When to change Large breed to adult food


We have a 7 month old Standard Poodle and being a male has the potential of hitting 35KG. I’ve just noticed that one dog food says to switch to adult food at 15 months for dogs up to 35KG whereas most other brands say their large breed dog food is up to 24 months but of course that covers giant breeds as well…

So now I’m wondering when it would be best to switch him - 15 months, 18 months or wait until he is 24 months. What do people think?

Hello vsg and welcome to the forum!

As you’ve noticed t’aint easy trying to feed our dogs though the labels are a welcome guidance. There are going to be label variants to cover all dogs that may eat the food, to help the individuality of how our dogs grow, at the varying rates.

As you know the larger, heavier dogs tend to have a slower rate of growth than smaller, lighter dogs. Thus puppy food attempts to mirror these differences.

I’m not a lover of puppy food as it can be relatively too rich for some delicate puppy tums, and also you’ll notice there is currently a trend to move to a junior food between puppy food and adult food. I wonder if this to ease a dog between the ‘harsher’ transition of rich puppy food to maintenance (blander by comparison) adult food.

My general rule of thumb if transitioning a puppy from eating puppy food to eating adult food is to begin weaning approximately a month before a dog is expected to be fully grown.

I agree with you but what I am now wondering is when you would class a dog of this size to be fully grown. I have actually googled it and I can’t find an answer - I just find statements like “up to two years to mature” which doesn’t help. He’s our first Standard having always had mini’s before so I have nothing to go by

Dietary needs of large and giant breed dogs has been discussed on the forum and the threads may be of use. They can be found here and here.

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Thanks Dottie, I was aware of the calcium advice which is why I have put him on large breed food rather than “all lifestages”. I know some don’t agree with that and I have seen information out there where people are suggesting that its a marketing him if by companies but I’d rather be safe than sorry - if that makes sense esp if getting it wrong could cause pain…

As I said, what I’m struggling to find out is what age will he stop growing as I know there are suggestions that feeding a mature dog puppy food could cause problems or because we are only talking months does it matter as long as I change it at 24 months…?

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Now here is where a pedigree bred dog has a slight advantage insofar as having an ‘expected’ standard per breed and though there will always be exceptions (as just like us as individuals we know our dogs do not all agree with a one-size-fits-all cap ;)) there is usually a wealth of information available via the Breed clubs; which may be found under the Kennel Club ‘umbrella’ usually found from useful links within the Kennel Club website.

If an answer is not easily available directly from any published standards then we may be assured of answers regarding a particular breed from the specific breed club, those who are particularly enamoured with their ‘own’ breed and knowledgable and willing to share information about their breed.

For information regarding the Standard poodle here is the link: https://www.thekennelclub.org.uk/services/public/findaclub/breed/list.aspx?id=4097

The detail for the National Standard Poodle Club with the club secretary’s name, email & telephone information is here:

And also it may be helpful to contact your dog’s breeder who may be able to advise when the dam (or sire, or grandparents) became fully grown, to give a clearer idea through his lineage genetics.

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