November 5, 2021

How Much to Feed a Puppy

When looking at how much, exactly, to feed your puppy - it really depends on how much they weigh and how old they are.

Millie Baylac

Getting a new dog is so exciting, especially a puppy! But there is a certain art of raising a puppy that can be overwhelming. One aspect being puppy chow and figuring out how exactly to properly feed them. We hope to always provide you with the best dog care tips, dog coaching, puppy handling, behavior training and so much more, including your dog's food and how much to feed your new puppy! 


We will walk you through all the basics you need to know for feeding your puppy and making sure they get just the right amount of nutrients (and treats of course) to grow up and become healthy and happy dogs!


How Much to Feed a Puppy


Let’s start with the basics. When looking at how much, exactly, to feed your puppy - it really depends on how much they weigh and how old they are. Typically, you will be raising a puppy that is 4 months or older and at this age, their average daily intake can be anywhere from 150 to 2000 calories. That’s a huge range, but, luckily for you - each bag of puppy chow will tell you exactly how much to feed them based on their weight and age! 


Each dog food brand is a little different so reading your preferred puppy chow bag will give you the best idea. But for us, a good estimate is for 6 month and younger puppies, they will be eating around a cup of dog food a day. You want to make sure you use an accurate form of measurement, like a food scale or measuring cup, to properly portion out their food.


Raising a puppy is hard, so you want to ensure you are not under or over feeding them, and make your life a little easier with a crazy, happily well fed, puppy. (Treats also always help keep your puppy happy). 


Puppy Feeding Schedule


Now that we know how much dog food our puppies will be eating, we need to know the timing. Many dog owners leave a bowl of food always out, we try to avoid this puppy behavior training method because it can lead to overeating. Your dog should always have fresh water available, but for food - setting a schedule is the most beneficial to you and your puppy! 


Most puppies start with 3 meals a day and move into a typical 2 meals a day once they are older than 6 months. By setting this schedule you are creating positive puppy behavior and puppy handling, as well as helping to manage your own schedule. Raising a puppy while working full time can be a challenge but following a feeding schedule consistently will be the best, especially for those mid-day meals. 


If your puppy is aggressive or has bad puppy behavior, creating a feeding schedule, with positive reinforcements, is a dog coach technique to create structure and positivity. We have more blogs all about puppy and dog training as well. 


Canine Fitness


Dog and puppy exercise, and canine fitness in general, is another factor when thinking about how much to feed your puppy. Puppies under a year can still struggle with being overweight. 


Pet obesity and dog obesity is something to be aware of when you go to feed your dog. If you are unsure if your puppy is overweight or not, an easy way to tell is to rub your hands along their side body. If you can feel their ribs without putting a lot of pressure, they are a healthy weight! If you can’t feel their ribs, or have to apply a lot of pressure in order to feel, then you may have an overweight dog. Of course, always consult your vet, but it is also okay to make your own judgement and change the way you are feeding your pet. 


One way to do this is to change your puppy’s food. There are specific brands that make overweight dog food and you can make that switch without changing anything else and see if that improves their diet. You also can make a small change of switching out your treats for low fat dog treats. In addition, making sure your puppy gets daily exercise and movement is a great way to keep them in shape. We love going on daily walks, lots of fetch and zoomies!


Overall, there is a simple dog care plan for how much to feed your puppy and how often. 6 months and younger, 3 times a day. Older than 6 months, 2 times a day. Make sure to always read your puppy chow bag for the proper measurements. But, as long as you stick to that rule of thumb and give your puppy lots of love - you and your new puppy will be happy! 


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