All about puppy feeding: rations, portion calculations, and time by month

Puppies

Proper feeding of puppies in the first year of life is essential. This ensures the full development of the puppy’s body and the prevention of possible diseases. To arrange a balanced diet, you need to know how many times a day to feed the puppy, calculate the portion of food depending on his age, and consider other nuances. Then, with love and care, you can raise a healthy, robust, beautiful, and cheerful dog.

Essential rules and organization of the puppy feeding place

Anyone who has a dog for the first time has many questions about feeding a puppy. These are easy to sort out with attention to essential rules.

All about puppy feeding: rations, portion calculations, and time by month

Basic rules for feeding puppies:

  1.   It’s important not to overfeed your puppy, so his stomach doesn’t get bloated. Large breed dogs risk joint problems due to overeating, and other breeds may be prone to obesity.
  2.   Never give pets food from your table. These foods are not suitable for the digestive system of dogs and cats.
  3.   If you feed your baby natural food, the food should always be fresh.
  4.   It is recommended to feed your pet at the same time.
  5.   The food should be at room temperature.
  6.   For each feeding, give the puppy 10-15 minutes. If he has not finished his portion during this time, it should be put in the refrigerator not to spoil.
  7.   A bowl of freshwater should be available at all times.
  8.   Do not mix dry food with natural food.
  9.   Do not give your puppy chocolate, flour, processed foods, spices, and other foods that are considered treats in the human world. They are very unhealthy for a dog.
  10.   Do not give dairy and meat products at the same feeding.
  11.   In no case do not give the puppy bones – you need to teach the baby to chew, not swallow them whole. And not every bone is good; tubular bones, for example, are strictly forbidden.

Puppies should be fed in an area where it’s easy to keep them clean. The most comfortable place in the kitchen. It is better to put bowls on a rubber mat not to slip. 

While the puppy is small, the bowl can be placed directly on the floor. However, it is better to use a stand when he gets older so that the animal is more comfortable to eat and does not strain the cervical spine. This will also help prevent him from swallowing air while eating.

All about puppy feeding: rations, portion calculations, and time by month
iron bowl to feed your puppy

The bowl should be ceramic or iron, not plastic. It will be more stable, and your puppy won’t tip it over. 

Keep different plates for water and food – preferably spaced apart, so food bits don’t get into the water and spoil it.

Puppy nutrition by breed

Puppy nutrition varies from breed to breed. This is due to the size of the dog, its activity needs, and history of origin.

Large

The diet for breeds such as the Alabai, Doberman, Rottweiler, Saint Bernard, Dane, Newfoundland, Eastern European Shepherd, and others requires a unique approach. This is because large dogs proliferate and gain weight, and this – a substantial load on the musculoskeletal system. Therefore, when choosing a diet, you need to take this into account and, in no case, overfeed large breed puppies.

The diet of large dogs should be enriched with protein and calcium. Raw meat and fish should dominate the daily ratio by 50-60% for average growth and development. Particular attention should be paid to adding vitamins and trace elements: glycerophosphate, calcium gluconate.

All about puppy feeding: rations, portion calculations, and time by month
Large puppy feeding by breed

The diet of a 2-month-old large breed puppy should consist of:

  • 60% of proteins of animal origin (meat, fish, by-products, dairy);
  • 20-30% carbohydrates (grains, fruit);
  • 10-15% from fiber (vegetables) and other food.

Dogs of Japanese origin (Akita-Inu, Shiba-Inu, and American Akita) need fish in larger quantities. Historically, meat is less suitable for them than seafood.

Medium

Jack Russell Terrier, Labrador, Dachshund, Beagle, Cocker Spaniel, Staffordshire Terrier, German Pinscher, Medium Spitz, Corgi are all medium or small breed dogs. Their hallmark is activity, so they expend much energy. Their diet includes 50-60% meat and dairy products, and the rest of the menu consists of vegetables, fruits, porridges. 

Food is given to puppies in small amounts, but often (six times a day). A sample menu should include cottage cheese, sour cream, milk porridge, meat, vegetables, fruit, and non-sour berries.

