How Much Food To Feed My Dog? Whether you feed your pup every meal or deprive them of food every other day, one of the most important things you can do for their long-term health is to help them maintain a healthy weight – which starts with getting the right amount of food and giving them enough exercise.
But just what does the right amount mean? And how does it change as they grow from puppies to adults? A lot goes into determining how much food your dog needs each day; consider their age, breed, activity level, etc.
For example, according to AKC guidelines (a company that belongs to an international umbrella organization encompassing all major kennel clubs), larger breeds need more calories per day than smaller ones due to their increased metabolism.
They also need more if they’re very active outside – especially during cold weather months when it’s harder for them to keep warm!
How much to feed puppies
Puppies need different types of food for their young, growing bodies. For example, some breeds can eat up to four meals a day whereas an adult or adolescent dog might only eat two or three times during the same time period. Watch the dog, not the dish, suggests the AKC.
This means establishing a feeding schedule and taking away any leftovers within ten minutes of finishing one meal so that you know how much your pup needs.
It also helps establish good habits by teaching your pup to wait until the next meal if they don’t want any leftover scraps when it finishes its previous bowlful. And since puppies feed so often, they won’t go hungry too long before being offered another chance at full tummies.
The amount of food to give to adult dogs
Even though some dogs are more sedentary than others, most breeds of adult dogs eat twice a day. Owners need to provide them with a healthy diet, which is dependent on their individual needs at that time. Feeding your pet 2 cups per day – 1 in the morning and 1 in the evening – allows plenty of time for growing youngsters and other less active adults.
You should always offer water as well! (Manufacturers will sometimes include guidelines on food packaging,) so this can be helpful when you’re just starting out, but pay attention if they seem excessive or insufficient: if they don’t fit within their recommended daily calorie intake then it might be worth making changes).
Although some breeds feed themselves through feeding programs such as eat what they please – where there’s no predetermined amount offered – most owners report success when relying on instructions from producers when introducing new brands because animal appetites vary based on moods and feelings; this method also prevents any allergic reactions from occurring).
For those of us with live-to-eat type dogs, it can be hard to keep them at a healthy weight. One way to help them out would be to consult your vet about portion control. Your veterinarian might recommend a specialized diet that includes pricey food items or they might just give you some tips on how to make sure they’re eating less without feeling starved.
|Adult Dog Size (lbs)||Dry Food Feeding Amount (Cups)|
|3 to 12||1/3 to 1|
|13 to 20||1 to 1/3|
|21 to 35||1-1/3 to 2|
|26 to 50||2 to 2-2/3|
|51 to 75||2-2/3 to 3-1/3|
|76 to 100||3-1/3 to 4-1/4|
|100+||4-1/4 plus 1/4 cup for each 10 lbs of body weight over 100 lbs|
Non-commercial Dog Food
Some pet owners prefer to prepare their own food for their dogs instead of buying pre-made kibble. This can come with its benefits, such as being easier on a dog’s stomach and feeding them at any stage of life without switching between a puppy, adult, or senior food.
Some people also choose this option if they want to give very specific kinds of nutrition or meet other needs (or if they just care about what goes into their pet). If you’re interested in making your own dog food or treats, the AKC has some ideas.
What about treats?
As a general rule, dog treats should make up no more than 10% of your dog’s daily caloric intake. For those in training programs or with weight-related issues, consider creative treat ideas that don’t pack on pounds. Once we had a dog who loved green beans – a nice low-calorie treat.
How to tell if your dog’s weight is healthy
According to PetMD, a few key things will give away whether your dog is at a healthy weight. To spot these telltale signs of being underweight versus overweight, take a second look: firstly, make sure they have an hourglass figure when you look at them from above – wide shoulders and ribs tapering off at the hips; secondly, check that they’re tucked-up—ribs close to the ground as opposed to feeling fat; thirdly, their ribs shouldn’t be visible but you should still be able to feel them with very little pressure.
From just this one quick overview it’ll be clear whether or not they’re getting enough food and exercise or if adjustments need to be made on what they eat each day.
Health and overweight dogs
Obesity is a common issue in both humans and animals alike; often stemming from an abundance of food, coupled with a lack of physical activity. One out of three dogs is considered obese today.
As obesity can lead to serious complications such as musculoskeletal problems, congestive heart failure, Cushing’s disease, skin disorders, and even certain cancers – it’s always best to consult your veterinarian when you see these symptoms manifesting themselves in your dog.
If you notice that your pet has gained weight or doesn’t move around much anymore- don’t hesitate to take action.