How Much to Feed a Portuguese Water Dog (Feeding Chart & Guide)

Portuguese Water Dog sitting with beautiful flowers

Are you wondering how much to feed your Portuguese Water Dog? Determining the right amount of food is key to keeping your dog healthy and active. 

This guide provides simple feeding charts and essential tips to ensure your Portuguese Water Dog gets the perfect amount of nutrition. Continue reading to learn more! 

What Factors Impact How Much to Feed a Portuguese Water Dog?

Dog food in white background

When determining the correct food portions for a Portuguese Water Dog, several key factors should be considered. Four primary considerations include weight, activity level, age, and health conditions.

Here’s a more detailed look at these factors:

  • Weight: Generally, Portuguese Water Dogs that are heavier will need more food than those that weigh less. This is reasonable, as heavier dogs need more food to sustain their larger bodies.
  • Activity level: The recommended serving sizes found on dog food packages are based on the assumption that your dog has a normal activity level. However, if your pooch is highly active and playful, it may need to eat more.
  • Age: Age is one of the biggest factors affecting the food portions of a Portuguese Water Dog. For instance, puppies usually need more food per pound of body weight than adult dogs. Meanwhile, senior dogs need less food.
  • Health conditions: Portuguese Water Dogs with health issues may need more or less food than healthy dogs. Some may also require special diets, which may require them to consume more.

It’s important to remember that feeding guidelines for a Portuguese Water Dog are not one-size-fits-all. The appropriate diet and portion size can vary widely depending on the individual dog’s circumstances.

How Much to Feed Your Portuguese Water Dog

Measuring dry dog food using a cup

Below, you’ll find general recommendations on the daily food quantities for each life stage of a Portuguese Water Dog, assuming they are in good health.

It’s also assumed that puppies are in their growth phase, while adult and senior dogs are neutered/spayed.

Portuguese Water Dog Puppies (3 to 12 months)

For the first two months, a Portuguese Water Dog puppy should mainly feed on its mother’s milk or, if not available, a puppy milk replacement.

Starting at about three weeks, puppies should begin the weaning process off the mother’s milk or milk substitute by mixing in high-quality puppy food.

At this stage, a Portuguese Water Dog puppy’s diet should be rich in protein with enough fat content. This will aid in the development of muscle tissues and the maintenance of skin and fur health.

Here’s a guide to the recommended food portions for a Portuguese Water Dog puppy:

AgeDaily Feeding Amount (Cups)Caloric Intake (Per day)
3 – 5 months1 ¾ – 1 ½825 – 631
6 – 7 months2 – 2 ¼923 – 1,062
9 – 12 months2 ½ – 31,157 – 1,295
*Use a standard 8-oz measuring cup

While ensuring your puppy gets the right amount of calories daily, also pay attention to its macronutrients. Ideally, a puppy’s diet should have around 22.5% protein and 5% fat.

Adult Portuguese Water Dogs (1 to 6 years)

Even though a Portuguese Water Dog reaches its full size between six to eight months, it’s only considered an adult at around one year. At this point, switching to an adult diet is essential.

Here is the recommended amount of dry food for an adult Portuguese Water Dog:

AgeDaily Feeding Amount (Cups)Caloric Intake (Per day)
1 – 6 years2 ¼ – 3 ¼896 — 1,334
*Use a standard 8-oz measuring cup

An adult Portuguese Water Dog requires a diet with a balanced mix of protein for muscle maintenance and healthy fats for sustained energy. 

Look for adult dog foods that list real meat as the first ingredient and include essential fatty acids, which are vital for maintaining their sleek coat. 

Additionally, considering their risk for joint issues, choose formulas enriched with joint health supplements like glucosamine. Avoid foods with excessive fillers or artificial additives to keep them fit and healthy.

Senior Portuguese Water Dogs (7 years and above)

The average lifespan of a Portuguese Water Dog is between 12 and 15 years. They are considered senior at seven years old. With slower metabolism in their senior years, they generally need less food.

