Ideally, we all want our pets to have healthy growth and normal development toward adulthood. However, there may be instances when a puppy does not get the proper nourishment he needs. Some dogs, unfortunately, end up being malnourished, either too lean or obese.
Nutritional imbalance is sometimes caused by the inability of the mother dog to breastfeed her puppy. It may also be due to the fact that the puppy does not know how to control his eating habits, or he is a just picky eater. Hence, products like a puppy milk replacer abound to make up for this lack of food.
In order to resolve these issues and establish structure early on, your puppy’s special nutritional requirements must be met at certain times. And so, the question “How often should I feed my puppy?” comes to mind.
Puppy Feeding Schedule
How often do you have to feed your puppy for him to receive the right quantity and quality of food? To sustain his growth spurt and replenish his energy depletion, a puppy eats a lot of food.
You must first ask your veterinarian the daily feeding amount your puppy specifically needs. After this, divide the said quantity into smaller portions to be equally distributed throughout the day at regular intervals.
As their body clock also tells dogs when it is time for a routine task, consistent feeding times promote a structure to help your new puppy adjust to his home and daily life.
You must plan out a puppy feeding schedule to efficiently provide those small frequent feedings to him at the same time every day. This can help you monitor how much he is eating which is an important way to maintain his ideal weight.
Having a dog feeding tracker would surely help you maintain your schedule of feeding your furry companions.
What Are The Best Times To Feed A Puppy?
To help you visualize your own puppy feeding schedule, one easy step to follow, as an example of how to plan meal times for your growing pup, is to feed him every time you eat.
You can, of course, configure it to suit your dog’s overall routine and your own lifestyle. Just remember to allot about four to five hours interval in between feedings to allow proper food digestion.
- Meal #1 (Breakfast): 8:00 A. M.
- Meal #2 (Lunch): 12:00 P. M. (noon)
- Meal #3 (Dinner): 5:00 P.M.
How Many Times Per Day Do You Feed A Puppy?
Generally, it depends on how old your puppy is. You do not have to worry because we got you covered.
Below is a simple need-to-know guide for you in making your own puppy feeding schedule. We have already incorporated his daily activities and other essential details that you should take into account.
Zero – Six Months (0-24 weeks)
Normally, it takes puppies around six to eight weeks from birth before they can be completely weaned. After this, you should feed your puppy three to four times a day to support his growth and development.
Experts say that a good rule to follow is that at one week old, when the puppy’s weight is twice as heavy as when he was born, he should gain one to two grams per pound each day thereafter of his breed’s estimated adult weight.
But, how long do you need to feed a puppy 3 times a day? Pet experts recommend that you follow a standard feeding schedule similar to this until your puppy is about 16 – 24 weeks (four-six months) old and then gradually transition to feeding him two meals a day toward adulthood.
Six Months – One Year
At about six months old, you should reduce your puppy’s meal times to twice a day, once in the morning and once in the evening, until he becomes a mature adult dog.
You should also slowly lessen the amount of food he eats, following the guidelines provided by dog food manufacturers or your vet, and adjusting as needed. Your puppy will let you know if you are feeding him too much by having leftovers in his bowl.
One Year And Beyond
When your puppy already becomes an adult dog, you can now feed him just once or twice a day. Usually, most puppies reach adulthood at around one year old. However, for large breed puppies, it may take up to two years before they mature.
The dog food packaging should have feeding instructions on the label. But if you are uncertain when to transition to an adult dog food, you can always ask your vet.
- To prevent stomach upset or choking accidents for a puppy who gobbles up all his food with minimal chewing, slow him down by adjusting how you feed him or try a slow feeder or food-dispensing toy.
- Do not be tempted to feed him whenever he seems hungry nor leave food in his bowl all the time so that he can learn to follow the schedule.
- Have fresh water available at all times. Keeping our pups hydrated is important too!
- You have to factor in potty training into your puppy feeding schedule. They go hand in hand as part of puppy training and can give you a better sense of when your puppy will have to go to the potty.
- To avoid mishaps indoors, feed him early at night so his meal can be digested before he sleeps.
- If you cannot be there with him during these feeding times, ask another family member. Or, you may also want to consider getting a dog sitter to help.
- Visit your veterinarian if you are unsure about what and when to feed your puppy as some dog breeds may require a special diet.
A Word Of Advice
Whatever age your puppy is at, it is vital to maintain a feeding schedule and observe daily consistency. This will help you establish a routine around his activities and sleep. It will help promote a regular digestive system, proper nourishment, and easier toilet training.
Always remember that any puppy feeding schedule is merely a suggestion. If he has special dietary concerns or when you encounter persistent feeding problems, it is best to consult your veterinarian as he is considered an authority in diet information, especially in relation to the early development of our furry pets. They can answer your queries and assist you in planning a better feeding schedule which is customized according to your dog’s individual needs.