Paula asked in PetsDogs · 8 years ago

what would happen to a puppy if instead of puppy food he eats adult dog food?

We got a puppy a couple of months ago, he's now 4 months old. We have another dog who is 8 years old, i've noticed that recently my older dog has started eating the puppy's food and the little one is eating the adult dog food, I've tried to feed them separately, in different rooms, at different times, in very different looking plates, but the baby is still eating the adult dog food and the older one keeps eating puppy food, they will sit and stare at the pplate until i let them go for the other one... it's like they do it on purpose! I'm worried because i don't know how it can affect the pup, he's an Amstaff, and so far (after about a month or so of this behavior starting) i haven't seen any symptoms like diarrhea or constipation, he's growing nice and big, and i don't see any signs of a skin allergy... the adult dog food is ''Alpo Prime Cuts'' by Purina, and the puppy food is Purina dog chow for puppies (formerly know as ''puppy chow'') i have noticed, however, that my adult dog has gotten significantly fatter, is it that the puppy food has more fat or some kind of hormones? i KNOW i have to stop this as soon as possible so don't tell me ''stop it right now'', believe me, i have tried but i ultimately think it's better that they eat each other's food rather than just not eating anything at all... but what could happen if it continues? will my puppy have some kind of growth problem? does the puppy food have something in it that adult dog food doesn't and he needs as part of his development? or is it just marketing?


OK people seem not to get the question. I do have shuttable doors, but if i lock them in separate rooms so they will each eat their food, they just won't eat. period. the reason i feed them that brand is because it's the one i have available, i don't live in the States so i don't have access to the brands that people are recommending.Because i know of the high content of grain in commercial dog food I try to compliment their nutrition with chicken giblets at least once a week (no bones) and once or twice a week i'll mix cooked ground beef with their food. i have tried all of the tricks you are suggesting, if you read the details above you will know that i AM trying to stop this behavior, i know that that's not the food they should be eating, what i want to know is WHAT SPECIFICALLY CAN HAPPEN TO THE PUPPY FOR EATING ADULT DOG FOOD i know that puppy food makes the adult dog fat, if you can read, you'll see i added it in the previous details. PLEASE READ BEFOR

13 Answers

  • 8 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    First a summary of life stages and food requirements.

    Puppy foods are blended with higher calcium and protein content as well as higher calories.This is to aid in the development of bones, muscle and energy needs of a growing dog.

    An 8 year old is ready to move from adult food to senior food. Both adult and senior have lower caloric content as well as lowered protein and energy needs.

    Senior food had significantly reduced protein content as the kidneys cannot process the high levels younger dogs can. Most also have additives to aid in joint health as by the age of 7 more than 50% of dogs are showing at least the earliest stages of arthritis.

    What this means?

    Puppies not getting puppy food will be lacking in some of the vitamins and minerals required to help them develop strong bones and healthy muscles. Of course, they also require the higher calories that puppies need. By not eating the proper food they are more likely to suffer from conditions like oseoitis (bone pain), myositis (muscle pain), poorly developed muscles, higher incidence of bone fractures (bones will be weaker), reduced energy and a weakened immune system due to the lack of proper development overall. The weakened immune system will in turn open him up to a host of other potential problems. I wouldn't expect there would be any digestive issues that would be obvious like constipation or diarrhoea.

    Senior that eat puppy food are also at risk. The high protein content is very hard on the kidneys and may lead to chronic renal disease and glomerulonephritis (more kidney issues). this impacts ALL other organs of the body as the kidneys are the filters for the body. The high calcium levels found in puppy food is not good for any dog not still growing and can lead to ionic imbalances which also affect every organ in the body. The higher fat content also makes your senior more susceptible to a life threatening illness called pancreatitis. Of course, they don't need all the calories found in puppy food either as they generally are not as active as they once were.

    Solutions are not easy from what you describe but don't fret. I understand their reluctance to eat their own food. If they refuse, do not give in...they are expecting you will. Basically dogs are like kids and if they figure out a way to make you do something they will keep doing it. Keep up the separating them while eating too. Give them 15 minutes then take away their dishes. Wait and hour and offer again.Once they miss a meal or two they will eat what is put in front of them.

    Some other tips:

    Add dried oregano on the meal..just a tiny pinch. Rub it in your fingers to release the odour. No one knows exactly why but it helps stimulate the appetite in even the worst eaters


    Try putting their food in the microwave for 5-10 seconds. It won't make it hot but makes it smell better to the dogs.

