Providing the correct amount of food to meet the energy requirements of a puppy is important to help ensure a healthy growth rate and avoid underweight or overweight puppies.
The amounts of food given in puppy feeding guides are calculated based on knowing the amount of energy (calories) required by a puppy and the calorie content of the food. This article summarises the findings of several studies that provide new information on the energy requirements of puppies, which GA has used to review and revise their puppy feeding guides.
Revised feeding guides for puppies
As a responsible pet food manufacturer, we will continue to use information and data regarding differences in energy requirements between puppies of different expected mature body weights, such as highlighted in the studies mentioned above, to update puppy product feeding guides for owners to follow. This, in turn, should help ensure healthy growth rates and limit the risk of either underweight or overweight puppies.
It is also important to note that even if feeding guides are improved based on these latest research findings, the suggested amounts of food to offer are not absolutely definitive. They can be used as a starting point and adjusted if necessary – e.g. increased slightly if the puppy is not gaining weight or decreased slightly if the puppy gains a lot of weight in a short time.
1. National Research Council. (2006) Nutrient requirements of dogs and cats. National Academies Press: Washington, D.C., USA.
2. Dobenecker, B., Endres, V. & Kienzle, E. (2013) Energy requirements of puppies of two different breeds for ideal growth from weaning to 28 weeks of age. J Anim Physiol Anim Nutr, 97, 190-196.
3. Alexander, J., Colyer, A., & Morris, P. (2017). Energy requirements for growth in the Yorkshire terrier. J Nutr Sci, 6, E26. doi:10.1017/jns.2017.26
4. Brenten, T., Morris, P.J., Salt, C., Raila, J., Kohn, B., Brunnberg, L., Schweigert, F.J. & Zentek, J. (2014) Energy intake, growth rate and body composition of young Labrador retrievers and miniature Schnauzers fed different dietary levels of vitamin A. Br J Nutr, 111, 2104-2111.
5. Bradley, S., Alexander, J., Haydock, R., Bakke, A.M. & Watson, P. (2021) Energy requirements for growth in the Norfolk terrier. Animals 11(5), 1380. https://doi.org/10.3390/ani11051380
6. Klein, C., Thes, M., Böswald, L.F. & Kienzle, E. (2019) Metabolisable energy intake and growth of privately owned growing dogs in comparison with official recommendations on the growth curve and energy supply. J Anim Phsiol Anim Nutr, 103, 1952-1958.
Article written by Dr. Adrian Hewson-Hughes