If you’ve fallen in love with this breed, you’ll be eager to become the best pet parent ever, and that begins with correct feeding, lots of love, and good training that makes your fur friend an easy living companion.
We look at how much to feed a Doberman puppy, what to feed him, and offer a Doberman feeding chart that you can use as a broad guideline.
We’ll also give you some extra Doberman parenting tips, take a quick look at Doberman health, and more. Are you ready for a ton of information? Let’s go!
How Much Should A Doberman Puppy Eat?
How much your Doberman pup should eat depends on his or her stage of development (age), gender (females are smaller and need less than males), and genetics.
Some Dobies are bigger than others for purely genetic reasons, and the bigger the frame, the more support it needs.
Optimizing your pup’s nutrition is super-important if you want it to teach its full potential and grow into a healthy adult.
A word of warning: “free feeding” or letting a puppy eat as much as he wants when he wants it, can lead to obesity – so getting your mealtimes right and measuring out each meal becomes part of your duty as a proud parent to a gorgeous Doberman puppy.
Doberman Puppy Feeding Chart
When looking at our Doberman puppy feeding chart, there are a few things to remember. We are basing our recommendations on high-quality, grain-free puppy food.
All three of these factors are important when considering how many cups of food your pup needs.
Puppy food is richer in nutrients than adult dog food which is designed under the assumption that the dog has stopped growing or is in slow growth and only needs to maintain weight.
Protein-rich, grain-free foods are much more nutrient-rich than those full of fillers that provide bulk, but little nutrition.
We also need to divide daily food allocations into meals – and how frequent they are, depends on your pup’s age. A growing pup should be fed three to four times daily, while an adult dog can get by on twice-daily feeds.
Be careful when choosing a puppy food, and choose the higher quality options. They may seem a lot more expensive, but thanks to the premium nutrition they offer, your pup will need less volume and will be healthier than if you go for the cheapest brand you can find.
So how much to feed a Doberman puppy depends on the type of food as well as the size, life stage & lifespan, gender, and age of your pup. Let’s take a closer look at those life stages!
2 Week Old Doberman Puppy
A two-week-old Doberman puppy is not yet ready to leave his mom, and weaning begins a week or so later. But you’ll see a big change between a two-week-old Doberman puppy and a newborn.
His eyes have opened, and he begins to hear sounds, so he’s much more responsive to the world around him.
For now, that consists mostly of his mom and littermates, but he’s also ready to respond to input from his extended family, including humans.
Your pup has begun learning how to be a dog, and his dog family will be the number one trainers, but gentle love and play from humans will also be a help. Just remember that he’s a baby and needs his canine family more than he needs you.
4 Week Old Doberman Puppy
A 4-week-old Doberman puppy has developed a lot in the last two weeks. Weaning should begin at 3 to 4 weeks, so your duty to provide food and give Mom dog a break has begun.
To begin with, provide soft food or kibble soaked in puppy formula.
Mom dog will tend to start spending more time away from the pups, but he’ll still be dropping by to give them a feed. So, you’re essentially just offering a top-up feed and an introduction to eating solid foods.
Offer about half a cup of food softened with puppy formula three times a day to help Doberman moms to begin the weaning process.
6 Week Old Doberman Puppy
In theory, a 6-week-old Doberman puppy can leave his family for his new home, but it’s better to wait until he is eight weeks old.
His early learning, including where to do his business, how to get on with other dogs and family members is in full swing.
Mom dog has a big role to play and, although the puppies can get by without milk from their moms, and she’ll be offering minimal feeding time, it’s still a nutrient boost that will help them.
The half-cup of food a day is still fine and will help the slower litter mates to catch up with the fast-growers who were already eating the full allowance a couple of weeks ago.
8 Week Old Doberman Puppy
An 8-week-old Doberman puppy is ready to go to his new human family, leaving mom and littermates behind.
Eager new pet parents are seeking information that will help them to provide the correct care, and of course, feeding is one of the first questions they’ll be verifying. By now, we’re seeing significant differences in size between males and females.
Give the boys 2 to 2.6 cups of food three times a day. The girl will be fine with anything from just over half a cup to two and a half cups of food depending on her size and your choice of puppy food.
