A Comprehensive Puppy Food Guide
A Comprehensive Puppy Food Guide

A Comprehensive Puppy Food Guide

  • Share

Nutrition is an important part of pet care, and food is one of the basic needs of a dog. So, we cannot go wrong when it comes to feeding our fur babies. And how would anyone mess it up? As humans, we are used to satisfying the nutritional needs of ourselves. How difficult could it possibly be to do the same for a dog? Well, thanks to the endless varieties of dog food available in the market, choosing the right kind of puppy food has become a challenge. But fret not! With this comprehensive feeding guide, you can plan a healthy and balanced diet for your new-born puppy. It also covers questions like what, when, and how often to feed a puppy.

Puppy food guide for the first year

Complete and balanced nutrition is critical for the healthy growth of your puppy. In fact, according to Dr. Saza Curaming, “A puppy grows about 12x faster than a human child. That’s why the first year of a dog’s life is a critical stage and this will dictate its further development. It is at this stage where you must constantly monitor its nutrition and feeding regimen.” So, let’s look at the food guide for the first year of a newborn pup:

  • 6-12 weeks: The first few weeks of growth are the most important for your puppy, and as a caregiver, you need to be on top of it. Puppies need to eat good puppy food at this stage of life. You do not want to go for the adult dog food as of now. Foods developed for grownup dogs will not meet the nutritional needs of a new-born pup. Moreover, ensure that you feed it four times in a day. 
  • 3-6 months: Once your pup enters this growth stage, gradually decrease the number of feedings to three times a day. Puppies generally start losing their potbelly by the
  • 6-12 months: Once your puppy turns 6 to 12 months old, start feeding it only twice a day. Speak with your vet and get a thorough understanding of when and how to switch to adult dog food. If you have considered neutering or spaying your pup, consult the vet and slowly transition to adult maintenance food.

Nutritional needs of a puppy

As compared to adult dogs, puppies need a higher protein intake. It helps with muscle development and tissue repair. Hence, it is imperative to include protein-rich foods in their diet. While iron helps create red blood cells, calcium strengthens bones and teeth. As your puppy grows, it will start learning new things. And to ensure that your pooch can see and conceive new things, it needs DHA – an omega-3 fatty acid that supports healthy vision and brain development. You must also include prebiotics in its diet as your pet cannot have a healthy gut without it!

Give your dog the food that’s specifically formulated for its breed and age. Since small breed dogs have a tiny mouth, they require smaller kibbles. Moreover, large breed dogs have a slower metabolism; hence, they require fewer calories per kilogram of their bodyweight when compared to a small or medium breed dog.

At IAMS, we offer a range of puppy food that is loaded with essential nutrients like protein, vitamins, and minerals. Our food is scientifically formulated for puppies of all breed sizes. With IAMS, you make sure that your little pooch receives a balanced and complete meal.

Foods that must be kept out of your puppy’s reach

Now that you know the nutritional requirements of a dog, let us check out the food items that are harmful for your pooch:

  • Xylitol (artificial sweetener)
  • Grapes
  • Raisins
  • Onions
  • Garlic
  • Chocolates
  • Macadamia Nuts

Keep a check on your pup’s weight

A fat puppy might not necessarily mean a healthy pet. The way childhood obesity often leads to medical complications in humans, an overweight puppy can also grow up to have health problems. So, make sure you monitor your furry friend’s calorie intake. This includes keeping an eye on the amount of treats you give your pup each day! Remember that treats are not the only way of rewarding a dog. You can make it feel loved and appreciated with praises, pats, and belly rubs as well.

Frequently asked questions

  1. How do I know what food is best for my puppy?
  2. While choosing the best puppy food, go for the one that is specially made for your pet. Today, dog food brands have different food for different age groups and breeds. So, choose the one that fits your pet’s age, breed, and needs. In case you are having a hard time choosing the right puppy food, you can also consult your vet regarding the same.

  3. What should I feed my puppy daily?
  4. You should feed complete and balanced puppy food to your puppy every day. Choose between dry and wet puppy food or mix the two.

  5. How much food should I give to my puppy?
  6. Check out the below table to understand how much food you should feed your puppy:



    6 to 12 weeks


    3 to 6 months


    6 to 12 months  


  7. What are some healthy foods for puppies?
  8. Chicken, beef, fish, fruits, and vegetables are a few healthy ingredients in dog food. However, the best food for puppies would always be rich in protein. So, go for dog foods with chicken, beef, or fish as main ingredients.

