Making sure your puppy receives the nutrition they need gives them a great foundation for their future health and wellbeing. Often times new pet owners aren't sure how much to feed their new puppy, so today our Richmond vets are here to set the record straight.
A First-Year Guide to Puppy Feeding
The First 6-12 Weeks
Our Richmond vets recommend specialized pet food for newborn puppies, as adult food lacks the ideal mixture of nutrients for growing pups. Newly born puppies should be fed moistened food 4 times a day until they are 9 or 10 weeks old (for large breeds) or 12 or 13 weeks old (for small breeds)
Feeding 3-6 Month Old Puppies
At between 12 and 24 weeks feedings should be reduced from three to four times per day. Puppies should shed their trademark pudginess and potbelly at around 12 weeks - If your puppy is hanging on to this extra weight, then do not cease feeding them puppy-sized portions. When their body shape matures, increase portion sizes to reflect that.
Feeding 6-12 Month Old Puppies
During this period you should be feeding your puppy twice daily. After being spayed or neutered your puppy will have lowered energy requirements which should be reflected in a switch from puppy food to adult dog food. The smallest breeds should switch at 7 to 9 months old, while larger breeds should switch at 12-14 months. It is better to feed your dog puppy food for too long rather than two short, so err on the side of caution.
Feeding Puppies After The First Year
Adult dogs should be fed two half portions a day.
How much food should I give my puppy?
The best way to adjust the amount of food you're feeding your puppy is to watch your puppy. Rather than there being a one size fits all answer, your dog's body and metabolism will tell them how much food they need. If they are underweight, increase their feeding amount, and if they are overweight, reduce the feeding ammount.
Also, if you are using treats for training with your puppy - either for obeidience or tricks - be sure to account for that in your dog's diet.
Should I Feed My Puppy Wet or Dry Food?
You can feed a puppy all the nutrients they need with either wet or dry food. Wet food tends to be more expensive and you'll need to make sure you're feeding with all the nutrients they need, while dry food is sometimes less palatible to dogs, but you they have dental benefits and can be fed exactly as it is out of the bag for full nutritional value