How Much to Feed a Puppy? Puppy Diet Guide
You know that puppies need the right diet to fuel their growth and development—and provide the energy for adorable puppy zoomies—but you have no idea how much food you should be putting in their bowl. You’re not alone. One survey found that just 40 percent of pet owners felt confident that they were providing their dogs the right nutrition.
If you’ve got questions like, “how much should I feed my puppy,” “how often should I feed my puppy,” and “what should I feed my puppy,” we’ve got you covered!
Consider this your essential puppy feeding guide chock-full of information about what puppies should eat, how much and when, based on their size and development.
How Much Should I Feed My Puppy?
There is no one-size-fits-all guide to puppy portions, because a Dachshund will need different nutrition than a Doberman.
All the decisions you make about how much to feed your puppy will be based on a number of factors like their weight, age, breed and activity level. Consulting a puppy feeding chart can help take the guesswork out of portions.
Puppy Feeding Chart – How Much to Feed a Puppy by Weight
A puppy feeding chart is an invaluable resource for pet owners. The chart uses information like age and weight so you know exactly how much to feed a puppy by age and how much to feed a puppy by weight.
|Weight||6-12 weeks||3-4 months||5-7 months||8-12 months|
|3 to 5 pounds||1 to 1 1/3 cups||¾ to 1 cup||½ to ¾ cups||½ to 2/3 cups|
|6 to 10 pounds||1 1/3 to 2/12 cups||1 to 2 cup||¾ to 1 ½ cups||2/3 to 1 cup|
|11 to 20 pounds||2 ½ to 4 cups||2 to 3 ½ cups||1 ½ to 2 2/3 cups||1-2 cups|
|21 to 30 pounds||4 to 5 ¾ cups||3 1/3 cups to 4 ½ cups||2 2/3 to 3 2/3 cups||2 to 2 ¾ cups|
|31 to 40 pounds||5 ¾ to 7 cups||4 ½ to 5 2/3 cups||3 2/3 to 4 ½ cups||2 ¾ cups to 3 1/3 cups|
Remember, these are the amounts of food your puppy should eat per day, not per meal.
How Much Food Should I Give My Puppy Per Day?
Puppies grow quickly and need the right amount of food to feel their growth and development. You can use a puppy feeding chart for general puppy feeding guidelines or talk to your veterinarian for specific advice based on your puppy’s specific nutrient needs based on their age, weight and breed. Companies like PetPlate actually customize and pre-portion your pup’s meals based on age, breed(s), activity level, etc. So they take all the guesswork out of ensuring your puppy gets fed a nutritionally-balanced, developmentally-appropriate diet.
Feed puppies too little and they won’t achieve optimal growth; feed them too much and you increase the odds of obesity-related health issues later on down the line. Consider a slow feeder dog bowl to help stretch out mealtime for puppies that want to eat all the time!
How Often to Feed a Puppy
Now that you know how much to feed your puppy you’re probably wondering, “how often should I feed my puppy?” Dogs love routine and it’s important to establish a puppy feeding schedule.
Young puppies are used to nursing on demand and need to be fed more often after weaning, so plan to feed puppies between the ages of four and 12 weeks old at least three meals per day.
Once your puppy reaches three months old, you can cut back to two feedings per day and continue that feeding schedule through adulthood.
How Do I Know If I’m Feeding My Puppy Enough?
The best way to determine whether you’re feeding your puppy enough food is to assess their body condition. Puppies should have tapered waists but enough fat covering their ribs that the rib bones aren’t visible.
It’s always a good idea to consult with your veterinarian if you’re concerned that your puppy isn’t eating enough (or you’re not feeding them enough).
What If I Accidentally Overfed My Puppy?
We’ve all overindulged, eating a little (or a lot) more than we should—and it can happen with puppies, too. In all likelihood, your puppy may have an upset stomach or diarrhea, and return to their normal puppy antics before long.
That said, overeating can occasionally lead to a life-threatening condition called gastric dilation-volvulus or bloat, which causes the stomach to hold gas, stretch and cut off circulation to the heart. It’s a good idea to call your vet if you accidentally overfeed your puppy, just to make sure they are ok.
Should I Feed My Puppy Fresh or Dry Food?
As long as we’re talking high-quality, human-grade food like PetPlate, the choice between fresh and dry is a matter of personal preference. Your puppy might prefer one type of food over another—and it’s ok to mix fresh and dry foods together, as long as you follow the guidelines for portion size. In fact, PetPlate offers a Topper plan for just this purpose!
Providing proper nutrition is one of the most important things you can do for your puppy. Choosing food formulated for puppies and serving up multiple, portioned-controlled meals each day will help your puppy hit all of their growth milestones and grow into happy, healthy adult dogs that provide a lifetime of love and loyalty.