How much to feed my puppy?

There are a number of ways of calculating how much to feed your puppy:

Feed by weight:
Feed 2% to 3% of projected adult body weight per day.
Feed 10% of current body weight per day.
Adjust up or down if your puppy appears either over or underweight.

Feed by age:
From 8 – 16 weeks, feed 10% of body weight per day (4 meals)
From 17 – 19 weeks, feed 8% of body weight per day (4 meals)
From 20 – 22 weeks, feed 7% of body weight per day (4 meals)
From 23 – 27 weeks, feed 6% of body weight per day (4 meals)
From 28 – 30 weeks, feed 5% of body weight per day (4 meals)
From 31 – 36 weeks, feed 4% of body weight per day (3 meals)
From 37 – 52 weeks, feed 3% of body weight per day (2 meals)

Full details in my comprehensive Puppy Feeding Guide.

How much to feed my puppy

Once you’ve decided what to feed your new puppy, the next question everyone asks themselves is how much to feed my puppy.

The thing about a growing puppy is that there is no one-size-fits-all-solution. Every pup is different. Small breed pups have different requirements to medium breed pups. Medium breed pups have different requirements to large and giant breed pups. Pups from different breeds each have their own individual requirement. Even pups from the same litter may have different metabolic rates and therefore have different nutritional requirements.

Much also depends on how you choose to feed your new pup. Commercial dog food packaging generally contains feeding guidelines, but these are wildly inaccurate. Every pup is different. No two puppies grow at the same rate. Their final, ideal body weight will have been determined at birth, but individual pups grow at different rates.

It’s important to remember, you don’t want your puppy growing any quicker than necessary. This is not a race. Studies show that every pup will ultimately reach its genetically predetermined weight, irrespective of how quickly it gets there. They also show that slow growth is better than artificially forced growth, and that a slower rate of growth is actually healthier for your new pup. It will still become the same adult dog nature indended it to be, it’s just that it is healthier if it takes a little longer to get there. So don’t compare your pup with other pups, even pups of the same breed or litter. Your pup is an individual. Lean is good in puppies just as it is in adult dogs. So if other pups seem to be bigger than your pup, don’t worry about it. Slow and steady wins the race in puppy development!

How much to feed by weight

As already mentioned, if you feed your dog any kind of commercial dog food, the packaging is likely to contain feeding guidelines based on the average weight of a puppy. Remember, these are general guidelines for the average puppy. They are not empirical feeding instructions for your individual pup.

This gives you a starting point and nothing more. Your individual puppy is the true indicator of how much food it needs. If you really want to know “how much to feed my puppy”, ask your puppy. Or rather, observe your puppy. Check out your pup’s body condition score and increase or decrease its portion size accordingly. Be honest with yourself. And remember, lean is good, chubby could be bad for the long-term health of your pup.

Bear in mind also that commercial dog foods vary greatly in their nutritional density. Dry dog food is less nutritious than wet food. Wet commercial food is less nutritious than fresh homemade food. Your pup is the only true indicator of how much food it needs, anything more is purely someones guesstimate

If you intend to feed by weight, and if you intend to feed fresh food whether that be home cooked or raw, you have two choices. Feed in accordance with its current weight or feed in accordance with its anticipated weight.

Give your puppy the best start in life by feeding it a minimally processed, fresh food diet. See the difference fresh food can make!

How much to feed by age

If you are uncertain as to your dog’s anticipated adult weight, initially feed 10% of its current weight, continuing to feed as follows:

From 8 – 16 weeks: feed 10% of body weight per day (feed 4 times a day)
From 17 – 19 weeks: feed 8% of body weight per day (feed 4 times a day)
From 20 – 22 weeks: feed 7% of body weight per day (feed 4 times a day)
From 23 – 27 weeks: feed 6% of body weight per day (feed 4 times a day)
From 28 – 30 weeks: feed 5% of body weight per day (feed 4 times a day)
From 31 – 36 weeks: feed 4% of body weight per day (feed 3 times a day)
From 37 – 52 weeks: feed 3% of body weight per day (feed twice a day)

From 1 year of age onward, feed between 2% and 3% of body weight minus 10% if your pup has been neutered or spayed.

Gerald Pepin

Gerald Pepin

Canine Nutritionist

Gerald Pepin is a qualified canine nutritionist, writer, speaker and homemade dog food advocate. Gerald believes that good nutrition can improve or cure most canine health problems and that the natural way is always the best way when it comes to healing man's best friend. A life-long lover of German Shepherds, Gerald and his wife The Dog Chef have two GSDs and live in rural Somerset.

0 Comments

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Homemade Dog Food Recipes

Better Food, Better Health

4 out of 5 dog health problems can be cured or improved purely with a healthier diet. No vet intervention, no expensive medication, just fresh food.

When it's been scientifically proven that fresh food is healthier and life expectancy greater, why would you feed your best friend anything else?

Homemade Dog Food Recipes

Share This

Share this post with your friends!