How many feedings Should Your Labrador Puppy Get: You can feed your puppy in a variety of ways. Here are four ways to feed your puppy. With our assistance, you will know how much food they need, when to feed them, and what type of food they should eat.
Find out what puppy food is best for your pup with my help. Raw, wet, and dry options are all available. You will also learn how to feed puppies and when they should stop eating these kinds of food. Finally, we can look at reviews of different brands of dog food so that you can choose the best one for your pet.
Do I have to worry about my puppy eating this?
There are many questions about how to feed Labrador Retriever puppies. It is often asked if it is alright to feed them eggs, rice, or milk.
Puppies were fed a variety of food when I was a kid. Raw meat and leftovers were both common. However, they also ate grown-up meals and canned puppy food.
Your puppy can now be fed food for Labradors. This is called kibble. The puppy will get everything it needs in kibble, so you don’t have to worry about what to feed him.
Which puppy food is best for Labs?
We all want the best for our puppies, and we want to feed them a nutritious, healthy, and tasty diet. Which is the best puppy food for labs? Kibble is a type of commercially produced dry dog food commonly fed to puppies. That’s nice and can provide a balanced diet. We’ll discuss some of the different types of dry puppy food later on.
It is common for dogs to eat a variety of foods. Commercial tinned dog meat mixed with canned dog food is also an excellent choice. Adding commercially canned dog meat to a diet can increase its protein and vitamin content.
Labrador puppies can eat homemade food or raw food. You might have heard of BARF, which is a term for this method of feeding dogs. There are benefits and drawbacks to raw feeding puppies, and we’ll discuss them in the next section.
How to Feed Your Labrador Puppy in Various Situations
Let’s take a look at each one in detail. The following are the most popular alternatives:
- Kibble (dry food)
- Barf (raw food)
- Wet food (cans and pouches)
- Home-cooked puppy food
All of these are beneficial and harmful in their way.
Experts Take Different Approaches to Puppy Feeding
Different people have different opinions about what is the best food for puppies. Although there are different opinions about what the best food is, experts say there is no definitive answer. You can find evidence to support any opinion you want.
You might see on YouTube veterinarians recommending a type of food called BARF as the best way to keep your dog healthy. Veterinary nutritionists and veterinarians argue that kibble is a better choice because natural diets can cause problems.
Moreover, dog breeders can be divided into those who feed natural raw foods and those who feed kibble. Check the internet for more information. There will be plenty of claims as to the benefits of one technique over another.
There is no convincing evidence that kibble is better for your dog’s long-term health if you feed it. There are risks and benefits to both approaches, and the most important thing is to make sure your dog is eating high-quality food. Let’s now examine some of the advantages and disadvantages of different puppy foods.
How To Choose The Best Puppy Feeding Method
Families prefer different methods of puppy feeding. Raw feeding is better for some dogs and some families, while kibble is probably best for many dogs and their families.
When you feed your Labrador puppy commercial dry puppy food, you shouldn’t feel that you are letting him down in any way. In the next section, we’ll discuss feeding kibble to your Labrador puppy. Most modern puppies in the United States and the United Kingdom are fed this type of food
Kibble is the best food for your Labrador puppy
You can buy ready-made puppy food in most parts of the world. As long as you don’t get the food damp, kibbles store well in the fridge. You can use an airtight plastic container or tin for the job, though you should make sure it is food-grade.
Veterinary professionals and breeders agree that kibble is the best way to feed a Labrador puppy. If you decide to feed your puppy dry food, you are likely to get plenty of support from your vet.
Every nutrient your Labrador puppy requires to grow and remain healthy is contained in good puppy kibble. Besides being tasty, it is also good for your teeth and does not contain additives that can upset your stomach or cause allergies.
Can you feed your puppy dry food if it is a Labrador puppy? Do you have any other options?
What else should you feed with puppy kibble?
The only thing you need to provide your Labrador puppy is water if you are feeding him kibble. Puppy kibble from a reputable manufacturer is meant to be a complete and balanced diet. Many owners like to mix canned dog food or even raw food scraps into their dog’s kibble.
There’s probably no harm in occasionally doing this with an older dog, but with puppies, you’ll find that it causes upset tummies and that you won’t be providing a balanced diet unless you include considerable variety in your ‘extras’.
Consult your veterinarian.
Check with your vet before trying it, especially if your puppy needs a special diet.
