Feeding Your Puppy by Weight – Essential Guide for Healthy Growth

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...
Feeding Your Puppy by Weight

Have you ever watched a puppy eat? It’s a sight filled with joy, enthusiasm, and an insatiable hunger that seems to know no bounds. But as endearing as it might be to see them chow down with gusto, it brings us to an essential question every puppy owner has pondered: “How much should I actually be feeding my fluffy friend?” This blog dives into the art and science of feeding your puppy based on their weight, ensuring they grow up healthy, happy, and well-nourished.

Understanding Puppy Nutrition

Puppy nutrition is about more than just filling their bellies; it’s about building the foundation for a healthy life. From the moment they’re born until they reach adulthood, puppies have specific dietary needs that differ significantly from adult dogs. They require a balanced diet rich in proteins, fats, carbohydrates, vitamins, and minerals. But how does one translate these needs into actual food portions, especially when considering the weight of the pup in kilograms and then converting it to pounds for us folks in the U.S.?

Think of your puppy’s diet as the building blocks of their future health. Just like a growing child, the quality and quantity of what they consume can influence everything from their bone structure to their fur’s luster. It’s not just about feeding them; it’s about nurturing them.

How Much to Feed Your Puppy: A Weight-Based Guide

Determining how much to feed your puppy can feel like solving a complex puzzle, especially with the added twist of converting weights from kilograms to pounds. The general guideline is that puppies need about 5-8% of their body weight in food per day, a figure that decreases as they grow older. For a 10kg puppy, that translates to 500 – 800g of puppy food daily​​​​.

But it’s not just about the numbers; it’s about understanding the unique needs of your puppy based on their age, breed, and activity level. For example, a spirited little Labrador might require more food than a sedate Chihuahua of the same weight, simply because of their difference in energy levels.

A typical feeding schedule might look something like this: younger puppies (4-12 weeks) require three or more feedings per day. As they grow (3-12 months), you can reduce this to twice daily. By the time they’re adults, most dogs do well with two meals per day. A consistent feeding schedule, such as 7 am, noon, and 5 pm, helps regulate their digestion and energy levels​​.

Feeding Schedules and Practices

Creating a feeding schedule for your puppy is like setting up a daily routine for a young child – it brings structure, predictability, and a sense of security into their lives. Just as we thrive on knowing when our next meal is coming, so do puppies. Imagine the peace of mind your puppy feels, knowing that there’s a delicious meal waiting for them at regular intervals throughout the day. Here’s a closer look at how to establish and maintain this routine:

  • Morning Glory: Start the day with a hearty breakfast. This meal sets the tone for the day, providing the energy your puppy needs for their morning adventures.
  • Noon Feast: By midday, your puppy’s energy might be waning. A nutritious lunch refuels them for the afternoon’s activities.
  • Dinnertime Delight: An early evening meal helps wind down the day, allowing time for digestion and one last play session before bedtime.

Remember, while the clock is a guide, your puppy’s hunger cues are paramount. Keep the last feeding around 5 o’clock to ensure they have plenty of time to digest their food and go for one last potty break before bedtime.

Common Feeding Mistakes to Avoid

Navigating puppy parenthood is fraught with trials and tribulations, especially when it comes to feeding. Here are some of the most common pitfalls:

  • The Overzealous Feeder: In our quest to pamper and provide, we might inadvertently overfeed our puppies, mistaking their boundless energy for hunger. Remember, a well-portioned meal is a pathway to a healthy life.
  • Misinterpreting Signals: Puppies, much like babies, have their own ways of communicating. Not every whine or nudge is a cry for food. Learning to distinguish between hunger and attention-seeking can prevent overfeeding.
  • The Inconsistent Schedule: Life’s unpredictability can sometimes throw our routines out of balance. However, try to maintain consistent feeding times. Puppies thrive on routine, and knowing when their next meal is coming can reduce anxiety and behavioral issues.

FAQs on Feeding Puppies by Weight

As we wrap up our journey through the intricacies of puppy feeding, let’s address some common questions that might still linger:

  • When do I switch from puppy to adult food? Transitioning to adult food is a milestone that varies by breed and size. Generally, the switch occurs around 12 to 18 months. Yet, for some large breeds, puppy food may be appropriate up until 24 months.
  • How do I adjust portions as my puppy grows? Keep a keen eye on your puppy’s weight and energy levels. If they’re looking a bit rounder or seem lethargic, it might be time to adjust their portions. Consult with your vet for tailored advice.
  • Can treats be part of their diet? Absolutely, but moderation is key. Treats should complement their diet, not replace balanced meals. Opt for healthy, puppy-appropriate treats to reward good behavior.


As we close this chapter on feeding your puppy by weight, remember that every puppy is a unique story, with distinct needs and preferences. Our journey through understanding their nutritional requirements, establishing a feeding schedule, avoiding common pitfalls, and answering your burning questions is just the beginning. The road to raising a happy, healthy dog is paved with patience, love, and a sprinkle of knowledge.

Your role as a guide and guardian to your furry companion is a profound one. Watching them grow, from a tiny, bumbling puppy into a strong, loyal friend, is a journey filled with laughter, learning, and love. By feeding them well and wisely, you’re not just nourishing their body; you’re nurturing their soul.

Remember, the bond between you and your puppy is fortified with every meal, every treat, and every shared moment. Here’s to the joyous journey of puppy parenthood, filled with delightful discoveries and delectable meals. May your days be blessed with wagging tails, wet noses, and an abundance of love.

Dr. Mckayla Kub

Leave a Comment