Desmond CGC

How do I know if I am over feeding my puppy?

He's 13 weeks old and on Science Diet Large Breed Puppy Food. He's about 18 lbs, and the bag says to feed a puppy his age/weight 3 cups a day. I feed him three times a day, a cup at a time.

He rarely eats all of it though. He eats probably 2/3 of it, and leaves the rest (sometimes less). He eats it all if I hand feed him individual bites, but I want him to eat on his own. I encourage him to finish his dinner usually, but I wonder if it's too much for him.

Then again, I wonder if it's good that he's not finishing it all. Y'know, like self regulating his eating, and stopping when he's full. He's so young, I worry about him not getting enough nutrients... (I also think I'm just a bit of a worrisome mommy, haha).

Anyway, I was thinking about spreading his feedings out further so that he's hungrier for each meal. Do you guys have any insight, information, or solutions I can try?

Asked by Desmond CGC on Jun 15th 2009 Tagged puppy, food, feeding, amount, enough in Puppies
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Cookies 'n' Creme (1998-2011)

If he wants to stop eating, let him. Only when he refuses to eat any food at all and continues that behavior for several days need you be concerned.
The amounts on the bag are good for general weight, but sometimes individual dogs have slightly different needs.
If you want him to eat more, you can do the feeding a few more times a day. Just be sure to keep an eye on weight.

As for worrying about his getting nutrients, in my opinion no dog gets the nutrients they need on Science Diet. Vet recommended, it may be, but vets aren't really that knowledgeable in nutrition and get what they do know from the dog food companies. (Personally, I've abandoned dog food and gone with a home-prepared raw diet. Well, for one of my dogs. I'd feed it to both of them if I could afford it. It just got to how how easy it would be for some ill-intentioned people to make a dog food, claim it was nutritionally complete, and add harmful chemicals to it that slowly kill a dog.)
If you want to know more, I recommend taking a look at and If you don't want to hear this, then just ignore this part of the answer.:)

Cookies 'n' Creme (1998-2011) answered on 6/15/09. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 1 Report this answer


3 cups sounds like a lot for a pup that size, so you may want to try feeding less. The suggested amount on the bag is just a general guideline, so if your puppy eats less, then that is fine.
3 meals a day is a good plan for a young puppy, so I think you are fine there. I would also look into feeding a higher quality dog food. Stay away from anything with corn, corn gluten meal, or anything high in grains. Wellness, Solid Gold, Merrick, Blue Buffalo, are all good foods and can be found at Petco. Good luck with your little guy!

Member 300603 answered on 6/15/09. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 1 Report this answer


I am not sure I have my puppies up to 3 cups that soon. I am disappointed how few people giving advice on feeding dogs know the trick of checking the dogs ribs. There is a great illustrated guide at

You can cut him down to 2 meals anytime and switch to adult food in another month or 2. Keeping them lean and a early switch to a common brand of adult chow works very well for many service dog schools.

Aster answered on 6/18/09. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer