If you are looking forward to getting a new puppy, you will be surprised to know that it takes about 3 months for your pup to reach adulthood and become an independent member of your family.
During this time, you need to ensure that they get enough nutrition to grow strong and healthy.
This includes feeding them with the right amounts of food depending upon their size and age.
In this article, we will discuss how much food for puppies and how to check whether or not you are feeding them properly.
How Much Food Should I Feed My 6 Month Old Puppy?
The best way to figure out how much food you should give your puppy is by following the guidelines provided in the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) feeding chart.
This is one of the most reliable sources of information regarding feeding requirements of puppies.
This chart is based on the growth rate of puppies from birth to 4 months of age.
It also contains information on how much food a dog needs at various stages of its life.
This means that if your puppy reaches 6 months old, you can use the AVMA feeding chart to determine what amount of food you should give him.
However, keep in mind that the chart is only applicable to dogs who weigh less than 30 pounds.
If your puppy weighs more than this, you can still follow the recommendations provided below.
Here’s how you can find out how much food you should feed your puppy:
- Take note of when your puppy was born.
- Check the weight of your puppy at this point.
- Look up the weight of an average adult dog in your area using the AVMA chart.
- Add the weights together to determine how much food your puppy will need to gain 1 pound per week.
- Divide this number by seven to calculate how much food you should give your puppy each day.
- For example, if your puppy weighed 9 pounds at six months, then divide 9 by 7 to get 1.3.
You can now multiply this number by 14 to arrive at the total amount of food needed per day.
However, some people recommend that you increase the amount of food you give your puppy as they grow older.
For example, if your puppy weighs 17 pounds at nine months, then you should double the amount of food given to him.
You can do this by multiplying the previous calculation by 2.1, which equals 23.6.
Divide this number by 14 to arrive at the total amount of food needed each day.
Keep in mind that there are variations between breeds and individuals.
Therefore, you might have to adjust the above calculations to suit your puppy’s needs.
Guidelines for Feeding Puppies
Puppy’s diet is similar to human babies.
However, there are some differences in terms of quantity of food consumed by them.
The most important thing to note here is that they do not have teeth yet.
They can only eat soft foods like vegetables, fruits, and cereals.
These types of foods help them develop their digestive system.
As soon as they start developing their teeth, they can eat different kinds of solid foods like meat, eggs, and bread.
It is always better to consult with your vet before deciding on what kind of food you are going to give to your puppy.
Your vet will be able to guide you on which type of diet would work best for your puppy.
Here are some tips on how much food you should feed your puppy:
- Activity level
- Dietary needs
- Body condition
Now let us look at these factors one by one.
You should feed your puppy according to its age.
It is recommended that you should feed them 2 to 4 times a day.
Each meal should consist of 1/4th of the total weight of the puppy.
The amount of food required by your puppy depends on its size.
As mentioned earlier, they are still developing their bones and muscles so make sure you give them less food than they actually require.
Different breeds of dogs have different nutritional requirements.
So it is advisable to consult with your vet first before deciding on the type of food you want to give to your puppy.
This way you can make sure it meets all of its nutritional requirements.
4. Activity Level
Your puppy’s activity level also plays an important role in determining the amount of food he needs.
He may require more food during the summer days when he goes out for walks and play while he requires less food in winter when he stays indoors.
There are various diets available in the market.
Some are made specifically for puppies while others are formulated for adult dogs.
Hence, it is always better to consult with your vet before making any decision regarding the diet for your puppy.
It is very important to measure the exact weight of your puppy.
This helps you determine the amount of food needed to meet his daily caloric requirement.
7. Body Condition
It is also important to keep track of the body condition of your puppy.
This helps you decide whether he is overweight or underweight.
If he is underweight then you should increase the amount of food you are giving him.
On the other hand, if he is overweight then you should decrease the amount of food.
8. Nutritional Status
This refers to the overall health and well-being of your puppy.
You can judge this aspect by observing his physical appearance, behavior, and the amount of food he eats.
9. Amount of Food
Once you know all of these aspects, it is now time to calculate the exact amount of food needed by your puppy.
To do this, multiply the number of meals per day (which is usually 2 to 4) by the total weight of the puppy.
For example, if you are planning to buy a six month old puppy weighing 10 pounds, then you will need to feed him two to four times a day.
Therefore, you will have to divide 10 pounds by 4 to find out the total amount of food needed.
Therefore, you will have to feed him 250 to 500 grams of food per day.
How To Know If You Are Feeding Your Puppy Enough
The first thing you need to consider when feeding your puppy is its growth rate and appetite.
Since puppies usually eat more than adult dogs, you need to feed them accordingly.
For instance, you should feed a 6-month-old puppy twice a day since they usually have a small appetite during this period.
At the same time, you should also keep in mind that puppies usually consume more food than adults.
