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How Much Should I Feed My Puppy? A complete puppy feeding guide with table

The choices you make about your puppy's diet will affect his or her growth, development, and even behavior.

Feeding your puppy a good quality puppy food will help them live a long and healthy life as an adult dog. However, this does raise a lot of questions for first-time owners (and even seasoned puppy owners). How Much and When Should You Feed Your Puppy? When should you stop feeding puppy food?

For answers to these questions and more, check out our complete guide to feeding puppies. Our experts will answer your questions and advise you to prepare you and your puppy for success.

What to feed a puppy

There are many factors to consider when feeding puppies. General diet, breed size, and type of food play a role. Here's what you need to know:

Puppy nutrition

Puppies need puppy food. Feeding puppies through a complete and balanced puppy food will ensure they are receiving the proper nutrition to develop and grow into healthy adult dogs.

Puppy food contains a good balance of nutrients so that the puppies can grow up healthy and happy. Look for high protein formulas to support growing muscles. Carbohydrates provide the energy active and playful puppies need, while calcium helps teeth and bones develop, and DHA aids healthy brain and eyesight development.

Feed puppies big & small

Not only puppies need puppy food, certain breed sizes can benefit from size-specific formulas too.

If you have a large breed puppy, a large breed puppy formula may benefit them. Small breeds can also benefit from breed specific puppy recipes. Regardless of the breed size, food for growing puppies should be complete and balanced.

The difference in the formulas is due to the special needs of large and small breeds. Large dogs are at higher risk of joint problems. Therefore, a large breed puppy food may contain additional nutrients to help their joints grow.

Small breeds may prefer smaller nibbles to make it easier for them to chew their food, which will help them get all of the nutrients they need.

Purina Senior Nutritionist Jan Dempsey: “Small breeds have a higher metabolic rate than larger breeds. This means they need more nutritious, high energy food, and the same is true for small breed puppies. For this reason, it is important to feed certain small breed puppy and adult recipes. "

Dry versus wet puppy food

While dry kibble is a popular choice, it's not the only option. As you walk through the dog food aisles, you can see both dry and wet puppy food.

This can make it harder to decide what to feed your puppy. Fortunately, as long as both wet and dry growing puppy formulas are complete and balanced, you can feed your pup either of them with confidence.

You and your pup like it dry rather than wet. Feeding a combination of the two is also an option.

If you plan to feed a combination of the two, make sure the combined amounts do not exceed your pup's recommended daily caloric intake. Your veterinarian and the table below can help you determine how much to feed your puppy.

"If you are feeding a combination of dry and wet food, the first thing you need to do is determine the daily dry amount and the amount of calories it supplies," says Dempsey. “In general, a can of wet food has 90 calories, roughly the equivalent of a quarter cup of dry food. Therefore, you should replace a quarter cup of the daily amount of dry food with a 300 ml can of wet food.

“Specific information about Purina dry and wet food for puppies can be found on the packaging or the can or on the brand websites. Your vet can also help you develop a plan for feeding your puppy, ”Dempsey continues. "Remember, don't overfeed your puppy and make sure he maintains ideal body condition as he grows."

How much does it cost to feed a puppy?

Now that you know what to feed your puppy, how much food does he need each day? Because puppies grow so quickly, they must start consuming a complete and balanced puppy food immediately after weaning, usually between six and eight weeks.

The amount of food your puppy will need will depend on how much he is weighing at the time of maturity. For example, a Labrador Retriever weighs more than a Russell Terrier at maturity. As a puppy, the larger dog needs more food.

The table below can help you determine how much dry food to give your pup. You should also read the specific feeding instructions on the back of his puppy food and consult your veterinarian.

