how to feed your puppy

The deal with mealtimes
Puppies are hungry little balls of energy, and often need more calories and nutrients than adult dogs so they can grow big and strong. Feeding your pup will vary by breed and age. Your veterinary team can help advise on a quality diet so you can keep your pup happy, healthy, and full. 
Vector graphic animation of a puppy eating food from its pet food bowl
Vector graphic of a blue-colored pet food bowl

How much should my puppy eat each day?

Puppies should be fed multiple times per day, with food specifically formulated for puppies. Larger pups can be fed fewer times per day, while smaller breeds should be fed more frequently to reduce the potential for low blood sugar. As your puppy matures, their feeding frequency can be reduced. Feeding twice daily is common for a healthy adult pet.

  • Check puppy food packaging for guidance on what they recommend for your puppy’s age, expected adult size, and breed.
  • Know the approximate portions to feed your hungry puppy. Most dry food manufacturers recommend a certain number of cups per day.
  • Follow exact amounts instead “eyeballing” each serving so you don’t overfeed or underfeed your little BFF.
  • If you are feeding your puppy twice a day, split the recommended daily amount between each feeding time.

Food manufacturer’s recommendations can be a helpful guideline to determine which food, and the amount of food, that your pet needs.

A puppy eating kibble from its red-colored pet food bowl

What do I do if my puppy isn’t eating?

If your puppy does not want to eat, make an appointment to see the vet immediately. Change in your pup’s appetite probably doesn’t mean they’re a picky eater, or shy in their new environment — different medical conditions can cause a lack of appetite, which can be extremely dangerous for puppies. In fact, if your puppy is under 5 pounds, not eating can become an emergency. Please seek out help ASAP.

Are treats ok?

“You want a treat?!” is a tail-wagging phrase that your puppy will grow to love. However, be careful with how many treats you reward each day. Treats are generally high in calories, and should be limited to less than 10% of their daily caloric requirements. For training, seek out small morsels, not large snacks, and use them in moderation.

A dog owner hand-feeding a treat to a puppy

Some pups are hungrier than others. If your little one eats all their food and begs for more, say no. Overfeeding can lead to obesity, which is unhealthy for pets. See more about diet and nutrition

How Banfield can help
Your puppy’s diet affects how they look, feel, grow, and their overall health and energy level. We’re here to help with advice and guidance on pet nutritional needs, diet ingredients, and a healthy, happy weight.

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