Feeding 101: For New Puppy Parents

Your new bundle of fur will be coming home with you in a few days, your so excited you could burst at the seams!
White puppy with black nose

Then panic sets in...

You wonder to yourself, will I be a good pet parent, have I forgotten to buy  something?  No worries, you'll be just fine.  To ease your mind,  here is a list of 17 essentials you need for your new puppy.

The most important things your puppy needs is water, food and love.

You know you have the love part down pat!  Keep reading for great tips on feeding your fur baby and you will be well prepared for your puppy's arrival!

If you are acquiring your puppy from a reputable breeder, they will normally provide you with a small supply of puppy food to get you started.  Along with feeding instructions and a schedule.  You can also contact your veterinarian for advice.

Always have clean, fresh water available for your puppy.

Pink pawprint dog water bowl

According to the American Kennel Club and my personal veterinarian, all puppies need a diet that is designed for young, growing dogs.  Be sure that the formula you are feeding your fur baby is for puppies.

Puppy food is available in different types and packaging;

 canned, which is a wet, moist type,

 individually packaged, single servings in wet/moist or semi-moist,

and in a bag (usually 3 - 18 lbs) in a dry, kibble form.  

The type you choose is a personal preference, or perhaps your fur baby's preference.  Some dogs just never acquire a liking for dry food and vice versa (canned food).  When in doubt, talk to your veterinarian.

Regardless of your food choices, you will want to get your new puppy on a proper feeding schedule.  Good habits start at a young age.

Stainless steel dog food bowl

Most puppies under 4 months (some as much as 6 months) require a feeding schedule of three times a day.  When age appropriate you can reduce their feeding to twice a day.  

Some suggest feeding your dog once a day when they reach 1 year of age.  Personally, I continue to feed my three dogs, twice a day.  Again, if in doubt, talk to your veterinarian.

The amount of food per feeding varies greatly based on the age, size, activity level and breed of your puppy.  Please discuss this with your breeder or veterinarian.  Don't guess, this is very important to the health of your puppy.

Limit the amount of treats you offer your puppy.  Keeping them on a good feeding schedule and finishing mealtime is so important for their development.  There will be plenty of time to spoil them with treats (within reason), when they are older.

To develop good eating habits in your puppy, feed them at the same time every day, the same amount and in a designated spot of your home.

 Never leave a puppy's food down longer than 15-20 minutes.  If they don't finish their meal, it may be because they are being fed too large a quantity, or need to eliminate.  It's always a good idea to take your puppy out for a potty break before and after mealtime.

Pick up their food bowl after mealtime, whether they are finished or not.  Discard leftovers, unless it's dry kibble.  Please don't re-serve wet or semi-moist food, by doing so you risk  serving bacteria ridden food, which could cause your puppy to become ill.   Wash out their bowl, ready for the next feeding time.

As your puppy grows, their feeding and nutritional needs will change.  Be sure to schedule puppy well visits; this is a great time to discuss any needed changes with your veterinarian.

Remember to always have available  a clean bowl of fresh water for your puppy, be consistent with feedings, limit treats and keep in contact with your veterinarian.

Congratulations!  You are off to a great start as a pet parent❤

Don't forget to hug your fur baby today!

Labrador puppy sitting in their food dish


  1. Very good tips -- and cute puppy pictures!

    1. Thank you for your kind words and visit! Hugs to you and your furbabies!