Bringing home a new puppy may well be the best day of your life. Fact. During their first few weeks, that small bundle of fluff will grow a whopping 5-10% every day up to around 8 weeks. After this, their growth rate will decrease a little, but they'll continue growing for another 4 to 16 months. All this growing requires some serious fuel, so it's essential to get your puppy food and feeding regime right. That's why we've created a "How Much to Feed a Puppy Chart UK", to guide you on the right quantities. We'll also answer some of your other puppy feeding questions, like how often to feed a puppy and when's best to move on to adult food.
Why is it important to feed puppies the right amount?
What happens in your puppy's early months and years will determine their health and happiness as an adult dog. As puppies grow so quickly, 20x faster than adult dogs, it's important to feed them the right amount to allow them to grow healthily. Feeding the correct amount of puppy biscuits and right nutrition will also support their immune function, minimise the risk of obesity, and avoid bone or skeletal issues.
There are two types of growth in puppies; optimal and maximal. In a nutshell, optimal is the ideal and allows your puppy to grow at a steady rate and develop into their ideal body condition. Maximal growth means your puppy grows too quickly, often due to over-eating or eating foods overly calorific. The consequences of this aren't pretty. It can lead to deformities, obesity, and sadly a shorter life expectancy...
Every puppy is unique with their own unique feeding requirements. But don't fret it's simple to work out the amount that's right for yours. Read on to understand how to work out your puppy's rough feeding requirements, and how to adjust to tailor to his or hers specific needs...
How Much to Feed a Puppy Chart UK
Feeding guidelines are GUIDES based on an industry wide set calculation, which focuses around nutrient density. The specific amount your puppy needs will vary according to things like their breed and activity level, so it may take some adjusting to get the quantity just right. To work out if you need to adjust, you can use a Body Condition Score. This involves physically checking your pup's fat covering and comparing it to a chart to tell if they're carrying a little extra junk, or might need an extra scoop of food.
There is also a common saying that pups need roughly 20g of food per 1kg of body weight per day. However, as different brands and types of food (wet or dry) have different nutrient levels and calorie content, don't just rely on the weight of food. Especially if you've recently changed and are transitioning to a new brand.
For example, we pack our recipes full of tasty and beneficial ingredients, meaning for a puppy of 3 months and 4 kg our feeding guideline is 143g of Scrumbles Puppy Food. Looking at another brand, their guideline states you need to feed 255g, over 75% more.
Feeding the incorrect quantity of puppy food is also one of the most common reasons we see for upset tums, so it's an important one to get right. For the both of you!
How much Scrumbles to feed my Puppy?
If your puppy is a Scrumbler, you can find our puppy food feeding guidelines below or use our feeding calculator.
Don't forget that if you feed any dog treats, you'll need to reduce the feeding amount too! Not doing so, or over-treating is one of the most common causes of obesity. The number one health risk currently affecting our pooches :(
How often to feed a puppy?
Young puppies require more frequent meals. Up until the age of 3-4 months we'd recommend portioning your puppy's daily requirement into 4 meals spread across the day. As your puppy grows, you can start to reduce the feeding frequency down to three meals until they're 6 months. From 6 months, two meals a day should suffice for the rest of their life. And for a midday snack, a healthy dental treat like our Gnashers should keep your dog entertained.
When to move from puppy to adult dog food
When to move onto an adult food depends on a couple of factors, like which food you're feeding and the size or breed of your puppy. It's typically recommended to switch on to adult food at around 9-12 months old for small breeds, and 18 months old for larger dog breeds. Puppies need more calories to fuel their growth than older doggies and shifting to adult dog food, will help prevent you from accidentally over-feeding your dog. On top of this, puppy recipes are specifically designed to contain higher quantities of certain nutrients that puppies need more of. For example, we add extra prebiotics into our puppy and toy breed food to help stimulate the growth of healthy bacteria in the gut, as puppies are born with a sterile gut.
A number of dog foods are designed to suit any life stage, including our range of dry dog food. For puppies, we recommend our "puppies and toy breeds" recipe which has a smaller kibble for mini mouths and a higher calorie content. If you have a toy breed you might prefer to stick to this food rather than transitioning to a different recipe. This also means that our Adult Salmon Dog Food is perfect for feeding to a larger breed puppy, with lots of joint care and a larger kibble for bigger mouths to crunch through.
How to switch
Similar to switching to new dog food, when you choose to transition to adult dog food, take it slow, over a period of 7-11 days. Do this by gradually increasing portions of the adult food to the puppy food, even if it's the same brand. This will help minimise any icky tums. Although, if you do notice any changes in digestion, stools, or flatulence, don't worry as it's quite normal. These upsets should settle after a few days though, so if they don't, contact your vet.
What's the best food for puppy?
We all want the best for our floofs, but choosing the best puppy food can be tricky to decipher. Here's a checklist for how and what to look for:
- Always check the ingredients list and analytical constituents on the back of the back
- Look for a high animal meat percentage, it should be the first ingredient mentioned
- Ensure the meat source is of good quality, aka not 'meal', 'meat flavour'' or 'animal derivatives
- Look for no added sugars, salts, artificial additives, or preservatives
- For pups the food should be at least 30% analytical protein and 8% fat
- Never fall for marketing terms like 'hypoallergenic', which are no reflection of the quality
- Make sure the food is labeled as 'complete' or 'balanced'
As an added bonus for digestive health, also look for added probiotics, which you can find in our full range of dry dog food.