Choose a good dried food manufacturer and stick to them, no matter if you feed only kibble or mix it up. Among the new types of foods that have gained popularity in recent years is the raw food diet.
Can puppies be fed raw food?
Raw food can be beneficial for your Labrador puppy if you are concerned about the long-term effects of kibble feeding your puppy. Several of my dogs have been fed this way. Before committing to raw feeding, you need to consider its pros and cons carefully.
Make sure you conduct plenty of research
To maintain a balanced diet during this period of rapid growth, you’ll need to research the nutritional needs of puppies.
Although I prefer the raw diet for my dogs, most puppies fed kibble go on to live long and healthy lives. Portion control is the key to long-term success regardless of the food you choose. They will become fat if they consume too much food; they may not develop and grow properly if they consume too little.
Labrador puppies – how much should they be fed?
My customers often tell me how much their puppy weighs and how much food they should give him. Our most frequent question is “how much should I feed my Labrador puppy?”
Here is a puppy diet guide, so you can see what quantities you should be giving your puppy. You can find these charts in most puppy food packages.
A Labrador puppy’s weight is sometimes determined by keeping an eye on her. If she seems overweight, you might be overfeeding her.
A Puppy’s Risks Of Overfeeding
Besides adding weight to a puppy, rapid growth leads to large, less dense bones and skeletal abnormalities as well. It is especially dangerous for Labradors and other large breed dogs if they grow too quickly. Follow the chart and feeding guides, and don’t forget to schedule an appointment with the vet to ensure your Lab is growing normally.
Raw-fed puppies are not included in this diet chart since it applies to kibble-fed puppies. You can use it to determine how much you should feed your Labrador puppy
Feeding chart for lab puppies
The following Lab puppy feeding chart is only a rough guide. Depending on your puppy and the brand of food you are feeding him, you’ll need to feed him a different amount of food.
Several food manufacturers provide dietary charts on their websites or the bag of food. Consult a veterinarian or a dog nutrition specialist to ensure that your puppy grows up strong and healthy with the correct amount of food.
When choosing the right brand of dog food for your puppy, you should always consult diet charts.
Picking the Best Brand of Puppy Food
You can provide all your puppy’s nutrients and keep him healthy without spending a small fortune each week on dog food.
As puppies have different nutritional needs and their small teeth can’t handle large, hard biscuits, it’s important to give them puppy food designed specifically for them. Do not give puppies kibble designed for adult dogs.
If you are feeding your Labrador puppy, you should use a product designed for medium/large breed puppies. Check the nutritional information carefully on the package. The best supplements have the highest protein content and the least amount of additives.
It always comes down to cost, since the healthiest foods are usually the most expensive and may not be affordable for some families.
Puppy Food Costs
Some brands of food are more concentrated and contain a higher level of proteins, essential oils, and other nutrients. Usually, the cheaper brands will contain more ‘fillers’ as extra carbohydrates, usually made from grain. Since these filters are not present, you can often feed less of the more expensive food, making them more affordable than they initially appear.
Furthermore, you may find that cheaper brands make your puppy poop more due to the extra fillers that go straight through him. Some brands are beyond the budget of many families, but it is generally wise to buy a premium brand.
Puppy Food Brands of High Quality
Some brands of puppy food have earned a reputation as high-quality products and have many loyal supporters, including breeders who have fed them to generations of puppies.
In our Amazon puppy picks, we’ve selected some good quality brands:
Orijen Large Breed Puppy Formula is one of our favorites.
Additionally, we like Nature’s Variety Instinct Raw Boost Puppy Food.
Some of the more expensive brands (including Orijen and Nature’s Variety) include legumes like lentils and chickpeas as a source of carbs.
Grain can cause bowel irritation in dogs, so these are much gentler on the stomach.
Dog Food Advisor, an independent dog food review site where you can find lots of information on the ingredients of different brands of dog food, gives both of these brands good ratings.
The availability of puppy food
Many big brands are widely available across the globe, and they have a valuable reputation to uphold. If you choose one of these, the chances are that your puppy will be eating a quality product.
It should be on the pack of your puppy food that you will find the manufacturer’s quantity guidelines.
This is just a rough guide, and you shouldn’t follow the advice to the letter. When puppies are overfed, they are more likely to get diarrhea, become obese, or grow too quickly.
Here’s how to determine whether your puppy is getting too fat or too thin.
