How Much and How Often to Feed Your Puppy

by | Apr 8, 2022 | Puppy Tips

How Much and How Often to Feed Your Puppy
How Much and How Often to Feed Your Puppy
Feeding of hungry dog. Puppy of Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever eating milk from metal bowl at home kitchen.

The arrival of a puppy home will mean endless cuddles, playing and romping, and sloppy kisses. Adorable puppy breath.

They bring so much joy and joy into our lives. And we wish to provide the best possible care for our precious pups. Ensure that your puppy is healthy and happy begins by understanding the proper diet right from the beginning. This is an essential element in raising a puppy to grow into a healthy, active, and happy adult dog. For more details on the steps to take for a healthy puppy, we talked to Dr. Justin Shmalberg, DVM, the veterinary nutritionist with board certification at NomNom, to learn more about the right puppy food.

 Importance of Proper Puppy Nutrition  

Giving your puppy the right amount and mixture of nutrients helps them grow most healthily. Like human infants, they change their bodies in and out rapidly throughout their early days. The food you give your puppy could help or hinder their mental and physical development.

“Brain and organ and bone development happens rapidly during puppyhood and establishes the basis for regular functioning and good health throughout the dog’s lifetime.”

“Too small amounts of nutrients could result in deficiencies; however, if a puppy consumes excessive amounts in certain nutrients, this could cause long-term complications.” Says Shmalberg.

Essential nutrients, like DHA and calcium, are crucial to the proper development of puppies. They have also been proven to affect a dog’s health positively. DHA is a fatty acid with a long chain found in fish oil is an excellent illustration of how these particular nutrients can have a long-lasting positive effect. DHA has been shown to aid in developing healthy brains, which can enhance memory and learning in dogs.

Calcium is a crucial vitamin that helps develop bone. However, pet owners need to avoid giving too much of this specific nutritional element. “If an animal of the large breed is given too much calcium, it could cause be a problem with bone growth and could cause costly and painful issues at some point,” says Shmalberg.

Feeding Puppy based on the weight

Since we now understand how crucial having the proper nutrients in the dog’s diet is, how can we determine how much to feed our pups? This problem can be challenging in the early months of your pet’s existence since the feeding guidelines on the food packaging are typically given in terms of weight. Your puppy is constantly growing and changing with each passing day. Does this mean that you must continuously expand the amounts of food your dog consume? No, says the Dr. Shmalberg.

“To ensure normal growth, most puppies should be fed the same amount of calories and food, starting at four months to 12 months old,” he says. “Even though they’re growing and heavier, they consume fewer calories to grow as they get older and require greater energy .”

Dr. Shmalberg and Nom Nom suggest two variables in determining how much to provide your dog: the estimated weight of an adult and the condition of your body.

For determining the estimated weight of an adult, the most reliable predictor will be your parent’s height with the same sex and isn’t accessible for all dogs that have been adopted. However, Nom Nom put together a helpful chart of weight estimates for breeds with common names that could aid. If you can’t find your dog’s breed listed in the chart below, or you’re not sure, ask your vet to estimate your dog’s current age and potential mix.

If you know your puppy’s approximate weight as an adult, this weight could be utilized to calculate the number of calories they’ll need in a day. It is possible to refer to NomNomNow’s extensive chart of adult weights estimated and recommended puppy calories at the close of this post.

When looking at the body state, the principle is to increase or decrease the intake of calories you give your puppy based on the appearance of your puppy, overweight or underweight. The picture below is an excellent way to determine the condition of your puppy’s body. If there are any questions, you should consult your veterinarian.

Feeding Schedules for Puppy Breeds

Puppies grow remarkably fast in the early years of their lives. The growth slows later in the puppy’s development and eventually stops once the puppy has reached adulthood. The dynamic nature of the increase in rates makes it difficult to determine the frequency of feeding your puppy. With the aid from Nom Nom, we can give you a specific schedule of feeding based on the age of your puppy.

Initial 3 Months

Puppy puppies from 3 months to 6 months have an excellent ability to regulate food intake independently. When they are hungry, they eat. When they’re satisfied, they stop eating. They have a habit of taking a bottle or mom to get milk whenever they want and when they begin transitioning to solid food. They follow this same pattern.

During this time for your dog, it’s acceptable to set the food bowl out for them to nibble on during the entire day. If you’d like to help establish an eating routine, consider feeding them around four times a day in this fast, early development phase.

4-6 Months Old

When your puppy is about 4-6 months old, your puppy will transform into a bit of piggy by the age of 4-6 months. At this point, the puppy needs to eat three times a day, approximately four months old when they’re six months old; you’ll begin feeding them two times every day. It’s crucial to be aware of the condition of your puppy’s body throughout these months to prevent overfeeding and the risk of being overweight.

6-12 Months Old

As soon as your puppy reaches 6-12 months old, you can incorporate the twice-a-day feeding schedule until adulthood. In general, smaller dogs will complete their growth process sooner than larger breeds. This is something to be considered when you transition to a new eating schedule.

Giant breeds, such as Great Danes, typically grow until two years old or less. For instance, a Pomeranian could become fully grown at six months old, whereas a Labrador continues to grow for 12 months. For dogs with larger breeds, it is recommended to begin feeding food with moderate calcium. This is found in large-breed puppy foods or food suitable for all stages of life.

12-18 Months Old

Except for giant breeds, most dogs are adults at 18 months. At this point, you should be comfortable feeding your puppy two times a day and then switching to a mature dog diet. Pay attention to your dog’s health during this time, and plan to adjust the food portion according to the amount of exercise your dog gets. Young puppies are very active when they’re younger, but they might spend less time in the yard once they reach adulthood, opting instead for more extended periods of sleep.

“If your diet is based on an ‘all life stage food, there’s no requirement to modify it. All you have to do is pay attention to what you eat,” says Shmalberg.

The Calorie Content in Kibble against Fresh Food

With the numerous dog food options there in the marketplace, It is crucial to recognize that there aren’t all calories to be equal. The caloric content of food can vary widely, as do the quality of ingredients and the number of nutrients, and the method of cooking food can affect the number of calories contained in the bowl of dog food. In general, foods that have been cooked gently and made from top-quality ingredients will provide more nutrients per calorie than the kibble bowl, which has been processed using less-quality ingredients. One cup of kibble or 1 cup of fresh foods will have considerable differences in the number of calories.

What is this implying for your puppy?

In general, fresh food for dogs is better digestible than processed dog food and even wet-processed foods due to its ingredients. When your puppy is fed fresh food, they will get more incredible energy and nutrients in a lesser amount or calorific food count.

“Some food items may be more digestible than other foods and contain calories that are easier to access due to their ability to be broken down in digesting,” Shmalberg. “Both fresh and kibble food items differ widely in the ingredients used and fiber content,” he says, “but cooked food is likely to be more digestible. .”

A Healthy Food Diet to Fit Every Age of Your Dog’s Life

The dog owners who change from traditional dry and wet food to a fresh diet tend to observe positive changes in their dogs. They have a more shiny coat, which produces less shed, firmer and smaller stool, a greater sense of excitement during mealtimes, a healthy appetite, and an increase in overall well-being. It is most likely due to the dog’s body’s ability to better absorb and utilize the nutrients in freshly cooked, fresh food.

Nom expertly designs and portion sizes the food your puppy eats while monitoring calories and nutrients throughout her growing up and adult life. By changing your dog’s profile on the Nom Nom website, you are assured that each food your puppy consumes will have the perfect combination to help her transition into enjoyable and healthy adulthood. Begin today and get 50 percent off your first purchase.

More From This Category