10 Week Old Doberman Puppy
In just two weeks, your pup has grown a lot! Your active young pup should be learning the house rules with some (gentle) help from you, and your 10-week old Doberman puppy should still fall into the range we’ve listed for 8-week-olds unless you’ve landed a larger-than-average pup.
Use our Doberman feeding chart, or weigh your pup and follow the manufacturer’s instructions if you’d like to be even more sure that you’re getting it right.
Remember, we’ve gone for an average, high-quality puppy food when preparing our guidelines. If you’re using it, watch your pup’s condition to ensure you’re interpreting it correctly.
12 Week Old Doberman Puppy
By the time you have a 12-week-old Doberman puppy, you’ve already seen it grow a lot. If you were on the low to the middling size of the puppy-feeding guideline, you’re now moving towards the top of the range.
If you were on the high end of the 6-week guideline, you’ll likely need to increase the feeding a little more.
You can also reduce feeding frequency. Twice a day will be enough, but then each portion will be bigger. On average, this will amount to one to one and a half cups twice daily.
If you haven’t done so already, consider taking your Doberman puppy to puppy school. It’s a great chance to socialize and learn.
How Many Calories Does A Doberman Puppy Need
While it seems tricky to know how many calories your puppy needs, there is a calculation you can do to work out the amount of calories needed and compare it to the food that you are giving your puppy.
The calculation is referred to as the resting energy requirement, also known as the RER. In an adult dog, you use your dog’s weight in kilograms and multiply it to the three-fourths power by 70.
But, in a puppy, the dog needs more calories. A younger puppy, under the age of 4 months, will need to have the RER amount tripled. A puppy between 4 and 12 months old needs to have the amount doubled.
For example, if your Doberman puppy is 3 months old and weighs 10 kilos (or 22 pounds), his RER would be 400, but you need to triple that amount, resulting in 1200 needed calories a day.
Feeding Your Doberman Puppy Raw Food
If you are looking at what you cook yourself and wondering whether raw food would be better for your dog, the answer is not straightforward. There are pros and cons to feeding your puppy raw food, including:
- You know what your dog is eating
- Maintains better health
- Helps your dog’s weight
- More natural to their instincts
- Raw foods can be full of bacteria, making both you and the dog sick
- It is expensive to maintain
- A lot more work to prepare
- Can be a choking hazard
Ideally, you should ask your vet whether the raw food diet is a good choice for you.
Should You Feed Your Doberman Puppy Dry Or Wet Food?
When you are standing in the pet store, you might be looking at the kibble and the wet food and wonder which is the right one for your puppy. There are benefits to both.
Kibble is the generally recommended type of dog food for Dobermans. It is good for your dog’s teeth as the hard food breaks off plaque buildup. It is also much easier on the wallet.
Meanwhile, wet food is more expensive and not as good on the teeth, but dogs enjoy the taste a lot more. It is better to avoid wet food unless your vet has recommended it.
Can You Free Feed A Doberman Puppy?
If you are new to the idea of free feeding, we will break it down for you. It is the idea that you can just have food out for your dog and he will come by and eat some when he is hungry.
This method, in general, does not work well for most dogs. Dobermans are more likely to eat the entire bowl of food in a meal and then be begging for more food the rest of the day.
It is better to stick with two to three balanced meals for your Doberman, with the amounts measured out.
What Human Foods Can A Doberman Puppy Eat
There are some human foods that are safe for a Doberman puppy to eat. Some of these are best served in moderation, but generally ok.
- Coconut: Coconut is safe and is great immune system booster.
- Eggs: Eggs are definitely safe for dogs and a great source of protein.
- Fish: Fish is a good source of omega fatty acids, which are great for your dog’s health.
- Peanut Butter: Dogs love peanut butter and thankfully, it’s safe to eat. It’s a good source of protein and works well in treats.
- Cheese: Cheese is another great food to use as a treat as long as your dog isn’t lactose intolerant (this is super rare).
What Human Foods Are Dangerous For A Doberman Puppy
Just as there are human foods that your Doberman puppy can eat, there are foods he needs to stay away from. These foods are considered poisonous to dogs and can have a myriad of side effects from vomiting and diarrhea to organ failure and death.
- Macadamia Nuts: This is one of the most poisonous foods for dogs.
