Adopting a Belgian Malinois puppy can be an exciting time in your life. But, regardless of how sweet puppies can be, you will need to be sure that you are taking good care of the newest member of your family.
Part of this care is knowing how much to feed a Belgian Malinois puppy and understanding how the breed develops.
To understand the breed’s nutritional needs, you should consult with a Belgian Malinois feeding chart, while also keeping in good communication with your veterinarian.
We have compiled everything that you need to know about feeding your Belgian Malinois puppy to help you raise a healthy dog.
How Much Should A Belgian Malinois Puppy Eat?
To begin with, a common question is how you know how much you should be feeding your Belgian Malinois puppy. The easiest thing to do is to use a Belgian Malinois puppy feeding chart.
Feeding charts work by allowing you to compare your dog’s age with how much they should be consuming every day.
You will know if your puppy is not getting enough calories based on whether you can see his ribs or not. You should be able to feel a puppy’s ribs under his skin, but they should not be sticking out.
If you are concerned about how much you are feeding your pup, always check in with your vet for guidance.
Best Dog Food For Belgian Malinois Puppies (2022)
- Blue Buffalo Life Protection Puppy Dog Food (Editor’s Choice)
- Purina Pro Plan Puppy Dog Food (Runner-Up)
Belgian Malinois Puppy Feeding Chart
As a dog owner, you should have a copy of a Belgian Malinois Feeding Chart.
This will help you gain an idea about how much food to feed your Belgian Malinois puppy daily. Regardless, a Belgian Malinois feeding chart does not consider your puppy’s resting energy requirement (RER).
Your pup’s RER will inform you about how many calories your puppy needs daily, based on caloric needs.
To calculate your dog’s RER, you will take your puppy’s weight in kilograms to the ¾ power multiplied by 70.
For puppies, you need to triple it if your puppy is 8 to 16 weeks old or double it if your puppy is 5 to 12 months old. That means a 4-month-old puppy who weighs 22 pounds will need 1,200 calories a day to grow properly.
4 Week Old Belgian Malinois Puppy
A 4 week old Belgian Malinois puppy should still be living with his mother and primary getting milk for sustenance.
At this age, it is only to gently introduce the idea of puppy food to help the dog progress to being weaned by the 8-week mark.
Offer the puppy a little bit of puppy food throughout the day, but if the puppy is not interested, he is not ready yet to eat puppy food. Do not try to force it on a puppy.
6 Week Old Belgian Malinois Puppy
At 6 weeks, a Belgian Malinois likely still resides with his mother and may still be nursing. Regardless, he should be starting to consume puppy food by this point.
The puppy should be getting about a half of cup of food in total daily, broken up into 4 separate meals. Puppies may not have that big of an appetite just yet, so be patient as the puppy weans from his mother’s milk and moves to puppy food.8
Week Old Belgian Malinois Puppy
By the time that a Belgian Malinois puppy is 8 weeks old, he should be completely weaned from his mother’s milk and eating puppy food exclusively.
This is when puppies are ready to be rehomed. Make sure that you are feeding the puppy food that is formulated for puppies and not adult food.
Your puppy should have between 5 and 7 ounces of food a day, which comes out to 2/3 to ¾ cups of puppy food daily.
Puppies at this age should be fed 4 times a day, but if you just adopted one, it may take a while for his appetite to kick up.
10 Week Old Belgian Malinois Puppy
When a puppy has reached 10 weeks and has comfortably lived in his new home for a couple of weeks, you should see a dramatic increase in the enthusiasm a puppy has for his food.
Even though puppies are very enthusiastic about their meals, it is not an indication that you should be feeding your dog more than you are. Instead, watch his weight gain.
He should still be getting somewhere between 5 and 7 ounces of food, distributed evenly throughout the day.
12 Week Old Belgian Malinois Puppy
There is not a lot of feeding differences between 10 and 12 weeks old. You will still need to give him 4 meals a day at this point to help him maintain his metabolism and keep him from being too hungry.
Do not put a whole day’s worth of food out at once or there is a good chance that your puppy will eat it all for breakfast and then be scrounging for food later in the day.
The amount should still be between 5 and 7 ounces, but if your puppy is looking too thin, you can increase that slightly.
14 Week Old Belgian Malinois Puppy
At 14 weeks, your Belgian Malinois should still be eating 4 meals a day, all the same size. The amount should be between ¾ cup and 1 cup a day in total.
You should be monitoring the puppy’s weight as well and make sure that he is on his growth curve. This means that he is growing steadily and is neither too light nor too heavy.
Watch your puppy’s waistline. You should be able to make it out at this point, but should not be able to see the puppy’s ribs.
16 Week Old Belgian Malinois Puppy
When your Belgian Malinois puppy reaches 16 weeks, you can safely reduce the quantity of meals from 4 meals a day down to 3 meals a day.
You will need to keep up the 3 meals a day until he reaches 6 months of age. Your puppy should eat between 8 and 10 ounces of food a day, which is between 1 and 1 ¼ cups.
You will still want to keep him on the same puppy food at this point.