    Try adding a small amount of low sodium chicken broth. You can also make your own, just boil those giblets you treat them to and save the water.

    On a final note...Please don't buy into all this nonsense about cereal grain overload. Dogs are not wolves, they are omnivores. I have had this discussion with so many. I am not someone who has just read a few blogs on the internet but some3one who studied animal nutrition in university.

    Here is a link to a peer reviewed scientific article published just last week. (in other words, credible)

    Here is quote from this article, "More surprising were genes for digesting starch. Dogs had four to 30 copies of the gene for amylase, a protein that starts the breakdown of starch in the intestine. Wolves have only two copies, one on each chromosome."

    I hope all this helps.

    Source(s): Registered Vet Tech
  • 4 years ago

    Depending on the blend you might end up with a puppy that really has to gorge itself to eat enough. Whatever the case, I use Taste of the Wild, it's high enough protein and fat it can be fed to adults and pups. However, look at the amounts my dogs get... Thyme-- 10lb, 4 year old shih tzu -- 1/2 cup a day Cashew--9lb 8 mo. old shih tzu - 1 cup a day. Yes, the puppy is eating twice as much as the adult dog. When he is about a year old, he will probably eat around 2/3 a cup, and then we'll figure out what he should be getting (I feed my dogs more when they get thin, and less when they get tubby, lol)

  • 8 years ago

    Feeding a puppy adult food is bad because they don't get the nutrients they need to grow. Feeding an adult puppy food doesn't hurt them except make them fat, which is in the long run VERY unhealthy for the dog.

    Feed your dogs on a certain schedule. For instance, if they eat once a day, feed one of them and then when that one is done, PICK THE FOOD UP and put it where they can't get it. THEN feed the other one, when that one is done, and pick the bowl up. Do not leave the food out all day where they can nibble all day, that also leads to obesity. If you feed them twice a day, that's fine just make sure you portion the food into halves, don't feed them double. But yes, you do have to "stop it right now" because you are the human, you are the alpha, you make the rules. They're not the boss of you, you are the boss of them, so you can't tell me that you can't help it when they eat each others' food, cause you can.

    Hope this helps :)

  • Bonnie
    Lv 6
    8 years ago

    Why are you feeding such crap to your poor dogs? The dog food analysis site gives them a rating of one, the worse possible, and would give them a lower rating if that was possible. The first ingredients in these crap dog foods are corn, which is hard for dogs to digest. The second ingredients are by-products, slaughterhouse waste, hooves, ears, undeveloped fetus', etc.

    There is NO need to feed puppy food. You can buy a high quality all life stages dog food. Two good ones are Taste of the Wild, and Canidae, which cannot be purchased at a market.

    Go to your local feedstore and read dog food labels, and purchase your poor dogs something better than the garbage you are feeding them. Also, stay away from shyte like Purina, IAMS, Science Diet, Pedigree, and anything else that can be purchased in markets, WalMart, etc.

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  • 8 years ago

    Puppy food is developed especially for his little tummy. It's gentler, and it has the nutrients he needs go grow big and strong. It helps for good muscle development, organ development, and mental strength. Eating dog food won't kill him, but it's not optimal. Your older dog eating puppy food instead, likewise, is not optimal, but it won't kill him.

    They may be eating the others' food simply due to personal preference, but here's what you can do. It worked with my little border collie lady who would not eat.

    You will need about forty minutes for feeding time. Separate them out, and feed one at a time, watching them. Feed the correct food to the correct dog and give them 20 minutes to eat. At 20 minutes pick up the food, then switch dogs. Give the next dog 20 minutes as well. Then lunch is over. No buts, no arguments, lunch is over. Don't feel sorry for them if they didn't eat--they'll eat if they're hungry, and it can talk them into thinking maybe what you're giving them is not so bad. It's the same thing as a spoiled child. Give them what they don't like and they won't eat it if you'll give them something they do like shortly after. If you've been letting your dogs have the food they do like after they won't eat at first, you're rewarding they're naught behavior.

    Therefore, be firm, be focused, and in no time you'll be getting the results you want.

  • 8 years ago

    Pick the food up when each is done. Don't leave it out for the other dog to get to. Feed each dog individually or in their crates, and remove the plate when they're done.

