8 Week Old Puppy Feeding Schedule
From 8 weeks to 1 year, here is a puppy feeding guide.
Are you counting down the days until you get to take your new puppy home with you? If you are, you have most likely spent some time planning and preparing for your furry friend. Feeding is something you should think about and prepare for before you take the puppy home.
I’ve put together a quick guide for our puppy buyers (and anyone else who needs it) to help them understand the fundamentals of puppy feeding.
To start, I’d like to emphasize that these are only suggestions, and you don’t have to worry about following them exactly. Keep an eye on the weight, energy level, and appearance of your puppy. This will tell you if you’re on the right track in terms of nutrition.
If you notice chubbiness, lack of energy, or a boney appearance in your puppy, you should consult your veterinarian and adjust their diet. That’s fine!
A Puppy’s Requirements
Puppies and adult dogs have different nutritional requirements. They require a lot more calories, fat, and minerals from their food because they are growing so quickly. That is why we should not give adult food to a puppy on a regular basis.
Food of Good Quality
It is also important to feed high-quality food. Poor-quality foods tend to be high in “fillers” and low in nutrition, both of which your puppy requires. As a result, your puppy will most likely eat more of the low-quality food to compensate, and you will not save any money in the long run.
Pro Plan PurinaPuppy food is what we use and it works great! PPP Puppy food is available in a lot of flavors. We use the Chicken and Rice blend, but make sure to double-check our recommended products page.
Even if you buy the best puppy food available, there are some essential nutrients that are almost never included in dry dog food. To help strengthen your puppy’s immune system, promote healthy skin and coat, reduce itching and scratching, support ear and eye health, and improve digestion, you can add supplements to their daily meal routine.
We use NuVet supplements because they are manufactured in an FDA-approved facility, have never been recalled, and do everything a supplement should do! They’re tasty, and our dogs go crazy for them!
Feeding on a Schedule vs. Feeding for Free
Even though free feeding may seem appealing, we recommend that you start your puppy on a regular feeding schedule for several reasons:
First and foremost, keep an eye on your puppy’s food intake and weight, especially as they adjust to life in your home. You can also avoid obesity by feeding on a schedule, because many puppies will eat whatever food is available, whether or not they are hungry.
Second, feeding on a regular basis aids in potty training! Puppies almost always have to go to the bathroom soon after eating and drinking. It’s as if it’s a clock! Because of this predictability, you’ll have plenty of opportunities to take your puppy outside for some successful potty breaks!
I’m not sure how often I should feed my puppy.
Feed your puppy 3-4 times a day until he or she is about 6 months old. Try to incorporate their supplements into a meal that you’ll remember. Mornings are my favorite time of day!
Puppies expend a lot of energy growing, and smaller, more frequent feedings are much better for their digestive systems than one or two large meals.
Small, frequent meals also help to keep their energy levels in check so they don’t spike and crash too much.
After your puppy is 6 months old, you can start feeding him two meals per day, which you’ll probably do for the rest of his life.
What should I give my puppy in terms of food?
To help you answer this question, I’ve made a handy little chart:
Now, I’ve divided this chart into the different breeds of puppies we send home. If you’re not looking for a puppy, focus on the weights rather than the breeds.
Your puppy’s estimated size as an adult is based on their current weight. Don’t worry if you’re unsure because the range is quite large.
The amount in cups corresponds to one feeding (not for the entire day).
I’d like to remind you that these are only suggestions. If your puppy doesn’t seem hungry after each meal and isn’t gaining weight (but growing normally), it’s safe to increase the amount.
Foods That Change
Although most people are aware of this, I believe we should discuss it nonetheless. If you want to switch your puppy’s food (either to a different brand or a different blend within the same brand family), always do so gradually.
Changing your puppy’s food slowly will help prevent digestive problems like diarrhea, which is awful when you’re trying to train your puppy to use the bathroom outside.
Over the course of seven days, we recommend gradually changing the food. Start by giving a small amount of the new food and a large amount of the old food. The following day, a little more of the new food is given and a little less of the old food is given. Continue until you reach day 7, when your puppy will be given the majority of new food and only a small amount of old food.
When will we be able to eat adult food?
The short answer is between the ages of 12 and 18 months, or when they reach 90% of their adult weight.
Smaller dogs mature at a younger age, around 12 months, whereas larger breeds mature at a later age.
As previously stated, make the switch gradually.
Is there a limit to how many treats I can give my puppy?
Treats are enjoyable to give and useful for training, but we must be cautious not to give too many. Unlike puppy food, treats typically do not provide the balanced nutrition that a puppy requires for healthy growth. As a general rule, puppies should not consume more than 10% of their daily calories from treats.
Our puppies’ favorite daily treats are NuVet supplements, so I use them frequently during training or as a special reward.
What are the best treats to give?
If you do give your puppy treats for training, make sure they are small and soft so they can chew them quickly. Treats that are safe to eat as “human food” include:
- Cut carrots
- Beans (green)
- florets of broccoli.
- Apple wedges
- Slices of banana
- cakes made of rice
- Eggs scrambled
- Chicken that has been cooked
If you’re going to buy puppy training treats from the store, look for treats with few ingredients, a soft and chewy texture, and a strong odor.
Aside from treats,
Treats aren’t always necessary as training rewards. Some enthusiastic praise, a good belly rub, or a fetch game are sometimes enough to satisfy your puppy as a reward for good behavior.
Puppy foods that are harmful to them
Although we all know that chocolate is bad for dogs, did you know that grapes, macadamia nuts, and raisins are also bad for them? Here are some more things to keep your puppy away from:
- Milk and dairy products in large quantities, such as cheese
- Coffee and caffeinated beverages
- Foods high in fat, such as potato chips
- Xylitol-sweetened foods, such as gum, baked goods, and candy
The Rewards of Proper Puppy Nutrition
Your puppy will be fantastic. You’ll almost certainly become great friends and share some incredible life experiences. You’ve already committed a significant amount of time and money to your puppy, and you haven’t even brought him home! So doing the right thing when it comes to your puppy’s diet is totally worth it.
A good diet that includes the right nutrition and supplements will keep your puppy healthy and happy, which is priceless, don’t you think?