As such, you need to increase the amount of food you give to puppies at this age.
In fact, puppies aged between 2 – 4 months need double the amount of food compared to adults.
On the other hand, adult dogs usually eat less because they are already grown, but you still need to feed them regularly.
However, there are some factors that can affect the amount of food you feed your puppy.
These include the breed, size, gender, and weight of your dog.
You can also determine the ideal amount of food by considering the following aspects:
- Breed: Some breeds like Chihuahuas and Pomeranians require more food than others.
- Size: Smaller breeds need less food compared to larger ones.
- Gender: Female dogs tend to need more food than male ones.
- Weight: If you have a large dog, they may not need as much food as smaller ones.
To make sure you feed your puppy with the correct amount of food, it’s best to ask your vet about the ideal amount of food.
How Much Food For A Puppy?
You should feed your puppy according to their age, breed, and size.
However, there are several factors that can affect the amount of food you feed them.
For instance, you should increase the amount of food you feed puppies aged between 2 – 4 months due to their increased appetite.
On the other hand, puppies under two months old usually need less food because they are still growing.
Also, you should pay attention to the size of your puppy when determining the amount of food needed.
Smaller breeds like Chihuahuas and Pomeranians usually need less food than bigger ones.
Similarly, female dogs might need more food than males because females usually lose weight while giving birth.
Lastly, you should take into account the weight of your puppy when deciding on the amount of food needed.
What to do if your Puppy is not Getting Enough to Eat
Puppies have different nutritional requirements based on their age and weight.
If you want to make sure that your puppy gets enough to eat, it’s important to know what to look out for when choosing the right food for them.
- The first thing you need to consider is the age of your puppy.
It is recommended that you start feeding them at around six months of age.
- Another factor to take into account is the size of your puppy.
Make sure you choose a food that is suitable for their size so that they can easily digest it.
- You also need to keep in mind the type of food you are using as well.
There are certain foods which are rich in protein while others contain carbohydrates.
Your decision might change based on your personal preference.
- Finally, you need to think about how often you need to feed your puppy.
Some breeds like bulldogs require more frequent meals than other breeds.
How to Know if You Are Feeding Your Puppy Enough?
There are several ways to tell whether or not you are giving your puppy enough food.
One way to know is by checking the growth rate of your pet.
If you notice that your puppy is growing slower than usual, then it means that they are probably eating too little.
Another method to determine if your puppy is getting enough to eat is by observing their behavior.
As mentioned earlier, puppies usually start showing signs of hunger when they are around six months old.
In addition, they may start whining or barking when they are hungry.
However, if there are no visible signs of hunger, it could mean that your puppy is not getting enough to eat.
Lastly, you can ask someone who knows better.
They will be able to help you figure out if your puppy is getting enough to eat.
Puppy Feeding Schedules
The first thing you need to consider is when exactly to start feeding your puppy.
If you want to make sure that you get the best results from your puppy’s diet, then you should start at around 4 weeks old.
This is because after 4 weeks, your puppy has started eating solid foods in addition to milk.
You can choose to start feeding your puppy 2 to 3 times a day at this point, but it is advisable to increase the number of meals as your puppy grows older.
At 6 months old, your puppy will have reached full maturity and will require more frequent meals.
At this stage, your puppy will need around 5 to 6 meals per day.
However, you need to keep in mind that this is only an average and may vary depending on your individual pet.
It is also important to note that these figures are just guidelines.
As such, you should always check with your vet before making any changes to your puppy’s feeding schedule.
When to Start Feeding Your Puppy
As mentioned earlier, you should start feeding your puppy at around 4 weeks old.
At this young age, your puppy will still be nursing and therefore needs to consume more than once every 12 hours.
In fact, you should give your puppy two to three meals each day.
However, you need to give them smaller portions at this stage.
You can use a measuring cup to measure out the appropriate amount of food to feed your puppy.
How Much Puppy Food To Give?
Depending on the type of food you buy, you may end up feeding your puppy either 1/4 cup (50 grams) or 3/4 cup (100 grams) of dry food every single day.
This is because there is no standard rule regarding the amount of food required for puppies.
In fact, different types of food will require different amounts of food.
Therefore, you need to consult a vet when choosing the right food for your puppy.
They will recommend the proper amount based on your pup’s weight and age.
Transitioning Your Puppy to Adult Food
As you transition your puppy from being fed with baby foods, you must make sure that you provide them with the right level of nutrients and calories.
This is because they need different levels of nutrients as they grow up and mature.
When transitioning your puppy from being fed with baby foods, you may want to start giving them adult foods like dry dog food, canned dog food, or raw meat.
These foods contain more protein and fat than what you usually give them while they were still babies.
You can also try to slowly introduce other types of foods such as vegetables, fruits, cooked meats, etc.
These foods will help them develop their taste buds and enable them to try different types of food.
