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How Much and When to Feed a Lab Puppy to Ensure Nutrition and Manage Early Waking Time?


Dear VetBabble,

I recently adopted a Lab puppy who seems to be hungry all the time and wakes up as early as 4:30 am. How much and when should I be feeding her to ensure she’s getting enough nutrition, and is her early waking time related to her need to eliminate outdoors? I’m currently using the bag’s recommendations for feeding, but I’m not sure if that’s enough.

Ensuring Proper Nutrition for Your Growing Lab Puppy

Welcome to the world of puppy parenting! You’re not alone in your concerns about your Lab’s eating habits and early wake-up time. Ensuring your puppy receives proper nutrition is crucial for her growth and development. Start by checking the back of your chosen dog food bag for their puppy feeding recommendations. Keep in mind that sometimes, these recommendations encourage overeating in order to sell more product. You can slightly decrease the recommended amount if you feel it’s too much for your pup.

Feeding your puppy three set meals throughout the day is generally a good routine. An early breakfast, lunch, and dinner will suffice. However, make sure you’re not feeding her too close to bedtime. Give your puppy at least an hour after eating to eliminate outdoors before heading to bed. You might find Great Routines for the Average Dog helpful in establishing a healthy feeding and elimination schedule for your new furry friend.

Is Your Puppy Waking Up Early Due to Hunger or the Need to Eliminate?

When it comes to early morning wake-up calls, it’s important to figure out if your puppy is waking up because she’s hungry or if she needs to go outside to eliminate. As a rule of thumb, puppies can usually hold their bladders for 1 hour per month of age, plus 1 additional hour—though this might be pushing it until they’re around 6 months old.

When your puppy wakes up at 4:30 am, try taking her outside to eliminate and then lure her back into her crate with a high-value treat to see if she’ll go back to sleep. Consistently following a feeding and elimination schedule, along with crate training, should eventually help improve her sleep schedule. For more tips on sleep and crate training, check out First Night Home with a New Puppy. What to Expect.

Efficient Potty Training for Your Lab Puppy

Beyond feeding, it’s important to ensure your Lab puppy is properly potty trained. This will help her better understand when it’s time to eliminate and make mornings smoother. For efficient potty training, take a look at How to Potty Train Your Puppy in 3 Days and How To Toilet Train Your Puppy in 3 Days. These resources provide step-by-step guidance and tips to make potty training a breeze.

In conclusion, addressing your Lab puppy’s nutrition, elimination needs, and sleep schedule will ensure she grows up healthy and happy. It may take some time and adjustment, but with patience, consistency, and attention to her needs, you’ll have a well-adjusted furry family member in no time!

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