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How Much Do You Feed a Newfoundland

Written by: Arlene Divina
Arlene A. Divina, a resident of the Philippines, is a devoted fur mom to two adorable dogs: a Shih Tzu and a Beagle. With a passion for animals and storytelling, Arlene has channeled her love for dogs into her career as a content writer at iHeartDogs. Her writing captures the essence of the bond between humans and their furry companions, offering insights, tips, and heartfelt stories to a wide audience of dog enthusiasts. Read more
| Published on March 19, 2024

The Newfoundland is a gentle giant among dog breeds, well-known for its calm demeanor and massive size. With such a large body, a Newfoundland has specific dietary needs that are crucial to its health and well-being. This guide will explore the intricacies of feeding a Newfoundland, taking into account the varying caloric needs based on the dog’s weight, age, and activity level, as well as providing a monthly cost estimate for their diet.

1. Understanding the Dietary Needs of a Newfoundland

Newfoundlands require a balanced diet rich in proteins, fats, and carbohydrates, complemented by vitamins and minerals to support their large frame and dense coat. We’ll discuss what a balanced diet looks like for a breed of this size.

2. How Much to Feed Your Newfoundland

On average, adult Newfoundlands will consume 4-5 cups of high-quality dry food per day, divided into two meals. However, this can vary widely based on the food’s calorie content and the dog’s individual metabolism.

3. The Importance of Caloric Content

The calorie content in dog food can differ significantly between brands and types, making it essential to check the food label. We’ll examine how to adjust your Newfoundland’s portions to ensure they’re getting the right amount of energy without overfeeding.

4. Feeding Puppies vs. Adults vs. Seniors

A Newfoundland puppy will have different dietary requirements than an adult or senior. Puppies need more calories for growth, while seniors often require fewer calories. We’ll break down the feeding recommendations for each life stage.

5. Activity Level and Feeding

An active Newfoundland will require more calories than a less active one. We’ll delve into how to tailor your dog’s diet based on their activity level to avoid weight gain or loss.

6. Signs of Proper Feeding

We’ll describe how to recognize if your Newfoundland is at a healthy weight and what signs to look for that may indicate they are either under or overfed.

7. Special Dietary Considerations

Some Newfoundlands may have specific health issues that affect their diet, such as allergies or joint problems. We’ll discuss how to accommodate these conditions through diet.

8. The Cost of Feeding a Newfoundland

Given their size, Newfoundlands can be more expensive to feed than smaller breeds. We’ll provide an estimate of the monthly cost of feeding a Newfoundland, including tips on how to manage this without compromising on quality.

9. Treats and Supplements

While treats are an important part of training and bonding, they should be given in moderation. We’ll explore healthy treat options and when to consider dietary supplements.

10. Changing Food Brands or Types

When changing your Newfoundland’s diet, it’s important to transition slowly to avoid digestive issues. We’ll outline the steps to switch foods safely.

11. Feeding a Newfoundland with Health Issues

If your Newfoundland has health problems, their diet may need to change. We’ll discuss common health issues and how to adjust your dog’s diet accordingly.

Our 5 Top Foods for Newfoundlands

The diets were selected by our founder Justin Palmer, a certified canine nutrition expert, specifically with Newfoundlands in mind:

Food Pros Cons

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  • No filler carbohydrates, mostly animal protein
  • Freeze dried is the closest you can get to homemade/fresh. Retains 95% of nutrient value
  • Single source protein (many to choose from) ideal for dogs with allergies
  • Rich in Omega-3 and probiotics, which retain their value in a freeze dried food.
  • Pricier Option
  • Dog may never go back to kibble after trying!

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  • Multi-meat formula, which exposes your dog to multiple protein sources, which can reduce chance of allergies later in life
  • For a dry dog food, contains VERY high protein (38%). Most kibbles contain less than 25%.
  • Contains fish, providing a good source of Omega-3 fatty acids


  • For a dry dog food, its on the pricier side
  • Uses some legumes for protein, which is less ideal for dogs

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  • For a dry dog food, contains moderately high protein (27%)
  • Quality protein from free-range chicken, eggs, and turkey
  • Added fish oil and probiotics can help skin, coat, and digestion
  • Less protein than options above
  • Uses some grains for protein, which is less ideal for dogs

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  • Human grade ingredients that look fresh and homemade
  • Smells like actual human food!
  • Minimally processed and cooked at temperatures much lower than kibble, retains more nutrients.
  • Many flavor & protein options available
  • Pricey on a per meal basis
  • Your dog may not go back to eating cheaper food!

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  • Canned wet food cooked at lower temperature than kibble and retains more nutrient
  • High quality free-range chicken protein
  • Added antioxidants from Artichokes, Cranberries, Pumpkin, Tomato, Blueberries, Broccoli, Cabbage, Kale, Parsley that you can actually see in the food
  • When buying wet food, you're paying for water weight
  • More expensive than dry food



Feeding Newfoundland appropriately is key to maintaining their health and happiness. This guide provides the foundational knowledge to understand the dietary needs of a Newfoundland, but always consult with your veterinarian to tailor your feeding plan to your dog’s specific needs.


Frequently Asked Questions About Feeding a Newfoundland

1. How much food does a Newfoundland dog need each day?

An adult Newfoundland typically requires between 4-5 cups of high-quality dry food per day, divided into two meals. This amount can vary based on the dog’s activity level, age, and the calorie content of the food.

2. Can Newfoundlands eat a grain-free diet?

Yes, Newfoundlands can eat a grain-free diet if it’s nutritionally balanced. However, it’s important to choose a diet that meets all their nutritional needs and to consult with a vet, especially in light of recent concerns linking grain-free diets to heart issues in dogs.

3. How often should I feed my Newfoundland puppy?

Newfoundland puppies should be fed three to four times a day with puppy formula food. As they grow, the number of feedings can be reduced, and by the time they reach adulthood, they should be transitioned to two meals per day.

4. Are there any specific dietary requirements for Newfoundlands?

Newfoundlands need a balanced diet with enough protein to support muscle maintenance, fatty acids for a healthy coat, and glucosamine and chondroitin for joint health due to their large size.

5. How can I tell if I am feeding my Newfoundland enough?

A well-fed Newfoundland should have a visible waist and you should be able to feel their ribs without excess fat covering them. Regular check-ups with your vet are also essential to ensure they are maintaining a healthy weight.

6. What is the best type of dog food for a Newfoundland?

The best dog food for Newfoundland is one that is formulated for large breeds with an appropriate balance of protein, fats, and carbohydrates. It should also be AAFCO certified, indicating it meets the nutritional standards for dogs.

7. How do I adjust my Newfoundland’s diet as they age?

As Newfoundlands age, they may become less active and require fewer calories. Senior dog foods, which are lower in calories and contain supplements like glucosamine, can be beneficial for aging Newfoundlands.

8. What are some common food allergies in Newfoundlands?

Common food allergies in Newfoundlands include reactions to beef, chicken, grains, and soy. If you suspect your Newfoundland has a food allergy, consult your veterinarian for testing and dietary management.

9. How much will it cost to feed my Newfoundland each month?

The cost of feeding a Newfoundland can vary widely depending on the brand and type of food. On average, you can expect to spend anywhere from $60 to $120 per month on high-quality dog food for an adult in Newfoundland.

10. Can I give my Newfoundland table scraps?

It’s generally not recommended to give your Newfoundland table scraps. Human food can disrupt their nutritional balance, lead to obesity, and some ingredients can be harmful or toxic to dogs.

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