How much to feed your puppy

Getting a puppy is incredibly exciting – watching their personality evolve and their confidence grow as they become part of your family is really rewarding. To help them develop and give them the nutrients they need, you need to make sure you’re giving them the right type of food, and enough of it.

Puppies grow up to 20 times faster than an adult dog, and burn twice as many calories thanks to their energetic and playful nature. This means their food needs to support their development, and you should be prepared to go through a lot of it!

This article will tell you all you need to know about how much to feed your puppy, and how you can keep them healthy and happy.

 

How much should puppies eat?

There’s no one-size-fits-all answer to how much you should feed your puppy, as the exact amount depends on factors such as their weight, age, breed and activity levels.

The best starting point is to refer to the recommendations on your puppy food packaging. Then you can monitor your pet’s weight and activity levels to see if the amount is suitable or needs to be adjusted. Usually if your puppy doesn’t finish their bowl within 20 minutes, you’re giving them too much.

If your pup is underweight, their spine and ribs will be pronounced, and you’ll feel no fat or muscle when touching their sides. In contrast, if they’re overweight, you won’t be able to feel their ribs and spine, and when looking down at the from above their body shape will be round, instead of being slimmer at the waist.

If you’re worried about your puppy’s weight, or are unsure how much they should be eating, it’s always best to consult your vet. Generally speaking though, their sociability and happiness levels are good indicators of their physical health.

 

How often to feed a puppy

Once you know how much food your pup should be eating each day, you can then divide the total amount into individual meals to be fed throughout the day. Since puppies only have small stomachs, they should be eating little and often to avoid bloat, which can be dangerous.

The general guideline to follow is four meals a day up until they’re 4 months old, then three meals a day until they’re 6 months. After that, they can be moved onto the usual adult dog amount of two meals a day.

It’s important to try and stick to the same feeding times each day to establish a routine. This way, your puppy won’t beg you for food as they’ll know when to expect their next meal.

 

What to feed a puppy

Puppies can be introduced to solid foods usually at about 8 weeks old. This transition should be done slowly over a period of a few weeks to get them used to it. If your pup is already on solid food by the time they join your family, it’s a good idea to stick with the same kind for a while.

Many people wonder whether wet or dry food is better for dogs, but unless your puppy has a preference, the key thing to focus on is the nutritional content. Be sure to choose food that’s made specifically for puppies, as they need higher concentrations of essential nutrients due to their high energy levels and growth rate.

Check the packaging to find out what the food contains. Good quality puppy food will be rich in meat, vegetables, fibre, vitamins and minerals and low in ‘filler’ ingredients such as grain, which offers no nutritional value.

In terms of treats, it’s fine to reward your pup for good behaviour, but be sure to keep to the 90/10 rule to make sure they get a well balanced diet. Regular exercise and constant access to fresh water are also essential for keeping your pet as healthy as possible.

 

How to transition from puppy food to dog food

When your pup is approaching adulthood, you’ll need to switch them to a food that’s more suited to an adult dog. The key to this transition is to do it gradually, so that their body gets used to it.

Start by mixing some adult dog food into their usual puppy food with a 10%/90% ratio, and if they eat with no problems, continue gradually doubling the adult food amount with 20/80, 40/60, 80/20 and then finally 100% of the new food.

 

Puppy feeding tips

Once you’ve got into a routine with your pup it’s (mostly) smooth sailing, but it can be hard work to get there! Here are some tips to make mealtimes easier with your puppy.

  1. Buy a puppy-sized bowl. This will help you to portion out the correct amount for your pup, as well as making it easier for them to access their food.
  2. Find a quiet spot. Your puppy might be nervous at first around other pets or small children, so put their bowl down somewhere they won’t be disturbed until they gain in confidence.
  3. Avoid feeding from your plate. Although it might be hard to resist their begging (they’re called puppy-dog eyes for a reason!), try not to feed your pet from your plate as it will encourage bad behaviour.
  4. Never feed your dog right before travelling. This can cause stomach upsets and accidents.
  5. Slow down excitable pups. If your puppy’s food doesn’t even touch the sides when they eat, consider buying a Kong or a puzzle bowl to slow them down as well as helping to develop their motor skills.

Discover our puppy food

Divine Chicken, Turkey and Salmon, With Sweet Potato, Peas and Carrots

Our ingredients are all chosen as lean protein sources and rich in essential amino acids. This recipe is a great source of vitamins, minerals and iron which help contribute to the overall health and well-being of your pup! There are added FOS & MOS to encourage the growth of friendly bacteria in delicate tummies and Joint Care Pack to help support cartilage metabolism for the growth of healthy joints.