Puppy feeding card

Weight at maturity
Weight at maturity
1-1 / 2 - 3 months
4 - 5 months
6 - 8 months
9-11 months
12 years

(lbs)
(kg)
(Cups)
(Cups)
(Cups)
(Cups)
(Cups)

3 – 12
1.4 – 5.4
1/2 – 1
2/3 – 1-1 / 3
1/2 – 1-1 / 2
Feed as an adult
Feed as an adult

13 – 20
5.9 – 9.1
1/2 – 1-1 / 4
1-1 / 8 – 2
3/4 – 1-1 / 3
1 – 1-1 / 2
Feed as an adult

21 – 50
9,5 – 22,7
1/2 – 1-1 / 2
1-1 / 2 – 2-3 / 4
1-1 / 8 – 2-1 / 3
2 – 3
2 – 4-1 / 4

51 – 75
23,1 – 34,0
5/8 – 2-1 / 3
1-1 / 2 – 4
1-1 / 2 – 3-3 / 4
2-1 / 2 – 4-3 / 4
2-5 / 8 – 6-1 / 4

76 – 100
34,5 – 45,4
1 – 2-2 / 3
2-7 / 8 – 3-3 / 4
2-7 / 8 – 6-1 / 3
3-7 / 8 -7
5-5 / 8 – 11

101 pounds and up
About 45.4 kg
2-2 / 3 cups plus 1/3 cup for every 10 pounds of body weight over 100 pounds
3-3 / 4 cups plus 1/3 cup for every 10 pounds of body weight over 100 pounds
6-1 / 3 cups plus 1/3 cup for every 10 pounds of body weight over 100 pounds
7 cups plus 1/3 cup for every 10 pounds of body weight over 100 pounds
11 cups plus 1/3 cup for every 10 pounds of body weight over 100 pounds

* These are general recommendations only. Please check the packaging for product-specific feeding recommendations.
** Nestlé Purina Research suggests that avoiding overfeeding puppies can help them develop. Maintaining ideal body condition is key to promoting proper growth in all puppies, especially large breeds. The stated quantities are only guidelines. If your puppy becomes overweight, reducing your puppy's daily food intake may be appropriate. As puppies approach adulthood, their caloric needs may decrease and your puppy may begin to leave some food in the bowl. Don't misunderstand this as indicative of aversion to food. Instead, bid less so your puppy doesn't overeat and is in ideal body condition. You may want to consult your veterinarian about a weight management program.

Our puppy feeding chart is a starting point that you can use to determine how much dry food your puppy will need. Consult the puppy food pack for more specific feeding instructions or speak to your veterinarian.

When to feed a puppy

Once you know the daily feeding amount, you need to create a puppy feeding schedule. Take the total amount of food your puppy needs each day and break it down into a series of smaller feedings. Give him these smaller amounts on a regular basis every day.

A simple feeding schedule for puppies is to feed them as they eat - breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

Remember to feed him early in the evening so he has time to digest his food before bed. This can help prevent accidents inside. Consistency is the key. Feeding the puppies at constant times daily will help them get used to the routine.

When to stop feeding puppy food

Eventually, you need to stop feeding puppy food and switch to a complete and balanced adult dog food.

This transition is dictated by breed size, just as the amount a puppy feeds depends on its breed. Larger breeds may take longer to reach full maturity. As a result, he may need puppy food for up to two years.

In general, however, the transition to adult dog food can be expected between one and two years.

Talk to your veterinarian to determine the right time to switch and for tips on how to make the switch easier for your pup.

What about puppy treats?

How can you resist rewarding your pup with tasty treats? Treats are indeed an effective training tool.

It's important to follow the 90/10 rule of whether you're rewarding your puppy for good behavior or just wanting him to feel loved. According to Dempsey, 90 percent of his daily calories should come from his complete and balanced puppy food. The other 10 percent can come from treats.

Following the 90/10 rule can help prevent weight gain and other health problems in adulthood.

These puppy eyes are hard to resist, but remember that you are building - and training - a dog. Don't give up on giving him human food when he asks. Not only are some foods toxic to dogs, but they also reward undesirable behaviors that will later be harder to break.

By referring to the puppy feeding chart above and following the 90/10 rule, you can set up your puppy for a long, healthy, and happy life with you. Explore all of our puppy food options and find a delicious formula he will love.

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