Puppy Feeding Schedule + 11 Feeding Tips
By creating a puppy feeding schedule, you and your new pet will benefit in the months and years. In addition to assisting you in keeping an eye on the quantity and frequency of their meals, it may also assist in identifying finicky eating patterns and other potentially harmful behaviors.
Your puppy’s weight, breed, age, and of course, the food you feed will depend on how much you should feed it.
WHAT IS THE NEED FOR A FEEDING SCHEDULE FOR puppies?
Most of the time, the answer to whether a puppy feeding schedule is actually required is yes. Dogs (and puppies) are creatures of habit, so teaching them to establish a routine for eating (and many other areas of their lives in general) will help them be more dependable regarding potty.
As a result, potty training will go more quickly and easily! What person wouldn’t want that?
PUPPY FEEDING SCHEDULES BASED ON AGE
Even though every puppy is different, it can be helpful to have a general idea of a feeding schedule based on your dog’s age. Since you should feed your puppy less frequently as they age, the guidelines change depending on their age.
So let’s start by looking at some timetables for 8-week-old puppies!
PUPPY FEEDING SCHEDULE FOR 8–12 WEEK OLDS
Once your puppy weans off of breast milk, you can start feeding them soft foods like canned or dried dog food (usually around eight weeks). It would help if you didn’t begin providing your pup any complex meals until they are at least 9 to 10 weeks old. Be sure to soak the food first to make it more malleable if you use hard ingredients.
Puppies are overgrowing for such a short life! You should feed them three to four times every day throughout this crucial stage of their life. Smaller meals spaced out throughout the day can help in food digestion in these tiny pups’ equally little bellies!
8-week-old puppies should eat three to four times per day, as was already mentioned.
They can stick to that schedule until they are about three months old.
3-6 MONTH-OLD PUPPY FEEDING SCHEDULE
After your pup reaches the age of three months, you should restrict feeding to three times per day (if you were doing it four times at a younger age). By now, your dog ought to be adjusted to their feeding schedule. Feeding your pup at consistent intervals can help you keep consistency. Try to feed your dog at the exact times every day. The aforementioned printable schedule is still appropriate for a puppy between three and six months.
At this point, your puppy should change from being “round” to taking on a more conventional dog shape. If you are worried that your pup may be overweight, you should consult your veterinarian.
PUPPY FEEDING SCHEDULE FOR CHILDREN 6–12 MONTHS
After six months, you can reduce your puppy’s feedings to just twice daily. But remember that each pup is different, so monitor your eyes on their feces and energy levels to find what works best for your puppy.
You should adhere to a feeding schedule similar to the one above for infants aged 3-6 months, except that you should omit the lunchtime meal. Attempt to be consistent with feeding times so your dog can help with a routine.
WHAT AMOUNT SHOULD BE FED TO A PUPPY?
When choosing how much to feed a puppy, there are a few considerations to keep in mind.
To begin with, each puppy is special! Age, breed, current weight status (overweight, underweight, etc.), activity levels, and of course, the food you will be feeding the puppy can all affect how much it should eat.
All foods should have feeding instructions that give an estimated serving size range based on your pup’s age and weight. If your dog appears uninterested in its food or leaves too much in the dish, it may be a sign that they are being overfed or doesn’t appreciate its food. Regardless, yikes! As you start your dog on any new food, especially in the beginning, monitor an eye on his weight and energy levels.
Another thing to remember is that treats shouldn’t make up more than 10% of your dog’s daily food intake. It would help if you only gave your dog tiny treats or rewards when training it to avoid overfeeding it.
Remember in mind that puppies who are happy and obtain the proper nutrients will be healthy.
CAN I “FREE FOOD” MY PUPPY?
Although some people choose to free-feed their dogs (everyone is free to make their own decisions, but you already knew that, right? ), we recommend sticking to your puppy’s feeding schedule for your dog for the following reasons.
- Consistent mealtimes help establish reliable bathroom schedules! If they eat at the same time each day, your dog must go potty at the same time every day. This routine will make potty and crate training SO much easier for you and your dog, in addition to being advantageous.
2. You can monitor any changes that might point to a health problem by keeping an eye on your dog’s appetite. The appetite of a pup may occasionally change if it becomes ill or has a disease. If they are free feeding, it may be difficult to monitor an eye on them and notice these changes.
3. Appropriate dining manners are crucial if you wish to host other dogs for visits or if you have several dogs at home. Teaching your dog to cease protecting its food is an essential life lesson, whether or not you have more than one dog at home. If another dog ever visits you (or if you take your puppy to another dog’s house), you’ll want your puppy to understand how feeding time and boundaries work.
4. Assists in preventing mice, ants, and other unwelcome pests. When left out for a long time, dog food, like human food, can attract unwanted insects and pests. No one wants it at all.
5. You may utilize mealtime as time! One of the best times to train your pup is when hungry because they will be more “food-driven” and ready to listen to earn the food reward. Giving your dog a meal can be a great time to practice several different behaviors, such as sitting and leaving it.
The benefits described above are invaluable and will help your dog considerably for the rest of its life, even though free feeding your pup may not be the end of the world.
HOW MANY TIMES A DAY SHOULD A PUPPY BE FED?
Like in the sections above, how often you feed your pup will depend on their age.
Given the above, the following provides a broad breakdown of how often to feed your growing puppy:
- Between 8 and 12 weeks, infants should eat three to four times daily—in the morning, the middle of the morning, the early afternoon, and at night.
