When to Switch Dog Food for Toy Poodle: Puppy to Adult, New Brand

parti poodle puppy Baby Huxtable, a few months old, with water and food (and bone)


What is the best time to switch a toy poodle from puppy to adult dog food?

This has been what I've been wondering and trying to figure out for the last few weeks. 

Huxtable is getting older, about 7 months now so is time to switch him to big boy food? I searched the net tiredly and asked around... and as you could imagine the answers varied. 

It varies upon dog, size which coincides with the breed, your dogs behavior or reaction to food, and simply the recommendation of your vet.

The average answer you will find is 1 year. Puppy food is usually enriched with certain nutrients critical for a growing pup-- extra vitamins, more protein, etc etc. Taking your dog off of puppy food too soon could potentially harm his/her healthy growth. On the same token, taking him off too late could possibly  affect his health-- the super rich nutrients of the puppy dog food might make him (now an adult dog) sick (that is rarely the case though, but it is possible). 

Though one year is the average answer, I've read about many people taking them off at 6 months. I guess they figure I get him fixed at 6 months so he can also have adult food now. I guess that could make sense, but this really depends on your breed/dog size. It's known that smaller breeds, like toy poodles, usually mature and grow faster than bigger breeds, like standard poodles. That maturing factors into whether or not your puppy is ready for adult food or not. 

I'm choosing to wait until one year for Huxtable. I want him to benefit from the nutrients of puppy food in his first year of life, then at 12.5 months I'll begin to mix his puppy and adult, so that by 13.5 he'll be on adult food.

Huxtable, the poodle, licking his lips during a tasty meal

Switching Dog Food Brands: Toy Poodles

While I'm waiting, until one year to switch from puppy to adult food for my toy poodle. I'm not waiting to switch brands. My sister uses Blue Buffalo for her dog and swears by it. Huxtable has been eating Pedigree which has worked well. He had a small random stint with Puppy Chow, but it drastically affected his coat appearance. It went from shiny pretty wavy puppy poodle fur to thinning thready fur... it was horrible and unfortunate. But I thought that is what the breeder had used... long story short, I stopped after a week, and he's been eating Pedigree since. Pedigrees newer formula has been good for Huxtable (and the price has been good for my pockets), but he's my baby so I decided to "upgrade" to Blue Buffalo. Over the past week I've been mixing his puppy Pedigree with his puppy Blue Buffalo for toy breeds. 

That is the key when switching brands-- don't just automatically start serving them the new brand of food, mix the current dog food with new one... slowly fade until all you're using is the new one. 

I'll do an update on his change later.

Choose from some of the best dog foods for toy poodles (and other breeds), with reviews, here. (Remember free shipping for most orders over $25)

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UPDATE: By doing a very gradual change of dog food Hux luckily didn't experience any really loose stools. I think at most there was a day or two of softer stools, but that happens anyway if you feed them wet dog food. I read on PetMD to do the change over 5 days, Dr. Coates writes:

Day 1 – Mix 20% of the new food with 80% of the old. 
Day 2 – Mix 40% of the new food with 60% of the old.
Day 3 – Mix 60% of the new food with 40% of the old.
Day 4 – Mix 80% of the new food with 20% of the old. 
Day 5 – Feed 100% of the new food. 

 *If at any point during this process your dog stops eating or develops vomiting or diarrhea, do not feed any more of the new food and call the office.


While this may work for some 5 days is really way to short, plus, if you're like me you'll want to finish up some of the old dog food. Depending not the amount of old dog food you have left I'd recommend 10-14 days, preferable 14 days (two weeks).

If it had to be mapped out then it should be done as following:

Day 1 -- 5% of the new food with 95% of the old.
Day 2 -- 5% of the new food with 95% of the old
Day 3 -- 10% of the new food with 90% of the old
Day 4 -- 10% of the new food with 90% of the old
Day 5 -- 20% of the new food with 80% of the old
Day 6 -- 30% of the new food with 70% of the old
Day 7 -- 40% of the new food with 60% of the old
Day 8 -- 50% of the new food with 50% of the old
Day 9 -- 50% of the new food with 50% of the old
Day 10 -- 50% of the new food with 50% of the old
Day 11 -- 60% of the new food with 40% of the old
Day 12  -- 70% of the new food with 30% of the old
Day 13 -- 80% of the new food with 20% of the old
Day 14- 100% new food

As you can see the change if very gradual, repeating the same percentages on some days, with about three days of a half and half mix.

 Switching Dog Food

If your dog is anything like my little boujee poodle, lol, they may just start picking out the old food and only eating the new. I would often look over to watch Huxtable literally taking out the old food morsels/kibbles with his mouth and placing them next to the bowl, once complete he'd eat the new dog food. The first time or so I watched him do it because it was pretty hilarious... the brains on these poodles amaze me at times! But of course I ended up putting them back into his bowl and telling him to eat them. So the next time I figured he was eating them all, only to notice him moving the food to the other side of the bowl, navigating through the old and new food with his nose, lol. 

I actually couldn't believe how much he preferred the new food. So I decided to do a quick test one day. I put some of both food into small piles on the floor, to see which food he would choose....


... and he literally chose Blue each time, lol. Even though Hux prefers Blue I must say that Pedigree's new Formula was good for him as a small pup. It kept his coat nice and shiny :)

2 comments:

  1. Great post but i am pet food adviser and Pet food normally sold in pet food supply stores and pet food supermarkets, it is usually exact to the type of animal, for instance dog food or cat food. A big quantity of meat used for non-human animals is a by-product of the human food manufacturing.
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