How Much To Feed A Puppy
Congratulations on welcoming a furry bundle of joy into your life! Now that you have a playful and adorable puppy by your side, it’s important to ensure your pup is getting the right nourishment.
That’s why in this article we’ll answer the all-important question: how much to feed a puppy.
From the appropriate portion sizes based on weight and age to the frequency of meals, we’ve got you covered.
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How Often to Feed a Puppy
Feeding your puppy is like embarking on a culinary adventure, where you get to nourish him and witness his growth. It’s exciting! But there are some rules of thumb you’ll want to keep in mind when dishing out your puppy portion sizes.
First of all, if you’re used to feeding adult dogs, it’s important to know that puppies have different needs. Their small stomachs and high energy levels require smaller, more frequent meals throughout the day.
This means you’ll most likely be treating your puppy to three to four meals a day until he reaches around four to six months of age. As he grows older and his stomach capacity increases, you can gradually reduce the frequency to 2-3 meals a day.
We’ll cover how much to feed a puppy in just a second. But first, you need to know that several factors determine your puppy’s portion size, including ….
We’ll give you the scoop on age and weight below, but let’s touch on breed first.
Different dog breeds have different growth rates and metabolic rates, which can affect their dietary needs.
For example, smaller breeds may require more calories per pound of body weight compared to larger breeds. So, if you have a tiny Chihuahua or a cute little Dachshund, he might need a bit more fuel to keep his energetic tail wagging.
Giant breed puppies also have special needs. Calcium deficiency or excess calcium can both lead to bone problems for growing giant dogs. Make sure you feed a diet formulated to support puppy growth, not an adult diet.
So when we cover how much to feed a puppy by weight … or how much to feed a puppy by age in the next sections … remember that these are general guidelines. You’ll want to double check that they’re in line with your puppy’s breed.
How Much To Feed A Puppy by Weight
Puppies, just like human babies, go through growth spurts, and their weight can change rapidly. So it’s important to weigh your pup regularly and keep track of his progress.
Commercial Or Pre-Made Dog Food
If you’re feeding any kind of commercial dog food, whether kibble, canned, dehydrated, freeze-dried or raw, puppy food packaging usually gives some guidelines based on average weights.
This is a good place to start, but remember that every puppy is unique, and you pup’s growth rate may be different from others. So you’ll need to watch your puppy’s body condition, and cut back or increase his portion size if he starts to look a bit chubby or skinny.
Also, keep in mind that packaged foods vary greatly in nutritional density, especially if you compare kibble or canned foods to whole food raw or cooked diets.
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Homemade Raw Or Cooked Puppy Food
If you’re feeding a homemade raw or cooked diet, a good guideline is that you should feed your puppy about 2-3% of his expected adult body weight. Or, if you’re not sure about his adult weight, feed about 10% of his current weight. Again, adjust the amounts if your puppy gains or loses weight.
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How Much to Feed a Puppy by Age
Feeding by weight is a little more accurate, but it’s also helpful to use your pup’s age as a helpful guideline for how much to feed.
Puppyhood is a time of rapid growth and development, so nutritional needs will vary from month to month. If you’re feeding a commercial or pre-made diet, follow the package instructions to start, and adjust as needed depending on your puppy’s body condition.
If you’re feeding a homemade raw or cooked diet, follow the same weight guideline. Give 2-3% of your puppy’s expected adult weight, or 10% of his current weight. Again, adjust as needed if your puppy gains too much weight or seems underweight.
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How Much to Feed a 2 Month Old Puppy
- At two months old, puppies are still developing their digestive systems and require smaller, frequent meals.
- Aim to feed four times a day, focusing on high-quality, natural puppy food designed to support your puppy’s growth.
How Much to Feed a 3 Month Old Puppy
- By three months, your puppy’s stomach capacity increases, allowing for larger meals.
- You can begin transitioning to three meals a day, adjusting the portion sizes accordingly.
How Much to Feed a 4 Month Old Puppy
- At four months old, most puppies can be fed three times a day.
- It’s important to monitor their weight and adjust the portion sizes as needed to maintain a healthy growth rate.
How Much to Feed a 5 Month Old Puppy
- As your puppy reaches five months, you can continue with three meals a day while monitoring his weight, body condition, and overall energy levels.
- Again, adjustments may be necessary based on individual needs.
How Much to Feed a 6 Month Old Puppy
- By six months, your pup is becoming more like a young adult dog.
- At this point, most puppies can transition to two meals a day.
- Some larger breeds may still benefit from three meals to support their growth and energy requirements.
Keep in mind your puppy’s body condition is more important than any rule about how much to feed. Adjust your puppy’s meal sizes based on his individual metabolism and body type, remembering that nutritional requirements vary from dog to dog.
You’ve got some great rules of thumb for how much to feed your puppy, and how often.
As your pup grows, here are a few final things you’ll want to keep in mind:
Monitor Your Puppy’s Body Condition
The guidelines mentioned above are a helpful starting point, but it’s important to monitor your puppy’s body condition regularly.
Remember that your pup should have a defined waistline when viewed from above, and you should be able to feel his ribs with a slight covering of flesh.
If you notice your puppy becoming overweight or underweight, adjust portion sizes accordingly.
Remember To Include Treats
Treats are a fun and rewarding way to bond with your puppy, and they’re a great way to train. But they’re also technically part of your pup’s overall daily calorie intake.
Treats should be given in moderation and accounted for in your dog’s daily food portion sizes.
Transitioning to Adult Dog Food
As your puppy grows, his nutritional needs will change. For most puppies, it’s important to gradually transition them to a suitable adult dog food around the age of one year, or as recommended by your holistic vet.
And finally … don’t forget to savor these puppy moments! Enjoy the mealtime wiggles and nourish your little companion with the love he deserves. You’ve got this!