A 15-pound Great Dane puppy has only reached a tenth of his potential size; a 15-pound cocker spaniel is halfway to his. Although it's wise to monitor Dino's weight, it won't determine his feeding schedule. A puppy's age determines how often he eats. His weight, adult size and diet determine his portion.
If Dino's hitting the scales at 15 pounds and he's less than 6 months old, he should be eating three times a day. If he's between 6 and 12 months old, ring the dinner bell for him twice a day. Of course, there's always an exception. If Dino's 15 pounds and close to his full size, he can free-feed as a puppy. The ASPCA notes most small-breed dogs do well free-feeding; they tend to develop good eating habits and avoid getting too chubby from overeating. If you have other pets, it's wise to use the portion control-method for Dino, no matter how big or old he is.
If Dino's a small-breed fellow, he may prefer to free-feed, which is generally fine for small breed dogs, according to the ASPCA. The littler breeds tend to develop good eating habits and avoid getting too chubby from overeating. Free-feeding allows you to leave Dino's daily allowance of kibble accessible to him as he pleases, regardless of his age or weight. However, the ASPCA recommends if you have other pets, use the portion control method for Dino, no matter his size or age.
Whether you're pup's large or small, free-fed or portion-fed, the key to feeding him properly is ensuring he's eating the correct amount of food. Read the label on your puppy food and feed Dino his daily allowance divided by the number of times per day you're feeding him. For example, if his size and age requires a cup of food per day, feed 1/3 cup of food three times a day up to 6 months old, and 1/2 cup of food twice a day after 6 months.
Too Much, Too Fast
They already grow up too fast, so don't hurry Dino's growth process too much. If puppies overeat, they can get too many calories, grow too quickly and develop bone growth problems. Dogs with bone growth disease often have bowed front legs. It's particularly important to feed at a proper pace for large- and giant-breed puppies. These guys are especially prone to joint problems, and if they grow too quickly, they'll pay the price as adults.
If you're training Dino, you may be using treats to reward him for good deeds. Every puppy deserves treats now and then, but you must factor them into his daily food intake. According to Web MD, puppy treats should be limited to 5 percent of daily caloric intake. If Dino's eating 300 calories a day, he shouldn't have more than 15 calories in snacks. Unless you're treating with carrots, that's not a lot of treats.