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How much to feed your puppy

Welcoming a new puppy into your home is an exciting moment, but knowing exactly what they need in the early stages of their life can be a stressful experience, particularly if you’re a first-time puppy owner.

Puppies will grow approximately 5-10% every day for around 2 months after which their growth will slow but continue for another 4 to 16 months. 

Underfeeding can severely harm a puppy’s development, but overfeeding them can be unhealthy too. In this article, our research highlights things to watch out for and the steps to take to make sure your new puppy can go on to have a happy and healthy life.

What factors contribute to your puppy's daily food intake?

There are a number of factors to consider when filling up your puppy’s dog bowl.

  • Weight
  • Age 
  • Breed  
  • Food type 

Each brand of dog food has a different nutritional value. Focus on high-quality, puppy-focused brands, particularly during the early stages of a puppy’s life.


How much should I feed my puppy?

According to our research done by Beco Pets, a useful guide is about 20 grams of food per 1kg (or 2.2 lbs) of your puppy's body weight. Even though this calculation will be impacted by the type of food you are feeding them and their age, it's a healthy place to start.

How much should I feed my puppy by age?

As you can see from the chart, the recommended number of grams of food you feed your puppy changes as they get older.

For an 8-week-old puppy, 20 grams per 1kg of weight is perfect. However, as your puppy begin to pass the 4-6 months mark, their rate of growth slows and their food intake is adjusted accordingly, 

For smaller dog breeds, the 9 to 12-month period is generally when pups which to adult dog food. For larger breeds, this transition usually occurs between 16 to 18 months.  

What are the best times to feed a puppy?

The best times to feed your puppy are at 7 am, mid-day, and then again at 5 pm.

This schedule gives your puppy good energy throughout the day and also ensures they have enough time to digest their food before heading off to bed.

Should you leave food out all day for a puppy?

The answer to this is a big no!  Leaving food out all day encourages bad habits and picky eating. It could also lead to insufficient calories in the early stages of life and/or over-eating or expecting constant feeding later in life. 

The general rule of thumb is to leave your puppy's food out for a maximum of 20 minutes.

How do I know if I’m feeding my puppy enough?

From a physical perspective, you should be able to see, but not feel, your puppy’s ribs. You certainly don’t want a stick-thin or ribby dog, but you also don’t want a plump floor.

By focusing on both physical factors, gram-per-weight guidelines, and the recommendation of your vet, you can rest assured that your pup is getting the right amount of food.

Should puppies always have access to water?

Just like water is hugely important for a human’s health, it is for a puppy too. However, since puppies are prone to having accidents around the house in their early life, we suggest taking away their water at night until they are completely housebroken.

Research suggests removing the water 2 to 3 hours before the puppy’s bedtime, but don't remove the water any sooner than three hours because it could cause your puppy to become dehydrated.  


Final Thoughts

Making sure your new fluffy family member is fed the right amount (and the healthiest food) is key to their development as getting it wrong could lead to health and behavioral problems later on.

There is a world of choice out there and the information overload can be paralyzing, making it all but impossible to know where to start. That's why we created purrch, the place where proudly obsessive pet parents go to make important decisions. Our dynamic platform connects you with tools, knowledge, and support to navigate the parenting journey with confidence. Powered by equal parts expert advice and community wisdom, we filter out the noise and help get you to the right place. 

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