Accidentally Bought Puppy Food For An Adult Dog [Do These 5]

Accidentally Bought Puppy Food For An Adult Dog

Although mistakes are a natural human phenomenon, is it reasonable to feed your dog puppy food?

In this article, I’m gonna walk you through 5 possible things to do if you accidentally bought puppy food for your adult dog.

First, you need to have a clear awareness of what ingredients are in puppies’ food and the nutritional needs of adult dogs. After that, we can decide what to do with this food bag.

Can adult dogs eat adult puppy food?

Of course, adult dogs can eat puppy food. But, there are a handful of reasons not to do so.

Although the types of nutrition contained in both adult and puppy foods are almost identical, the nutritional contents are different.

Puppy food formulas are specially designed to promote their growth. Especially, protein, calorie, fat, calcium contents are considerably higher in puppy foods.

For example, the protein content of adult dog food is somewhere around 18%, and that of puppy formulas is about 30%.

Therefore, seldom servings puppy food along with other regular foods possibly won’t hurt your dog.

However, fulfilling your dog’s diet solely from puppy food will undoubtedly cause a handful of health concerns down the line.

Here are some potential health problems.

  • Obesity: Due to the high content of nutrients, eating the usual amounts of puppy food on regularly can lead to weight gain in adult dogs.
  • Kidney issues: Eating puppy foods can increase the risk of kidney problems in adult dogs.
  • Pancreatitis: This is also another severe health situation. Regular consumption of excess fat is the main reason.

Apart from the above health concerns, Lethargy is another situation that may develop in adult dogs after eating puppy foods regularly.

Even though this condition isn’t a health concern, being inactive can lead to various health issues down the line.

However, veterinarians may recommend that some adult dogs be fed puppy foods under controlled conditions. Here are some examples.

  • Since puppy foods are calorie-dense, underweight dogs can be fed puppy foods.
  • Veterinarians may recommend to some adult high energetic dogs to consume some amount of puppy foods along with their regular dog food.
  • Nursing and pregnant dogs need high content of calories and nutrients. Puppy foods are an excellent way to provide the nutrition that mom-dogs need.

Suggested Reading: Does Kibble/Dry Food Make Dogs Thirsty?

What to do if you accidentally bought puppy food for your adult dog?

If you bought a small food bag, it wouldn’t be a big deal. But, even I found myself buying 30 lb bags in many cases.

Then, what should you do with this? Should you dump this out? Of course not. Take a look at the following suggestions.

If you accidentally bought puppy food for your dog, feeding it won't harm a dog as long as it is healthy. Before feeding, consider mixing about 25% of it with 75% of adult foo, Using as treats, exchanging it with someone, saving it for a future puppy, donating, and returning are other solutions.

1. Mix it with regular dog foods.

If you accidentally bought puppy food for your adult dog, I’d get a bag of the regular dog food and just mix it in small amounts (probably 25% of the meal) regularly to use it.

However, ensure not to exceed 25% of the puppy food. Indeed, that would be better than just tossing over an entire 30lb bag.

However, the dog must be perfectly healthy and should be no special nutritional requirements.

In general, puppy foods contain high content of fat, certain vitamins, proteins, calcium, and minerals than adult dog formulas.

Your dog will be okay by feeding puppy food mixed with regular dog foods as long as she isn’t overweight and as long as she does not develop any gastrointestinal upset conditions or diarrhea.

If you notice any abnormality after starting feeding, stop using that food bag. If the condition seems serious, consider seeing your veterinarian. However, this won’t be a problem 95% of the time.

Lovely puppies

2. Use as treats.

If you really don’t know what to do with this accidentally bought puppy food, just use them as treats for your dog.

But, as I mentioned earlier, the calorie content of puppy food is significantly higher. So, you gotta be mindful not to exceed daily calorie requirements.

Suggested Reading: Can you feed a small dog large dog food and vice versa.

3. Exchange it with someone or save it.

Consider exchanging this puppy food bag with someone who has two dogs (a puppy and an adult dog). I’m sure you have such a friend.

If you’re gonna bring a puppy within a couple of months, please consider saving this bag as dog foods usually last 12-18 months since the manufactured date.

Be sure to store it at a favorable temperature.

4. Donate it.

If the cost of a food bag isn’t a big deal for you, consider donating it to a shelter. Certainly, that would be great for your Self-satisfaction.

5. Return it.

If none of the above solutions seems not gonna work for you, try to return it. Ask for a refund if possible.

Things to be aware of.

Now you know whether adult dogs can eat puppy food and what to do when you accidentally buy puppy food for your adult dog. However, there are certain things you need to be aware of.

  • If you notice any abnormality, please stop feeding that food bag.
  • Just search on the internet and compare calories and other nutritions between that puppy food and regular dog food that you used to buy. Then try to slightly adjust the amount served. (Maybe you can use an old bag to compare these two)
  • Check her stool regularly and see if there are any other changes in pooping habits.
  • If you got a really large wrong food bag (maybe more than 30 lb), just give a call to your veterinarian and ask if it is appropriate.
  • Please consider educating yourself about the ingredients are contained in dog foods. It may be needed at any time.
  • Be attentive when buying dog food either in the food store or online. Check for the reviews, ratings, and other important factors.
  • Stay with the diet recommended by your veterinarian.
  • If your dog is obese or unhealthy, do not try to give this food without a veterinarian’s recommendation.


In this article, we’ve discussed whether adult dogs can eat puppy food and what to do if you accidentally buy puppy food for your adult dog. Hope you found this helpful.

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