Small

Small and dwarf puppies have an accelerated metabolism. As a result, they expend much energy to maintain body temperature. In addition, they are very mobile, so they use up calories quickly.

Ornamental breed puppies need a high-calorie, high-protein (at least 75%) and high-carbohydrate diet. Puppies should be fed frequently, with small (due to their small stomachs) but hearty portions. 

Also, keep in mind that small-breed dogs have tiny teeth, so food should be chopped into small pieces, and dry food should be soaked in water. Pates and powders are great for feeding these puppies.

Small dogs have much strain on their spine. To avoid problems, the pet should get enough calcium and fluoride found in dairy products.

What to feed your puppy with and how to feed him

The rules for feeding puppies depend primarily on their age. At each period of life, they have specific development and needs for nutrients.

What to feed your puppy at one-month-old

The situation when a one-month-old puppy ends up in the hands of a dog groomer is quite rare. Typically weaned puppies are weaned at two to three months of age when they’re capable of socializing, usually without risk to their physical or mental health. But there are unforeseen circumstances when you have to nurse the little crumb, such as loss or lack of milk, illness of the mother dog, or her death. In addition, the digestive system of small puppies is underdeveloped, and many nutrients are not completely digested or not absorbed at all, so the food for one-month-old puppies must be chosen with great care.

All about puppy feeding: rations, portion calculations, and time by month
Feeding a puppy with milk from a bottle

The best option is a bitch milk substitute. This unique dry mixture for puppies contains all the necessary sets of valuable substances and trace elements. In addition, they have a natural concentrate of colostrum, a source of immunoglobulins that contribute to good immunity. Neither cow’s nor goat’s milk can replace the dog’s milk and provide the puppy’s body with everything it needs. 

In parallel with milk formula feeding, you must carefully introduce complementary food—for example, this liquid porridge, then – boiled ground tender meat for the first time. Feeding a one-month-old puppy with what they provide older animals is strictly prohibited.

What to feed your 2-month-old puppy

When arranging the right food for a small puppy, it’s important to decide right away what type (natural or “dry”) you choose so that you don’t change it.

If you choose to feed natural foods, it is essential to know precisely what foods are allowed for two-month-old puppies and which are not. In the diet of small pets, starting at two months of age must be: meat, dairy products, eggs, vegetables, cereals, soups with meat or vegetable broths are recommended.

The daily ratio should consist practically of 50% of dairy products because the body of two-month-old puppies badly needs calcium, which is necessary for the normal development of bones, teeth and to prevent rickets. The best treats are kefir, Sashenka, sour milk, cottage cheese, sour cream. It is necessary to buy either non-fat products or products with a low-fat percentage. Products with flavorings and colorings are unacceptable.

Meat and fish should constitute about 30-40% of the daily diet. The most suitable types of meat are beef or poultry. They should be given in the boiled form. Pork should be excluded because of its fat content. It is better not to mincemeat, as it sticks together in lumps, which are not fully digested in the stomach. It is better to chop it into small pieces.

Vegetables and cereals should make up 10-20% of a two-month-old puppy’s diet. Rice and buckwheat are good. The grains should be well boiled in milk or vegetable broth. It is advisable to give different foods at different meals, and not mix them all. What you can feed a two-month-old puppy as an example of one day:

  1.   You can offer a daily menu in the morning: it is easy enough to digest and does not overload the gastrointestinal tract.
  2.   Have something meaty in the afternoon, like boiled poultry or beef, with a side order of porridge.
  3.   For evening meals and morning meals, it is better to prepare something light, such as cottage cheese – fat-free or low-fat.

Vegetable oils should not be added to a two-month-old pup’s menu. It’s also not recommended to salt or spice food. 

A two-month-old puppy should be fed every three hours, that is, about six times a day. Portions should be small and age-appropriate. 

All about puppy feeding: rations, portion calculations, and time by month
What to feed your 2-month-old puppy

Enter the baby’s diet fish. If he refuses to eat it purely, try to mingle fish mass with porridge. Fish at this age is significant since it contains a lot of phosphorus, necessary for normal bone and teeth development. But you can give fish only in boiled form and without bones.

