How Much Food Should I Feed My Puppy?

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Recent studies have shown that overweight or obese dogs don’t live long. Believe it or not, such dogs can suffer few life-shortening diseases like diabetes, cancer, pancreatitis, oral disorders, hypothyroidism and arthritis. Hence, it is important that you maintain your dog’s weight in a healthy way. This often comes with a very frequently asked question – how much food should I feed my puppy?

Also Read: How Often Should You Feed A Puppy?

How Much Food To Feed A Puppy?

How Much Food To Feed A Puppy

Don’t be blindly following those instructions written at the back of dog’s food package because every brand ingredients, serving size and the nutrition level varies. So, how much do you feed a puppy so that it sustains an ideal weight? This is what I am going to explain you here in this article.

Period How Much Food Should I Feed My Puppy?
 

 

Initial 8-weeks

Puppies shouldn’t be divided from their mums prior they’re 8-weeks old. A puppy, that leaves her mother sooner has a rough time adjusting. Moreover, there is a high incidence of diseases. Mama’s milk gives a pup with right nutrition & antibodies to turn into a healthy dog. When your pup is about 3 to 4 weeks, consider giving him or her solid foods gradually. Consider mixing 3 parts of food with 1 part of water. This makes it easier for your puppy to digest the food. If your pup starts eating solid foods prior leaving its mom, it will find it easy to adjust in your home.
 

6 – 8 Weeks

When your pup is 6 to 8 weeks old, feed 3 to 4 times per day. Every puppy is different and so are his or her nutritional requirements. Hence, it is important to pick a pup food, which sustains appropriate nutritional balance. Make sure that it is getting the correct proportion of proteins, calories and calcium. Don’t forget to see the label of the pup food you buy. This will help you feed him or her right. A specific meat must be the primary ingredient in the label.
After 8-weeks At this stage, you need to feed your pup 2 times a day
 

3 – 6 Months

This is exactly the time when a pup will be teething. It might turn into a picky eater or may lose its appetite. As a pet owner, it is important that you keep feeding your dog with nutritious foods 2 times a day. Take him to a vet, if he or she has upset stomach for over 1 to 2 days.
 

6 Months – 8 Months

At this stage, a puppy might look grown up, however, it is a pup still. Hence, you require feeding him with nutritious foods. Note that in some high quality pet foods the brand doesn’t make any separate food for pups. Instead, it is made in a way to serve both adult and puppy equally.
8 Months – 9 Months At this stage, you should be feeding 2 times a day.
1 Year Majority of breeds at this stage require being fed two times a day.

 

Does Size Actually Affect The Way You Feed Your Dog?

Yes, only with feeding puppies. They are supposed to eat 4 times in a day. Talking more about them, feed with your own hand. Soon, it begins to identify you as its food provider. This also increases the bond between you two. It is intimate & lets you both know better about each other. This also prevents future development issues like aggression and food possessiveness.

Is It Completely Okay To Keep Food in a Bowl & Leave It For Your Dog?

No, it is not. Leaving food this way for your dog calls for “free feeding”. Often experts do not suggest this for different reasons. This is particularly true when it is a puppy. It is recommend to feed your puppy on a scheduled meal time. This means feeding on the same time and for same duration every day. Leave the food & take it back after 20 minutes (whether it has eaten or not). A proper meal schedule trains a dog when it is time to actually eat.

Portions Vary For Every Pooch

For Puppies: Though it might sound counter-intuitive but as a rule, bigger dog breeds need less food than smaller ones. The food needs of individual dogs differ based on their health, activity level & age. A puppy is usually introduced to some solid foods when it is 3 to 4 weeks old. It is entirely weaned from mama’s milk by 8 weeks. Young puppies on the other hand have to be fed 3 times per day. By the time, a puppy is 5 or 6 months, his or her feeding schedule is reduced to two times a day. And if you own a very finicky puppy, consider adding warm water into its dry food and encourage him or her to eat. Cow’s milk acts as laxative & can cause digestive issues on puppies as well as adult dogs. If your pup doesn’t eat all the food within 1 hour, throw away the uneaten part. If your pup seems to be putting on excess weight, reduce its food intake gradually but if its ribs are showing up, increase the food portions. Talk to a vet for more guidance.

For Adults: A dog, when it’s a year old, it means that he or she has reached complete maturity. This is exactly when it enters into “maintenance period”, meaning his or her nutritional needs will stay the same even during its adult life. Your dog’s overall weight must remain stable & its body must be well-proportioned. If your dog doesn’t shows any desire to eat its food, then it’s a sign that your dog is suffering from pain or some sort of illness. So, monitor the way he behaves and eats carefully. And since it’s your dog, who else knows him better? So, if you find anything suspicious, never hesitate to take him to a vet.

Water

A puppy might drink large amounts of water. A cat or a dog can lose almost all of its body fat & half of its protein mass (muscle) & still survive. However, if it loses 15% of body water, it will die. Water is one of the most important nutrients of all. A dog (of any age), which eats dry foods, water is required to dehydrate its stomach for digestion. On the other hand, a puppy will need lots of water for each pound than adult dogs for the reason that they’re growing. It is ok to schedule as to when your pup drinks but on an everyday basis, you should allow him to drink what it wants & needs.

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