What to do when accidentally bought puppy food for a senior dog

Purchasing puppy food instead of adult dog food can be a common mistake. It’s a common mistake that happens to lots of people. This blog post will guide you on how to handle this situation and smoothly transition your dog back to adult dog food. Read on to learn more.

Consult with your veterinarian 

Ask your nearest veterinarian or your known doctor over the phone to determine if the puppy food is safe for your senior dog to consume. Tell them the details about your bought food and your dog. 

Mix current food with puppy food

If your veterinarian gives permission to give your dog the food, then it would be best to mix the puppy food with your senior dog’s current food. It’s a great way to introduce the new formula gradually. 

This method allows your old dog to get habituated to fresh food while receiving the nutrition they need. To do this, you can start by mixing a small amount of puppy food with the current food and gradually increasing the amount over time. Mixing allows your senior dog to adjust to the new taste and texture at their own pace. 

It’s also important to keep an eye on their eating habits and ensure they are still eating and maintaining a healthy weight. Also, you should consult your vet regarding the proper ratio of puppy food to adult food based on your dog’s age, health and activity level.

Return the puppy food to store 

If your vet does not permit you to feed your dog your bought food, you can return the food to the store. Else you can exchange it for senior dog food.

Donating puppy food to a local animal shelter is another great solution if you have accidentally bought puppy food for your senior dog. 

Animal shelters and rescue organizations often need food donations, and puppy food can benefit them. They usually have puppies and young dogs that must be fed and taken care of.

When you donate puppy food, contact the shelter or rescue organization in advance to ensure they can accept donations. It’s also a good idea to check the puppy food’s expiration date to ensure it is still fresh and safe for the animals to eat.

Donating puppy food to an animal shelter or rescue organization is a great way to help these organizations. It also helps needy animals, and you can feel good about supporting them. You can also ask the organization if they need other donations like toys, blankets, and other supplies.

Giving the puppy food to a friend or family

Giving puppy food to a friend or family member with a puppy is another excellent solution if you have accidentally bought puppy food for your senior dog. Suppose you know someone with a new puppy.

Before giving the puppy food to a friend or family member, check the expiration date on the package to ensure that the food is still fresh and safe for the puppy to eat. You can also ask them if they have specific dietary needs or preferences for their puppy. Also, check if the food you’re giving them meets those needs.

Use the food as treats or rewards.

Another option is to use the puppy food as treats or training rewards for your senior dog. Puppy food can be a great way to provide a tasty treat for your old dog. Since it is specially prepared for puppies, it contains the right balance of nutrition to support their growth, which can also benefit senior dogs.

When using puppy food as treats or training rewards, it’s necessary to remember that too many treats can lead to weight gain. Make sure to give your dog only a small amount of the puppy food and not replace their regular meals with it. You can also use it as a reward to make training sessions fun and interactive for your senior dog.

Store the puppy food

Storing the puppy’s food appropriately is essential to maintain its quality and stay fresh and safe. Keeping the food can be a great option if you plan to have puppies.

To store the puppy food correctly, keep it in its original packaging. Please keep it in a cool, dry place, away from direct sunlight. Avoid storing it in damp or humid areas, as this can cause the food to spoil. Also, check the expiration date on the package and use the food before it expires.

When ready to use the food for your future puppies, recheck the food’s quality before giving it to them. It’s also important to keep in mind that different breeds of puppies have different nutritional needs, so you should research the specific dietary requirements for your breed before feeding the food to your puppies.

Mix in some wet food or cooked vegetables 

Mixing some wet or cooked vegetables with the puppy food you bought. It is a great way to increase the nutritional value of the food for your senior dog. Wet food or cooked vegetables can provide additional moisture and essential vitamins and minerals that may not be present in puppy food.

When mixing wet food or cooked vegetables, it’s essential to start with a small amount and gradually increase it over time. Allow your senior dog to adjust to the new taste and texture. You can also consult your vet to determine the appropriate amount of wet or cooked vegetables to add to the puppy’s food based on your dog’s age, health, and activity level.

Consider homemade diet

Consider a homemade diet with the vet’s consultation as another solution. Homemade diets can provide a more personalized and customized approach to your dog’s nutrition.

Vets can help you to determine your dog’s specific nutritional needs and guide you in creating a diet that meets those needs. They will also be able to advise on the appropriate balance of protein, carbohydrates, and fats, as well as the specific vitamins and minerals that your senior dog needs.

Things to be aware of

  1. Puppy food is prepared differently than adult dog food and may not meet the specific nutritional needs of a senior dog. If your dog’s weight decreases, add more nutrition or change the food. 
  2. Monitor your dog’s bowel movements and watch any variations in its elimination habits.
  3. If your dog is unhealthy, do not try to give this food. It can make it worse.
  4. The feeding guidelines on the package may not be appropriate for a senior dog, so you should consult with your veterinarian.
  5. Most importantly, keep an eye on your dog’s eating habits and make sure the dog is still eating and maintaining a healthy weight.


If you have accidentally bought puppy food for your senior dog, there are several options we have written here to consider. I hope our recommendation helped you with the situation. But we advise exchanging the puppy food with senior dog food in the shop. It’s not worth taking any risk for the loved one.


What happens if an older dog eats puppy food?

Senior dogs have finished growing. Giving puppy food is not suitable for them. It will make them gain weight in the wrong way. It can make them sick, like joint problems, diabetes and heart troubles.

Can dogs get sick from eating puppy food?

Adult dog food can be different for each dog. It may need unique ingredients like raw, allergen-free, or grain-free. Puppy food is not as specific in elements. It can cause health problems or allergies. It’s important to give the right food that matches the dog’s needs.

Can I switch back to puppy food?

Changing a dog’s food suddenly can make them sick. It can cause vomiting, diarrhoea, and loss of appetite. It’s important to change the food slowly. Give the dog’s body time to adjust to the new food. Time will help to prevent any stomach upset.

Can puppies eat adult dog food?

Puppies usually start eating adult food when they are grown for their size. But it depends on the breed. It’s essential not to hurry to give adult food to a puppy because they are still increasing bones, teeth, organs, etc.

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