How Much Food Should I Feed My Puppy?

Dog eating kibble out of dog bowl (caption: Puppy Feeding Guide)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 a 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!

Article Overview

What Can Puppies Eat?

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Here’s a quick timeline of a puppy’s nutrition in the first few months of their life.

  • Weeks 6-8: They should be with his mother and nurse as he or she 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 the puppy because their mother is the one feeding them.
  • Week 8-11 (and beyond): You should start to wean them off their 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 a 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 them dog food.

Read Reviews Of The Best Puppy Foods

Can Puppies Eat Adult Dog Food?

Bowl of puppy kibble (caption: Best Puppy 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 their teeth, jaws and overall health.

But, if you are looking for high-quality, human-grade food for your little friend, perhaps you could try The Farmer’s Dog, our top-pick for fresh meals. It is a healthy solution for dogs of all ages.

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.

Ideal Weight of Dog (At Maturity)Weaning-12 Weeks 4-5 Months6-8 Months9-11 Months1-2 Years
3-12 lbs1/2-1 cup 2/3-1 1/3 cups1/2-1 1/2 cupsAdult portionAdult portion
13-20 lbs1/2-1 1/4 cups1 1/8-2 cups3/4-1 1/3 cups1-1 1/2 cupsAdult Portion
21-50 lbs1/2-1 1/2 cups1 1/2-2 3/4 cups1 1/8-2 1/3 cups2-3 cups2-4 1/4 cups
51-75 lbs5/8-2 1/3 cups1 1/2-4 cups1 1/2-3 3/4 cups2 1/2-4 3/4 cups2 5/8-6 1/4 cups
76-100 lbs1-2 2/3 cups2 7/8-3 3/4 cups2 7/8-6 1/3 cups3 7/8-7 cups5 5/8-11 cups
101+ lbs2 2/3 cups + 1/3 cup for every 10lbs over 1003/34 cups + 1/3 cup for every 10lbs over 1006 1/3 cups + 1/3 cup for every 10lbs over 1007 cups + 1/3 cup for every 10lbs over 10011 cups + 1/3 cup for every 10lbs over 100

And here’s a handy graphic you can reference as well for dogs of all ages and sizes.

Puppy Feeding Chart: How much to Feed Puppy?

Source: Canine Journal

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 them 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.

Puppy next to food bowl (caption: When To Switch A Puppy To Adult Food)One thing to keep in mind though is to keep that last feeding around the 5 o’clock mark. That way your pup has ample time to digest the food and eliminate one last time before he or she 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 time to adjust.

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).

Are you looking for more dog food articles? We’ve got plenty of resources on various dog diets and nutrition including homemade dog food recipes and what to do if you run out of dog food. We also have a guide about when you should switch your dog from puppy to adult food.

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?

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