Puppy to Adult Food
Basenji Mix

At about what age should the Basenji puppy switch over to adult food? I understand the oil in puppy food is much richer than adult food. Duke is almost 8 months old. He's been holding at 22 lbs for about 2 months now. Don't know if his weight matters - but if it does . . . there it is.

Advice is appreciated. Thanks!

I usually switch them at 6 months old.

I switched my dog around 9-10mths.

Jazz is 1.5 yrs and I still feed her puppy food.

Paso is 2 and a half and his breeder recommends him eating puppy food for life, so that is what we are going to do. my moms basenjis (4 and 6 yrs) also still eat puppy food. maybe you won't have to switch 🙂 average weight for a basenji boy is 25lbs, at 8 months he will still be growing and changing. your boy is really cute, ive never seen one with a docked tail. he is adorable!

Gee, Jazzy's breeder says the same thing. LOL

I figure his 22 or so years of successfully breeding outstanding, healthy dogs is good enough for me! So, Jazz is on puppy chow for life.

What is the reason given by your breeders as why to stay on puppy food for life?
I thought it was too rich for an adult.

I suppose it would depend on what food you are feeding…but most of my dogs would absolutely be butterballs on puppy food past 8 mos-1yr. Puppy food is so much higher in fat, seems they would get almost no food at all to maintain an adult weight.

I feed adult formula Innova, and have been very pleased with it.

Paso is 2 and a half and his breeder recommends him eating puppy food for >>life, so that is what we are going to do. my moms basenjis (4 and 6 yrs) >>>also still eat puppy food.

What is the reason given by your breeders as why to stay on puppy food >>for life? I thought it was too rich for an adult.

My understanding is that it is because of the amount of fat and protein, which supports the high activity level, but I could be wrong.
I guess the right person to answer that would be Bryan.

I just feed Purina Puppy Chow, and she is thriving.
She doesn't need much food to maintain her weight, but she is also not hungry. {Quality matter more than quantity, anyway IMO}
In fact, she gets very picky about treats and will only accept certain things, and usually eats them very slowly.
And if we put too much food in her bowl, she leaves some behind. . . until Gypsy makes a move on it, then she'll run back and eat it. But that's not about hunger; that's about possession!

It all depends on the dogs…

I switched my De La from puppy food when she was 10.5 years old...
Benny was 7.5 years when I took him off of puppy food and put him on the adult food...
My dogs are all very lean and muscular... it is very rare that I have an overweight dog (makes sense.. they wish it all on me!)...
so I have been confident in my choice of dog food over the years...
I actually switched to an adult dog food 2 years ago and they have all done exceptionally well on it... the puppies prefer that to their food.. so they get a 50/50 mix.. as they need all the fat they can get!

Basenji Mix

Wow - Looks like there is a wide variation here! I suppose if they were switched at 6 months they will do well. Personal preference is the key here. I've decided to keep him on puppy food for another couple months and see how he does, because he's not overweight and the extra fat in his diet won't hurt him. I did however buy a small bag of adult food and mixed it with the puppy food. The kibbles looked identical, but Duke noticed! He wasn't appetized and didn't eat anything until the next day, because he was hungry! Normally he eats twice a day. The next 3 days I noticed he was only eating once a day when hungry. I don't want him losing weight, so puppy food it is for a while longer.

Thanks for your help everyone!

Given that my advise regarding how I feed my dogs, and recommendation to their owners has been brought up. I felt it necessary to share the whole story behind my feeding practices. This is quite long, thus posted in parts

Part 1

I always find this a very interesting topic, given all the hype in the pet food industry. This is a billon dollar market which the manufactures want you to spend more money on new and improved food and attempting to increase their market share. Labeling has now gone to natural, organic, antioxidants, join care and so on. The reality is, there is very little different between the brands, but the formulas do matter, based on you dogs needs.

There is only a small difference between a puppy diet and performance diet. This tends to be the calcium / phosphorus level. As far as protein and fat percentages, there is way too much hype by the pet food industries in the presentation that more of one or the other is better.

The most important factor to consider in a diet is Metabolizable Energy which should be determined by the use of feeding trials not by chemical analysis. This is expressed as ME and given in Kcals per pound, cup or Kg. Regardless of the source, this is the representation on how well a dog’s digestive system utilizes the ingredients of the feed. Kcal is derived from fats, proteins and carbohydrates, it very interesting to compare various manufactures source ratios of such. They all tend to stay close to the same formula.

For example, Purina Puppy Chow has 431 Kcals per cup and Purina Pro Plan Performance has 493 Kcals per cup. The lower Kcals in the Puppy Chow results in that I feed more, but not by much.

