How Often Should You Feed A Puppy?

There are so many questions when it comes to puppy food.  A question I just received the other day was “How often should you feed a puppy?”  Here’s a short list of some of the other common questions I receive from friends, family, and comments on this blog:

  • What to feed a puppy?
  • How much to feed a puppy?
  • How to feed a puppy?
  • Can my puppy eat human food?
  • What foods shouldn’t my puppy eat?

The list could go on and on and that’s just the what, why, how’s of feeding your puppy.  In fact here’s another question I received from a commenter on this very blog a few days ago:

My boyfriend and I think he wakes up hungry but know we should not feed him. What is the latest time we should feed him so he won’t wake up hungry. We feed him really good during the day. -Megan

Lucky for us Guide Dogs of America sends us home with some very helpful guidelines answering several of the above questions including how often should you feed a puppy.

Puppy Feeding Schedule

How Often Should You Feed A Puppy

Dublin waits patiently for his food

As a guide dog puppy raiser we get to bring home a new puppy when he is approximately 7 weeks of age.  That same day we receive a packet of information and one of the flyers in that packed contains a puppy feeding schedule.  We actually wrote about puppy feeding schedules about 4 years ago, but thought it might be a nice time to update with the latest GDA information.

In fact, I didn’t even realize the schedule had changed until a couple months before I turned in Dublin.

So here’s the latest and greatest puppy feeding schedule for our puppies in training:

PUPPY FEEDING SCHEDULE

When you first receive your 8 week old puppy you will be feeding him/her 3/4 of a cup 3 times a day (Purina Pro Plan Puppy food for Large Breed) soaked in hot water until it softens.  Keep doing this for about 1 week, then taper off on time of soaking so eventually he/she will be eating dry food with a little water.

As your puppy grows over the next couple of months you will need to adjust the feeding schedule based on your puppies growth. (Probably up to 1 cup 3x a day)

At 4 months you will increase the food gradually and you will switch to Purina Pro Plan Shredded Blend Chicken and Rice Adult food, feeding twice a day, an average of 1 1/2 cups to 2 cups twice a day.

Those are the guidelines set forth by Guide Dogs of America.  So far the school has changed our puppy food 3 times since I’ve been a raiser.  When I raised Stetson I fed him Canidae.  Derby got to  eat Natural Balance.  Dublin was eating Purina Pro Plan and Apache is eating the same.

A Few Things I’ve Learned About Feeding Your Puppy

Of course I’ve learned a lot over the years as a puppy raiser.  Every puppy is different and will require a different amount of food based on many different things like amount of exercise, metabolism, the size of your puppy, the age of your puppy.

One thing I’ve learned is that puppies require more food then adult dogs.  I scaled back on the amount of food I feed both Linus and Stetson to 1 cup twice a day. Both Stetson and Linus started gaining a little too much weight.  On the other hand Apache eats more food then any of my past puppies.  He’s currently eating 2 1/2 cups in the morning and 2 cups in the evening for a total of 4 1/2 cups.  I may even need to add to that as he’s looking a little thinner then when he first got here.

By the way, if you’re wondering about how often you should feed your puppy and what is the best food for your puppy the best thing to do is consult your veterinarian.  Another great resource is to check out the Dog Food Advisor website.  They have a ton of reviews, but I really like looking through their comment section to see what the regular users like you and I think of different dog and puppy foods.

What’s your answer to the question how often should you feed a puppy?  Tell us about it in the comment section below.

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