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How Often to Feed a Puppy?

Karina Carbo-Johnson, MS
By Karina Carbo-Johnson, MS
Updated: 5/9/20242-4 minutes
Owner and her puppy

A puppy’s feeding schedule depends on his age. Younger puppies need more frequent meals. Older puppies can eat less often.

Feeding your new puppy is one of the most important things you can do to lay the foundation for adult doghood. Proper nutrition from a complete and balanced puppy food has a positive impact on your puppy’s growth and development.

So, how often should you feed a puppy?

How Many Times a Day Should a Puppy Eat?

Regardless of age, it’s important to establish a feeding schedule for your puppy. A set schedule will help with potty training, as you’ll have a better sense of when your puppy needs to go outside.

Puppies Less Than 6 Months Old

Most puppies are fully weaned from mother’s milk between six and eight weeks. Once weaned, puppies should get three scheduled feedings a day.

Make sure you know the total amount of food he needs per day based on his weight and divide that amount among the three feedings. Our puppy feeding chart offers a more in-depth look at feeding amounts. 

You should also refer to the label on the back of your puppy’s food for more information on how much to feed.

Puppies 6 Months to 1 Year Old

Around six months of age, decrease the number of feedings to twice a day: once in the morning and once in the evening.

Again, you’ll want to take the total amount of food he needs in a day and divide it between the two meals.

1 Year & Up

Many puppies reach maturity around their first birthday. Some large breeds take 18 months to 2 years to fully mature.

Once your puppy has reached full maturity based on his breed size, you can feed him once or twice a day. Choose the feeding schedule that works best for both you and your dog.

At this point, you’ll also want to transition your puppy to an adult dog food. Feeding a puppy food to adult dogs could cause him to become overweight because it has more calories.

Remember, you can always refer to the feeding instructions on the food label or consult your veterinarian with any questions.

Regardless of your puppy’s age, it’s important to stick to your feeding schedule. Establishing a routine helps your puppy learn what to expect. 

Visit our Pet Expertise page for more expert tips on puppy nutrition, training and more.

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