It probably doesn't seem like long ago that you brought your furry little bundle of joy home. A little ball of fluff that toddled around clumsily, made funny little noises and got into lots of trouble chewing on shoes and taking what probably seemed like forever to understand the concept of housebreaking.

But now, how Rover has grown! Depending on your pup's breed, he may have sprung up a few inches, or maybe even a couple of feet. But whether he's a Dachshund or a Doberman, a Chihuahua or a Chow Chow, it might be time to start thinking about moving your pet on to an adult food.

Just like people, dogs develop at different rates, so there's no specific age when you should move your pet from one dry dog food to another. It's usually around the time that the canine stops growing - this is approximately 12 to 18 months for larger breeds, and 12 to 24 months for smaller animals.

Since puppy food is formulated to provide all the nutrients that a growing dog needs, it's usually richer and more calorific than adult food. If your young dog is starting to pile on the pounds without getting any taller, it might be a good sign that it's time to make the switch. Your vet will also be able to advise when your pet's dietary needs have changed.

When you do decide that it's time to upgrade to adult food, remember that it's best to do this in stages, rather than all at once. Remember that dogs have sensitive stomachs and sudden changes in food can lead to an upset tummy and all the unpleasant side effects that go with it.

Start by mixing a combination of adult and puppy food: about one-quarter adult food to three-quarters puppy food.

After a couple of days, try a half and half mixture, then after another two or three days, move on to three-quarters adult food and one quarter puppy food. If all goes well, within a week, you should have switched completely over to the adult diet.

Written by: Hannah