How Much to Feed a Papillon (Feeding Chart & Guide)

A big bowl of dog food and Papillons paws

Figuring out how much to feed your Papillon doesn’t have to be tricky. In this article, we break down just how much your furry friend needs to eat, considering their size, age, and how active they are. 

We’ll give you straightforward guidelines on portion sizes and how often to feed them, making mealtime simple. By the end, you’ll know exactly how to keep your Papillon healthy and full of energy.

What Affects How Much Your Papillon Eats?

Papillon eating dog food on white background

Getting your Papillon’s diet right is key for their health and energy. These small but lively dogs have specific dietary needs, influenced by several important factors:

  • Size and Weight: Papillons are lightweight, typically between 4 and 9 pounds. Due to their small stature, they need fewer calories than larger breeds. However, their food should be nutrient-rich to support their high energy. Regular weight checks and portion adjustments are important to keep them at an ideal weight.
  • Age: Different life stages mean different dietary needs for Papillons. Puppies need more calories for growth, adults require a balanced diet for maintenance, and seniors might need special attention for joint health and managing energy levels. Each stage impacts how much your Papillon should eat.
  • Activity Level: Known for their energy, Papillons need a diet that supports their activity. Active Papillons, especially those involved in agility or similar exercises, may need more calories. In contrast, less active or older dogs might need less to avoid gaining weight.
  • Health Conditions: Some common Papillon health issues, like dental problems or patellar luxation, can influence their diet. For example, certain types of kibble might be better for dental health. Always factor in any health conditions when planning their diet.
  • Other Factors: Gender, living environment, and changes at home can also affect a Papillon’s appetite. These variables can alter the ideal feeding portions for your dog.

Understanding these factors helps you determine the right food amount for your Papillon. For personalized advice, consulting a veterinarian or a pet nutritionist is always a good idea.

How Much to Feed Your Papillon

Papillon eating food outdoors

Age plays a crucial role in determining a Papillon’s dietary needs. From their energetic puppy days to their calmer senior years, a Papillon’s nutritional requirements change significantly.

We base our guidelines here on the assumption that your Papillon is healthy, maintains an average activity level for its age, and is at an ideal weight.

Papillon Puppy Feeding Chart (2 to 12 months)

In the early stages of life, Papillon puppies primarily rely on their mother’s milk for nutrition. 

However, if a puppy is unable to nurse for any reason, high-quality puppy milk replacers serve as an excellent substitute. These can be easily found at pet stores or through online retailers.

As Papillon puppies approach the age of one to two months, they begin the transition from milk to solid foods. This weaning process is crucial for their development. 

The following table outlines a Papillon puppy’s feeding requirements:

AgeDaily Feeding Amount (Cups)Caloric Intake (Per day)
2 – 3 months¼ – ¾161 – 328
4 – 6 months¼ – ¾153 – 297
7 – 9 months½ – ¾198 – 333
10 – 12 months½ – 1 218 – 402
*Use a standard 8-oz measuring cup

Aside from the number of cups and calories needed daily, it’s also important to monitor the protein and fat content in your puppy’s diet.

Getting this balance right is key for your Papillon puppy to grow into a healthy adult dog.

I give my eight-month-old Papillon, Julius, puppy food that contains 25% protein and 15% fat to support their growing needs.

However, as with most small dogs, I am also very careful about following the feeding chart to the dot so I can avoid overfeeding Julius and prevent him from being overweight.

Adult Papillon Feeding Chart (1 to 7 Years)

As Papillons reach about one year of age, they enter adulthood. This new life stage requires a diet change to meet their evolving nutritional needs, including an adjustment in serving sizes.

Here’s a feeding chart for adult Papillons:

AgeDaily Feeding Amount (Cups)Caloric Intake (Per day)
1 – 7 years½ – ¾175 – 348
*Use a standard 8-oz measuring cup

In addition to their daily meals, consider incorporating specialized nutrients and supplements into their diet. 

For example, fish oil, rich in omega fatty acids, is excellent for skin and coat health, enhancing their distinctive coat colors and markings.

The size of the kibble is also important; smaller kibble sizes are often more suitable for Papillons.

Senior Papillon Feeding Chart (8 years and above)

As Papillons age past eight years, their activity levels typically decrease. This reduced activity calls for a diet with lower caloric intake.

For senior Papillons, refer to this feeding guide:

AgeDaily Feeding Amount (Cups)Caloric Intake (Per day)
8 years and above¼ – ¾140 – 278
*Use a standard 8-oz measuring cup

Switching to a food formulated specifically for senior dogs can be beneficial, ensuring they receive the right nutrition for this life stage. 