However, if you do not have any experience in changing the type of food that you are feeding your puppy, it is best to stick to the same diet until you feel confident enough to change it.
The most important thing to keep in mind is that you need to feed your puppy according to its age.
If you do not follow the proper guidelines, then you may end up giving them too much or too little food.
It is always better to err on the side of caution when it comes to feeding your puppy.
You might think that you are feeding your puppy well, but there could be something wrong with the way that you are doing it.
If you feed your puppy too many carbohydrates, then they will have problems digesting proteins and fats.
On the other hand, if you feed them too much protein, then they will never stop growing.
Therefore, it is important to understand the difference between these two types of food so that you can feed your puppy accordingly.
There are some basic tips that you can use to determine whether or not you are providing your puppy with the right amount of food.
Here are some simple ways that you can check how much food you are feeding your puppy.
1. Check their weight
Your puppy’s weight will tell you how much food you are feeding them.
A good rule of thumb is to divide their weight by 2 to find out how much you need to feed them each day.
2. Look at their ribs
Ribs are one of the main signs that indicate that your puppy has been eating enough.
If you see that they are thin and weak, then you will need to increase the amount of food that you are feeding them.
On the other hand, if they look muscular and strong, then you will need to decrease the amount of food that you are giving them.
3. Examine their teeth
Teeth are another important sign that show how much food they are consuming.
If you notice that their teeth are worn down and yellow, then you will need to increase the amount of food that you are giving them.
On the other hand, if their teeth are strong and white, then you will only need to reduce the amount of food that you are giving them.
4. Observe how much poop they produce
This is yet another important factor that shows you how much food they are consuming.
If they are producing very little poop, then you will need to increase the amount of food that you are feeding them.
On the other hand, if they are producing large amounts of poop, then you will need to reduce the amount of food that you are feeding them.
5. Observe their appetite
An indicator of how much food they are consuming is their appetite.
If they eat all of the food that you put in front of them, then you will need to increase the amount of food that you are giving them.
On the other hand, if they seem hungry after eating, then you will only need to reduce the amount of food that you are feeding them.
6. Look at their coat
If you notice that their fur is loose and unkempt, then you will need to increase the amount of food that you are giving them.
On the other hand, if they have shiny hair coats, then you will only need to reduce the amount of food that you are feeding them.
7. Consider their growth rate
If you notice that your puppy is losing weight rapidly, then you will need to increase the amount of food that you are feeding them.
On the other hand, if they seem to be gaining weight quickly, then you will only need to reduce the amount of food that you are feeding them.
Tips To Transition Your Puppy From Baby Food To Adult Foods
If you are worried about your puppy’s health, then you need to consider buying one of the best puppy food brands available in the market.
Some of the best brands include Hill’s Science Diet, Purina One, Eukanuba, and Royal Canin.
You will also want to make sure that you are using the correct feeding schedule for your puppy.
This is especially true if you are feeding them with dry dog food, which is the most common type of food that you will find in pet stores.
You can use the following guide to figure out the correct feeding schedule for your puppy.
- Feed your puppy once a day during the morning to feed them breakfast.
- Give them dinner around 4 pm.
- Keep in mind that you should feed them twice every day unless you are feeding them with wet food.
FAQ’s About Feeding Puppies
Here are some of the most common questions asked by parents who want to feed their puppies.
Check out our answers below:
Q. How can I tell if my puppy is eating enough?
You should observe them for signs of fullness such as panting, drooling or yawning after every meal.
If they eat more than twice in a day, then you can conclude that they are eating enough.
Q. What is the best age to start feeding puppies?
The best age to start feeding puppies depends on the breed.
Generally, puppies between 8 weeks and 4 months old are considered mature and ready to join the family.
Q. How do I know which type of food is good for puppies?
Puppies usually love dry and moist foods.
However, there are certain types of foods that are better suited for puppies depending upon their age and health conditions.
- For puppies between 2 and 4 months old, you can opt for high protein dog biscuits or kibble made from chicken, fish, beef, lamb, etc.
- For puppies between 4 and 8 weeks old, you can choose from dry or wet foods.
- Puppies between 8 and 12 weeks old can enjoy both dry and wet foods.
- For puppies older than 12 weeks, you can only feed them wet foods.
Q. Can I give my puppy table scraps?
Table scraps are okay but you should avoid giving them bones and raw meat.
These are very harmful for dogs and could even cause fatal diseases like salmonella poisoning.
Q. How often should I feed my puppy?
Puppies require around two meals a day.
It is recommended that you feed them before noon and again at night.
But, you should adjust the timing according to the weather and the time when you expect them to go outside.
Q. Is it safe for me to feed my puppy raw eggs?
Raw eggs are okay provided you have cooked them thoroughly.
Raw eggs can also cause gastrointestinal problems or allergies in puppies.