! 8O Now that is just WRONG! :lol:

I hear ya on this one...made me laugh. My dogs like carrots too...well they like EVERYTHING. My problem is the reverse Tag is on lg breed, and Remy won't eat the adult if he gets the other...I suppose it tastes better. So she gets lg breed too, but is getting a little to porky for me...time to switch them both to adult...he is growing fast, so I don't see this slow growth formula working...he was 44lb at his neutering, and 5 1/4 mths old.
I think that puppy food must taste awesome to older dogs because Lucy will eat Clyde's but won't touch any other dry food.
We're in the process of switching Bailey over to adult food now (he's 7 months).

And I'm with you, Colleen - I'm way more careful about what Bailey eats than I am about what I eat!

Do you give him the carrots just as is? Like the big carrots and he eats them like a bone? I'm afraid Barney would upset his stomach. His stomach has been very sensitive lately. I don't know if it is because husband is out of town and he is off because of that, or if it's because he has been vacuuming up all the pine needles/pine cones/twigs in the back yard and munching on them a little too much. I can't stop him. He's a tree eating machine. :roll:
I don't think he needs more fiber...I don't know. Very frustrating to be running late to work to find puke :?
Mine got a carrot every time I fed some to the guniea pigs...the little bite size ones...they don't always digest them tho, poo has orange chunks in it, so they only get 1 or 2 little carrots.

I also think it's challenging to feed two dogs of different ages (aside from seperate rooms), they want what the other one has. So if both get adult food, then both might eat it with the same vigor as puppy food. At least in our house Remy eats alot faster now that we have Tag...the virtual vaccumm. They also love it a little soft and warm (it really smells gross tho).
We switched Jasper over at 6 months. He was 70 lbs then, so I thought it was a good time. :)
Beau will be 9 months old on the 22nd. I started mixing Pro Plan Puppy food and Adult large breed when he turned 6 months and now he has been on Adult Large Breed for the last two months. I always mix it with 1 tablespoon of canned dog food.
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