The Puppy Feeding Quantity Guidelines
As a further complicating factor, not all puppies in each age group will fall within the range of weights in the chart above. Owners may fear something is wrong with their puppy. Despite that, we have so many different labrador pups to choose from.
Because puppies of the same age vary in weight and size, the amount of food they need to eat will also vary. Follow the guidelines on the packet, then observe and feel your puppy to be sure he’s doing well. If you have any concerns, you can talk to your vet.
Now that we have seen the type of food and the amount, we can look at the feeding time routine. First, let’s discuss where to feed the puppy.
Feeding Your Puppy
If you feed your Labrador puppy in a family room when she is small, she will soon become accustomed to people milling around her as she eats. This should prevent behavior known as ‘Food Guarding.
Protection of food
The puppy may growl in an attempt to guard his food at some point. It is more likely to happen if he is used to eating in isolation and suddenly expects to eat in front of others. If your little one starts guarding food, don’t panic because it is an easy thing to manage if you are willing to learn a few tips and techniques.
Punishing your puppy will only make things worse.
If your Labrador puppy is unsure of whether or not the crate is a good thing, feeding him in his crate can be helpful.
Food (And Water) Bowls: How To Choose
You have a wide variety of food bowls to choose from when you are buying one for your puppy. If you wish, you may feed your puppy from one of your plates or bowls.
Stainless steel bowls are my preference*
. The dishes are dishwasher safe, don’t break, and last a lifetime. Food cannot get trapped in difficult-to-clean cracks and scratches because they don’t scratch easily, making it easy to keep the bowls clean and sterile.
Their only drawback is that they can be a bit noisy when the puppy chases the empty bowl around the kitchen!
If you are concerned with aesthetics, there are plenty of much prettier bowls on the market if that’s what appeals to you.
- I recommend a heavy ceramic bowl for your puppy’s water because it will be difficult for him to tip it over – but he will try!
Size is also important. It’s easy to accidentally give your puppy too much food if you buy a bowl that’s too big. If the bowl is too small, you might give her too little. Your puppy must eat from the right size bowl so that he stays at the right weight.
Maintaining Your Puppy’s Weight
You shouldn’t let your dog become too fat or too thin. You have some wiggle room, so you should increase or decrease his rations based on his growth.
Puppy obesity is one of the most common problems. The puppies of our Labrador pooches should not be rotund, even though we all love them!
When Should You Feed Your Labrador Puppy?
Puppy dogs require more feeding than their adult counterparts, like most other baby animals. As of right now, your puppy’s growth is the fastest he’s ever experienced. Fueling that growth requires plenty of calories, as well as the right nutrients.
A dog’s digestive system will be overwhelmed if he is fed his entire day’s ration in one sitting. Your puppy’s daily ration of food should be divided into several small meals, fed three to four hours apart.
To prevent tummy upsets for your Labrador puppy, feed it frequently and little. You might want to practice breaking up your puppy’s ration into four meals a day for a while if he has rather loose stools on three meals a day.
Guidelines for General Use
As a general rule, puppies fed kibble require
- From eight weeks to three months, four meals a day
- From three months to six months, three meals a day
- then two meals a day
All of this is part of getting your puppy used to its feeding schedule. Dogs tend to like predictable schedules and set feeding times.
When to Feed Your Puppy: Mealtimes and Schedules
Until a certain point, your puppy’s feeding schedule can accommodate your personal preferences. Don’t cram all his meals into the evening, however. If you work during the day, you’ll have to make sure someone comes in to feed him.
You can’t just leave the puppy’s daily food ration down, because he’ll eat it all at once, which can upset his stomach.
Puppy Feeding Ad Libitum
You may have heard of puppy ad-lib feeding, where puppies can help themselves to food at any time from a hopper.
It is believed that the puppy will regulate his food intake if food is never restricted.
Despite this, studies show that puppies fed this way are more likely to develop bone and joint problems. Therefore, it is not recommended.
It is important to give your puppy his meals at the right time of day because it determines whether you can keep him clean and dry at night. How long your puppy sleeps at night can also be influenced by feeding schedules.
The first meal of the day
Food is a puppy’s favorite thing, and it craves the attention that comes with it. When you feed your Labrador puppy at 6 am because he woke you up and was hungry, it is likely he will wake you up at 5:45 the next morning!
It is important to remember that feeding reinforces the behavior. Don’t feed your puppy as soon as you wake up if you don’t want him to wake you up earlier each morning. Grab a coffee and wake up before feeding your puppy.
