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How Much Food to Feed a Lab Puppy (Calorie Count, Frequency, And More)

The Labrador Retriever is a friendly breed that has enough energy to keep the whole family entertained. According to the American Kennel Club, this breed is actually one of the most popular breeds in the US. It’s classified as a high-energy dog which means that it should be given at least one hour of daily walks. Before you get to enjoy the antics of the adult dog however, you have to deal with the labrador puppies. Here’s what you need to know:

Your Labrador’s Profile

Labrador Retriever puppies are high-energy dogs with a penchant for mischief. At 8 weeks, these large breed puppies will weight 8 to 12 pounds and a height of anywhere from 8 to 12 inches. Their healthy adult weight should be 65 to 80 pounds for the male and 55 to 70 pounds for the female.

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If you’re lucky enough to have the lab puppies from the day they were born, then you have the luxury of choosing whether they get wet food or if you introduce them to a raw food diet. The puppy’s diet should transition to solid foods around 3.5 to 4 weeks from birth. Puppy formula may be necessary at an earlier time to supplement or replace the mom’s milk. Fresh dog food products, like Farmer’s Dog meals and Nom Nom’s meals, can be customized based on a dog’s life stage from puppyhood to senior years.

If you’re getting the puppy from a breeder however, you’ll need to know what the lab puppies eat. From there, a slow transition to your preferred puppy chow can be made.

How Much Dog Food to Feed a Labrador Puppy?

Lab pups need lots of calories in their diet so they can grow and have a happy life. Your lab puppy feeding chart should indicate the following:

a black labrador puppy turned its head to the left on a background of a yellow field | The Pampered Pup


Calorie-wise, an 8-week lab should eat around 200 to 250 calories per meal. Unlike adult dogs however, young puppies need to be fed 4 times a day, which means that their daily intake is anywhere from 800 to 1000 calories per day. Dividing the meals into four is necessary since their bodies are still too small to accommodate large meals.

Feeding fresh? Here’s a guide on how much fresh food to feed a dog.

Feeding Time

Note that feeding your labrador should be done at the same time everyday. Space it out so that the puppy eat his meals around 3 or 4 hours apart.

As the puppy grows, the number of meals they get per day decreases. At the same time however, the calorie content of the meal increases. At 12 months, your dog should get just 2 meals a day with 450 calories per meal.

Free Feeding

Free feeding your labrador puppy should never be done. Puppies have no concept of being “full” and will eat for as long as they have access to food. This is why you have to control their food intake with a balanced diet and a concise labrador puppy feeding chart.

Choosing Labrador Puppy Food

labrador puppy looking right and sitting on a green daisy field | The Pampered Pup

The nutritional value of what you feed your puppy is crucial to guarantee their long and healthy life. You have several options here. You can offer puppy kibble, introduce them to eating wet food, raw feeding, fresh food, homemade, or other types of commercial dog food.

Here’s what you need to remember when it comes to puppy nutrition:

Feeding Kibble or Commercial Dog Food

Pay close attention to the food labels of store bought dog foods. You want your labrador retriever puppy to eat AAFCO-compliant [1] products. If you plan to feed kibble, try adding some water in the mix. This will help soften the food and introduce more water in his diet. Remember that adult food is not a replacement for puppy food. Make sure to serve age-appropriate commercial dog foods from your local pet store.

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Adding lab puppy supplements in your dog’s food is encouraged but not always necessary. Ideally, all of the essential vitamins and minerals should come from the dog’s food.

Raw Food for Puppies

Offering biologically appropriate raw food diet for puppies is also a viable option for some dog owners. Raw meat is a good approach to weight management and gives you more control in serving balanced food.

When it comes to raw food, you’ll have to feed puppies more than an adult dog. Check your puppy’s weight and multiply that by 2 percent. You get 0.2 pounds – this is the amount you normally feed an adult dog. But what about a puppy? For a puppy, you need to multiply 0.2 by 3 or 4 times. This means that in one day, the puppy should eat 0.6 to 0.8 pounds of raw food. You must also know how to transition dog food properly if you wish to change diet.

Note that the labrador breed is prone to some health problems like hip dysplasia and arthritis. You want to start feeding with these in mind. A diet rich in calcium and omega-3 fatty acids should help prevent the likelihood of this happening.

If you want to go the extra mile, a vet or pet nutritionist should be able to provide a comprehensive plan for the best dog food to offer. Veterinary experts can provide guidance on quality food, what human foods to serve, raw diet, how much to feed, and even the lab puppy feeding schedule.

Frequently Asked Questions

How much should you feed a 4 month old lab puppy?

Feed a 4 month old lab puppy with a maximum of 250 calories per meal. Serve him his meals 4 times a day – ideally in the morning, another one at noon, afternoon, and dinner.

How much and how often should I feed my lab puppy?

Puppy’s food should be around 1000 calories per day. Remember though that when feeding commercial puppy foods, it’s best to follow the feeding instructions provided at the back.

How much food should a lab dog eat per day?

Once fully grown, your labrador should start eating adult dog food. An active dog should eat anywhere from 1650 to 2150 calories per day.

Can you overfeed a Lab puppy?

Yes—definitely. A lab pup has no idea when they’re full and will eat as long as they have access to food. While they may look cute, you need to pay close attention to the pup’s weight and make sure they don’t overstuff themselves.

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