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Everything you need to know about puppy feeding times!

brown Labrador eating kibble on the floor
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Raising a puppy is always a very challenging task! You must learn many things, especially about his nutrition. Learn about the importance of puppy feeding times!

By Daniel Mar

Updated on the 08/02/2021, 13:53

If you’re about to bring home a new puppy, get ready for that rollercoaster! Surely you have seen in movies or TV shows that puppies are crazy and adorable at the same time! They grow very fast. But if you want to maintain your pup healthy, you need to take care of him. This includes prioritising his nutrition. Puppies need steady, balanced nutrition to keep them active. That is why knowing how to set proper puppy feeding times is vital when raising a pet.

First-year timeline of feeding your puppy

  • 6–12 weeks: pups should be fed puppy food because it is specifically formulated to meet the nutritional needs for normal development. When it comes to puppy feeding time, it should be four feedings a day. Beware, large breeds should be fed dry food by the 9 or 10 weeks; small dogs by the 12 or 13 weeks.

  • 3–6 months: decrease puppy feeding times from four to three a day. At this point, his body will start mature even faster.

  • 6–12 months: Begin feeding two times a day. Small breeds should make the switch at 7 to 9 months; bigger breeds at 12, 13, even 14 months.

  • After age 1: maintain feeding at twice a day. 

What makes up a puppy diet?

Puppy meals should consist of a healthy and well-balanced diet. This means dog food that contains no fillers and sugar. Always buy high-quality nutrients that will give your dog all the nutrition his growing body requires. If you want, you can buy formulated diets. But if you can buy natural puppy food, that would be better.

How often should puppy feeding times be?

Puppy feeding times are usually three meals a day, preferably at the same time. The first meal should be around 7 a.m., then another at noontime for lunch, and the last at 5 p.m. for dinner. You can change the time for the first two as you please, but the last meal should always be around 5 p.m. so that he will have plenty of time to digest his food and eliminate one last time before bedtime. Stick to these puppy feeding times until the puppy reaches 14 to 18 weeks old.

The importance of weight and puppy feeding times

You need to weigh the puppy weekly and record his progress! This will show you how well he is assimilating his diet. You need to adjust his food intake to achieve an average rate of growth. Once you know your pup’s weight, you can adjust his daily intake of food. If you don’t follow this simple rule, your puppy could end up eating too little or too much, and either way is harmful!  Here you have a chart to know how much food to place in all of the puppy feeding times:

  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

Interesting tips when feeding your puppy

  1. Avoid feeding your pup the moment you get home as it can encourage separation anxiety.

  2. Do not feed your puppy with canned or dry prescription diets unless told by a vet. This is used to feed dogs with kidney disease, heart disease, diabetes, and other serious conditions.

  3. Some vitamin or mineral supplements, when used incorrectly, will do more harm than good so you must be careful!

  4. Buy carrot or apple. Cut them in small chunks! These are healthy low-calorie snacks most dogs love.

  5. Keep fresh water available at all times.

Final thoughts

Eventually, you will have to switch from puppy to adult food. This needs to be done slowly and consistently! And it will affect your puppy feeding times. An adult dog cannot under any circumstance be fed as much as a puppy. Remember that at the end of the day, your puppy's lifelong health and happiness is your responsibility! Get it right from the start.