How To Feed Your Puppy In His First Year Of Life

All puppies are different so if you have any concerns about your ability to meet his nutritional needs, please consult with your veterinarian. Here’s a general guide to feeding your pup in his first year:

Puppies Six to Twelve Weeks Old – Feed a high quality food especially formulated to meet the caloric and energy needs of growing puppies. Dog foods formulated for adult dogs do not have the nutritional requirements your pup needs to grow up healthy and strong. Pups at this stage are usually fed four meals a day.

Puppies Three to Six Months Old – During this time, feeding can be decreased from four times a day to three. Most pups lose their “pudgy” look and round potbelly at about twelve weeks. If your pup still looks like this at twelve weeks, continue the puppy size feedings until his body type gets a bit more mature.

Puppies Six to Twelve Months Old – Now you can decrease the feedings from three times a day to two. After a dog is spayed or neutered, the dog will not need quite as much energy from food, so you can make the switch from puppy food to adult food at this point. For small breeds this is around seven to nine months and for bigger breeds, it’s at twelve to fourteen months. If you have any concerns about this, talk to your vet.

Dogs After One Year of Age – Your dog is, for the most part, all grown up and can be fed two half-portions of adult maintenance dog food daily. is a comprehensive site for information dog owners can rely on, and includes tips on health, exercise, fun facts, breed profiles and much more. To access the complete article on dogs and feeding, plus the article mentioned above and more, just go to has a free active Facebook Group of dog parents which any dog owner is welcome to join at  The WoofPost’s official hashtag is #woofpost

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By Ellen Britt

Dr. Ellen Britt has loved dogs since she was a child. She is particularly fond of the Northern breeds, especially Alaskan Malamutes. Ellen worked as a PA in Emergency and Occupational Medicine for two decades and holds a doctorate (Ed.D.) in biology.

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