- Almonds: Almonds are not exactly toxic to dogs in the way macadamia nuts are, but they can quickly become a choking hazard.
- Chocolate: Chocolate is highly toxic to dogs.
- Garlic, onions, leeks, and chives: All vegetables in this family need to be avoided.
- Grapes/Raisins: Grapes are incredibly toxic and a choking hazard.
Best Dog Food For Doberman Puppies
There’s a big move towards feeding dogs meat-only diets, but a word of caution is in order. Like humans, dogs need vitamins and minerals to develop at their best.
If you’re thinking of going for a raw diet for Doberman puppies, do consult your veterinarian to find out how you should be supplementing it.
In general, the best and most convenient diet will be based on a grain-free kibble. We take a look at some of the better brands of puppy food available out there.
#1. Taste of the Wild Puppy Dry Dog Food
You don’t need to take our word for it: this brand of puppy food has a very high approval rating among puppy owners.
We like it because it’s based on real animal protein with all the supplements and extras your Doberman puppy will need to keep it growing and thriving.
Most puppies find this kibble highly digestible – but beware of sudden diet switches, you need to phase any new brand of puppy food into the diet slowly. If you see loose stools in the process, slow down the process.
Although the use of game meats might seem a bit gimmicky, this is a highly reputable US-based brand that we strongly recommend.
#2. Nutro Natural Choice Puppy Dog Food
Designed for large-breed, active pups like your Doberman puppy, this brand comes a close second. It’s based on chicken and brown rice – a diet often recommended by veterinarians for animals with sensitive digestion – including puppies.
However, this brand does contain some corn, which makes it a little controversial if you’re trying to stay grain-free.
However, the grain content is very low and animal protein is the primary ingredient.
Beyond this, our surveys show that a lot of puppy parents (and their pups) are very pleased with the results they’re getting from the brand. Palatability and nutrition both get a big yes!
#3. Purina Pro Plan Puppy Dog Food
If you’re looking for a relatively mid-priced, yet high-quality puppy food for large breeds that’s recommended by veterinarians, this one might be perfect for you and your Doberman pup.
As with all quality dog and puppy foods, protein from animal sources tops the list of ingredients.
It’s easy to get hold of, and most pet owners seem to approve, but it’s not quite as highly rated as our top two.
In general, Doberman owners who give this brand the thumbs down said that they had consistency issues, with occasional batches that their pups wouldn’t eat.
However, they represent a relatively small percentage of pet owners who chose this food, so thumbs up to Purina.
#4. Hill’s Science Diet Puppy Dog Food
As far as brands go, Hill’s enjoys a reputation for great quality (though rather pricey) pet nutrition. As the name suggests, this brand is for larger-breed puppies who like a bigger kibble size.
The nutritional breakdown checks out as being great as puppy food for Dobermans, but the price may make pet owners hesitate.
There are also a few reports of pups with extra-sensitive digestion not doing well on the brand despite a careful transition.
Nevertheless, most people love the zip-closure packaging and say their Doberman pups love the flavor.
On the whole, this will be a good choice, but do watch your puppy’s reaction to it. Most love it, but some simply won’t eat it.
#5. Purina ONE SmartBlend Dog Food
This premium brand has its share of adherents. Its ingredients fit the bill for healthy puppy food and most Doberman puppies seem to thrive on it.
However, there is a greater incidence of pet owners reporting digestive issues when using this Purina variant than with our third-spot choice made by the same company.
On the upside, those who do report good results with it are by far in the majority and it is easy to find with a favorable price tag for a premium puppy food.
The ingredients match our profile for a healthy pet food choice and it could be an easy option for those seeking a good brand of kibble for Doberman pups.
2 Month Old Doberman Puppy Weight
Weight is a good indication of whether you’re feeding your pup correctly. At eight weeks of age, the average male Doberman puppy tips the scales at 19 to 21 lbs while females should fall into the 15 to 17 lbs weight range.
Weighing a little more or less than this may not mean your puppy is over or underweight, however. If uncertain, check with your veterinarian.
This is a good age for a first vet visit and you can easily ask your vet about your pup’s overall condition.
