How Often Should I Feed My Puppy?

The addition of new puppy as a family member can bring a trepidation and more excitement in a family. As a pet owner, you must want to ensure that she is getting her right amount of nutrition. Are you searching for how often should I feed my puppy? Here is your post. In this article, I have presented basic guidelines for puppy feeding that will give you the information regarding your search.

Nutrition Requirement Of Puppies

Usually puppies are not available for adoption during their first 6 to 8 months of age; they should stay with their mother during that period. The milk of mothers offers the best nutrition and antibodies that help to protect the puppies from diseases. Hence, it is very important for puppies to nurse from their mother during 6 to 8 weeks of their life. Sometimes, it is not advised to keep the puppies with their mother for the 1st eight week when the mother develops mastitis or eclampsia. In this situation, you can use milk replacer or bottles specially designed for puppies. You can get the bottles at the major pet stores. The meals for a puppy should include a healthy as well as well balanced diet. Hence, you should choose high quality nutrients rather than cheaper dog foods that include sugars and fillers. Not all the foods that make your puppy to feel full & satisfied, gives the entire nutrition that her body requires. Undoubtedly, lesser quality foods will affect the overall health and long-term growth of your puppy. In addition, the low quality puppy food can cause diarrhea or constipation that leads more challenge in the house training. Usually puppies require to eat lot but not too much. It is not possible to answer in single word for the question, how often should I feed my puppy. It may vary based on the type of food you choose to feed, the amount of nutrition present in the food, the size and age of your puppy. In general, while feeding a puppy, it is best to follow the guidelines that are provided on the back of the dog food. You can also change it based on the body condition and aptitude of your puppy. First select the puppy food brand that you intend to feed. Talk to the veterinarian to get an idea about the specific recommendation. Generally, puppy food should be high in calcium, protein and calories. It is advised to avoid foods that include corn as the 1st ingredients, since meat should be the 1st ingredient. Cereals and Vegetables are rich in carbohydrates when compared to meats, but the processed and canned foods are full of high carbohydrate content hence check carefully. Proteins become a longer lasting energy source.

The following are the some of the food items that you should avoid to feed your puppy.

  • Garlic
  • Onions
  • Coffee
  • Chocolate
  • Bread dough
  • Sultanas
  • Raisins
  • Nuts (including macadamia nuts)
  • Fruit stones( e.g.: apricot stones, mango seeds, avocado stones)
  • Mushrooms
  • Cooked bones

 How Often Should I Feed My Puppy?

Here is a general guideline for a puppy feeding; it may vary based on some factors. When your puppy reaches 4 to 6 weeks of age, start to feed puppy food. You can feed by blenderizing the food with the milk replacer. You should feed 3 measured meals per day and most preferably at the same-time. The best time for the 1st meal for your puppy is around 7am. The best time for lunch is noontime and for dinner is 5 pm. You should feed the last meal around 7 pm. Hence, it has the enough time to digest her food. Don’t feed the last meal just before bedtime. Gradually reduce the quantity of milk replacer that is used to gruel the food. This way can help your puppy to learn to adapt with the solid food. It will also reduce the chance of gastric upset. By around eight weeks of age, your puppy will adapt perfectly to the solid food. Usually reputable breeder won’t allow the pup to available for adoption until it reaches at least eight weeks of age. Hence, pup is well adopted with solid diet when coming to your home.  Puppies are growing so fast during this age and burns energy at a fast rate; hence, the frequent feeding is advised at this age. In addition, the stomach of the puppies is small and the overfeeding can cause the bloat. The practice of smaller as well as high quality puppy food often can allow the puppy to gain most nutrition from the food. Follow this schedule until your puppy arrive 14 -26 weeks old at this point you should change the schedule to 2 meals per day. Puppy at this stage is still growing fast, but its digestive system is matured and hence it can be increased in size. Weigh the puppy often particularly larger breeds in order to increase the food amount. If your puppy reaches 1 year, you can continue in 2 meals per day if it belongs to a large breed otherwise cut it to a single meal per day. Feed the last meal late afternoon but don’t have the habit to feed late at night.

The following is a guide to how much to feed your puppy until it reaches adult weight. The requirement of a puppy depends on how much active she is and the rate of calorie present in your chosen food. Before start to feed a food, just check the calorie information that is displayed on the package.

Breed size Puppy feeding rule
Miniature ½ to ¾ cup a day by the age of six months
Toy ½ to 1 cup a day by the age of six months
Small 1 to 2 cup per day by the age six to ten months
Medium 1 to 2 cups per day by the age eight months and can increase to 3 cups by the age 18 months
Large There is more variation in the food amount for large breeds based on their activity level.

Hope this post regarding how often should I feed my puppy will give you the useful information for the pet owners.

Posted in Dog

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