6 Months – 12 Months Old Belgian Malinois Puppy
If your Belgian Malinois has finally reached 6 months of age, you can finally reduce the amount of meals that he has to only 2 a day. You can keep him on 2 meals for the rest of his life.
You will need to feed him between 1 ¼ and 1 ¾ cups at this point, gradually increasing to around 2 cups of food a day by 8 months of age. Keep him on puppy food up until his first birthday.
12 Months & Above Belgian Malinois
At 12 months of age, you can gradually switch your Belgian Malinois from puppy food to adult food. The quantity of food and the frequency will not need to change.
Do the change gradually, slowly decreasing the puppy food while adding in the adult dog food. The entire food change process should happen over 1 or 2 weeks.
That way you will not need to disrupt your pup’s digestion, which can happen when you change your dog’s food.
Understanding Belgian Malinois Puppy Nutritional Needs
As is the case with all dogs, your Belgian Malinois puppy should stay on his mother’s milk up to the point that he is ready to be rehomed at 8 weeks.
After that, your puppy will need to stay on puppy food until his first birthday, at which point your can change the food to adult dog food.
Puppy food is higher in nutrients and calories than adult dog food. Make sure the puppy food you go with is high in protein, vitamins, minerals, and fats, but is low in fillers.
When you introduce puppy food, you should soften it with water so it’s less difficult to chew.
Puppies need a lot of calories to develop well, but adults do not require as many calories. Therefore you won’t keep your dog on puppy food when he’s done growing and ensure that his caloric intake matches his needs.
How Many Times A Day To Feed A Belgian Malinois Puppy?
A Belgian Malinois feeding chart can give you a lot of information, but it will not tell you how many times a day that you should be feeding your dog.
Young puppies need frequent meals to maintain their health, energy level, and development. Once a puppy is weaned, you should feed him 4 times a day in equal portions.
At 4 months, you can reduce the frequency down to 3 times a day. Finally at 6 months, you can reduce the amount down to 2 times a day, which is the frequency you will maintain after that.
Never feed a whole day’s worth of food in one meal. It will cause many issues and make a hungry dog.
Kibble vs Wet Food For Belgian Malinois Puppies
A common concern about feeding your Belgian Malinois puppy is whether it is better to use wet or dry puppy food. The answer is not very straight forward, because it depends on the situation.
If your puppy has had a healthy start to life, you likely can just use straight dry puppy food. It is better for their teeth, has all of the right nutrients, and is easier on the wallet.
You can soften dry food if your puppy seems to have trouble chewing the kibble at first.
Wet food is usually higher in calories and fat than dry food and usually lacks some of the nutrients you get from dry food.
Wet food does help with hydration and weight gain if you have an unwell puppy. So, use the food that is right for your situation.
Switching From Puppy Food To Adult Food
When your Belgian Malinois reaches his first birthday, it will be time to transition him from puppy food to adult dog food.
A Belgian Malinois will be done growing at this point and no longer in need of all the nutrients, fats, and calories from puppy food. Keeping a dog on puppy food too long can lead to obesity.
Transition your puppy slowly, reducing his puppy food by about 25% while making up for the amount with adult dog food.
Stick with this amount for several days, before dropping the puppy food to 50%, with the other half being adult food.
Continue until it is 25% puppy food and 75% adult food, then get rid of the puppy food altogether. It should take a week or two to make the transition.
What If My Belgian Malinois Puppy Won’t Eat?
As a dog owner, it can be very disconcerting if your puppy is not eating as much as he had previously, but before you panic, there may be a perfectly good explanation to his resistance to eating.
If you recently adopted the puppy, he may need a few days to become comfortable enough to have an appetite. If you have changed his food, there may be some digestive troubles that he needs to work through causing him to not want to eat.
Growing puppies have appetites that ebb and flow, however, so he may not be as ravenous this week as he was last week. If it continues or he seems to be dropping weight, call your vet.
Can You Freefeed A Belgian Malinois Puppy?
Any dog owner has probably contemplated the idea of freefeeding at some point or another. After all, it is so much easier to do.
Freefeeding is where you put a full bowl of food out for your puppy, and he has free access to eat it as much as he wants.
Freefeeding can work for some smaller breeds, but it is not a good idea for a Belgian Malinois puppy.
Belgian Malinois puppies are likely to eat the day’s worth of food in one go, and be starving later in the day, causing him behaviour problems, hunger, and fatigue. It is better to serve him several meals a day instead.
How Long To Feed A Belgian Malinois Puppy?
As we mentioned above, in general, Belgian Malinois puppies are considered adults at their first birthday. This does not mean that they will automatically stop growing at this point.
A Belgian Malinois may continue to grow up until 18 months, but you will not want to keep him on puppy food longer than 12 months.
Even though your Belgian Malinois may continue to grow, his metabolism and needs will be slowing down. If he is fed too many calories and fats, he might become overweight, which is very hard to undo in a dog.