Here’s the recommended daily food amount for senior Portuguese Water Dogs:

AgeDaily Feeding Amount (Cups)Caloric Intake (Per day)
7 years and above1 ¾ – 2 ¾717 — 1,067
*Use a standard 8-oz measuring cup

Although senior dogs need less protein than adults or puppies, it remains crucial for maintaining muscle mass. Meats and fish are the best protein sources for them, as they are easier to digest in older dogs.

How Often Should You Feed Your Portuguese Water Dog

Feeding frequency for Portuguese Water Dogs varies with their age. Puppies have higher energy needs and faster metabolisms, requiring more frequent meals to support their rapid growth and development. 

As they mature, their metabolic rate stabilizes, and they require fewer meals per day. 

Here’s a guideline for feeding frequency at different ages:

AgeFeeding Frequency
2 – 5 monthsFour times a day
6 – 12 monthsThree times a day
1 year and aboveTwo times a day

During the puppy phase, from 2 to 5 months, it’s crucial to provide meals four times a day to support their developmental needs. 

From 6 to 12 months, as growth starts to slow, reducing the frequency to three times a day is advisable. Once they reach one year, transitioning to two meals a day is recommended. 

This adjustment aligns with their reduced growth rate and helps them maintain optimal weight and health as they move through adulthood into their senior years.

How to Transition Your Portuguese Water Dog to a New Food

Transition dogs to a new food

Throughout its lifetime, a Portuguese Water Dog may need to switch diets to align with its changing nutritional needs. 

When it’s time to transition to a new food, it’s crucial to do so gradually to allow the dog’s digestive system to adjust.

Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you transition your Portuguese Water Dog to a new food:

DayOld FoodNew Food
1 – 275%25% 
3 – 450%50%
5 – 625%75%
70%100%

Patience and understanding are key during this food transition, as your Portuguese Water Dog might not immediately take to the new food.

It’s important to closely observe your dog’s reaction to the new diet. Pay attention to any changes in bowel movements and the quality of their stool, as these can be indicators of how well the dog is adjusting to the new food. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Happy Portuguese Water Dog puppy portrait

How Do I Know If I’m Feeding My Portuguese Water Dog Enough?

To check if you’re feeding your Portuguese Water Dog enough, observe its overall physique and energy levels. 

A well-fed Portuguese Water Dog should have a visible waist and a slight tuck in the stomach area when viewed from the side. 

Also, the dog should be energetic and interested in physical activities, not showing signs of lethargy.

Why Is My Portuguese Water Dog Not Eating?

There can be many reasons why your Portuguese Water Dog is not eating, such as illnesses, mental or emotional distress, or a change in food preferences. 

If it’s a matter of boredom with the current food, introducing a new type may help. If emotional distress is the cause, try feeding in a calm environment. 

However, if there are other symptoms like lethargy or vomiting, it’s best to consult a vet.

Can I Feed My Portuguese Water Dog With Human Food?

Yes, you can include human food in your dog’s diet for variety and balanced nutrition, but be cautious, as not all human foods are safe for dogs. 

Always do your research or consult a vet before offering new human foods, and be mindful of foods that are toxic to dogs.

Do Portuguese Water Dogs Eat a Lot?

Portuguese Water Dogs are highly active and have a tendency to eat a lot if given the opportunity. However, it’s important to avoid overfeeding as this breed can be prone to obesity. 

Stick to strict food portions and consistent feeding routines to manage their weight.

Can Portuguese Water Dogs Eat Bones?

Portuguese Water Dogs can safely chew on certain kinds of bones. Raw, uncooked bones from chicken, lamb, or beef are typically safe and provide calcium. 

Avoid giving any kind of cooked bones, especially small ones, as they can splinter and become choking hazards.


I hope this feeding guide has provided helpful information to determine the right amount to feed your Portuguese Water Dog. Please leave a comment if you have any additional questions!

Leave a Comment

You may also like