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How Much Should I Feed My Puppy?
Rylee X Mason pup
Rylee X Mason pup
Rylee X Mason pup
Rylee X Mason pup

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I get this question A LOT. It's not as easy as saying "feed them x amount at x age." Why? No two puppies are the same, meaning that they will have different metabolisms from one another, and also at different times in their first year of life. It also greatly depends on the type or brand of food you are feeding.

I send my puppies home between seven and eight weeks of age and tell new puppy owners to feed the puppy 3/4 cup of food, three times a day. Each week, they are to FIRST assess their puppy’s body condition (not their weight) and then proceed as follows:
This page was last updated: July 7, 2017
If your puppy is too thin OR just right, increase the daily amount by 1/4 cup of food for the following week.
If your puppy starts to look fat, stop increasing food amount until puppy "grows into" their fat. “Hold” the puppy on whatever their daily amount is. Assess the puppy’s body condition each week. When the puppy no longer looks fat, start increasing the daily amount by ¼ cup each week.
If your puppy suddenly develops diarrhea, this is generally a sign that your puppy is getting too much to eat. In this case, decrease the daily amount by ¼ cup. If this doesn’t cure the diarrhea, consult your vet, as diarrhea could be the cause of many things to a young puppy.
If your puppy does not finish his meal, this is generally a sign that your puppy is getting too much to eat. In this case, decrease the daily amount by ¼ cup.
Continue to evaluate your puppy’s body condition on a weekly basis until they are 1 year old. By that time you should know what a standard day's food should be.

Even if you are feeding a different brand of food, increasing food amounts in this manner will work. The starting point may be more or less, depending on many factors of the food you choose to feed.

The following chart would be the FASTEST I would increase food in a puppy. I’ve never had to feed more than 6 cups a day for a growing puppy, using our current puppy food. Use this chart as a GUIDELINE ONLY with our recommended food.

7 weeks: 3/4 cup AM, 3/4 cup noon, 3/4 cup PM
8 weeks: 3/4 cup AM, 1 cup noon, 3/4 cup PM
9 weeks: 3/4 cup AM, 1 cup noon, 1 cup PM
10 weeks: 1 cup AM, 1 cup noon, 1 cup PM
11 weeks: 1 cup AM, 1 1/4 cup noon, 1 cup PM
12 weeks: 1 cup AM, 1 1/4 cup noon, 1 1/4 cup PM
13 weeks: 1 1/4 cup AM, 1 1/4 cup noon, 1 1/4 cup PM
14 weeks: 1 1/4 cup AM, 1 1/2 cup noon, 1 1/4 cup PM
15 weeks: 1 ¼ cup AM, 1 ½ cup noon, 1 ½ cup PM
*** At 16 weeks, we generally omit the afternoon feeding. ***
16 weeks: 2 1/4 cups AM, 2 1/4 cups PM
17 weeks: 2 ¼ cups AM, 2 ½ cups PM
18 weeks: 2 1/2 cups AM, 2 ½ cups PM
19 weeks: 2 1/2 cups AM, 2 ¾ cups PM
20 weeks: 2 3/4 cups AM, 2 3/4 cups PM
21 weeks: 2 ¾ cups AM, 3 cups PM
22 weeks: 3 cups AM, 3 cups PM

*The key is to base food amounts upon body condition, NOT a number on the scale*

To evaluate your puppy’s body condition, you can refer to the chart on this page.

As an example of why the above chart shouldn’t be followed by age alone, let’s use 3 puppies as examples. All three puppies were obtained at 8 weeks of age.

Puppy A is a cute, chubby little guy. He was probably eating more than his fair share of the food from his littermates’ food pan. His owner starts him off by feeding him the recommended amount for an 8-week old puppy, 3/4 cup AM, 1 cup noon, 3/4 cup PM. At 9 weeks of age, the owner realizes this puppy is a bit overweight. So, instead of increasing his daily amount, he will continue to feed him 3/4 cup AM, 1 cup noon, 3/4 cup PM for the next week. At 10 weeks, the puppy looks to be in ideal condition. So, he now gets to have an increase of food for this week. Even though he is 10 weeks old, he will be eating the amount for a 9-week-old, 3/4 cup AM, 1 cup noon, 1 cup PM.

Puppy B is an adorable, ideal weight puppy. Her owner continues to increase her food each week, until she’s around 13 weeks of age. At that point, the puppy starts to look a little tubby, so she holds the puppy on the amount of 1 cup AM, 1 1/4 cup noon, 1 1/4 cup PM for a whole month. The puppy has finally used her calories from her food to grow a little taller and grown into her extra fat. Now that she’s 16 weeks, she will continue on from her last stopping point, and be eating the amount for a 13-week-old puppy.

Puppy C is the runt of the litter. He’s a little on the thin side, but not enough to be overly concerned about. His owner continues to increase his food each week, and he eats eagerly. It only takes a couple weeks for him to look like an ideal body conditioned puppy. When he’s around 14 weeks old, he starts leaving a handful of food in his bowl after he’s done eating. His owner decides to decrease his food by ¼ cup. After doing this, the puppy is able to consume all of his meals. After a few weeks of this, he’s ready for more food, and is still an ideal sized puppy.
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