One of the most commonly asked questions by new or prospective puppy owners, especially those that are getting a large or giant breed puppy such as the Newfypoo is how much he should eat. I often receive messages from the owners of my pups checking in regarding their pup’s eating habits and asking for reassurance that he is not eating too much or too little.
In terms of feeding, the Newfypoo puppy is really no different from any other breed. You should be looking to feed them 10% of their body weight four times per day whilst they are puppies. It is important to weigh your Newfypoo puppy weekly so you can adjust his food intake accordingly.
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Why is it Important for a Pup to Consume the Correct Amount?
I always take time to chat to owners about feeding as there are many reasons why correct feeding while still a puppy is vital for a dog to reach his full potential and live a long and healthy life. Newfypoo puppies grow fast and it is essential that they grow at the correct rate, too fast is as harmful as too slow.
The framework of a dog, as indeed any animal, is made up of bones, muscles, tendons and ligaments and these all have to grow at the same rate. Given that your Newfypoo pup will grow to his full adult height by around 18 months and his adult weight by around 2 years that is a lot of growing in a short space of time.
This rapid growth rate is the reason that many large and giant breeds suffer from orthopedic disorders such as hip and elbow dysplasia.
Pups also use up a lot of energy just by doing pup things, playing, running, barking, and getting into mischief. This alongside growing at an alarming speed means that your Newfypoo needs to consume many more calories than he will when he is an adult.
However, we don’t want him to grow too fast either. If he is on a diet that contains too much fat, he may grow too quickly which can cause skeletal deformities. Your pup needs a high protein diet but again if it is too high this can also affect bone and joint development adversely.
Calcium is also important but unlike adult dogs, the pup’s body can’t self-regulate the amount of calcium that is absorbed through the intestines so too much can also be harmful to your pup’s growth.
The general rule of thumb for feeding a puppy of any breed is 10% of his body weight per day. For this reason, it is important to weigh your pup weekly. An average Newfypoo pup weighs around 5-6kg at 8 weeks so he will need 5-600g of food per day.
Because a pup’s stomach is too small to hold this amount of food at one time you should feed him little and often. Splitting his food into four meals throughout the day gradually reducing the number of meals (but increasing the quantity according to his body weight) as he gets older.
Adult dogs require far less food as they are no longer growing so once your Newfypoo becomes an adult he will only need to eat around 4% of his body weight daily split into one or two meals, whichever you and he prefer.
Overview of Guidelines from Recognised Bodies
You may find the amount of information available regarding feeding your new Newfypoo puppy a little overwhelming. Just a walk around your local pet-store can be enough to send your brain into overdrive and visiting the vet can have the same effect.
The guidelines published by the AKC are simple and informative. They include average age to weight charts for various breeds which, while obviously not including Newfypoos as they are not an AKC recognized breed, are still useful as a comparison tool. The AKC also publishes advice regarding feeding treats. Take heed of this advice as many people forget to include treats in their pup’s daily food quota and as such may be overfeeding or worrying unnecessarily that their puppy is not eating enough.
The AVMA (American Veterinary Medicine Association) also publishes feeding guidelines however while the fundamental points are the same this is geared more towards the Veterinary profession and not so ‘user friendly’ for the average new puppy owner.
Be wary of guidelines published by pet food manufacturers themselves. While these do include guidelines similar to those we have already discussed, they are also there to promote their own brands, and each will try to persuade you that their food is the best for your pup.
Your local Veterinary Surgery may also have a brand that they sell, or sponsor so again don’t take any one retailers’ word that their food is the best. You as an owner need to make up your own mind regarding the type or brand of food although it is important that whatever you choose, the food your pup eats is good quality and contains everything he needs in the right quantities.
You may find that you try a few different types of food before you find the one that works best for you and your pup. The best person to advise you, especially in the early days is your breeder and it is important not to make any changes to your pup’s feeding regime too quickly after bringing him home. Newfypoos can suffer from sensitive tummies and any changes are likely to create tummy upsets. You can read more about this in our piece do Doodles have sensitive tummies?
Raw vs Cooked – is there a Difference in Feeding Amounts?
Many people choose to feed their pups a more natural raw or BARF (bones and raw food) diet these days. If you do go down this route you well may ask yourself if you need to feed your pup more or less than if you feed cooked kibble or canned food.
In short, there is no difference in the body weight to food weight ratio required so long as whichever you choose is completely balanced and contains the right nutrients in the correct quantities the amount you see in the bowl doesn’t matter.
Raw contains no fillers so the amount in the bowl may look a little less than if you feed kibble for example but weight wise the quantity should be the same. Raw food is made up of meat, bone, and offal with a little fruit or vegetables so there are no added extras (wheat or animal derivatives) commonly used to bulk out kibble or canned food. This means slightly less in terms of quantity will contain the same number of calories.
You may also notice that if you choose to feed your puppy raw food that he poops less. This is because he is getting everything he needs and very little else. More of the food is digested and less passed out as waste.
How Did I Personally Feed my Newfypoo Puppy?
If you have read any of my previous articles you will know that I have my own beloved Newfypoo Nellie so I will share my own experience here. As a lifelong dog owner and breeder for over 25 years, I am a firm believer in raw feeding all the way. None of my dogs are ever fed processed food and I wean my pups straight onto a raw diet. In fact, they wean themselves as by around 3 weeks of age they start helping themselves to mum’s food bowl!
Raw feeding is a controversial subject and one of the reasons for this is the potential difficulties in ensuring your pup is getting the right nutrients. Muscle meat alone does not provide a balanced diet and when raw feeding it is important to get the ratios of muscle meat, bone, and offal correct. For this reason, I choose to feed my dogs a commercially produced raw complete diet which means everything is done for me.
I buy the food frozen, defrost each day’s food overnight in the fridge, and then feed just as I would if I were feeding canned or kibble. With Nellie, I found that some days she would eat a lot and act hungry whereas others she would nibble and walk away. On these days I just took her bowl away, popped it back in the fridge, and offered it again the next feeding time. I found that over the course of the week the average quantity she consumed was pretty much in keeping with the feeding guidelines recommended.
So, try not to get too hung up on how much your Newfypoo eats per day, instead work out an average over a week. Just like us, pups can have days where they are hungry and days when they are not. Be guided by your dog’s body condition rather than a chart. If he looks great and acts great, then you are doing great!