Feeding Growing Puppies

You can determine the daily caloric requirements for growing puppies by comparing the daily caloric needs with the number of calories per pound or kilogram of commercial food (this information is on the product label). To determine how much food to give each puppy per day, divide by the number of feedings (three or four) to determine how much to feed at each meal.

For example, if you have a 33-pound dog who is 11 weeks old and is eating three meals a day, his daily caloric requirement is 2,179 kcals. If you’re feeding a puppy food that offers 1,767 kcal per pound of food (as stated on the label), your puppy needs 1.23 pounds of food a day to meet his needs. Divide that over three meals, and he gets 6.5 ounces of food at each meal.

Bear in mind, however, that these requirements are approximations based on the average dog. Your dog’s needs will vary according to his activity level and temperament. The amount fed should be adjusted to maintain optimal weight and condition.

There are now many specialty foods designed for dogs of particular groups, such as sporting dogs or terriers, or for groups of dogs based on size, such as for large-breed puppies. Discuss with your veterinarian if one of those diets would be best for your puppy.