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Puppy Care Where, When and

How Much to Feed

Place your puppy’s food and water dishes away from foot traffic and noise, in a place that is comfortable and easy for him to reach. A plastic mat or newspaper under the dishes will make cleanup easier. Do not change the location of the dishes unless it is absolutely necessary.

Above all, always keep clean, fresh water available at all times. And keep food and water dishes clean. At six to eight weeks, you can feed your puppy at three scheduled feedings a day. This procedure, along with proper diet, is important in house-training your puppy.

You may want to moisten your puppy’s food with water at first. This makes eating easier for unweaned puppies and smaller breeds. As your puppy gets older, you can gradually reduce the water mixed with his dry food, or you can continue to feed it moistened. Even if food is moistened, you must make fresh water available to your puppy at all times.

When your puppy is about six months old, you should change scheduled feedings to twice a day until your puppy is mature. For a proper feeding program, check the puppy food package for the recommended amounts for various age levels and breeds.

How Much Food is Enough?

Your puppy goes through infancy, childhood and adolescence in about one year. Accordingly, his dietary needs change every few months.

Portion size and feeding schedules will depend on your puppy’s age, activity, size, environment and metabolism. Younger puppies have smaller stomachs and can’t consume a day’s nutritional requirements in a single feeding. So start them out on three small meals a day. As your puppy gets older, gradually reduce feedings to once in the morning and once in the evening. It’s important to keep the schedule consistent. Once you’ve established a routine, stick to it.

As puppies near adulthood, their caloric needs may drop, and your puppy may begin leaving some food in the bowl. Don’t misinterpret this as an indication of dislike for the food. Instead, begin offering less, so your puppy doesn’t overeat but maintains an ideal body condition.