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Discussion Starter #1
My now 8 week old German Shepherd puppy seems to inhale his food every time I feed him as if he's never eaten a day in his life. I've looked up stuff online and found this is common with puppies but now I'm also wondering how much should I be feeding him? I normally would give him a little over one cup of food a day and after looking at growth charts a lot of sources are saying he should be about 20lbs now, and he's only about 12 (taking him to the vet again later this week for a check up and confirmed weight). My only way to weigh him currently is subtracting the added weight when I step on my scale with him vs by myself as I don't have a dog scale and it seems to be inaccurate with him on it alone (says 8lbs...he's heavier than 8lbs).

So yeah, how much should I be feeding this little guy?
 

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Here is what our breeder suggested, she is also a veterinarian and offered a health guarantee, so I feel like she definitely had the dogs best interest in mind when suggesting this. FYI when we brought our pup home at 8.5 weeks he was 18.5 lbs. You need to feed him wayyy more. Also - stepping on the scale with him and subtracting his weight from yours is accurate.

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I believe I fed 1 cup, three times a day. You need to give your puppy considerably more food.
 

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Start with the recommendations on your feed bag. Those are only very basic guidelines. You should be monitoring his condition and adjusting food based on that rather than numbers on a scale. As a puppy I'd keep him a little chubby. Once he starts hitting his growth spurs id lean him out a bit. Also, ignore the growth charts. Mine was smaller than the charts until I think 6 months and he had a big growth spurt and hit 62 lbs. now at 7 months he's 71 very lean lbs and hopefully slowing down. He's a b litter pup, his biggest sibling from the A litter is only 60 lbs still but I'm betting they'll end up at similar weights. Some have their growth spurts earlier than others.
 

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There should be a feeding chart on the bag of food that you can use as a starting point. How much you need to feed will vary considerably from one brand to another (and sometimes even from one formula to another of the same brand) based on how many calories per cup the food contains. If you are feeding an All Life Stages food the amounts that are recommended on the bag will have to be modified when feeding a puppy - in general, for an ALS (or adult formula), you double the amount for a puppy from 8 weeks to 3 months, from 3 to 6 months you feed 1.5 times the amount, and from 6 to 11 months you feed 1.25 times the amount.

That said, feed to body condition, not an arbitrary number. You want slow, steady growth ... though they will of course have growth spurts. I don't agree with keeping a puppy on the chubby side. They should be kept lean right from the start. All puppies grow at different rates, so I wouldn't put much stock into the growth charts - they are just averages. As long as the puppy is lean and healthy I wouldn't worry about how they compare to others of the same age. Definitely monitor weight to make sure the puppy is growing at a steady rate and adjust feeding amount up or down based on body condition and digestion - if you start to see loose stools, you are probably overfeeding.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
His stool has been firm so far. None loose or runny. The bag says he should be eating 1 1/4 to 2 1/2 cups. I'll probably bump it up to 2 cups per feeding since 11lbs does seem a bit light compared to most charts even if I shouldn't keep them as strict numbers to stick to.
 

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1-1/4 to 2-1/2 cups is probably the daily total, not the amount of each meal. How many times a day are you feeding him? And what kind of food?
 

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At 8 weeks old, I would feed him 3 times a day. One cup of food per day is not nearly enough, which is why he is acting so hungry. What food are you feeding?
 

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Omen was 13 pounds when we brought him home at 8 weeks. He'll be 7 months in about a week and he's currently somewhere between 60 and 70 pounds. I wouldn't worry too much about weight as long as the puppy is healthy. Overfeeding is no healthier for the puppy than underfeeding.
 

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I normally would give him a little over one cup of food a day

So yeah, how much should I be feeding this little guy?
Just saying the puppy needs to eat way more than this. One cup a day, for a GSD puppy, is very little food.
 

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One cup per meal may be about right, depending on the what you are feeding, assuming 3 meals a day... One cup a day, almost certainly far too little.

I wouldn't, however, recommend doubling from 1 cup per feeding to 2 simply because the puppy is smaller than what a growth chart says he should be. Also wouldn't double just because the puppy scarfs down his meals... Most puppies would eat until they burst, given the opportunity, lol, I know Omen would!
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I have him on Canidae puppy food. He eats about 3-4 times a day and I would spread that about 1 1/3 cup between those meals. I'll bump it up to 2 and see how he does.
 

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I have him on Canidae puppy food. He eats about 3-4 times a day and I would spread that about 1 1/3 cup between those meals. I'll bump it up to 2 and see how he does.
I see what went wrong. You're feeding him based on dog weight. Which is his expected weight as an adult. You're feeding him based on dog weight 3-12 lbs. You should be feeding him based on an adult weight of 50-100 lbs which means 2 7/8 - 4 cups daily(acordinf to Canidaes website). Spread that out across 3 feedings at his age. I'd start with 1 cup each of those 3 meals and see how he does and adjust from there. Even upping to 2 cups daily isn't enough for your pup.
 

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Just wanted to add this. And I was mistaken. You're feeding him for an expected adult weight of 12-20 lbs (1 3/4 daily) the far left column is expected adult weight. The next 3 columns are daily recommendations at a given puppy age based on expected adult weight.
 

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I'm feeding my 7 month old (55 pound) Orijen Large breed puppy and the bag says 3 cups daily until the dog reaches 66 pounds then increase to 4 cups, when full grown decrease to 3 1/4 cups. I'll probably keep him on the puppy formula for 18 months or so.
 
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