How Much To Feed a Puppy

A brown puppy eating kibble

One of the most important things you can do to help your puppy have a healthy start in life is to feed him a complete and balanced diet. However, figuring out how much to feed a puppy and how often puppies should eat can leave you slightly confused.

How much to feed a puppy

When it comes time to figure out how much dry food to feed your puppy, remember that all dogs are different. The best place to start is to check the feeding instructions on the label of your puppy’s food. These instructions will provide you with recommended daily feeding amounts based on your puppy’s weight.

To prevent overfeeding, use a precise measuring cup to avoid simply guessing how much you are feeding him. Once you figure out the recommended feeding amount, you may find that you need to make adjustments to fit your puppy’s unique needs. Here are some things to consider when you’re figuring out how much to feed your puppy:

How much your puppy weighs

Your puppy’s weight can have dramatic effects on his health. For example, his developing skeleton was not designed to support an undue amount of extra weight. So it’s important to maintain an ideal body condition. If your puppy is overweight, you may need to feed him a little less than the recommended feeding amount listed on his bag of food.  

Your puppy’s activity level

Feeding recommendations are based on the average nutritional needs of a puppy with a normal activity level. It’s important to take your own puppy’s activity level into account when figuring out how much dry food he needs. If your puppy exercises a lot of every day, you may need to increase the amount of food you give him. Alternatively, if your puppy is not very active, you may want to cut back his food intake. To learn more about puppy exercise, read our article on how to exercise your puppy.

How old your puppy is

Adult dogs and puppies have different feeding needs. For instance, puppies need higher calorie foods than adult dogs to support their growth. The feeding instruction on your puppy food should provide guidance on how much to feed him as he continues to grow.

Why you should not overfeed your puppy

Studies have shown that overfeeding a puppy can be detrimental to his development. Keeping your puppy at an ideal and lean body condition can help prevent future health problems related to obesity.

How to determine ideal body condition

When viewed from above, your puppy should be narrow at the waist. When viewed from the side, his belly should be tucked up. Most puppies at a healthy weight have an hourglass figure.

How often should puppies eat?

You get to decide how many times a day your puppy should eat – whether that is once, twice, or three times a day. For young puppies, it is best to give smaller portions three times a day to avoid digestive upsets. Most importantly, you should feed him at the same time every day. Feeding the same size portions at the same time every day can help keep your puppy’s digestive system regular. Additionally, if you know exactly when your puppy eats and drinks, you’ll have an easier time knowing when he will need to go outside.

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