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How much should you feed a puppy? Read the pet parent guide!

black-Labrador-puppy-eating-in-a-bowl advice
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Anytime you adopt a puppy, there are many things to watch out for! This, of course, includes puppy nutrition. Do you know how much should you feed a puppy?

By Daniel Mar

This pet parent guide will discuss a very important topic: puppy nutrition. As you may know, puppyhood is perhaps the most difficult period in a dog’s life! Many factors make it a challenge for a pet parent. One of these is a puppy’s diet. Generally, it is important to know what it consists of, the best puppy food brands, etc. But one of the most important things is knowing exactly how much should you feed a puppy! Surely you want to do right by him and that includes making sure he is getting the best nutrition. At first, this may be hard, but in time it gets easier. Plus, with the help of this guide, things will be much clearer.

What Can Puppies Eat?

“During the first six to eight weeks of life, the puppy should stay with the mother and be allowed to nurse ad-lib. It is especially important they nurse from the mother. The mother’s milk provides the best nutrition and provides antibodies to help protect your puppy from disease”, said Dr Kristy Conn. That is why during this time you don’t need to worry as much about how much to feed a puppy because his mother will do all the feeding.

However, once your puppy has hit the four to six weeks of age, you must start to wean him off his mother’s milk. In order to do so, select a brand of puppy food (ask your vet for any recommendations). Initially, you need to blend the dog food with milk replacer and offer it to the puppy three to four times a day. Then, you should gradually reduce the amount of milk replacer until you’re only giving him puppy food. This should be before eight weeks of age.

How much food should you feed your puppy daily?

Fortunately, most dog food bags have a dog feeding chart on the label. This comes in handy if you don’t know how much should you feed a puppy! Knowing the exact amount to feed is very important because it changes with weight.

Therefore, in order to know how much should you feed a puppy, you need to know his exact weight. In the following list, you will learn about this important co-relation. These amounts are meant to be fed to your dog over a 24-hour period.

The weight of the dog and Amount of Food Per day:

  1. 5 pounds = ½ cup to 5/8 cup

  2. 10 pounds = ¾ cup to 1 cup

  3. 20 pounds 1 ¼ cups to 1 ¾ cups

  4. 40 pounds = 2 ¼ cups to 3 cups

  5. 60 pounds = 3 cups to 4 cups

  6. 80 pounds = 3 2/3 cups to 5 cups

  7. 100 pounds = 4 ¼ cups to 6 cups

How much should you feed a puppy?

Surely you are wondering how often should you feed your puppy. In fact, setting a routine for your puppy feeding time is important. This way he will learn to expect his food. Generally, puppies need many small feedings a day.

Puppies should be fed three to four times a day therefore if you are currently feeding ¾ a cup of puppy food twice a day you should consider spacing it out by feeding ½ cup three times a day. Smaller meals are easier to digest for the puppy and energy levels don’t peak and fall so much with frequent meals. At around six months you may start feeding twice a day for convenience but because your dog is a mixed large breed dog I would recommend sticking with 3-4 times a day feeding schedule if possible to minimize the risk of gastric dilatation-volvulus”, said Dr Conn.

Vets recommend feeding your dog at 7 a.m., noon and 5 pm. You can change this routine, but one thing to keep in mind though is to keep that last feeding around the 5 o’clock mark. This gives him enough time to digest the food and eliminate before he goes to sleep for the night.

Final considerations

Lastly, don’t feed your dog puppy food longer than needed. “Feeding puppy food too long can result in obesity and orthopaedic problems. You will know when it is time to make the switch when you notice your dog eating less of the puppy food or if he starts to put on too much weight”, said Dr Conn. Follow these instructions very closely, else your puppy’s health can be on the line. Nonetheless, now you know how much should you feed a puppy!