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How Much Dry Food to Feed to a Puppy

Karina Carbo-Johnson, MS
By Karina Carbo-Johnson, MS
Updated: 5/9/20242-4 minutes
How Much Dry Food to Feed to a Puppy

Feeding your puppy a complete and balanced diet is one of the most important things you can do to help get him off to a healthy start in life. But, figuring out how much dry food to feed him may leave you scratching your head.

Every dog is different, so when it comes to figuring out how much dry food to feed your puppy, there isn’t a one-size-fits-all answer. The best place to start is to check the feeding instructions on the label of your puppy’s food. These instructions will provide you recommended daily feeding amounts based on your puppy’s weight.

To prevent overfeeding him, it’s a good idea to use a precise measuring cup instead of eyeballing or estimating how much you are feeding. Once you figure out the recommended feeding amount, you may need to make small adjustments to meet your puppy’s unique needs. Here are some of the factors to consider when you’re figuring out how much to feed your puppy:

Your Puppy’s Weight

Your puppy’s weight can have dramatic effects on his health. For example, his developing skeleton was not designed to support an undue amount of extra weight. So it’s important to maintain an ideal body condition. If your puppy is overweight, you may need to feed him a little less than the feeding amount recommended on the bag.

Your Puppy’s Activity Level

The feeding recommendations on the food label are based on the average nutritional needs of a puppy with a normal activity level. When you’re figuring out how much dry food to feed your puppy, it’s important to take his activity level into account. If your puppy gets a lot of intense exercise every day, you may need to increase the amount of food you give him. On the other hand, if your puppy is not particularly active, you may want to cut back.

Your Puppy’s Age

If your dog is a puppy, you will need to feed him differently than you would feed an adult dog. For instance, in order to support the needs of a growing puppy, puppy foods are higher in calories than adult dog foods. The feeding instructions on your puppy food label should provide guidance on how much to feed him as he grows.

Why It’s Important Not to Overfeed Your Puppy

Studies have shown that overfeeding a puppy may be detrimental to his development. Keeping your puppy at an ideal body condition can help prevent future health problems related to obesity. Keeping your puppy lean for life is best!

How to Determine Ideal Body Condition

When viewed from above, your puppy should narrow at the waist. When viewed from the side, his belly should be tucked up. Most puppies at a healthy weight have an hourglass figure.

Make Sure to Feed Your Puppy at Scheduled Meal Times

Whether you feed your puppy once or twice daily, make sure to feed him at the same time each day. Feeding your puppy the same amount of food at the same time every day can help keep his digestive system regular. If you know exactly when your puppy eats and drinks, you’ll have a much better idea of when he’ll need to go outside.

Looking for a dry puppy food? Click here to use our product selector to find the right dry dog food for your puppy.

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