    Puppies who are not fed puppy food will not develop physically and mentally in an ideal way because they're not receiving the proper nutrition. At worst, the puppy may suffer malnutrition from the lack of extra proteins, vitamins, fats, amino acids, etc.

  • Anonymous
    8 years ago

    Puppy food is formulated for puppies only, it makes older dogs fat like what you are seeing now because that is what a puppy needs.

    Puppy food is softer and smaller then adult dog food, puppy food helps the puppy get nutrients that adult dog food doesn't have.

    I would suggest a all life stage dog food, no worries and a better not crap dog food like what you're feeding now, Taste Of The Wild or Canidae are great all life stage dog food.

  • Anonymous
    8 years ago

    The puppy wont get ill by eating adult food although purina products contain alot of cereals in the food, i mean your dog wouldent go and eat rice out of a field would it?, it would go chase and eat a rabbit, purina overprice theese and effectivly you are buying a bag of rice with poor quality meat in it, if you would like to go premium then i recommend a dog food called Acana, it has 70% deboned MEAT in it and the other 30% fruits and veg, your dogs will become much calmer, healthier and wont get skin problems, it is an expensive food but you feed 10grames for every kilo of body weight so you feed less, it tends to last alot longer than the cheaper foods thanks

    Source(s): Nutritional expert, Family buisness - petshop - completed 3 animal care/nutrition courses
  • IRA
    Lv 4
    8 years ago

    Go to a Petsmart or Petco and get a dog food with at least 23% Protein and you'll be OK. I have a Rottweiler that I got at 3 mos. old and been looking at the protein content. Get a better brand of dog food.I have had dogs for over 50 years and have alot of experience.

  • 4 years ago

    A well-trained dog makes everyone happy, including his owner. Take a little time training him, and you'll never regret it; you'll always have an obedient dog by your side. Go here

    For the potty training: Try taking her out every hour on the hour and don't bring her back inside until she potties! And as soon as she finishes pottying give her a tasty snack and reward and praise her. The best way to potty train is to prevent accidents, so if you can, get some pet scent remover and clean your house from top to bottom. Wal-Mart has some stuff called "OUT! Natural" and it works very well. It smells like lemons and herbs and it also removes stains. Then, if you can, get pee-pee pads. LOTS of them. Line your entire floor with them if you have to securing the seams with scotch tape. Only replace the ones she potties on daily. Leave the rest. After while you can start removing them one at a time until there are only a few left. It sounds complicated but it works. Most people use this trick for small rooms like a bath room or bedroom they have to leave the dog in when they go somewhere. Sooner or later she'll get down to just pottying on one pad, and then you slowly move it a few inches towards your door every day. Then move it outside. You should never punish a puppy for pottying in the house, only prevent it, and reward them for going in the proper place. And don't clean up the mess when they're watching. It's like a mind game for them.

    For the chewing: Get her rawhide toys, bones, Greenies, rope toys, balls, squeaky toys and anything else you find at the store that's made for dogs and she might enjoy. Give her 2 or 3 a day, and rotate them so she only has the same ones for a day or two and she won't get bored with them. I understand you're against physical punishment, but really you should try using a loud newspaper or paper towel roll (that's empty of course), or an envelope with the plastic window thing in it. Just something that makes a lot of noise but doesn't cause pain. I found the envelope works best. Keep a very good eye on her at all times, and when you see he headed for something she shouldn't have tell her NO! If you can stop her before she gets to it that really speeds up the training. If not it's okay, just tell her no, and if she doesn't respond, tell her a second time and follow up with the paper.

    For the crate training: It's best to work on this when you leave the house and no one is around. Doing it at night keeps everyone up and it's just annoying. Put her in the crate, and cover it with an old blanket so she can't see you leaving. When you leave it doesn't matter how much she cries, she'll take the hint that crying won't get her her way. And whatever you do, never ever ever let her out of the crate while she's crying. This enforces the behavior and you'll never get her trained to sit there without crying. If you can't get her to quiet right before you take her out, make a loud noise like clapping your hands and as soon as she's quiet you can let her out.

    I hope it all works out for you... if you need any more help feel free to e-mail me. I can look up some of the sites I got my training info for you. Oh, and Bull Dogs are very stubborn by nature, they take longer than some breeds to catch on to and respond to training.

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