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Pet Blog

Puppy Feeding Guidelines

Diet is the foundation of any animal's health, by choosing the best dog food for puppies you can ensure the greatest support for their growth.

Dry Food, Wet Food Or Both?

While puppy kibble is the most popular and economical choice for your pup, it’s not the only food selection. Wet food, which usually comes in cans or pouches, is typically the most expensive option, though your pup will probably find it tastier than dry food. However, many dog owners stick with dry food not just for its low cost but also its positive effects on oral health. The friction that’s produced when your pup eats puppy kibble helps keep his gums and teeth healthy.

If you’re unsure what to choose, you don’t have to settle on one type of food. A combination of dry and wet pet food can be a great way to give your puppy a complete, balanced diet. If you choose to go down this route, make sure the combination doesn’t exceed your pup’s caloric intake. Talk with your veterinarian and use the chart below to help you map out how much you should feed your puppy. Also, be sure to add water to dry and wet food.

How Often Should I Feed My Puppy?

Feed your puppy frequently in the beginning – at least 3 to 4 times per day − and more often if they're very young. At 5 to 6 months, you can slowly transition to 2 to 3 meals per day by gradually reducing the mid-day meal and slightly increasing breakfast and dinner. Keep in mind that at around 6 months, or at the time of spay/neuter, their growth process slows down, so watch your companion’s weight and reduce the amount of food if necessary. Overfeeding your puppy kibble can set them up for health problems such as joint issues and obesity. As cute as it is, puppies should be trim and fit, not chubby and round.

Puppy Feeding Chart

(cups a day)
(cups a day)
(cups a day)
(cups a day)
Up to 5 lbs ½ - 1 ½ - ¾ ½ - ¾ 1/4 - 1½
6-10 lbs 1 - 1 ½ ¾ - 1 ¾ - 1 ½ - ¾
11 - 20 1 ½ - 2 ½ 1 - 1 ¾ 1 - 1 ½ ¾- 1 ½
21 - 40 lbs 2 ½ - 4 ½ 1 ¾ - 3 1 ½ - 2 ½ 1 ½
41 - 60 lbs 4 ½ - 6 3 - 4 2 ½ - 3 ½ 2  ¼ - 3 ¼

How Much Water Does My Puppy Need?

Freshwater should be available all the time. When summer rolls around, consider putting water bowls in multiple areas of your home to ensure your puppy stays hydrated. As far as measurements go, younger pups need about a half cup of water every couple of hours. Older puppies usually need somewhere between one-half ounce and one ounce of water per pound of body weight daily. It’s important to wash their water bowls daily to avoid any buildup of bacteria.

What’s The Best Time To Feed My Puppy?

Once you know how much and how often to feed your puppy dog food, you’ll need to create a feeding schedule for them. Taking the amount of food your pup needs and dividing it into smaller meals is the best and easiest way to do this. To keep things even simpler, base their feeding schedule around your own – breakfast, lunch and dinner. The main thing to remember is consistency. Feed your puppy dog food at the same time every day to help your furry friend get used to the process. Also, make sure to feed your pal as early in the evening as possible to ensure they completely digest their food before bedtime. That way, accidents inside the house will be less likely.

Should I Leave Food Out For My Puppy?

Don’t leave food out for your puppy unless you cannot find a way to provide a mid-day meal when you’re at work. Free-choice feeding is a recipe for unhealthy eating and elimination habits. Not only does free-choice feeding frequently lead to overweight pets, it’s also a strain on their developing immune and digestive systems. If you must leave food out when your puppy is younger, be sure to eliminate free-choice feeding once they are old enough to transition to 2 to 3 meals per day.

When Should I Stop Feeding My Dog Puppy Food?

It's appropriate to feed your new dog puppy food until 12 to 15 months of age. At this time, you can transition to “all life stages” foods and follow our traditional feeding guidelines listed on each product and product page. You can vary the amount fed to manage your pet's changing needs. You're the best judge of what your pet needs because you know the factors in play.

For instance, if your dog spends most days snoozing on the couch, feed less on those days. But, if you take him on a 5-mile hike in the mountains on Saturday, then you'll want to feed him extra food on Saturday evening and maybe even Sunday morning to help his muscles recover. If the weather is extremely hot or cold, your pet may need a little more food because of metabolic changes associated with temperature change. Illness or injury will also alter nutrient requirements.

What Should I Feed My Puppy?

Start your puppy out on the right paw with a variety of top-quality foods to not only support their growth and development but also to build a strong immune system. We recommend feeding your furry friend the best dog food for puppies like "I and love and you" Naked Essentials™ Puppy Formula. Complete with vitamins, minerals, essential fatty acids and digestive enzymes, our food ensures your puppy’s body has everything it needs for proper digestion, cell function and growth. This will keep your puppy’s health at its peak, possibly reducing your veterinarian visits and costs in the long run.

Did you just adopt a puppy? That's so cool! Let's celebrate with 40% off our Puppy Food! Use this code at checkout: PUPPY40


Updated December 15 2023