Next factor is the ingredients. I have always stayed away from diets heavy with wheat or wheat gluten. In the early days of Malabsorption, now called ISPID, (Immunoproliferative small intestinal disease) many of the breeders noted that inflicted dogs tend to have been on a wheat based diet. Though, I do not believe any link has ever been proven, but I have never had a dog inflicted with ISPID after twenty years of breeding basenjis and I will continue to avoid wheat.

Rice is probably the best grain for digestion, then corn. As far as soy is concern, I’m pessimistic. I have read many articles regarding the positive benefits and many discussing the negatives.

As far as which is more important, meat then grain or the other way around, or whether it’s meat by product verse meat. This is current trend of the pet food industry hype. The correct answer is balance. A good example is in rice and beans in a human diet, it takes a balance of both to make a complete protein, as any vegetarian will tell you. Regarding meat verses meat by product, the meat by product can be by far more nutritional depending what is processed. Chicken by product can be very nutritional and exceed the nutritional value of the flesh. But, if the chicken by product includes feathers, beak, etc which are protein, but not digestible, the quality of the chicken by product is compromised. It’s very important buy your pet food from a reputable company.

Next factor is vitamins, minerals and amino acids, the nutrients. I’m sure we have all heard how soda pop is noting but empty calories. All good canine pet foods are fortified. These are all those obscured ingredients such as L-Lysine monohydrochloride which is a solid substance that is very soluble in water. L-lysine has three pKa's: pKa1=2.20, pKa2=8.90 and pKa3=10.28. L-lysine is marketed as a nutritional substance, either as L-lysine monohydrochloride or as the free base, L-lysine. The molecular weight of L-lysine is 146.19 daltons, its molecular formula is C6H14N2O2. Information which was found on the web, suggest you do an internet search on all these obscure ingredients before dismissing them as nasty chemicals and preservatives.

Part 2

Hence back to calcium / phosphorus level. My mentor, who bred basenjis beginning in the early fifties felt that the breed developed and maintained stronger pasterns and hocks, which are critical joints, comprised of small bones, cartilage, tendons and ligaments when fed a diet rich with calcium / phosphorus. I continue to agree with this observation. An increase in calcium / phosphorus can not correct a poorly bred dog with weak pasterns and hocks, but it does help a basenji develop and maintain these joints in peak condition, very important in a performance breed. I have even had discussions with judges after breed competition regarding basenjis with down pasterns and how my dogs excelled in such. In order for a dog utilize calcium / phosphorus, it must be in the proper ratio and give with other nutrients. Giving your dog calcium pills or Tums is a waste of time and possibly harmful. PetCal or similar products are properly balanced for canine utilization.

So, should you change your dog’s diet to a puppy or performance formula? That depends greatly on your individual dog. Activity level, performance task, showing, and weather all greatly influence your dogs kcal needs.

Of the 7 dogs which we have
Our Scottie puppy, Ringo, receives 650 Kcals a day dived into two feedings. He’s only 4 ½ month old and very much a growing dog. The breed is heavy boned, with substantial muscle mass; adult should be only 10 inches at the shoulder but 20 pounds. His diet will be increased as he grows. It’s very important he receives the amino acids / proteins, fats, calcium / phosphorus for the energy and nutrition to develop this heavy structure, the rest depend on the genes.

Our two young basenjis, Max and Trance receive a whooping 1300 Kcals a day. Max and Trance will be two this fall, and are our current show and coursing dogs. They spend their days in our west yard, which is a fully fenced half acre. This allows them to run full out and play to their hearts content, which they take advantage of daily. They also have the company of the dogs on the outer side of the fence, which result in a game of fence sparing. Those of us who show and course their dogs know conditioning and stamina does make a difference. No flabby muscles on these dogs. Like Ringo, muscle development is a matter of having the genes, diet and physical activity.

We have only one brood bitch in our house at this time, Sprite, who will be seven this fall, receives 700 Kcals. She runs with Max and Trance, which helps keep her quite fit, but she does not have the energy level of two year old. It’s very important to keep a brood bitch in fit condition, neither thin nor over weight, with strong muscles. Pregnancy is very demanding of the body. It is recommended that dog’s which are pregnant are fed a Puppy formula diet, for the additional calcium / phosphorus to assist in the development of the puppies and production on milk.

We have two spayed girls, Gabrielle who is nine, and Cherry who will be 4 this fall, both receive 650 Kcals to maintain their weight. These are both very active dogs, lots of playing and fence sparing. Spay and neutering does decrease a dog’s metabolism. If it was not for activity level, these dogs would be candidate for lower Kcal maintenance formula.

Our oldest dogs, Tootsie, who will be ten this fall, also receive 650 Kcals to maintain her weight. She too is very active and runs with Ringo and Cherry in our east yard. We do plan to spay her this year, which will require a change in diet.

