Guidelines on how much a puppy should eat.

Go Back   Dog Forum > Keeping and Caring for Dogs > Dog Training and Behavior > Puppy Help

Guidelines on how much a puppy should eat.

This is a discussion on Guidelines on how much a puppy should eat. within the Puppy Help forums, part of the Dog Training and Behavior category; Hi, I rescued two puppies a few days ago. One problem, which I thought would be a no-problem at all, is that I honestly can't ...

User Tag List

Like Tree2Likes
  • 1 Post By Tess
  • 1 Post By hkvik

 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 06-30-2013, 08:53 AM
  #1
Senior Member
 
hkvik's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: Hong Kong
Posts: 914
Mentioned: 56 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Guidelines on how much a puppy should eat.

Hi,

I rescued two puppies a few days ago. One problem, which I thought would be a no-problem at all, is that I honestly can't really figure out how much they should eat. The only guidelines I've found so far is from specific brand ( and not that many) and for me things are a bit complicated since:

1. I don't know how old the puppies are. People have been guessing between 4 and 8 weeks. Personally I think 5, maybe 6. They do eat solid ( or rather wet) food. Great appetite except for the puppy food I bought ( I don't blame them, cheap nasty stuff). So far they've been on some adult dog food and some chicken.
2. More important: The guidelines I've seen are based upon that you know what size/weight your dog is expected to be as adult. These are mongrels and I have don't know anything about their parents. The vet made the joke "between 10 and 50 kilos" when I asked about their estimated size as adults.

So, anyone with more experience, how do I decide on how much to feed them? One book suggested that they know themselves what they need and stop when they are full, but with their appetite, that sounds a bit risky.
hkvik is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-30-2013, 09:17 AM
  #2
Banned
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Posts: 7,625
Mentioned: 23 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Well, it varies, ALOT, depending on the type and brand of food, on top of those other factors you're looking at.

A good rule of thumb: a pup should be kept reasonably slim. Ideally, when the pup is in motion, you should be able to see the last rib or two. If you can see more than that, or can easily see ribs when the pup is stationary, then the pup is to thing. If you can't find the ribs at all when the pup is in motion, and the pup has no defined waist, then the pup is to chunky.

I'd suggest starting with what looks like a good amount to you, divide it into three meals, and feed that for a few days. Watch the pups closely, are they ALWAYS still hungry afterwards? Are they leaving food in the bowl? After a week, are they starting to get pudgy? Or to slim? And then adjust from there.
ruthcatrin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-30-2013, 09:21 AM
  #3
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Posts: 5,854
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Puppies that young will need to be fed small meals at least 3 times a day. You do not want to feed them so much that they have a large belly after they eat. Not knowing how big they are now makes it hard to guess how much to feed.
LynneMarie is offline   Reply With Quote
 
Old 06-30-2013, 09:39 AM
  #4
Senior Member
 
Tess's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: New Hampshire
Posts: 13,331
Mentioned: 66 Post(s)
Tagged: 2 Thread(s)
In the case of your puppies, I'd be feeding them 4 times a day as they are so young. I'd put down a nice softened kibble for them, made into a sort of mush or gruel, and let them eat their fill. At 8 weeks you could go down to 3 meals a day.

With all due respect to Ruth, you don't want to be imposing food stress on these little "premies". (she probably does not know your pups.) I certainly agree with her in the case of healthy 12 week labrador pups and other large breeds with big appetites.

But your pups are some sort of small breed, coming from abandonment and weaned too young. Let them eat. They should have "buddha bellies" after a meal, waddle off and take a nap. That's what healthy, very young puppies do. You actually want them to be "butterballs" right now. They are infants and we do not worry about infants over-eating and we do not take them from the breast to limit their food intake. Right now you are the "mother" in the sense of providing all the nutrition the puppies want/need, which unfortunately cannot be puppy milk.

Once they are 10 or 12 weeks old, you can start to regulate their food intake a little, IF you feel they are over-eating, but keep in mind many types of puppies will naturally eat the right amount. I've even raised several puppies on "free feed" which means just keeping a bowl of kibble out for them all the time without the puppy over-eating. All my dogs and puppies have always been very fit and trim. (If I had a lab, the system would be different! )
ruthcatrin likes this.