What to feed your puppy at three months

The older a puppy gets, the fewer dairy products should be on his menu. Instead, the number of meat ingredients should increase. But three-month-old puppies still need dairy, the leading supplier of calcium. So a three-month-old puppy’s daily diet should consist of 30-40% dairy components and about 50% meat components. Cereals and vegetables, respectively, should occupy from 10-20% of the full daily menu. 

You can give the same foods as a two-month-old puppy. But the portions are increased, and the frequency of feedings – reduced by 1-2 times.

What to feed a puppy at 4-5 months

At four months of age, puppies begin to show their taste preferences. Try to take this into account. For example, if the pet prefers dairy products, offer more cottage cheese or kefir. If the baby enjoys leaning on meat, include more animal proteins in the menu. But do not exclude “dairy” ultimately – try to mingle it with porridge.

It is not recommended to mix different types of protein in one feeding. Instead, distribute the timing of meat and dairy products. Mixing meat, fish, and cottage cheese aren’t good for the growing body, which has an immature digestive system; it’s damaging. The number of times you feed your puppy in a day should be enough to provide everything he needs (about 4).

All about puppy feeding: rations, portion calculations, and time by month

Until six months of age, porridge for puppies is predominantly made with milk. But if the porridge is with meat, it should be cooked with meat or vegetable broth.

If the baby refuses fruit, fruit puree can be added to the porridge. However, puppies have an enviable appetite, so this addition is unlikely to stop them from eating, for example, their favorite buckwheat or chopped meat.

What to feed puppies at six months and beyond

From six months, puppies are gradually transitioned to adult food with three meals a day. The meat component of the daily menu is determined at the rate of 20-25 g of meat per 1 kg of pet weight. Beef, rabbit, poultry, and fish fillets are used. Fatty meats and fish are not recommended at any age. However, various by-products are helpful, especially the liver.

Do not give your puppy bones, especially tubular bones. Like the ordinary sticks that little pets love to chew on, their splinters can provoke injury or intestinal obstruction. Instead, you can replace natural bones with a special treat from the pet store – collagen or vein bones.

You can add oatmeal if tolerated well of the cereals that remain buckwheat and rice. Porridge is cooked in meat or bone broths. Bone broths are more fragrant and have a better taste. You can boil bone broth, remove the bones, add grits and meat. There is no need to especially salt food for dogs; there is enough natural salt in the products. Boiled cereals can be prepared ahead of time and stored in portions in the freezer.

All about puppy feeding: rations, portion calculations, and time by month
Food kit for a puppy

Vegetables, except potatoes and beans, eggs (1-2 eggs per week), and vegetable oil (in small quantities), are a must in the diet. 

Do not forget fruits and greens and vitamin supplements recommended by the veterinarian.

Keep the feeding place and bowl clean. Make sure to wash the bowl after every meal.

How often to feed your puppy

The frequency of feedings depends on the age of the baby. When transitioning to solid food, puppies are fed six times a day, and by ten months of age, switch to two meals a day.

AgeFeeding frequencyFeeding timeKcal per dayG/kg weight (per day)
0 to 2 months5-6 times7 : 00
10 : 00
13 : 00
16 : 00
19 : 00
22 : 00
200-25025-30
2 to 4 months4-5 times7 : 00
10 : 00
14 : 00
18 : 00
22 : 00
250-27030-35
4 to 6 months3-4 times7 : 00
12 : 00
17 : 00
22 : 00
130-15025-30
6 to 10 months 3 times7 : 00
13 : 00 – 14 : 00
21 : 00 – 22 : 00
120-13020-25
10 to 12 months2 times7 : 00
21 : 00 – 22 : 00
100-11020-25
Table with the calculation of the amount of premium dry food for feeding puppies
The table shows the calculation of premium dry food. Cheaper foods are less calorie-dense, so that you will need more.

Natural food is calculated according to the dog’s weight. Up to six months of age, a puppy needs 6% of his body weight; 4% of his body weight after six months of age.

Feeding puppies with dry food

When getting a dog, every owner faces the dilemma of what food to feed a puppy: dry or natural food. Providing raw food is cheaper, but it takes much time to prepare. Therefore, many owners eventually switch to dry food.

