When you get a new puppy it’s important that you feed it the right amounts and at the right times. This article gives some tips and advice on how often to feed a puppy and also how much to feed a puppy.
How often to feed a puppy
How often to feed a puppy really depends on its age. Most young puppies should be fed three times per day. For puppies aged between eight to twelve weeks, it’s ideal to give them a big meal in the morning and another big meal at night, with a small meal in between at lunch time.
Once it reaches the age of twelve weeks, your puppy should be able to cope with missing out the small lunch and it should just be fed twice a day. This doesn’t mean that you’ll be feeding it any less food. Instead, just split its daily amount of food into two meals rather than three.
You may be tempted to free feed your puppy as it’s easier. Free feeding is where you put out the food and leave it out for your puppy to eat whenever it chooses. However, this isn’t recommended as food that’s left out is easily spoiled, especially when it’s hot in the summer. Food that’s left out will also attract ants, flies and other unwanted insects and even rodents.
You’ll also not really know how much your puppy is eating and when. It’s important to know this kind of information if you need to take your puppy to the vets if it’s sick.
It’s also harder to house train your puppy if it’s eating whenever it feels like it. It’s much easier if your puppy eats at regular times so that you know when you need to take it outside.
How much to feed a puppy
It’s likely that the dog food that you buy will have recommendations on the label about how much to feed a puppy. This can act as a good starting point for your particular puppy but don’t think that you’ve got to stick strictly to the guidelines.
Every puppy’s different and needs different amounts of food. How much food the puppy needs can also depend on other factors such as how much exercise it’s had that day, what the weather’s like (e.g. how hot it is), and so on.
The best way to work out how much to feed a puppy then is simply to observe it. Watch and see how it looks and feels.
If it seems to be thin and constantly hungry and looking for food, then start giving it more food.
On the other hand, if your puppy seems to be getting too heavy and when you put food out at meal times it doesn’t always seem to be interested in it, then cut back on the amount of food that you put out.
If it seems to be healthy and growing well but not fat then you are probably giving it the right amount. Common sense really!
Another good bit of advice is to give your puppy a bit more food than normal if it’s been more active than usual on a particular day, and to give it a bit less food if it’s had a lazy day of doing nothing.
How often to feed a puppy depends on its age. Between the ages of about eight to twelve weeks it’s best to give most puppies three meals a day, and after twelve weeks cut back to two meals but don’t reduce the amount of food you give it. Free feeding your puppy isn’t recommended.
How much to feed a puppy depends on the individual puppy to a large extent. Start by following the recommendations on the labels of the dog food you buy. Watch your puppy and increase or decrease the amount you feed it according to their weight and how well it’s growing. Also consider whether it acts like it’s hungry all the time or if it sometimes doesn’t seem interested in its food at meal times.