How Much Should a Puppy Eat? Use This Feeding Chart

Is your puppy getting enough to eat, or too much? Find out with this feeding schedule.

Published January 28, 2023
Yellow Lab Puppy eating from bowl

Feeding puppies can be a challenge, especially if you're new to dog ownership. It's a very important and sensitive process and it's critical for their development. Most weaned puppies should eat three times per day, between half a cup and 4 cups, depending on their age and weight. The right food and feeding schedule will help your puppy grow into a healthy adult. The following feeding tips will help you create a feeding schedule that keeps your puppy healthy and happy.

Puppy Feeding Guidelines

Generally, the amount you feed your puppy on a daily basis depends on their age and weight, as well as what type of food you're feeding. To keep it simple, we will base the chart below on how much dry dog food your puppy should eat each day. You can also find the guidelines for feeding on your bag of dog food. Remind yourself that guidelines are just that, guidelines. They are not a requirement. Each puppy is unique and you may need to adjust these amounts accordingly.

Puppy Feeding Chart

What to Feed

Puppies need a lot of nutrients for their growing bodies and brains. Their digestive systems aren't fully developed until they're about 6 months old, so you need to feed them nutrient-dense food that will help them grow quickly. Puppies should be fed a high-quality puppy food made specifically for their age group.

Puppies need more nutrients than adult dogs. They have to grow and develop from a small puppy into an adult dog, and this means that they need more protein, calcium, and other nutrients to support growth. This includes puppy formulas that contain DHA and other essential nutrients for optimal growth and development.

When to Feed

Feeding puppies based on age is a good place to start when determining how to feed your new dog. But you also need to consider what your puppy has been eating, if they're getting enough water, and how their digestion is going. Feeding puppies based on age helps you set a schedule that works for everyone involved. You'll know when it's time to feed, how much food to give, and what type of food you should feed your puppy.

Most puppies should be fed three times a day until they are 6 to 8 months old, then twice a day until they are 1-year-old. Sometimes, however, you may want to keep feeding smaller portions three times a day, depending on your puppy's overall weight and health. If your dog is doing well at 6 months and you want to reduce their feeding schedule to twice daily, that should be OK.

As they get older, they will eat less, so adjust the portions accordingly. To prevent overeating, only leave their dish down for approximately 20 minutes. Free-feeding, where you leave the food down all day, could lead to poor dietary habits and obesity.

When feeding puppies, it's important to leave about one hour between meals so that your puppy has time to digest their meal before eating again. This will make them less likely to experience digestive upsets like vomiting and diarrhea.

Why You Shouldn't Feed Table Scraps

The main reason you shouldn't feed table scraps is because they contain too many carbohydrates and not enough protein. Without enough protein, your puppy's body won't be able to repair itself properly or grow properly. This can lead to several health issues in the long term, including obesity and joint problems.

Another reason scraps aren't good for dogs is because these foods can make them sick. Foods that are high in fat and sugar are bad for dogs because they can cause pancreatitis, which is an inflammation of the pancreas that can be fatal if left untreated. Other foods like onions contain compounds called sulfoxides, which can damage red blood cells and cause anemia in dogs who eat too much of them.

This doesn't mean they can't have human foods at all. Some human foods are actually good for our dogs, including raw fish as long as it was frozen for at least a week, kale, and raw meaty bones. Just remember to add anything you feed your pup to their overall calories for the day. Then, reduce the amount of other foods your dog is eating accordingly.

Using a Stainless Steel Bowl

Little cute maltipoo puppy

Stainless steel bowls for dogs are one of the best investments you can make for your pet. Stainless steel is a good material for dog bowls because it is durable, easy to clean, and won't break down as plastic does. Stainless steel also resists rusting, so you don't have to worry about your dog consuming the metals.

Some people prefer stainless steel bowls for their dogs because they are non-porous, meaning bacteria cannot hide inside them. Plus, although they're aesthetically pleasing, ceramic bowls are more likely to chip than stainless steel ones.

They also don't have any harmful chemicals in them like BPA, or bisphenol A, which is found in many plastics. The bowls are also dishwasher safe, so you can simply throw them in the dishwasher instead of having to hand-wash them each time after use.

Stainless steel bowls come in all shapes and sizes, as well as different colors, so finding one that fits your needs shouldn't be difficult. You can even get a stainless steel bowl with a rubber ring around the base to help prevent slippage while eating or drinking water from your dog's bowl.

Access to Fresh Water

Puppies need access to fresh water at all times. If your puppy's water bowl is empty, they could become dehydrated and develop hyponatremia, a dangerous electrolyte imbalance.

The best way to prevent a puppy from becoming dehydrated is to make sure they always have access to fresh, clean water. A puppy should have access to fresh water at all times throughout the day. This way, if they become thirsty or need a drink of water, they can have one immediately.

If you're going out for long periods of time, leave some fresh water in a bowl for your puppy. You can also fill your pup's water bowl before leaving the house so that it will be full when you return home again. A puppy who is left alone for long periods of time without access to fresh water might drink from an old bowl or even their own urine if there are no other options available.

Your Pup is Unique

All puppies are not the same, even within the same breed. The amount your puppy eats may differ from what their siblings are eating. The same goes for intolerance, allergies, obesity, and other ailments that come along with food. Feed your puppy according to what works best for them. Remain observant in case your pup is putting on a little too much weight, or perhaps not enough weight, and adjust accordingly.

Trending on LoveToKnow
How Much Should a Puppy Eat? Use This Feeding Chart