Laurie and I raise our dogs in a very active environment. Even our oldest, 14 – 16 years had a Kcal demand of 650 or above. Muscle wasting is a big problem with old age; it takes physical activity and good diet to avoid.

At what point would I switch to a maintenance diet, if I have a dog which had kcal need of 400 or less. When dogs become sedentary or overweight, and a reduction in Kcal is needed, there is a greater demand for more nutrients per Kcal, hence maintenance, senior or over weight formula diets.

Part 3

Why do I feed Purina Puppy Chow? Simply, the results. I have been using this feed for over fifteen years, and my dogs excel on it. We have had only a few dogs which had special needs which Purina Puppy Chow did not meet.

And the big plus, I pay only 42 cents a pound compared to the dollar or more some of the other foods cost. You can not equate quality with cost, spending more money does not necessary get you a better food. Much as spending $90 plus on a bottle of wine does not necessary make it a superior wine over two buck chuck.

Does this mean that I feel that everyone should feed their basenjis such? No

Iams, Eukanuba, Nutro Max and so on, all make very good foods. One must read the label to determine if the formula is right for your dog. Weighing kcal provided to the nutrients. You need to stay within the suggested feeding guideline. If it’s necessary reduce the quantity below the guidelines to keep you dog weight under control, than the food has too many Kcals per cup and your dog is most like not receiving the nutrients level it needs. If your feed above the guidelines, your dog is getting the nutrients intended in the formula, but you probly picking up a lot of crap in the yard. This dog would do better on a higher Kcal formula.

As for processed food verses home made. Home made, to the right recipe is the best. Processing does diminish the quality of the food. Laurie and I do not have the time to cook for seven dogs. Raw diet, no way. My dad raised chicken, 1000 plus bird farm; I know first hand all the bacteria and virus these birds can carry. I would never take a chance of subjecting my dog’s digestive systems to such.

Do I supplement my dog’s diets? Yes and no. If you find that your dog needs additional supplements beyond his normal diet on a daily bases, than you should change the diet to a more complete formula suitable for your dogs needs. I do give our dogs the occasional PetTab vitamin, and occasional table scraps of meat, carrots, broccoli, cauliflower and so on. Table scraps and treats never exceed 10% of the dog’s diet. This practice ensure I do not alter the diet which the good folks over a Purina have so painstaking researched. It also adds some additional antioxidants and trace minerals to the diet and most of all keeps the diet from getting boring. It’s extremely important you do not over supplement any diet. For example, too much zinc interferes with the dog’s metabolism which results in the inability to absorb calcium / phosphorus. Think twice before you start dosing your dog heavy on these so call wonder supplements.

The truth is, if your dog does not have the genes for dark pigment, or the proper coat texture, or rich coat color. No diet or supplement is going to improve them, but a poor diet or imbalanced diet can diminish the quality of such. And it goes without saying, poor diet or imbalanced diet can lead to some very serious health problems. So have faith in the researchers that produce your favorite dog food.

Thank you very much Bryan for these long explanations.
I'm usely using proplan performance, and I can see the difference when they are on the normal chicken and rice proplan, their coat is not as shiny and they need twice as much.
For their last racing competition I added raw red meet to their diet the week before, seem to do the trick as Eos went 327m in under 29' and Valhi under 30' for the first time.
Hélène

Basenji Mix

Wow Bryan - You sure have done your homework! I'm so glad to get this information explained in (at best) layman's terms. I printed out your reply because I need some time to digest <gg>it all. I'll be paying more attention to the labels on the food bags for sure. I had no idea about Kcals or ISPID, etc. Thanks for spending the time to spell it out. It surely blew me away! It is very important to know how our money is spent and in what ways we are either hurting or helping our precious furry friends to stay healthy. I'm sure I'll be having some questions to follow up here. Stay tuned . . . and a big THANK YOU!</gg>

See, that's why I have no problem recommending Jumoke to potential Basenji owners {slaves, whatever}. Everything is so thorough.

After talking more w/Bryan, I am in the process of switching Jazzy to Eukanuba low-fat diet because he felt that while she was getting enough puppy chow to maintain a healthy weight, she was not getting chow every day to fulfill her nutrient requirements. {she has a tendency to chunk up, and he was unaware of the quantity of food she ate each day}.
He did the research for me, and recommended the food that he feels will most benefit her – and she likes it. She is getting Pet-Tabs also.

I'm glad the question came up because otherwise I would have never gotten around to discussing her diet w/him.
So, a big Thank you to Bryan for all his hard work, and also to whoever it was that posted the original question and got the discussions going!

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