3 Month Old Doberman Puppy Weight
Rapid growth and weight gain are part and parcel of healthy puppy development, but pet owners may be a little concerned when they see just how much weight their puppy is gaining.
If this is you and you want a guideline on how much your Doberman puppy should weigh, males of this age will weigh in at 29 to 32 lbs while females are likely to weigh between 25 and 27 lbs.
These figures are based on averages and do remember that pups will have at least some “puppy fat” as padding.
4 Month Old Doberman Puppy Weight
As the weeks pass, your pup grows by leaps and bounds. A healthy, active 4-month-old Doberman will weigh between 38 and 41 lbs (males) and 34 to 36 lbs (females).
If you believe you have serious cause for concern regarding your puppy’s weight or notice signs of appetite loss, the best person to consult is your veterinarian who will have assessed your puppy at his or her first visit.
From here, a vet will have an educated opinion on what your Doberman puppy’s growth curve will look like.
How Much Do Dobermans Grow Each Week?
The Doberman puppy growth curve remains fairly steady until the age of about eight months, after which it begins to flatten out as growth slows. By the age of about 12 months, your pup will have attained adult height.
There’s a little bulking out after that, but no dramatic change in weight. On average, pups will gain about 2.5lbs every week during their most rapid growth phase, but this is an average, and most pups will have growth spurts and periods in which growth is a little slower.
Switching From Doberman Puppy Food To Adult Food
At 18 to 24 months, it’s time to switch your puppy to an adult diet. This shouldn’t be a sudden change. The following guideline can also be used if you’re switching from one brand to another.
From day one to day three, continue to feed your pup 75 percent of his original pet food with 25 percent of the new one mixed in.
For the following three days, go for a half and half mix, and for three days after that, including 25 percent of the original pet food in the mixture. Look out for diarrhea and slow down the process if your pup has loose stools.
What If My Doberman Won’t Eat?
Dobermans are usually good eaters. If you haven’t switched brands recently, your pet may be ill.
Of course, it may just be a matter of indigestion, but if your dog is listless or still won’t eat on the second day, it’s time to take him to the veterinarian.
Before that, you can also check out the dog food. It does need to be stored correctly in a sealed container and in a cold, dry place. Yes! Kibble can go off – and when it is, dogs will often refuse to touch it.
What Nutrients Does A Doberman Puppy Need?
The most important nutrient for puppies – and fully-grown dogs comes as no surprise. It’s protein, and your pet food should list a good source of animal protein as the first ingredient it contains.
That indicates that protein is the primary ingredient, and it’s one of the indicators you can use to judge the quality of dog and puppy food.
But fat, calcium, and some form of carbs in a digestible form are also important. Extra vitamins and antioxidants are a healthful addition to the mix.
How Much Water Should My Puppy Drink?
This shouldn’t be an area where you need to exercise too much vigilance. Simply make sure that your puppy has easy access to clean drinking water at all times and let his natural thirst do the rest.
He’ll drink more after exercise and on hot days. Generally speaking half a cup every two hours is enough.
If you suspect that your puppy is drinking way too much water (or not enough) do give your veterinarian a call. It could be a sign that something is wrong with his health.
Should You Feed A Doberman Puppy Supplements?
If you’re using a high-quality, balanced puppy food such as the ones we’ve recommended in this article, extra supplements shouldn’t be necessary.
The food should contain everything a puppy needs for healthy growth which makes supplementation superfluous.
Supplements can also mean “too much of a good thing” so if you really want to give a supplement, consult your veterinarian.
However, we recommend saving your money and using it on one of the better puppy foods instead.
How Much Exercise Does A Doberman Puppy Need A Day?
Dobermans have plenty of energy and puppy walking forms part of the bonding and training process as well as wearing off some of that extra energy. As a rule of thumb, a dog walk consists of 5 minutes of walking per month in age until it reaches maturity.
It is possible to over-exercise puppies and this can cause permanent health issues, so do be careful during puppyhood.
By all means, take your 8-week-old Doberman puppy out for a little walk, but not for more than 10 minutes daily. By the time he’s six months old, you can walk him for 30 minutes daily (you can split this into two walks of 15 minutes each).
At one year, your Doberman is ready to walk for one hour a day but is still a pup. Once fully grown, you can start building his fitness gradually and take him for much longer walks and runs.