Last Updated on January 19, 2022 by Griselda M.
The issue of how much should a labrador eat as it’s growing up can be confusing for a lot of people. And that’s understandable as there are a lot of different measurements and charts online that often seem to contradict each other. So, let’s give you our two cents on how much do you feed a lab puppy plus a detailed diet chart.
How Much Do You Feed A Lab Puppy?
You’ll usually see instructions on how much to feed a lab puppy in cups. What is “a cup”, however? One cup of dog food – be it dry kibble or wet food such as dog food cans – is actually 8 ounces or 224 grams. So, we will keep the measurements here to cups for simplicity’s sake but you can know figure out what to convert cups into.
The exact amount of food you’ll need to give your lab puppy depends on two factors – age and weight. No two puppies are the same and there’s plenty of variation based on the dog’s size, health, activity levels, and appetite. Most pups will eat everything you give them, however, so you will need to be measured how much food you give your pup.
The general breakdown usually goes like this:
During its first month or 4 weeks, the puppy should rely solely on its mom’s milk. If that’s unavailable or insufficient you should compensate with puppy milk formula. The specific formula will come with its own feeding instructions but you should also consult with a veterinarian for personalized insight based on your puppy’s individual health and needs.
After the start of the second month or between the 4th and 6th week, the puppy should still eat milk but soft puppy food should be introduced as well once or twice a day.
Between the 8th and 12th week or approaching the end of the third month, the puppy should be fully weaned off milk. Instead, it should be given soft puppy food 3 or 4 times a day. Each serving should be less than a cup, amounting to a total of 2-3 cups a day.
After the 12th week and up to the 6th month, the puppy should be fed on a strict schedule of 2 or 3 meals a day. The meals should be divided into equal amounts suitable for the puppy’s weight.
After the 6th month, you can treat and feed your pup as an adult. You can move to a 2-meals-a-day schedule as that’s usually more comfortable for most people. Or, you can stay on a 3-meals schedule with smaller portions.
With the rough outline of the meals out of the way, let’s go over a more detailed lab puppy feeding chart to see just how much you should give your pup in each serving.
Labrador puppy feeding chart
Showing how much do you feed a lab puppy is more easily done through a chart. So, here’s a simple breakdown of the amount of food and number of meals you’ll need to give your pup during the crucial 2 to 6 month period:
|Puppy age||Puppy weight||The daily amount of food||Number of meals per day||Amount per meal|
|2 months||15 to 18 lbs (7 to 8 kg)||7 to 9 ounces (200 to 250 grams)||4||2 ounces (50 to 55 grams)|
|3 months||24 to 26 lbs (11 to 12 kg)||9 to 11 ounces (250 to 300 grams)||3||3 to 3.5 ounces (80 to 100 grams)|
|4 months||25 to 35 lbs (11 to 16 kg)||10 to 13 ounces (275 to 360 grams)||3||4 to 5 ounces (112 to 140 grams)|
|5 months||35 to 45 lbs (16 to 21 kg)||11 to 15 ounces (300 to 420 grams)||3||5 to 6 ounces (140 to 175 grams)|
|6 months||50 to 60 lbs (23 to 27 kg)||12 to 16 ounces (350 to 450 grams)||2||6 to 8 ounces (175 to 225 grams)|
Do keep in mind that this chart is for kibble and not for raw-fed diets or canned food. These can vary a lot not just compared to kibble but from one another too, hence why it’s difficult to give a one-size-fits-all chart for wet food. So, if you’re adding canned food to your pup’s diet (as you should) follow the instructions on the can. And if you’re going with a raw feed diet, consult with your vet.
Are There Risks Of Overfeeding A Lab Puppy?
A common and unfortunate mistake a lot of people make is overfeeding their puppies. The logic feels sound at first – “If I give my puppy extra I’ll be sure that it eats enough and it grows strong and healthy.”
Yet, not only is that not the case but overfeeding your puppy can lead to some very disastrous results. Namely, it’s very likely to cause a lower bone density and a whole host of skeletal abnormalities that are associated with it. This is a common problem in larger breeds anyway, but forcing your pup to grow faster than normal can further harm its bone density.
This is one of the many reasons why puppy food needs to be incredibly nutritious – to ensure that your pup grows as healthy as possible. However, even the best puppy food may not help you if you overfeed your pet.
So, How Much Do You Feed A Lab Puppy, And When?
A growing puppy of any breed should be fed in a very calculated manner. Your pup should neither be underfed nor should it be overfed as both can lead to a lot of problems.
Of course, this doesn’t mean that you should literally measure the exact grams of every single meal, A few grams over or under are not a problem. Just make sure that the margin of error balances itself out and doesn’t consistently lean in one direction. So, once you get the hang of things you can start eye-balling your pet’s meals. Still, it is smart to measure them occasionally – just to make sure everything is as it should be.
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