  • How to Take Care of Newborn Puppies
    How to Take Care of Newborn Puppies
    How to Take Care of Newborn Puppies

    • Share

    Bringing a furry friend home is one of the greatest things you will do. If you are someone who has been longing for a furry companion, you should wait no more... however, only if you are confident that you can take complete care of this four-legged angel. Puppies need love and care, so as their caregivers, you need to help them grow into happy and healthy dogs.

    Stay by your pet’s side throughout its growing stage. This is that time of its life where you need to do more than just provide food, love, and fun times; you must understand dog nutrition, follow the vaccination schedule, and potty train your puppy. Sparing some time and energy to provide your pet with basic puppy care can help you build a loving relationship with your pooch. So, let us explore a few things you can look into while nurturing a puppy. This basic puppy care guide will also keep you informed with what to expect in the first few months of being a caregiver.

    • Bringing your puppy home

    Wondering what to know about taking care of a new puppy? Let us start with the most basic things like puppy proofing your house. That is right. Puppies and babies fall in the same category: delicate and fragile! You need to be careful about their surroundings and make sure that there is nothing hazardous around. Puppies are naturally curious. Make sure they do not encounter things like chemicals, electrical cords, harmful houseplants, valuables, and especially breakables. You also need to get necessary pup supplies like a feeding bowl, collar, leash, and more. Set up a cosy corner for your puppy to rest in!

    • Feeding your pooch

    Choosing the right puppy food is of paramount importance. You must pick out puppy food that is specifically formulated for growing puppies as it needs the right kind of nutrients to grow stronger. So, avoid adult dog food if your pet is still a pup.

    Not sure when to make a switch to adult dog food? Well, it totally depends on the breed size. If you have a small or medium breed dog, you can switch to dog food once it turns 9 to 12 months old. If you have a large breed dog, continue feeding puppy food until it turns 12 to 24 months old. Apart from that, make sure your pup always has access to fresh and clean water!

    This is what a typical puppy feeding schedule would look like: 

    • 6-12 weeks old: Four meals per day 
    • 3-6 months old: Three meals per day 
    • 6-12 months old: Two meals per day 

    At IAMS™, we offer a range of puppy as well as adult dog food that nourishes your furry friend with vitamins, minerals, proteins, and other essential nutrients. Our products are made with premium-quality ingredients to ensure that your dog enjoys every bite of its food.

    • Vet visits and vaccinations

    Taking your furry friend to the vet is the most important part of taking care of a puppy. Your dog’s first visit to the vet will help you learn about your dog’s overall physical health. Vet visits will also keep you informed about the vaccination schedule.  In fact, it is recommended to make a list of all questions that you may have. This list should include topics like: 

    • Vaccination schedule 
    • Spaying or neutering 
    • Potty training 
    • Basic obedience training 
    • Any symptoms 
    • Diet and nutrition 
    • Deworming
    • Socialisation

    Puppies should meet a variety of different people, dogs, objects, and situations – all in a positive way. The most important time for pups to socialise is between three and 12 weeks of age, however, it should continue throughout a puppy’s development. As pet parents, you can take your pooch to puppy classes as it provides a great opportunity to socialise puppies.

    • Potty training

    You can get started with potty training from the day one. This will help inculcate basic bathroom manners in your dog and will save you from cleaning the floor every time your pooch excretes. So, pick a bathroom spot outside your house and take your pup to the same place whenever it is potty time. Praise it right after it is done. You can also reward it with treats. However, under no circumstances must a puppy be yelled at since it may ignite fear.

    The best way to train is to reward good behaviour and ignore unwanted behaviour. It is never too early to begin training a puppy, but owners must remember that very young puppies become tired or distracted easily so training sessions should be kept to a short duration.

    • Oral care

    Dogs are prone to losing tooth, bad breath, and periodontal diseases. Moreover, they are good at hiding their dental pain. Hence, owners should introduce some form of oral care for their puppy as early as possible. Consult your vet to ensure that you pick the best dental care option for your pooch.

    • Exercise

    Amounts of exercise should be controlled for puppies during growth. They should not be forced to exercise beyond the amount of time they would engage in with another puppy of the same age. Moreover, your furry friend must be allowed to rest when they need to. So, instead of offering a one long playtime period, go for two short walks.