How much to feed a puppy

Welcoming a new puppy into your family can be one of the most exciting times to be a pet owner, whether it's your first or your tenth, it always feels like the start of your next big adventure. You’re making all the big decisions, leads, collars, crates, and of course toys! There is, however, one big decision left to make, food. Having done your research on all things puppy you are feeling confident and prepared but one question remains, how much should I feed my puppy? 

The amount and type of food you feed your puppy is extremely important, proper nutrition will directly affect their development both physically and behaviourally. Therefore we have developed a specific feeding chart for our puppy food, for both new and veteran puppy owners alike. 

When we get down to it, the amount you feed your puppy depends on their weight. Their food intake will steadily rise up to roughly the 6-8 month mark and then as their growth rate slows, their food requirements taper off to allow them to maintain their weight. At around 12-13 months most dogs will be ready to move over to adult dog food.

 HOW MUCH TO FEED A PUPPY BY WEIGHT (KG)

How much to feed a puppy

We have developed a handy guide to help you work out how much to feed a puppy based on their weight in kg, each food is different so be sure to pay close attention to the feeding instructions on the packaging. The example below is taken from our “Free Range Turkey with Pumpkin & Spinach” puppy food.

Fig. 1

As you can see in (fig.1) There is a clear relation between puppy weight and food amount, note that the puppy weight is in kg and the food weight is in grams. 

Keep in mind that ultimately, as with humans, every dog is different. Many state that 20g for every 1kg is appropriate when deciding on how much you should feed your puppy, however it actually depends on the type of food and the type of dog.

You should also know that the tables and feeding advice offered on packaging is there to help you make an informed decision with regards to your dog’s weight. If you notice that your puppy is starting to pile on the pounds, you can adjust the amount you’re feeding them accordingly. 

How do I know if I am feeding my puppy enough?

Simply put, you will be able to tell by keeping a close eye on their condition. If you notice that your puppy isn’t progressing as fast as you would expect you can start to investigate in several ways, an average growth chart for your breed from a trusted online community is one way to go. Or, if you are really worried you can consult with either a canine nutrition professional or alternatively, a vet. 

What if I accidentally overfeed my puppy?

First things first, don’t worry. If you accidentally overfeed your puppy by a small amount, you can simply adjust their next feed taking into account the excess and simply reduce their next portion. 

If, however, your puppy finds their way into the feed and helps themselves to a hearty feast or you have simply overfed them by a considerable amount, just keep an eye on them and if they start to experience discomfort or start exhibiting lethargic behaviour, get them checked over by a Vet. This type of behaviour might be an indication that they have GDV, which can occur from over feeding, and other activities like taking your dog out for exercise too soon after eating, and even stress. It is a serious issue, which is why we always advise the trip to your local vets. 

Puppies don’t understand that adage “you can have too much of a good thing”, in fact it sometimes feels like they wholeheartedly disagree, so be mindful that just because your puppy will continue to eat it doesn’t mean they should. It’s very easy to fall into the trap of thinking your puppy is still hungry but stick with the suggestions on the packaging and make small adjustments as necessary and you won’t go far wrong.

 

How often should my puppy eat?

How much to feed a puppy

Puppies’ stomachs are considerably smaller than you might think and when you collect your new best friend from the breeder their stomach may only be able to handle a few grams of food at a time! 

Try to look at the amount in relation to the size of your pup and not yourself and it will be easier to get used to. When deciding how often you should feed your puppy, as a general rule of thumb, a puppy under 4 months old will need to eat between 3 and 5 times a day. Make sure to note that on the packaging the suggested feeding guide will give you a total daily requirement, simply take this amount and divide it between the number of feeds you plan to give during the day. 

From 4 months onwards you can start to transition them onto larger portions and less feeds, generally 3 feeds a day until they are 6 months old, at this point 2 feeds a day is recommended. However, every dog is different, so if you are unsure do consult your local Vet. 

 

WET OR DRY PUPPY FOOD?

This is a subject that always has the experts at odds, there is no definitive research in favour of one or the other. What we do know is that what might be right for your puppy may not be right for another. 

At 8 weeks old, when you collect your puppy from the breeder they will already have been (or at least should have been) fully weaned from their mother and will have been started on a puppy specific food, be it wet or dry. It is important for you to do your own research at this point to decide if you would like to go down the wet puppy food or dry puppy food route. What is important at this stage is that you don’t just make the change in one big hit, it must be done gradually to avoid upset stomachs. 

How much dry food should I feed my puppy?

To find out how much dry food you should feed your puppy you should:

  1. Look at the packaging of your preferred puppy food to find the feeding guide
  2. find out your puppies weight, this can be an interesting game but it is important that you have an accurate weight measurement so that you can feed the correct amount. 
  3. Now all you need to do is simply cross reference your puppies weight with the feeding guide and then divide that number by the amount of feeds you are giving per day.

If you want more information on puppies eating dry food, then read our dedicated article on when puppies can have dry food.

How much wet food should I feed my puppy?

How much wet food you should feed your puppy is again dependent on the food manufacturer and their suggested feeding guide. So again you should follow the same process:

  1. Look at the packaging of your preferred puppy food to find the feeding guide
  2. Find out your puppies weight, this can be an interesting game but it is important that you have an accurate weight measurement so that you can feed the correct amount. 
  3. Now all you need to do is simply cross reference your puppies weight with the feeding guide and then divide that number by the amount of feeds you are giving per day.

     

    The amount you feed may look different in size if you have come from a dry food onto a wet food so it’s important to make sure that you are referencing the feeding guide.  Wet food can be a great stop-gap between weaning and dry food as very young puppies teeth are still soft, they do however develop very quickly so it is not a necessity to feed wet food to your puppy if you would prefer not to. 

    We also have a dedicated article about putting your pup on wet food here.

    FINAL WORD

    The question “how much should I feed my puppy” is one that is entirely dependent on the food that you choose to give and your individual pup. 

    There is a world of choice out there and now you have the knowledge to explore it with confidence. Just remember to pay close attention to the feeding suggestions on the packaging and don’t forget to monitor your puppies progress, after all, they are your new best friend, and you are their world. Keep an eye on them, they will be doing the same, especially when the food cupboard opens!