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There are many elements to keeping your dog healthy. These include giving him enough exercise, playtime and, of course, food. But do you know how much to feed puppy?
In this article, we’re going to discuss what puppy’s diet should consist of, how often you should feed them and the proper amount of food you should be feeding your dog. We’re sure our puppy feeding guide will help you provide the proper diet for your pup!
What Can Puppies Eat?
For the first six to eight weeks of a puppy’s life, he should be with his mother and nurse as he pleases. The mother’s milk provides the nutrients necessary to protect the puppy from diseases. During this time you don’t need to worry as much about how much to feed puppy because his mother is the one feeding him.
Once your puppy has hit the four to six week age you should start to wean him off his mother’s milk — this will take two to three weeks. To do this, select a brand of puppy food — consider asking your vet for any recommendations. Blend the dog food with milk replacer and offer it to the puppy three to four times a day. Gradually reduce the amount of milk replacer until you’re only giving him dog food, the puppy should be around eight weeks old.
Can Puppies Eat Adult Dog Food?
Puppies and adult dogs have different nutrient needs. To help puppies grow into adult dogs, they require more protein, micronutrients and carbs. Puppies also require a high amount of calories to help them grow, so it’s important to purchase a high-quality brand of food for your puppy.
A puppy’s mouth is smaller than an adult’s, which helps explain why their food is smaller too. Feeding puppies adult dog food can be dangerous because the kibbles are larger and the texture is harder. If you give a puppy adult dog food, it can cause damage to his teeth, jaws and overall health.
Puppy Feeding Chart
Most dog food bags have a dog feeding chart on the label, similar to the one below. Be sure to check your dog’s bag of food for a label like this, so you know how much to feed him. These amounts are meant to be fed to your dog over a 24 hour period unless otherwise stated.
|Weight of Dog||Amount of Food Per Day|
|5 pounds||1/2 cup to 5/8 cup|
|10 pounds||3/4 cup to 1 cup|
|20 pounds||1 1/4 cups to 1 3/4 cups|
|40 pounds||2 1/4 cups to 3 cups|
|60 pounds||3 cups to 4 cups|
|80 pounds||3 2/3 cups to 5 cups|
|100 pounds||4 1/4 cups to 6 cups|
And here’s a handy graphic you can reference as well for dogs of all ages and sizes.
Source: Canine Journal
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How Often Should You Feed a Puppy?
You just got your puppy, and now you’re asking yourself, “How often should I feed my puppy?” Everyone asks themselves this question, and you’re not alone. Setting a routine for your puppy feeding schedule is important so he can learn when to expect his food.
Puppies sometimes need three or more feedings a day. So, according to the chart on your puppy’s bag of food, you’ll want to divide that by three or more and give it to him throughout the day. A common feeding schedule for puppies is 7 am, noon and 5 pm.
If you decide to do more feedings than three you can adjust the times for the puppy eating schedule as needed. One thing to keep in mind though is to keep that last feeding around the 5 o’clock mark. That way he has ample time to digest the food and eliminate one last time before he goes to sleep for the night.
As your dog gets older, you can reduce the number of feedings. Most adult dogs eat two meals per day. You’ll want to divide their food requirement by two.
Transitioning Your Dog’s Food
The importance of planning and allowing for a transitional process when changing dog food is often overlooked. Imagine eating the same meals every day. Then, suddenly you change to something completely different. You’ll probably experience a tummy ache or some gastrointestinal problems.
The same thing goes for your dog. Remember that it’s a process that should take a minimum of six days and sometimes even more to adjust. The video from Petcurean below is a useful resource for this.
A Healthy Dog is a Happy Dog
And just remember, having a dog who has their dietary needs met will be happier and healthier as a result. Not eating enough can lead to malnutrition and overeating makes your pup obese (read our tips to help your dog lose weight).
Have additional questions or issues with your dog? Ask us if you need help. We’d love to help your family transition and aid with any adjustments as needed.
Tell us about your pup! How much and how often is your dog eating?