Regular check-ups with a veterinarian are also key to managing your senior Papillon’s health and diet.

How Often Should You Feed Your Papillon?

Woman feeding her Papillon dog

As Papillons grow, their eating habits and metabolic rates change. It’s important to match their feeding frequency with these changes to support their health throughout the day. 

Puppies require more frequent meals during their growth phase. As they mature into adults and eventually seniors, their metabolism slows, necessitating adjustments in both the quantity and frequency of meals.

Here’s a quick guide to feeding frequency for Papillons:

AgeFeeding Frequency
0 – 12 weeksFour meals a day
3 – 12 monthsTwo to three meals a day
1 – 7 yearsTwice a day
8 years and aboveOnce a day

Take note that it is also possible for Papillon puppies to be free-fed, especially those under three months old. This is usually done to ensure that young dogs get adequate nutrition throughout the day. 

However, as your dog ages, establishing a set feeding schedule becomes important to maintain proper eating habits and energy levels.

How to Transition Your Papillon to a New Food

Cute Papillon puppy eating puppy food

Changing your Papillon’s diet should be done gradually to avoid digestive issues. 

Mix the new food with the current one to ease the transition. This is crucial as your Papillon’s dietary needs may change several times over its lifespan.

Follow this transition schedule recommended by AKC:

DayOld FoodNew Food
1 – 275%25%
3 – 450%50%
5 – 625%75%

During the transition, closely monitor your Papillon for any signs of food sensitivities or allergies. Watch for changes in their stool, skin, or coat, and consult your vet if you notice any irregularities.

Tips on Feeding an Overweight Papillon

Keeping your Papillon at a healthy weight is key for their overall well-being, especially given their small size. 

Obesity in Papillons can lead to serious health problems, like joint issues and heart conditions, which greatly affect their life quality and lifespan. It’s vital to tackle any weight issues quickly and effectively.

Here’s how to manage and feed an overweight Papillon:

  • Monitor caloric intake: Keep a close eye on how many calories your Papillon eats every day. Small breeds like Papillons don’t need as many calories. Talk to your vet about the right calorie count for losing and maintaining weight. You might want to consider dog food specially made for small breeds and weight management, ensuring they get the nutrients they need without extra calories.
  • Opt for nutrient-dense foods: Pick high-quality foods rich in nutrients but low in calories. Add in safe, fresh veggies like carrots and green beans for low-cal snacks.
  • Limit treats and snacks: Treats should be a tiny part of your Papillon’s diet. Go for healthy, low-calorie options and use them sparingly. Try using bits of their regular kibble as treats, especially during training, to cut down on extra calories.
  • Implement a feeding schedule: Set up a strict feeding schedule and stick to it, avoiding free feeding. Measure each meal carefully to prevent accidental overfeeding.

Besides these dietary tips, keep your Papillon moving with safe exercises like walks and playtime. This helps burn off those extra calories.

Regular vet check-ups are also crucial. They can help you maintain your Papillon’s health and create a personalized diet and exercise plan.

Frequently Asked Questions

Two Papillon puppies eating from the same bowl

How Do I Know If I’m Feeding My Papillon Enough?

To make sure you are feeding your Papillon enough, watch their weight and overall health. Look at their energy levels and the condition of their coat as well. 

You can also check their body condition score (BCS) to see if they’re underweight, overweight, or just right.

Why Is My Papillon Not Eating?

There are several reasons why dogs might stop eating, including changes in their environment, stress, health issues, and feeling nauseous. 

If your Papillon is not eating, it could be due to discomfort or a more serious issue like an internal blockage. While some dogs can be picky eaters, it’s important to check with your vet to rule out other problems.

Can I Feed My Papillon With Human Food?

It’s usually best to avoid giving your Papillon human food. Some human foods, like chocolate, grapes, onions, and garlic, are toxic to dogs and can cause major health problems. Stick to dog-specific diets for their safety.

Do Papillons Eat a Lot?

Papillons don’t typically eat a lot because they have small stomachs. However, every dog is different, and their eating habits can vary based on their health and personality. 

While Papillons generally don’t eat a lot, it’s important to pay attention to their diet to keep them healthy and full of energy.

Can Papillons Eat Bones?

Papillons can safely eat small, soft bones that are easy to digest. Avoid giving them cooked bones, which can splinter and cause injuries or other health risks.

So, is this feeding guide helpful for you? Do you have any tips on feeding this small fluffy dog? Let us know your thoughts about Papillon feeding in the comment below!

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