Feeding your new puppy

So, why is a varied feeding time a good idea?  I bet you thought puppies had to be on a schedule!  Well, to a degree they do.  They need to wake, pee, play a bit, eat, drink, pee, poo, sleep, and repeat 3 or 4 times a day.  BUT they do not need to do this at the exact same time every day.

If YOU live your life by a schedule with no sleeping in, no working late, no days in the mountains, or evenings with friends, then go ahead and wake every day at 7, out at 7:03, play until 7:10, feed at 7:14, etc.  IF you want a flexible dog who doesn't start to panic at 7:14, then just ensure you are following the pattern/routine every day.  The TIME is secondary.  Everyone wants to have restful mornings on their days off once in awhile.  Dogs are incredibly adaptable!  Show me a stray dog who follows the clock, and you see what I'm getting at.  They eat when they are hungry, sleep when they are tired, and don't sweat a schedule.


As a rule of thumb, dogs need to eat 2-6% of their body weight daily.  Overweight and older dogs will be closer to 2 or 3 %, puppies or underweight will be 5-6% and a healthy adult dog is right around 4%. 

When they leave here, they weigh from 10-14 lbs or so. Weighing them once a week once they are living with you is a good idea.  You can monitor their growth and adjust their portions accordingly.  To weigh a puppy, first step on the scale yourself.  Jot down the weight.  Then step on with your pup in your arms.  Subtract the first weight from the second, and there you have it: your pup's weight is the difference!  I know, I am a genius.

MATH 101

A 10 lb puppy would need to eat 6 oz per day.  You calculate this by multiplying 10 lbs by .06. 

How much would a 13 lb puppy need to eat in a day?  First correct answer gets a prize!


If you divide 6 oz by 3 meals, you get about 2 oz per meal.  Yes it's a small amount but think about how small your puppy's tummy is.  Overfeeding isn't that harmful when your puppy is very young, but it is a TERRIBLE habit to get into.  You will NOT show your dog more love with more food.  This just results in an unhealthy animal who is more likely to have back and joint problems, not to mention be more expensive to feed, and just plain fat.

I recommend feeding your puppy 3 times a day until they are about 6 months old.  This can be morning, noon and evening, or morning, supper and evening.  At 6 months old, they will weigh anywhere from 18-30 lb so you will max out on about 1.8 lb per day, then you can start cutting back to 4-5% and 2 meals a day. 

Your dog should always have an 'hourglass' figure.  A lot of people fool themselves into seeing a fit dog when really it is overweight, and many vets won't tell you this as fat dogs are more common than fit dogs.  Beware the pitfall!