Set a time for breakfast and do not feed her before that time, even if she has been awake for two hours. Even though she might make you believe that she is starving, she won’t starve in that short period! Do not give in to her temptation.
The last meal before bed
Ensure that your puppy’s meals are spaced out fairly evenly throughout the day. Do not feed your puppy just before putting her to bed at night.
The puppy should have at least four hours between her last meal and bedtime. It reduces the risk that she will need to use the bathroom at 2 am.
Puppy feeding schedule example
For your convenience, here is an example puppy feeding schedule. Adapt the above for your routine as long as you pay attention to the above tips.
An 8-week-old Labrador puppy’s feeding schedule
For 8-week-old puppies, I usually feed them as follows:
- 7 am
- 11 am
- 3 pm
- 7 pm
It’s not necessary to be a slave to the clock, but this is to give you an idea. There is no harm in arriving a few minutes early or late.
The following is a suggested feeding schedule for a 12 week old Labrador puppy:
- 8 am
- 1 pm
- 6 pm
You can use all or part of your puppy’s daily rations during training sessions if you want to get an early start. You should spread them out throughout the day, and avoid feeding too close to bedtime.
Can I feed my puppy if it is still hungry?
One of the most common questions people ask is, “what if my puppy is still hungry?”. They have followed the guidelines on the packet, but the food doesn’t seem to be enough to satisfy the puppy.
If your puppy clears up his food in a few seconds and begs for more, don’t panic. This is perfectly common and perfectly normal.
Your puppy doesn’t know for sure when his next meal will be along, so it makes sense to him to eat as much as he possibly can right now!
And, puppies are very good at using every trick in the book to win you round.
Slow Feed Dog Bowls
You can try giving your puppy her meal on a slow feed bowl or plate. These work very well for some puppies and can help to prevent a puppy from eating its food so quickly that it makes her sick.
The large one will hold a full meal of Labrador kibble, enough for an adult.
In addition, as a bonus, your puppy will have a lot of tail-wagging fun getting the pieces of kibble out from in between the ‘blades of grass. Problem-solving can be very enriching for your puppy.
What about the opposite problem, that your puppy is refusing to eat?
What if My Puppy Won’t Eat?
As most experienced Labrador owners know, not all puppies are greedy. And studies have shown that puppies, in general, eat more when they are fed in a group with other puppies
Many puppies go off their food for the first few days that they spend in their new home. They eat a few bits of kibble then refuse any more. The puppy may eat from your hand but not their bowl. If your puppy won’t eat at all for more than four hours, then call your vet for advice. Call sooner if the pup is listless or showing any signs of being unwell.
Otherwise, a somewhat reduced appetite, to begin with, is probably nothing to worry about. Just mention it to your vet when you take the pup for his first check-up, or in the next day or two.
Should Your Puppy Have Milk?
A few older breeders still give puppies milk and cereal for two of their four meals. This is a throwback to the days before we invented kibble. It is also very natural to want to give milk to a baby animal, and it sometimes feels like the right thing to do. However, don’t forget that dogs are weaned at a younger age than many other mammals.
At eight weeks old, when you bring your puppy home, he is fully weaned. He does not need the milk of any description. Many older puppies are highly intolerant of milk and will simply get diarrhea if you feed it to them.
If you are feeding your Labrador puppy on complete kibble, your puppy does not need milk to drink, and freshwater is all they require.
Now, you have followed puppy feeding advice and your dog is almost an adult. How can you change the feeding routine to help your puppy transition to the next stage of its life?
Changing From Puppy To Adult Food
Kibble manufacturers often recommend feeding your Labrador puppy kibble for puppies up to 12 months of age, before changing to adult kibble.
Some breeders and experienced dog owners do switch their lab puppies on to adult food before this, but not usually before they reach six months of age.
Switching Between Dog Food Brands
If you haven’t brought your puppy home yet, make sure you get a diet sheet from the breeder and feed her with the same brand for at least a week or two.
There will be quite enough for her little tummy to cope with when she leaves home without learning to digest a different food.
Adding Variety To Your Puppy’s Diet
It’s very easy to give human attributes to puppies and assume that, because we would be bored eating the same thing, your small one will too. This encourages people to try to add scraps to the puppy diet or change their brand.
