What Is the Best Puppy Feeding Schedule?

A puppy feeding schedule helps establish consistency and predictability for your new dog. A puppy feeding chart establishes healthy eating habits. The right balance of kibble, semi-moist and moist food creates variety and the proper nutrition for your puppy. Fresh water is always important. A puppy feeding schedule with a measured amount of food is an excellent way of establishing yourself as the alpha if you use treats and general feeding as a training opportunity.

The Puppy Feeding Chart

All packaged puppy food has a chart indicating the amount of food to give for a dog of a certain weight and age. Most puppy feeding charts also make suggestions for how many times a day to feed. They usually suggest feeding your puppy twice a day and measuring the food carefully. Most pet stores sell a spoon or cup meant for measuring dog food. By taking your puppy to the vet regularly, you can monitor her weight and change food amounts accordingly.

Providing a Varied Diet

The best puppy diet includes a balance of nutrition, opportunities for chewing and moisture. Kibble can help remove tartar and plaque. It takes more energy to chew, especially if you put it in a kong or other hollow toy. While having fresh water available is extremely important, it doesn't provide all of the moisture your dog needs. A dog ingests water through the intestine. Varying your dog's diet with semi-moist treats and moist food will provide her with the best nutrition and hydration.

The Best Water Habits

Your dog should always have access to fresh, preferably filtered, water in a clean dish. Dogs will drink water from almost any source but that doesn't mean it's healthy water for them. A glass dish that gets thoroughly washed every day is the best way to avoid unwanted bacteria.

Scheduled Feeding as a Training Opportunity

Feed your dog at the same time every day as much as possible, and use feeding as a training opportunity. The best puppy feeding schedule is in the morning right after she's gone outside to eliminate and then about 10 to 12 hours later and one and a half hours before bedtime.

As your dog comes to predict the feeding schedule, she'll cooperate with any consistent training games associated with feeding. Ask her to sit while you serve the food. Insist that she eat only when you say she can eat. This helps to establish you as the alpha. It also helps to teach commands such as, "leave it" and "wait". These commands are very useful in many other situations. Use a kong so that she has to exert energy and use her teeth to get at the food.


There are many healthy treats available for puppies. Treats should always be earned and should be used sparingly. Add up the calories from treats you give so that your dog doesn't exceed the amount of calories she should have for her weight and age. Choose treats that have whole ingredients and are easy to chew. Semi-moist treats are often the best for a quick reward.