Whether you’re the proud new owner of a Labrador, or you’ve had them all your lives, at some point you’ve probably wondered: How much should I be feeding my dog? I recently adopted a chocolate lab puppy, and I was overwhelmed by the information I found.
The data seemed to vary greatly, and I was more interested in general guidelines, to get a sense of the appropriate amounts to feed my dog.
The answer, of course, varies case by case, but there is some common information that can help guide you on your path to a healthy, well-fed pup.
General Feed Guidelines
Saying my puppy is food motivated would be an enormous understatement. Given this, I wanted to make sure I was feeding her a healthy amount. Overfeeding your puppy can result in health issues like diabetes, lethargy, adult obesity, and many others.
Disclaimer: These are general guidelines, for medical advice or detailed nutrition information, you should always consult your vet.
Let’s take a look at some guidelines for feeding your lab puppy.
Puppies (especially my puppy) are prone to diarrhea, often caused by overfeeding. Because of this, it’s recommended to feed them small amounts at separate times throughout the day.
Age How Often
Under 3 Months 4 Times a Day
3-6 Months 3 Times a Day
6 Months or Older Twice a Day
Tip: Make sure to leave a few hours between dinner and their bedtime. This will help prevent nighttime accidents (I learned this the hard way!).
Now that we’ve taken a look at how often you should be feeding your puppy let’s check out the big question: How much do I feed them?
Depending on factors like weight, breed, even coat in some cases, your dog’s diet may vary. Be sure to check your food bag for feeding instructions for your puppy.
Additionally, CanineJournal.com provides a useful graph meant as a general reference:
So now that you have a general feeding schedule-timeline, you may be wondering, what should I feed my puppy? Labs thrive on foods with high protein and carbs to compensate for the energy they expend.
Dry kibble has been a tried and true choice for dog owners for many years. Manufacturers are well aware of the fact that people are becoming more and more health-conscious.
Key Ingredients: Chicken Brown Rice, Peas & Carrots, Flaxseed, Sweet Potatoes, Cranberries
Great For: All Breeds of Puppies
Benefits: Brain & Eye Development, Healthy Muscle Growth, Small-Bite Kibbles (ideal for smaller jaws!)
Key Ingredients: Chicken, Grains, Carrots, Chicken Fat, Beet Pulp
Great For: All Breeds
Benefits: Healthy Skin/Coat, Boost Immune System, Stronger Bones
Key Ingredients: Chicken, Rice, Corn Meal, Whole Grain Wheat
Great For: All Breeds (Puppies up to 1-year-old)
Benefits: High-Quality Protein, Develop Healthy Muscles, Balanced nutrition.
Hopefully, this article helped take out some of the stress involved around feeding your lab puppy. We want to make sure our little friends are getting all the proper nutrition they need to become healthy adults. Remember to always check with your vet if you have dietary concerns or questions.