Puppy Feeding Chart: How much to Feed your Puppy by Age and Weight

Emma Frain 26 November 2021

It is a sign of a good owner that you are concerned about feeding your new furry friend the right amount. Unfortunately, much like babies, puppies do not come with an instruction manual. That’s why having access to a puppy feeding chart that takes into account your puppy’s weight and age is so important. Read on to learn more about the amount of food you should be offering your little bundle of fluff.

How much to feed my puppy?

There is no one size fits all answer to this question, as every puppy is an individual with their own dietary requirements. A laid-back 6 month old Chihuahua won’t need even half as many calories as an active 12 week old Great Dane. We’ve developed the puppy feeding charts and food calculator below (ADD LINKS AND INPUT AT LATER DATE) to help you determine what your puppy needs.

Large breed puppies will need more calcium, phosphorous and protein for their bone and joint development. Smaller breed puppies, on the other hand, tend to have a higher metabolic rate so will need more nutritionally dense food.

How much to feed a puppy is dependent on your puppy’s current size and age as well as their predicted weight. If your puppy is a mixed breed and you are unsure how much they will weigh when older, there are usually good estimates available online.

Remember, our tools help provide a guideline but each dog is an individual. If your dog has had a busy day of training and playing, they may need a few extra calories for dinner. Similarly, if the weather has been awful and they’ve had a lazy day, you may find they don’t finish their full portion. It is sensible to monitor your puppy’s weight each week and to ensure they are growing as expected. If not, we may need to alter the recommended feeding amount.

Puppy Feeding Chart

Insert Chart

Talk me through the Puppy Feeding Charts by weight / age

Puppy feeding charts should be seen as a useful tool that all owners can use. While they may seem complicated at first glance, they are straightforward to use. Let’s take a closer look at our puppy’s needs in relation to their breed (weight) and age:

Toy Breeds (e.g.  Chihuahua, Papillon or Pomeranian)

Toy breeds never grow more than 5kg and tend to reach their adult weight by six to nine months of age. The amount of food they require gradually increases until they are 4 months old. At this stage, they are not growing as rapidly as before so need a little less. Meals must be spaced over at least 3-4 meal times as their small stomachs cannot hold much food. Beware over-feeding your toy breed as they hit the six month mark. Many will start to refuse food at this stage, indicating their appetite has naturally decreased. This is to be expected and is not a cause for concern.

Small Breeds (e.g. Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, Lhasa Apso or Miniature Schnauzer)

Small breeds weigh less than 10kg at maturity and take somewhat longer to develop and fill out than their toy breed peers. This is why we continue to feed more until they are about six months of age. After this, their calorie requirements only dip slightly. As with toy breeds, owners tend to want to ‘over-feed’ these dogs. Consider weighing out the portions suggested by the puppy feeding guide.  

Small/Medium Breeds (e.g. American Cocker Spaniel, Beagle)

These dogs weigh between 10 to 15kg when they are fully mature and a healthy weight. Not surprisingly, they will need more calories than smaller breeds throughout their entire life. While they have less growing to do in the latter half of their first year, their calorie requirements do not change dramatically compared to the first six months. This is because they still have a lot of growing to do. Once their skeleton has fully formed, they need plenty of nutritious food to help pack on muscle and fill out their frame.

Medium/Large Breeds (e.g. Springer Spaniel, Australian Cattle Dog)

Once we get into these larger breeds of dog, their growth rate in their first year is relatively speedy. A Springer Spaniel will double in weight from 3 months to 9 months of age, so it is clear they are still doing plenty of growing in this time frame. Indeed, they do not stop growing until about 12-18 months of age. All of this growing requires plenty of calories and a nutrient dense, balanced diet.

Large Breeds (e.g. Boxer, Bull Terrier, Labrador)

These dogs have lots of growing to do and not providing them with the nutrients they need can lead to joint disease in later life. Their puppy food must contain a minimum of 30% high quality protein. Extra nutritional support is needed towards the end of the first year as their muscle are developing and putting pressure on their joints. As they will be developing beyond their first year of life, calorie requirements do not drop noticeably at this age.

