How Much Should I Feed My Puppy

How Much Should I Feed My Puppy? is a question I’ve heard many times before, but now it’s my turn. It’s easy to follow the chart on the side of your dog food bag or follow the directions given to you by the Guide Dogs of America Training Department. However, what happens when you follow the feeding schedules and your dog appears too be too skinny or too fat.

How much to feed a puppy will definitely vary depending on many different items including the size of your puppy, breed, amount of exercise, the type of food you give, the age, and many other factors.  Just like people every dog is different.  I remember growing up I couldn’t put on weight for the life of me.  I had friends who struggled to keep find the right balance between food and exercise and struggled to keep off the pounds.

OCGDA Meeting – GDA Kennel Manager

Yesterday we were lucky enough to get a visit from the Kennel Manager at Guide Dogs of America. She was kind enough to answer many of our questions regarding the kennels and other miscellaneous guide dog questions. One thing that she talked about was the importance of letting the kennel know exactly how much and when your puppy is eating. She also talked a little about overweight puppies and how their feeding schedules might need to be changed.

Of course an overweight puppy may be the result of overfeeding, giving too many treats, or lack of exercise.

I was busy with Derby and had one eye and one ear on him and nearly forgot to ask our group about his feeding schedule. Derby is on the skinny side and I wanted to find out if I should be feeding him more food.

Guidance From OCGDA

As I’ve always said one of the great things about being a part of the Guide Dog group is you have a resource of people who have many experiences with dogs. I always feel confident in asking any question I have to any member of the group.

I received several opinions on increasing Derby’s food intake. Everyone did agree that he looks a little thin. I’m also lucky enough that I can make a comparison to his two siblings, Dutch and Dexter. Compared to Dutch and Dexter Derby is definitely a skinny dude.

How Much Should I Feed My Puppy

Derby sitting in his crate. Does he look a little thin to you? He’s definitely long. That’s Stetson’s crate he’s sitting in. He’s already the length of the crate!

Derby’s current feeding schedule is 3/4 of a cup 3 times a day. As of this morning I decided to increase his food to 1 cup in the morning, 3/4 cup in the afternoon, and 3/4 of a cup in the evening. I was thinking about increasing a little more, but Derby always seems to get a mouthful of Linus’s food a couple times a day which probably contributes an extra 1/4 cup.

We’ll see how it goes for the next week or two. If Derby is still looking on the thin side then maybe we’ll try increasing his evening meal to 1 full cup.

If you’re interested in feeding schedules for your dog check out this article: Puppy Feeding Schedules.

Stetson is starting to get a little heavy…I’d say borderline obese. Now I’m not just asking How Much Should I Feed My Puppy? but instead How much should I feed a dog?

Comments

  1. Dodger says

    I know my mom already gave you her opinion … but my opinion is to give Derby all the food he wants! (Mom’s editorial – don’t listen to Dodger, I’ve had to take him to emergency three times for his over-eating problem)

  2. says

    @Dodger’s Mom, you had to take Dodger to the emergency three times? How much and what did he eat?

    @Anna and Lawrence, yeah, I didn’t have a very good picture of Derby’s figure. He does seem to have a longer leaner body shape, but looks very thin to me.

  3. Dodger says

    I ate a 10 pound bag of Canidae that was in the closet for a visiting German Shepherd puppy-in-training, an entire lemon pound cake (2#), followed by the one that almost took my life, a Costco sized bottle of freezed dried onion flakes. Note that onions are toxic to dogs, they cause Heinz body hemolytic anemia which makes the red blood cells explode. I was in intensive care for 5 days. The sad thing is, my mom called the vet when I did it and they told her I’d have diarrhea but I’d be fine. That was completely wrong information. By the next morning (after diarrhea all night) I was peeing brown, I was in a life threatening situation. Had my mom gone to the vet right away, they would have pumped my stomach and I would have not gotten so sick. We don’t go to that vet anymore and have read up on other foods toxic to dogs as I am likely to eat a pound of something else later.

