How Much Does It Cost to Feed a Puppy?

How Much Does It Cost to Feed a Puppy?

When you are in a situation where you are thinking about adopting a puppy, you’ll find that you should be doing some serious budgeting. While there are definitely pets that cost more than dogs do, you’ll find that dogs and puppies in particular tend to be more costly. Take some time to think about the costs before you do any adoption or consideration. This is essential to the health of the animal that you will be adopting and you will find that there are many different choices to consider. Think about the needs of your puppy and how you are going to be giving it what it needs.

General Costs

Roughly, it can cost anywhere from 40 dollars to more than 100 dollars a month to feed your puppy. This largely depends on how large your puppy is and what its needs are. While it is tempting to feed your puppy lower grade, less expensive food, you will find that this is not a real saving at the end of the day. Substandard dog food quickly starts to hurt your puppy, meaning that it will be significantly less healthy in the long run. A high-quality brand of dog food can easily run a pet owner between 40 and 60 dollars a month, but it is worth your time. This prevents your puppy from developing healthy issues later on.


Small dogs eat less than larger dogs, and of course this is reflected in the amount of money you will be spending on food. A Chihuahua puppy, for example may only eat a cup or even a half cup of food when it is very small. On the other hand, a Great Dane puppy may need three to four times that amount of food or even more. One issue is that different foods will have different requirements for feeding. A poor grade of pet food, for example, might have plenty of bulk, but if it is all presented in the form of corn or soy, it will not do your dog much good. On the other hand, a high quality pet food may be more dense, but in the end, you can feed your dog less of it because it will be full and healthy sooner. You can calculate how much your dog eats every day by looking at the general serving size and figuring out how many servings are in one bag.

Choosing a Good Dog Food

When in doubt, talk with your veterinarian. Some puppies, especially ones that are adopted from bad homes or rescues, have nutritional deficiencies that need to be accounted for when they are being fed. If you cannot speak to a veterinarian, start taking a look at the ingredients list on your puppy’s food. First, is the food especially formulated for puppies? Puppies need more protein and more vitamins, minerals and fats than occurs in regular dog food. This ensures that the puppy grows up with all of the nutrients that it needs.

Breed Restrictions

If you want to adopt a puppy that is a purebred, or you have a dog where the breed is discernible, check into how it needs to be fed. Puppies that are from the giant breeds, for example, need to be fed foods that are rich in fat early in life, but then they need to be cut off from the rich foods sooner than their smaller cousins. The problem that occurs here is that puppy food is something that is very rich, and if dogs from the giant breeds are overfed on it when they are young, it leads to growth problems later in life. Some brands of dog food have formulations made especially for different breeds for sale, which takes some of the guess work out.

Kibble versus Wet Food

While a diet of kibble is entirely appropriate for your puppy, you’ll find that your puppy can quickly grow tired of it. You should not feed a puppy solely on wet food, as it will lead to digestive issues very rapidly, but it does well as a treat. Kibble is always less expensive than wet food, however, so make it your puppy’s staple. Use wet food only as a treat. This is a consideration that is important when you are thinking about adopting a puppy and budgeting for it.


After you have already done your budgeting for food, don’t forget to add between five and ten dollars every month or so into the puppy budget for treats. This is something that can help you train your puppy, and it is also simply a pleasant thing for the puppy when you are having fun together. Though treats that also remove the tartar and plaque from the puppy’s teeth are more expensive, they are typically worth it in the long run.

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