Best Puppy Dog Food For Belgian Malinois
1. Eukanuba Puppy Large Breed Dry Dog Food
Our choice for the best puppy food for Belgian Malinois puppies is the Eukanuba Large Breed Puppy food. It is formulated for puppies that are larger, which means that it provides higher level of proteins than you will get from other foods.
The food also has high-quality ingredients that will allow your puppy to grow into a healthy adult.
The DHA will help with eye development, while the calcium and phosphorus will ensure strong bones, which every Belgian Malinois dog needs as they grow heavier and older.
- High in protein
- Made for large breeds
- Good quality ingredients
- High levels of DHA
- Optimal levels of calcium
- The flavour may become boring over time
2. Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Puppy Food
If the Eukanuba does not seem the right food for you, our second-place choice is the Blue Buffalo Light Protection Puppy Food.
While the Life Protection Formula is not specifically for large breeds, it still has the nutrition a growing puppy needs.
The food contains levels of DHA and ARA that are on-par with what you would find in a mother’s milk. These help with eye and brain development. The food is also antioxidant-rich, ensuring he will grow into a health adult.
- Good amounts of DHA and ARA
- Real chicken is the first ingredient
- Natural ingredients
- Made in the United States
- Not breed specific
3. Iams Puppy Dry Food
If you are looking more for a dog food that fits easier within the budget, we recommend the Iams Puppy Dry Dog Food.
This food has been formulated to suit the needs of larger dog breeds, which is good for a Belgian Malinois puppy.
The food does have the nutrients a puppy needs, including having farm-raised chicken and omega-3 DHA, but it does have more potential allergens than some of the other foods that we have looked at, so keep that in mind when you are looking at ingredients.
- Made for large breeds
- Contains Omega-3 DHA
- No artificial flavours or fillers
- Farm-raised chicken
- Has more potential allergens than other foods
4. Nutro Ultra Puppy Dry Dog Food
Another great choice for your Belgian Malinois puppy is the Nutro Ultra Puppy Food. This is an excellent formula with a blend of 15 vibrant superfoods, including blueberries, kale, and coconut.
This food does not have any of the common allergens, such as chicken by-product meals, corn, soy, or wheat. It also has no artificial flavours or colors.
The food is not meant for large breeds, but Belgian Malinois dogs do not grow heavier than 70 pounds as a rule, so it should be ok.
- Blend of 15 vibrant superfoods
- No by-product meals, corn, soy, or wheat
- No preservatives
- No artificial flavours
- Promotes healthy growth
- Not meant for dogs who are over 70 pounds as adults, so it is pushing it a little
5. Blue Buffalo Wilderness Natural Puppy Food
Our final choice for the best dog foods for a Belgian Malinois puppy is the Blue Buffalo Wilderness Puppy Food. While the dog food is not formulated for larger breeds, it is meant to provide the best nutrients for all breeds.
The ingredients within the good are all-natural and it contains no grains. Instead, it has a precise blend of antioxidants and is made with real chicken, no chicken meals or by-products.
This food will give your growing puppy everything that he needs to be a healthy adult Belgian Malinois.
- All-natural ingredients
- No by-products
- Made with real chicken
- Precise blend of antioxidants
- Not specific to large breeds
Is A Raw Diet Healthy For A Belgian Malinois Puppy?
The idea of a raw diet has gained some popularity recently as it has been recommended by some vets and breeders. The idea is that raw meats are more natural to a dog’s digestive system and therefore better for them.
Unfortunately, the science on this has not agreed with the fad. It is very difficult to know whether your puppy is receiving the right number of calories and nutrition if you are putting the food together yourself.
There is also a risk of contaminated meats that contain salmonella or other bacteria that could cause illness.
It is better to stick with kibble for your puppy, but you could always add a little raw food into the mix.
How Much Do Belgian Malinois Puppies Grow Each Week?
As Belgian Malinois is considered to be a medium to large breed, there should be some growth each week as the puppies age.
Depending on your individual dog, your Belgian Malinois puppy could gain a half of a pound up to over a pound a week until they are around 12 months old.
Puppies, just like humans, will have periods of growth spurts, where they grow more in a week than they do during other times of puppyhood.
This is completely normal. You could even still see some minor growth up to his second birthday, depending on your individual dog.
Should You Feed A Belgian Malinois Puppy Supplements?
Supplements are another fad that has hit in more recent years. Supplements are just that: they supplement your diet in areas that you might not be eating.
While you want to be sure that your puppy is getting all the vitamins that he needs to be healthy, it is not a good idea to give your puppy supplements.
With the nutrition already found within puppy food, you risk overdosing your puppy with too much of certain vitamins and minerals, causing illness.
If a vet has suggested a supplement, that is one thing, but you should never just give them on your own.
How Much Water Should A Belgian Malinois Puppy Drink?
All dogs need to drink water regularly for their health. If you are wondering whether you are giving your puppy enough or if he is drinking enough, there is a simple calculation that you can do to check.
Generally, your dog should drink about 1/8 cup of water per pound of weight daily. Unlike with feeding, you can put your dog’s water bowl out for him to drink as much as he needs.
Depending on activity and temperature, your dog may need more water.