Congratulations on the newest member of your family! If you have a puppy and they’re settling into their new life, you may have wondered how much food your puppy actually needs, and what exactly should you be feeding them? Worrying about your pets eating habits and wellbeing doesn’t need to be daunting and you may have found the endless information available on what and how much food you should be feeding your puppy. In this blog we advise on how much your puppy should be eating and when you can start introducing adult food into their diet.
How much food should I feed my puppy?
Your puppy’s diet will change with every milestone they pass as they grow into adulthood. Each breed is different and will grow through stages at different ages to another breed. To ensure your puppy has the correct nutrition and support, you should keep them on a puppy-specific diet until they reach adulthood.
The amount of food your puppy needs depends on how much they’ll weigh at maturity. For example, a Golden Retriever will require more food as a puppy than a Miniature Dachshund. It’s good to ask your vet for help checking the expected adult weight of your puppy according to their breeding.
|Extra Small/Small Breeds||Medium Breeds||Large or Giant Breeds|
|3 Meals a day||Up to 4 Months||Up to 6 Months||Up to 6 months|
|2 Meals a day||4-10 months||6-12 months||6-15 months|
|1-2 Meals a Day||Adult||Adult||Adult|
Small Breeds - up to 10kg when an adultExtra Small Breeds - up to 4kg when an adult
Medium Breeds - up to 11-15kg when an adult
Large Breeds - up to 26-44kg when an adult
Giant Breeds - up to 45kg when an adult
Your puppy won’t know how to regulate their food intake, so it’s really important you control their portion sizes to avoid them becoming overweight. Over feeding can cause your dog to grow quickly and develop skeletal problems - particularly in large breed dogs.
Make sure you’re checking the feeding guidelines on the food you feed your dog and weigh each meal carefully. Often the recommend amount will be your pup’s daily intake, so don’t forget to spilt the full amount into meals throughout the day.
When to start feeding puppies wet food
Most pet-food brands will have worked with a specialist canine-nutrition scientist to develop a specialist formula for both larger and smaller breed pups. Wet food can be fed to your puppy as early as 3-4 weeks as this is usually when the weaning process begins. Be aware, your puppy may get messy when exploring their new and tasty food!
Introducing puppies to solid food is a critical part of their physical and emotional growth. You could start feeding your puppy a ‘mixed’ diet, which includes both wet and dry puppy food. Puppies can start mixed feeing at any time, but it’s important to gradually introduce the dietary changes.
Can puppies eat adult dog food?
Puppy food has been specially tailored to your dogs age and often you can opt for a breed specific puppy food too. As your pup grows, their digestive and immune system is maturing too which is different to those of an adult dog. Feeding your puppy a nutritionally balanced diet, specific to their needs is vital for supporting healthy development and to avoid any health implications as they grow.
When can puppies eat adult food?
Your puppy will need to continue eating their puppy food until they have fully transitioned into adulthood. For smaller breeds, this is earlier than a larger breed dog. Check with your vet to make sure your puppy is ready to move onto adult specific food.
What human food can a puppy eat?
It’s best to stay clear of feeding your puppy human food as it may not be the best for them, and it’s difficult to ensure they’re getting the correct nutrients. While occasional human food as a treat may not be harmful, it’s good to limit these whilst your puppy is still developing. Make sure the human food you’re offering to your dog is safe for them to eat and isn’t toxic to them.