Part 3: Feeding Your Puppy Schedule: What You Need To Know
When you bring home your new puppy, you will have lots of fun, love…and food. Puppies, like babies grow fast, and they need a scheduled, steady, balanced meals to keep them active and healthy. But how often should I feed my puppy, and what kind of puppy food is the best for them?
We’ve got you covered to help you feed your puppy the right food and how to schedule the right time to help with their development.
Six to Twelve Weeks
Once puppies are weaned from their mothers and adopted by their new families, they will need to eat several times day. At this age, they’re growing fast! The experts recommend feeding four meals spread out evenly throughout the day, making sure to feed them at the same time.
In the beginning you should be feeding a diet specific to meet the nutritional needs of a developing puppy, example: puppy chow.
If eating a store-bought diet, puppies can move on from dry food to canned food by age 9 or 10 weeks. During the first six to twelve weeks, you may be adding some canned food.
Three to Six Months
This stage of your puppy’s growth, you will be able drop from four meals a day to three. Start by feeding your puppy breakfast, lunch, and dinner at the same time every day. You will still be feeding him puppy food, but see how your puppy is growing and adjust amounts if needed.
You may be feeding your puppy and walking him on a schedule that may look like this:
- 7:00 am: Breakfast, followed by a walk and playtime
- 8:30 am: Walk and playtime
- 12:00 noon: Lunch, followed by a walk and playtime
- 2:00 pm: Walk and playtime
- 5:00 pm: Dinner, followed by walk and playtime
- 7:00 pm: Last walk and playtime of the night
By the time your puppy is around three or four months old, your they will likely lose their puppy belly. If you think your puppy is over or under weight, contact your Vet and adjust meal amounts accordingly.
Six to 12 Months
Your puppy is now turning into an adolescent! At this time, you can move to two meals a day. Keep on feeding puppy them food up until the time that your puppy is spayed or neutered. At this point, depending on how old she is, you can change over to adult food. Some puppies (especially from shelters or rescue groups) are fixed as young as 8 weeks, but they should still stay on puppy food until they reach six months.
When is the best time to switch from puppy food to adult food?
It all depends on the dog! Basically, smaller dogs can switch between seven to nine months. Larger dogs have more growing, so they may continue eat puppy food for up to one year. Once your puppy reaches, his first birthday, on year old you can start a feeding routine of two meals a day of adult dog food.
How much should you feed your puppy?
Feeding guidelines are printed on puppy food bags, but really, portion size depends on the individual dogs.
Make sure that you watch your puppy’s body as she grows, and adjust meal sizes accordingly. If she looks to be holding on to her puppy belly for too long, it could be that she’s eating too much. Similarly, if she doesn’t finish the food in the dish, it may mean she’s ready to go from three to two meals a day. Also, giving your puppy lots of treats throughout the day, may mean that you need to adjust her meal size.
In general, several meals scheduled throughout the day is the best way to feed your puppy. Being on a regular feeding schedule helps distribute calories and energy throughout her day. Also, as a bonus, sticking to a regular feeding schedule usually means a regular potty schedule, too!
Which Puppy Foods Should I Buy?
There are so many choices of dog food, it can be overwhelming when choosing the right chow for your puppy! The best chose is a quality puppy food is made from whole ingredients, with single-source protein a minimal or zero fillers.
Your puppy is unique and different, so dos their food and nutrition need change as they get older. Take note of your puppy’s eating habits, keep a journal or chart her growth, and of course if you ever have any questions or concerns about your puppy’s food intake, talk to your vet. Most importantly, enjoy all this time with your active, growing puppy. They are growing up so fast; that before you know it, you’ll be researching senior dog diets!
I Hope That You Enjoying Our Series:
Let’s Talk New Puppy!
I hope that you will stay turned for our next episode:
Part 4: Basic Training For Your New Puppy!