How to feed your new puppy.


Correct nutrition for your puppy is very important. See below to find out why.

Providing your puppy with the appropriate quantity and mix of nutrients ensures they develop in the healthiest possible way. Just as with human babies, puppies change both on the inside and on the outside at a very fast pace during their early years. What you feed your puppy can support, or hinder, their physical and mental development. And if done incorrectly can also cause greater issues later on. Mobile Dog Training recommends always consulting with your local vet before taking any decisions on feeding.

Essential nutrients, such as DHA and calcium, are critical to proper development in puppies, and have been show to have positive impacts on a dog’s health. DHA, which is a long-chain fatty acid found in fish oil, is a great example of how these specific nutrients can have a lasting, positive effect. DHA has shown to support healthy brain development, which can improve learning and memory in dogs. And can also improve the overall quality of life for your dog.

Always feed your puppy based on weight.

To determine estimated adult weight, the best predictor is the size of the same sex parent, which is not available for most adopted dogs, but a quick Google search may help. If you don’t see your dog’s breed on Google or you’re not sure, ask your vet to give you an estimate based on your dog’s current age and possible breed mix. Looking at body condition, the basic idea is that you increase or decrease the amount of puppy food based on whether your puppy appears under or overweight. If you have any questions about this, please follow up with your vet.

Puppy feeding schedules.

Puppies grow at an incredibly quick pace in early life. Growth slows down later in puppyhood and finally stops altogether as the puppy reaches adulthood. The dynamic nature of the growth rates makes it tricky to know how often you should feed your puppy. 

First 3 months

Puppies up to 3 months old are pretty good about regulating food intake on their own. They are used to going to mom for milk as needed and as they transition to solid foods, they keep the same routine. When they are hungry, they eat and when they are full, they stop.

During this period for your puppy, it’s fine to leave a bowl of food out for them to graze throughout the day. If you prefer to get your puppy accustomed to a feeding routine, try putting out food around 4 times a day to during this early, quick growth time.

4-6 months

At around 4-6 months old, your puppy will turn into a little piggy at this stage in their life. It’s important to monitor your puppy’s body condition during these months to avoid overfeeding and the potential to become overweight. During this time, your puppy will need to eat 3 times daily around 4 months of age, and by the time they’re 6 months old, you can start feeding twice a day.

6-12 months

Once your puppy reaches 6-12 months of age, you can start incorporating a twice a day feeding schedule through adulthood. In general, smaller dogs will finish their growth cycle earlier than larger breeds. 

For example, a Pomeranian may be fully grown around 6 months of age while a Labrador will continue growing after 12 months, and giant breeds, like Great Danes, generally grow until they are 2 years old or so. For larger breed dogs, you will want to start feeding food with controlled amounts of calcium which can be found in large breed puppy food or food that is suitable for all life stages.

12-18 months except for giant breed exceptions, most dogs are adults by the time they reach 18 months old. At around this time, you should be used to feeding your puppy twice a day and switching them to an adult dog food diet. Puppies are so energetic when they are younger, but as they reach adulthood, they may take fewer laps around the yard in favor of longer naps. Keep an eye on your dog’s body condition at this time and prepare to adjust food portions based on your dog’s activity level.