Remember, adding your extras, like cereals or milk, to kibble might make you feel caring, but it will only unbalance the whole diet. Changing brands can upset puppies’ tummies and make them sick.
In other words, don’t be tempted to fix what isn’t broken. If your pup has a balanced and tasty diet, why change it? Puppies probably don’t get bored from lack of variety, although there is rarely any harm in changing the flavor of food, as long as it is the same brand.
Hand feeding, training, and treats
With modern training methods, you’ll find that much of your puppy’s food allowance will be used up in training. You don’t need training treats for this. Simply use your puppy’s normal food.
If you want to, all the rest of the puppy’s food can also be hand-fed. Nowadays I do this with my puppies and if you are at home throughout the day you can do this too. It’s a great way to form a deep and lasting bond with your puppy.
It works like this: I measure out the puppy’s daily food allowance and divide it into portions, but instead of putting those portions into a bowl, I put them in small airtight food containers labeled with a ‘mealtime’.
As soon as one mealtime has passed I open the pot for the next mealtime, and over the next few hours, I hand-feed pieces of the kibble in the pot to the puppy whenever the puppy does something that I like and want to encourage. I also get visitors to the house to hand-feed the puppy from the pot too. Here are some examples of when we feed the puppy
- When the puppy is looking up into your eyes
- When the puppy is keeping all four paws on the floor while you pet them
- When the puppy is resting quietly on a blanket or cushion
- When something new happens that might be scary (eg someone knocking at the door)
- When something new happens that is super exciting (eg children visiting)
I also use much of the kibble-playing puppy games – these are games designed to build the puppy’s confidence and lay the foundations for future obedience training. I keep some of the kibbles in a pocket and give some to the puppy each time I leave the room so that they associate me with leaving with a happy experience.
If there is any food left in the pot by the time written on the lid, I tip it into my hand and let the puppy eat it in one go. But usually, the pot is empty. And all you need to do is open the next pot!
Good luck with feeding your Labrador puppy! And don’t forget to contact your vet if you are worried about him in any way.
If you want to find out more, we have plenty of new resources for you to look at.
More Puppy Feeding And Growth Resources
If you have recently brought home a new puppy then don’t forget to check out First Days at Home with Your New Puppy and our Labrador Puppy Growth FAQ, for lots more tips and information!
One of the best places to get help and support in feeding your puppy is, of course, our wonderful forum. It is packed full of puppy advice and information, and lots of other new puppy owners and experienced Labrador owners are only too happy to advise and support you.
If this is your first puppy, don’t waste any more time – get yourself over to the forum now – we’d love to meet you. And don’t forget to bring some photos with you, because we simply love puppy pictures too.
Dry diets, wet diets, and raw diets can all work for your Lab, but you should not feel that you have to prepare home-cooked food for your puppy if you don’t want to. Most puppy parents feed commercially prepared complete foods, and puppies thrive on good quality kibble.
As always, if you have any questions, feel free to leave us a comment and, as always, we regularly update articles with new information from our readers.
So, you need to make sure that your puppy’s daily ration of food is broken up into several small meals, fed three to four hours apart. Feeding your Labrador puppy little and often is a great way of preventing tummy upsets.
How often should I feed my puppy? Feed your puppy four meals a day up until the age of 4 months, and then reduce their feed to three meals a day until they are 6 months old. They can then move to two meals a day, and stay on this routine for the rest of their life.
Your puppy might always be hungry because they need more daily calories. They may also have adopted bad habits caused through eating human food. Some dogs and puppies will naturally be more prone to food obsession. It’s imperative to fulfill your puppy’s daily needs and stick to a mealtime schedule.
For a 60-pound Lab feed 3 to 3-1/2 cups daily. For a 70-pound Lab feed 3-1/4 to 3-3/4 cups daily. For an 80-pound Lab feed 3-1/2 to 4 cups daily. For a 100-pound Lab feed 4-1/4 to 4-3/4 cups daily.
Labradors can eat some human food – mostly lean meats and fish, such as beef, chicken, pork, duck, turkey, salmon, and tuna. They can also eat some fruits and vegetables, plain white rice and pasta, some dairy foods, such as plain yogurt and some nuts. All treats should be fed in moderation.
Puppy should be eating 2 to 3 cups of food a day. 12 weeks to 6 months: Puppy needs to be eating puppy food 2 to 3 times a day, with meals divided into equal amounts. 6 to 15 months: Continue with puppy food, giving puppy 2 equal meals a day.