Choice of Product

If you choose to feed dry food, you should remember that not all varieties are suitable for feeding puppies. It should be high-quality food holistic or super-premium class. On the package, manufacturers indicate for which breeds and ages a particular product is recommended, the amount of daily allowance, single portion volume, and feeding regime (number of meals). Carefully read the instructions, so you don’t make mistakes. 

Do not increase the recommended daily food allowance, even if the pet has increased appetite. Experts – zoo dietitians and veterinarians write all manufacturers’ recommendations. This is especially true for breeds prone to obesity (cocker spaniels, pugs, bassets, dachshunds, Rottweilers, Scottish sheepdogs, Labradors). 

Never mix natural foods and dry food, as they are digested differently. In addition, by getting a cocktail of natural foods and dry food, the little pet may be exposed to several gastrointestinal severe, urinary tract, and metabolic disorders.

Choosing to feed pre-prepared industrial foods as the primary type of food, do not introduce additional vitamin supplements into the diet. This can lead to hypervitaminosis.

All about puppy feeding: rations, portion calculations, and time by month

How to “dry out” your puppy

The transition to “dry” should not begin before the 2-month age of the pet if in the kennel it was fed natural food. Dry food should be introduced gradually. Pellets pre-soak and only then offer the pet.

Veterinarians recommend choosing premium or holistic foods designed to meet young pets’ needs and do not contain harmful impurities.

Choosing the dosage allows you to study the manufacturer’s recommendations carefully. The information is placed on the package and explains how to calculate a portion taking into account the weight and age of the puppy. Remember – increasing the amount of food on its leads to a metabolic disorder and causes obesity. If he’s undernourished, try keeping his daily portion size the same, but divide it into more frequent feedings. 

Vitamins and supplements

If the dog eats natural food, the owner needs to intelligently select the diet to contain all the nutrients: minerals, trace elements, and vitamins. Unfortunately, you can’t solve the problem with refined food alone – your pet will need supplements from the drugstore.

Before deciding what supplements to feed your puppy, look carefully at the list of vitamins, he needs: vitamin A, D, E, vitamin B group. You can buy special supplements and give them food.

There are two types of vitamin and mineral supplements:

  1.   Industrial. The best are considered 8 in 1 Excel Multi Vit, Canvit Junior, Beaphar for a puppy.
  2.   Natural. Brewer’s yeast, sulfur, bone meal, calcified cottage cheese, fish oil.

Large breed puppies (such as Saint bernard, Rottweiler, Alabai, and Samoyed) should receive calcium, phosphorus, and magnesium to properly build their bones and joints. And in winter, all puppies are recommended fish oil, vitamins A and D to prevent rickets and better protection from the cold. 

Before you start giving your dog vitamin complexes, you should consult your veterinarian. He will prescribe the proper dosage for your pet based on his breed, health, and blood and urine tests. Do not give vitamins unthinkingly, as this can seriously harm your pet. Vitamin support is needed to improve the condition of dogs after illnesses, during pregnancy, during active growth, but strictly under the supervision of a veterinarian.

In pets who regularly receive dry food, vitamin deficiencies are less common. This is because quality food mixes contain valuable additives. If you introduce preparations when feeding “dry,” it will lead to hypervitaminosis.

Drinking regimen in puppies

Water is a significant component of puppy nutrition. Water should always be freely available and in sufficient quantity. Changing the water 2-4 times a day is recommended because food debris, saliva, hair, and dirt get into the liquid while drinking. Water should be added to the drinker 5-6 times a day – or you can place several drinkers in the house.

All about puppy feeding: rations, portion calculations, and time by month

The maximum daily dose of water for a dog is 70 to 100 ml per kilogram of its body weight. If the dog consumes tangibly more, you need to show it to the veterinarian – there are suspicions of diabetes or other diseases related to metabolic disorders.

Thus a miniature 5 kg dog should drink from 350 to 500 ml of water per day to prevent the risk of water-electrolyte imbalance. Large and giant breeds are given water in buckets.

This article is only a recommendation. Consult a specialist!

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