Feed your Boston terrier, miniature poodle or other small-breed puppy the proper nutritious dog foods, in the right portions and at the correct frequency, to help him grow to his full, healthy potential. A puppy, like a human baby, has a fast metabolism, and will need to eat more frequently than an adult dog.
Tip: If your small-breed puppy has a sudden loss of appetite, has an appetite that does not fit the mold, or has a large increase in appetite not associated with a growth spurt, contact your veterinarian.
What A Small-Breed Puppy Needs: Nutrition
In addition to eating more frequently, the nutritional needs of a small-breed puppy also differ from its adult dog counterpart. They need higher levels of basic nutrients found in puppy food, including fat and protein. Puppies also need extra calcium and phosphorus.
Also consider small-breed puppy food for your dog that contains digestible carbohydrates as well as fiber. Similar to humans, small-breed puppies benefit from antioxidants like vitamin E, as well as Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids.
How Much to Feed Your Small-Breed Puppy
How much you feed your small-breed puppy depends on the puppy’s age, breed and weight. These are general guidelines by age and maturity. Follow the specific feeding instructions provided by your breeder, vet or on the bag of puppy food.
For a small-breed puppy that will weigh 3 to 6 pounds at full maturity, you can feed him a half cup of small-breed puppy food from one and a half months through his eighth month. From 9 months through 2 years old, feed your small-breed puppy an adult portion appropriate for the breed and dog-food brand.
Small-breed puppies that will reach between 7 and 12 pounds at maturity can be fed three-quarters to 1 cup of food per day from one and a half months through the first three months.
Increase that amount to 1 1/4 cup per day to get your small-breed puppy through his fourth and fifth month. From 6 months to 2 years old, 1 cup should suffice.
For small-breed puppies on the large end of the scale, which will reach between 13 and 20 pounds at maturity, start with half a cup to 1 cup of food per day for puppies who are 1 1/2 months to 3 months old. At 4 months, change the amount to 1 cup, up to 1 1/4 cup. From 6 months to 2 years old, 1 cup of puppy food per day is what he needs.
Tip: One cup is 8 ounces.
When to Feed Your Small-Breed Puppy
You can break down the portions in half to feed your small-breed puppy twice a day. If your schedule permits, you could also break down the portion further and feed him three or four times a day.
Tips on Selecting Small-Breed Puppy Food
Small-breed puppy-food packages will include information about the eventual maximum adult size (in pounds) of the puppy. Use this as a general guideline when selecting a puppy food. Avoid puppy food labeled for “large-breed puppies.”
American Veterinary Medical Association, http://avma.org
Pet Food, FDA, http://www.fda.gov/AnimalVeterinary/Products/AnimalFoodFeeds/PetFood/default.htm