Food & Nutrition

How to feed your puppy

How to feed your puppy

To meet the continual nutritional demand of your puppy’s growing body, he must have food available to him all day long.  There are 3 common techniques to feed your new puppy: Meal feeding, portion-control feeding, and free feeding.

Meal feeding

This method of feeding is usually done with mixing solid food and canned food and is ideal for puppies that are being trained to housebreak.  With this technique, your puppy gets his meals at different times during the day.  Many owners prefer the three meal a day program while others are more comfortable with giving their puppies four meals a day.

Whether you’re feeding your puppy three or four meals per day, the important thing to remember is to divide the meals equally within a 24-hour period and without having to get up at night.

With three meals a day, you have to feed your puppy every eight hours.  Four meals a day, food is given to your puppy every six hours. Keep in mind, however, that you shouldn’t give your puppy two meals a day until he is at least five or six months old.

Portion control feeding

This method of feeding is probably the most common way that puppies are fed today, especially for owners who work during the day and have to leave their puppies alone. It is done by measuring the exact amount of food that he requires (depending on his age and type of breed). This amount of food should be modified as a puppy gets older. The portion is then placed in his food bowl once a day, preferably the same time everyday.  This way your puppy will be able to nibble on his food throughout the day.

Most puppies ration out their meals throughout the day and eat only a small portion at a time, while some puppies will empty their bowl in one sitting. Studies have shown that puppies that are brought up with this feeding method will not over eat when they turn into adult dogs. However, if you are having a difficult time housebreaking your puppy, then this method of feeding will probably not work for you.

Free feeding

With this feeding technique, you have to make sure that there is food in his bowl and let him nibble on it throughout the day. Although this is the simplest way to feed your puppy, this method is also the least recommended by most vets and breeders. Feeding your puppy will make it more difficult to house train him because you do not know exactly when he eats.  In addition, it is also difficult to know how much he eats on a daily basis.