Last edited by Tess; 06-30-2013 at 09:44 AM.
Tess is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-30-2013, 09:51 AM
  #5
Senior Member
 
Tess's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: New Hampshire
Posts: 13,331
Mentioned: 66 Post(s)
Tagged: 2 Thread(s)
Once upon a time, I tried to feed my young English Setter by the directions on the bag of food. A few days into this, he was looking at his empty bowl, which was up on the counter. He looked at his bowl, then looked at me, bowl, then me... Finally the stupid human got the communication. I put his bowl down with kibble and let him eat his fill. It was a surprise to me how much he wanted. But after that "catch up meal" he ate reasonably at every feeding. I had been under-feeding him and did not realize it. I started just giving him what he wanted twice a day. He would stop when full and walk away from his bowl. He stayed trim and it was not until his last few years that I ever had to limit his food intake so he would not gain weight.

Overall, what I'm saying here, is that you are much more likely to stress these pups by not giving them enough food (and not realize it) than you are likely to make them fat at this age. With their wee little immature immune systems, the last thing you want to do is stress their little bodies.

Your puppies are the human equivalent of pre-schoolers. Again, we do not put the average pre-schooler on a limited food intake. We let the child eat the amount he/she wants. The only thing we limit is junk food, and rightly so. In my experience, most puppies can be handled the same way.

As adults, the story is different, just like with human adults. You cannot eat all the pizza and burgers you want when you are 40 without growing muffin tops!

Last edited by Tess; 06-30-2013 at 09:55 AM.
Tess is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-30-2013, 03:35 PM
  #6
Senior Member
 
hkvik's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: Hong Kong
Posts: 914
Mentioned: 56 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Thanks all for the replies.
I think I'll take Tess advice, and just feed them as much as they want for a week or two and see what happens - if they get too fat, it's easier to correct that later compared to not developing ok due to being malnourished. So far there haven't been once they have not finished a meal within just a few seconds and I have the feeling that they are constantly hungry.
Otherwise, some things are going great ( they are geniuses when it comes to toilet training), others not so ( sleep, cats...), but I'll start other threads about these.

thanks
-Erik
Tess likes this.
hkvik is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-30-2013, 05:20 PM
  #7
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Posts: 5,854
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
If they are walking good then you are not feeding to much. If they get to big of a belly where they have a hard time walking then I would decrease the amount. I do not agree with letting them eat as much as they want at one feeding. All the litters I raised got a measured amount of mush when being weaned and then a measured amount of food. That way I knew how much each one was actually eating. Over weight puppies can cause issues. How big are these puppies? Are we talking Lab mix or Chihuahua mix type?
LynneMarie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-30-2013, 05:41 PM
  #8
Senior Member
 
Tess's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: New Hampshire
Posts: 13,331
Mentioned: 66 Post(s)
Tagged: 2 Thread(s)
feed them several small meals in a row, so they don't eat so fast they puke then! Hopefully they get satiated and you can figure out what they really need....
Tess is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-30-2013, 08:17 PM
  #9
Senior Member
 
hkvik's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: Hong Kong
Posts: 914
Mentioned: 56 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by LynneMarie View Post
How big are these puppies? Are we talking Lab mix or Chihuahua mix type?
In between. The puppies are the result of a meeting between a "semi-owned" female and a stray (or true feral) male. The size of adult strays/feral and community dogs here are quite uniform, 20-25kg, so my best guess would be that's their future size. They both weighted 2.2 kg on the day I rescued them.
hkvik is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-30-2013, 08:36 PM
  #10
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Posts: 5,854
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
I feed my 2.2kg Chihuahua 1 tablespoon twice a day. For a growing puppy I would feed 1 tablespoon 4 times a day...As they grow/age increase to 2 tablespoons 3 times a day. Just reference in size, my 3.5kg Chihuahua gets 2 tablespoons twice a day. My 25kg Golden gets 1 heaping cup twice a day.

I always add a little water to all my dogs food...prevents choking...prevents gulping down water right after they eat...brings out the flavors. So even when they can handle dry kibble I would still add a little water..
LynneMarie is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply



Thread Tools
Display Modes

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
should I wake puppy to eat? lemony13 Puppy Help 8 04-28-2013 08:24 AM
Puppy wants to eat brush Fletcher99 Dog Grooming 5 10-08-2012 07:15 PM
Puppy WILL NOT eat! Suggestions? carc138 Dog Food 22 06-13-2012 11:24 AM
Fromm feeding guidelines amz155 Dog Food 14 06-06-2012 08:37 AM


Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 09:25 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
SEO by vBSEO 3.6.0 PL2
vBulletin Security provided by vBSecurity v2.2.2 (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2019 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.
User Alert System provided by Advanced User Tagging v3.1.0 (Lite) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2019 DragonByte Technologies Ltd. Runs best on HiVelocity Hosting.