Puppies require about two and half times as many calories per kilogram bodyweight as an adult dog while they are growing.
Food for this age group should be higher in calories, protein and other key nutrients. Although many nutrients are needed in higher quantities, some nutrients may need to be adjusted in other ways.
For instance, large breed puppies are susceptible to bone problems if too many calories and calcium are given during this growth phase, so owners should always be aware of the risks of adding supplements to a carefully formulated puppy food. For a very young puppy the food needs to be easy to chew and eat.
The Kennel Club recommends feeding your puppy four meals a day up until the age of four months, and then reduce its feed to three meals a day until it is six months old, when you can change to two meals a day, and keep it on this regime for the rest of its life.
It is better not to leave food down (so throw away any uneaten food after 20 minutes) and not to give your puppy any variety, which could cause havoc with its digestion and toilet training regime. However, make sure that water is always available to your puppy, so never take its water bowl away.
Depending on the breed, a puppy may become an adult anywhere between 9 months and 24 months – large and giant breeds take longer to mature.