Giant Breeds (e.g. Great Dane, Mastiff)

Giant breeds have a huge amount of growing to do and, even more so than any other sized dogs, rely heavily on the right diet. They have high calcium needs for their growing bones and teeth. They also need plenty of carbohydrates to provide them with energy for playing, socialising and growing.

These dogs grow faster and remain puppies longer than their smaller peers. As these dogs take such a long time to mature (years rather than months), we tend to continue to increase their calories until about 12 months at this age. Even then, they need about the same amount of food until they are 18 months old. 

Will it harm my puppy if I do not feed them the right amount?

Over-feeding or under-feeding your young dog can lead to medical issues down the line. Puppy feeding charts minimise confusion and provide a quick answer to the question; How much to feed my puppy?

We want to avoid them being over-weight as this puts too much pressure on their joints and may affect their breathing, especially if they are a brachycephalic breed. Those who are over-weight when young are much more likely to become obese adults.

At the same time, not providing all of the food our dog needs can be detrimental. Without the calories they need, your dog may not have the energy they need to play, learn and develop important life skills. Under-weight dogs may find it hard to build muscle and are more prone to dehydration, hypothermia and hypoglycaemia when unwell. Under-feeding also puts your pup at risk of developing nutritional deficiencies.

Should my puppy eat wet or dry food?

Feeding a high-quality, nutritious puppy food is essential for your little one’s growth and development. Here at Pooch & Mutt, we have both a wet food and dry food (ADD LINKS) specifically tailored to your puppy’s needs. You can choose to offer one or the other, or to opt for mix feeding.

Pooch & Mutt’s puppy food is fresh, balanced and highly palatable, making it a popular choice in the dog food market. Grain-free and junk-free, our wet and dry diets are ideal for young dogs with developing guts. Packed with wholesome foods like chicken, sweet potato and peas, your pup will be happy to tuck into each and every meal. The added prebiotics support a healthy gut microbiome and contribute to a robust immune system.

Whichever way you choose to feed your dog, they will have their nutritional requirements met. The benefit of offering dry food is that it can be cleaner, more economical and easier to measure. It is also better for dental hygiene and can prevent periodontal disease as your dog gets older. Wet food, on the other hand, helps to keep your puppy well hydrated and to keep their kidneys and bladder flushed through. This is especially good for breeds prone to bladder stones, such as Lhasa Apsos.

If feeding a mix of wet and dry, it can be tricky to determine the right amount to give. This is where our food calculator (ADD LINK) comes in so handy. If still unsure, you can contact our resident vet to see what they think.

Why do I need to change the amount of food my pup gets so often?

Puppies grow rapidly within their first year of life. In the first four months in particular, they have a very high calorie requirement. As they get older and their growth rate slows down, they will need less calories. It is not until your pup has reached full maturity that the amount of calories they need each day will remain unchanged. So, remember, how much to feed your puppy will change constantly.

Can I give my puppy treats as well as their main meals?

Absolutely! Treats are an important part of puppy life. Not only are treats a great way to bond with your puppy, they are also a vital part of training. It is a good rule of thumb that treats should not make up more than 10% of your dog’s daily calorie intake. This is to ensure they are getting all of the nutrients they need from their dog food.

Many treats are not suitable for puppies, especially those that are hard or chewy. Some are potential choking hazards and others are too rich for a young dog’s delicate digestive tract. Always check the packaging to ensure the treat is appropriate for your dog’s age and size.

How often should I feed my puppy?

This is an excellent question and one we have dedicated a whole article to. Click here (ADD LINK) to learn about the best time to feed your pup and how many meals a day they require.

The Take Home Message

While it is not rocket science, it is important we get things right. Using a puppy feeding chart and feeding our puppy according to its needs in the first months of life will set it up for success. A healthy puppy that is thriving, will be a confident and handsome adult before you know it.