  4. says

    @Discounted pet products: When we first bring home our Guide dog puppies at about 7 weeks of age we feed them 3/4 cups of food three times a day.

  5. Brad Siegle says

    I feed my puppies Evanger’s and really they should be fed three times the recommended feeding amount. This has worked out well for me.

    • says

      @Brad, thanks for letting us know about your pups. Recently, I’ve noticed that I’ve been changing the amount I’ve been feed my older dogs based on their age, breed, and how much exercise I give them. As of today Linus my 7 year old Aussie mix is eating a cup and a half twice a day. Stetson my purebred black lab is eating 1 cup twice a day. Apache, my purebred Golden retriever is eating 2 1/2 cups in the morning and 2 cups in the evening. They are all currently on Purina Pro Plan Lamb and Rice.

  6. Brad Siegle says

    I feed my puppies Evanger’s and I feed them three times the recommended feeding instructions.

  7. Marilyn says

    Hi Colby. Snowie, a pure-bred yellow Lab, is 6 months and on three meals a day. The woman who runs the doggy daycare says I must put him on two meals a day as three meals can lead to obesity. This doesn’t really make sense to me because he’s getting the right amount of food — he’s not overweight, got a nice waistline. Would three meals a day encourage him to eat frequently? Look, he’d eat all day if he could! I’m a little hesitant to move him to two meals suddenly. Any advice? Thanks.

    • says

      Hi Marilyn,

      I would talk to your vet about it. I feed my dogs twice a day, but I don’t think feeding them 2 or 3 times a day would be much of a problem as long as you feed your dog the same amount of food.

      Take care,
      Colby

    • says

      Hi Elizabeth,

      Have you tried bitter apple spray? You can spray your hand with the bitter apple and when your pup goes to put his mouth on your hand he’ll taste the bitter apple spray. Most puppies don’t like the taste and over time will understand that grabbing your hand with his mouth results in an unpleasant taste and stop doing it.

      Good luck with your training!
      Colby

  8. Kim says

    I’m actually hoping to train our little Star as a therapy dog. My mom has a heart valve problem and kidney failure and it’s as much for her as for other people so I figure I might as well train her like the pros lol. Star is almost 6 weeks old and she just came home. She’s very small, like teacup small, and just staring to eat food. Suggestions? I’m scared she’s not eating enough is the problem but her little tummy is usually full after she eats soooo…. yeah.

  9. Charmaine says

    Hi Colby,
    I’m really struggling. I feed at 7am, 12 and 5pm. But puppy 10 weeks lab)is awake at 5am and my husband says I should feed him earlier.
    Also the breeder said 20 minutes activity 2 hours rest. He gets snappy and bitey when tired usually after about 30-45 minutes should I put him in his crate then? I lock the gate as well. Is this ok??My husband when around will just let him sleep on his lap or on the kitchen floor and puppy doesn’t want to go into his crate ever really. Any advice?

    • says

      Hi Charmaine,

      When I’m raising a puppy I try to remain consistent with my schedule. If you normally wake up and feed your puppy at 7am I would stick to that schedule. Remember you never want to let your puppy out of the crate when she is barking or whining.

      Also, make sure everyone in the household knows the rules for your puppy and everyone needs to be consistent with those rules when training your puppy. If everyone is doing something different then your puppy is going to get confused.

      If you haven’t already please read this article: http://puppyintraining.com/crate-training-puppies/. As I already mentioned try to remain consistent with crate training. Always make the crate a positive experience. A few things I do when I first bring home a puppy:

      1. Feed your puppy in the crate
      2. Put a toy in the crate that you can fill with food like a KONG
      3. When your puppy falls asleep outside the crate pick her up and let her take her nap inside the crate.

      I hope that helps. There’s a ton of other information in the link I included above.

      Good luck with your training!
      Colby

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