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Food for this age group should be higher in calories, protein and other key nutrients. Although many nutrients are needed in higher quantities, some nutrients may need to be adjusted in other ways.

For instance, large breed puppies are susceptible to bone problems if too many calories and calcium are given during this growth phase, so owners should always be aware of the risks of adding supplements to a carefully formulated puppy food.  For a very young puppy the food needs to be easy to chew and eat.

Depending on the breed, a puppy may become an adult anywhere between 9 months and 24 months – large and giant breeds take longer to mature.

Read our newsletter on puppy diets 

For a healthy, happy pet you need to keep it at the right weight throughout its life. Being overweight, or indeed underweight, can lead to serious health risks. It is good to get in to the habit of checking your dog on regular basis. The Pet Size O-Meter is the perfect tool to do this. We recommend checking your dog's body condition twice week from puppyhood to increase their chances of living a long and healthy life.

WHEN CAN I START FEEDING MY PUPPY ADULT FOOD?

A puppy should be transferred to adult food once they have reached skeletal maturity so when you make the trnsition to adult food depends upon the anticipated size of your puppy. Small breed dogs,such as Poodles and Yorkshire Terriers, have a shorter growing period and may be considered adult as early as 8 months.  Larger breed dogs, like Great Danes or St Bernard's, may still be growing at 2 years of age. We would strongly recommend having a vet or pet care specialist assess your dog prior to making this decision.

 It is also important to remember that when you transfer your puppy from a growth or puppy food to an adult food you do so over a period of seven days.  Gradually introduce the adult food to the puppy food over time to allow the puppy's tummy to adjust.