11 week old boxer
(Arvada, Colorado, USA)
Hi, can you please tell me how much food I should be feeding my 11 week old boxer. When my girlfriend and I adopted him, he was very skinny, bones showing, The breeder told us it was normal but he didn't look healthy so we are trying to fatten him up, but we don't want to over feed him.
We have seen a difference already with his weight and he looks better in our eyes. Right now we are feeding him Purina Puppy Chow, molasses. And we give him 1/4 cup in the morning (because we are at work all day and we don't want him pooping in his kennel) then in the evening we give him a full cup.
He acts as if he is starving still and eats so fast. We adopted him at 9 Weeks.. so yep we have only had him for 2 weeks.
Congratulations on your new puppy, he's a cutie. I love Boxers, they're the Peter Pans of the dog world!
Although Boxers are naturally of a slender build, you don't want to be able to count his ribs or see his hip bones jutting out. Of course, you don't want to just add 'fat' for the sake of it, that's not healthy and a too-rapid weight gain can cause bone/joint problems too.
I would advise you to pick a food with a higher nutritional content than the Purina one you are using now. Growing puppies need optimum nutrition, and there are many excellent foods to choose from. I'd recommend that you check out my Dog Food Comparisons page to find a system you can use to 'rate' any dog food on the market. My Dog Food Ratings also gives the 'score card' for about 25 different dog foods (according to the rating system I mentioned earlier).
When it comes to the amount of food to give your puppy, start with the recommendations on the bag, but use them as guidelines only. A good rule of thumb is to give your pup as much as he can/will eat within about 15 minutes. If he wolfs it all down in 5 mins, give him a bit more next time, if he leaves some in the bowl and walks away, pick it up after 15 mins and give him a bit less next time. It's also important to remember that a lower quality food will provide less nutrition per cup and therefor your puppy will need a lot more of it.
I would also suggest that if you haven't already done so, have your vet check your puppy for worms. Most puppies have worms and are routinely de-wormed several times, starting at 7 weeks old. Your pup may have worms which are causing him to be extra hungry, and look skinny. You can find out more about worms and other parasites on my Puppy Worms page.
There's also general information on feeding a puppy on my Puppy Kibble page.
Best of luck with your puppy!