- From three to about six months of age, puppies should eat three times a day: in the morning, during lunch, and in the evening.
- Puppies six times old (and older) might only need two meals daily, in the morning and the evening.
Following the recommended feeding frequency is ideal for most puppies, even though it’s not an exact science!
THE BEST TIMES TO FEED PUPPIES
Your schedule will mostly depend on the best time to feed your puppy.
For example, you shouldn’t feed your puppy at that time if you won’t be around for long enough to make that your pup doesn’t have an accident. Feeding schedules can and should be changed to accommodate your family’s schedule.
For feeding puppies, there are, however, generally sometimes better than others.
- Feeding your pup as soon as they awaken in the morning (but after a potty break)
- Eating during lunch because you might be eating it or coming home from work.
- It would help if you fed your puppy in the evening, ideally two to three hours before bedtime, to give him enough time to finish his food and use the restroom before sleep.
Above all else, be consistent! The frequency of restroom breaks will increase with a regular feeding schedule, which is essential for potty training!
FEEDING A PUPPY: ADVICE
Are you prepared for more feeding recommendations for puppies? Here are 11 ideas and methods to help you and your dog enjoy mealtimes more.
1. NEVER FREE FEED.
As was already mentioned, free feeding may have several adverse outcomes. These unpleasant effects include unwanted bugs, problems in noticing changes in appetite, and other things. Stick a feeding schedule for your puppy and decide it. Add a meal topper for improved nutrition and food if your dog is a slow meal.
2. INCLUDE BEHAVIOR MODIFICATIONS AND TRAINING IN YOUR MEALTIME
One of the best times to train your pup is when it is hungry or its “food drive” is at its peak. If you utilize prizes like food to encourage desired behaviors, your puppy might make to them more willingly.
3. SCRAPS FROM TABLES SHOULD NOT BE FED.
Even if it could be pretty alluring, feeding your pup leftovers from the table could lead to an excessive calorie intake. Another issue you face is that your pup will be more likely to beg as you eat.
4. DO NOT remember THE 10% RULE.
The 10% rule states that treats should make up 10% of your dog’s daily calorie consumption. Treats aren’t a complete “meal,” so overeating in them could lead to weight gain and other health issues. To find overindulging in treats, choose a wholesome, low-calorie reward.
5. WEIGH THE DOG
Regularly weighing your dog could help make it easier to watch for any sudden changes that might be a sign of health issues. Even if you consider them once or twice a month, this will make it simpler for you to track their weight and health changes.
6. A CONSISTENTLY CLEAN FOOD BOWL
Although your dog may think the bowl is clean (especially if they lick it clean after eating), bacteria can quickly build up and cause problems. It’s recommended to wash your dog’s bowl at least a few times every week. I toss mine in the dishwasher after every load.
7. Adjust seasonally (due to exercise)
Some seasons could have more or less activity depending on where you reside. In Utah, we play less when it’s cold outside, so we feed a little less to make up for the time. Just keep an eye on your pup to decide if this is necessary.
8. REVIEW THE MEALS THEY EAT
With dog food, there are suggestions for feeding. Get a proper measuring cup so you can correctly scoop out the food for your dog rather than guessing how big a cup is. By doing this, you can help your little friend is eating the right amount of food. Additionally, you’ll have complete information on your initial change so you may make feeding proportions!:)
9. CONSIDER A schedule
As was already mentioned, sticking to a regular feeding schedule might help your pup keep up a more consistent and regular schedule for going potty. A standard bathroom schedule is suitable for your flooring and you all.
10. CAREFULLY CHOOSE THE FEEDING SPOT (easy to clean, not a lot of foot traffic, etc.)
A consistent feeding site will help your pup develop positive associations with the time and place, much like a puppy feeding schedule. Many people feed their pup inside the cage when they initially start crate train. They’ll continue doing it after the dog has finished the habit and learned to go potty. The secret is to stay consistent and choose an area with little foot traffic that you regularly clean.
11. MONITOR STOOLS
You may monitor any potential health changes (or poop, if you prefer that term) by keeping an eye on your dog’s excrement. We might not have learned that my dog had a stomach problem if we hadn’t been aware of his excrement habits. There’s no need to dissect it or do anything like that; keep an eye on it.
SLOW Feeders Are Used To Feeding Your pup
Whether your dog eats quickly or you want to find ways to keep their thoughts stimulated throughout the day, slow feeders are a great addition to mealtimes for dogs.
Snuffle rugs work wonders at deterring significant behaviors and promoting forage. You have the opportunity to encourage your dog’s desire for food in a way that works their brain. Sprinkle your dog’s food around the snuffle mat before letting them run free. When introducing one of these mats, keep a lot of the food on display, so the audience knows the device’s function.
These enrichment toys are also great options for slow feeders because they make your dog work to get the food out of the toy.
Using a slow feeder or a puzzle toy can also stop bloat.
A description of the recap and the puppy feeding schedule
If you adhere to a regular feeding schedule, your puppy will acquire habits that will help them (and you) as they age! Consistent restroom visits follow regular mealtimes.
Although there are recommended ideal feeding times, interval intervals, and timetables, always do what feels appropriate for your puppy.
Make dinner even more pleasurable for your dog by adding a meal topper to their food. Make the flavor of your dog’s food with Over the Topper Meal Enhancers! It makes your dog’s food fascinating and delicious instead of boring and routine.