Knowing how much food to give your dog may sound simple, but is not as simple as it sounds. Here’s how to find out how much food your dog needs on a daily basis.
Whether you are getting a dog for the first time, getting a new one as a friend for your pooch or even when changes in age, height or weight are happening, you are going to have to put a focus on the diet you are putting your dog on.
Even though some complete and balanced food packages have ready made feeding recommendations printed on the label, each and every dog is unique in its own right so you still may need to make some adjustments on the quantity that you feed your dog.
What exactly factors in the quantity of food that you need to give your dog?
Many factors can weigh into not only how much food that you need to feed your dog but even the type of food it needs.
1. The dog’s weight
One of the most important things for your dog’s overall health is keeping an ideal body condition. That means that if your dog in not in its ideal body condition, you may need to make some changes in the quantity and quality of food that you are feeding it.
You should consider a weight management formula to aid your dog in achieving and keeping its ideal body condition. It is also recommended to work closely with your vet to rule out any health concerns that your dog may have.
2. Consider your dog’s activity level
The usual feeding recommendations that you get on the back of dog food packages are based on the average adult dog that gets a normal amount of activity. If your dog is getting lots of daily exercise by going on runs or even hikes with you, then it may have a calorie deficit that needs to be filled, while dogs that are less active and on the overweight side may need a better managed daily caloric intake.
3. One major factor to consider is your dog’s age
As your dog ages, its diet and nutrition needs a bit of a change. If your dog is still at its puppy stage, then it needs special puppy food for its growth and development. Older dogs should be fed specially made senior dog food that will help keep them active and their mind sharp. Always consult your vet to determine the type of food that your dog needs all based on its lifestyle and age range.
After you find a good and balanced food that completely meets your doggie’s own needs, then you can determine the quantity of food that you will need to give it. The dog feeding chart printed on the back of dog food packages can help you greatly.
What exactly are dog food charts?
Dog feeding charts are a requirement on the back of all dog food packaging. However, the layout of the chart can very much vary from brand to brand, so don’t be alarmed when you are switching brands and there is different chart printed on the back. What you need to do is pay especially close attention to it to make sure that you are feeding your dog the correct quantity based on its weight and age.
Dog feeding charts usually state the recommended daily intake of food based on age and weight. If you are feeding your dog multiple times a day then you will need to divide the amount that is recommended in the chart between those meals.
Below is a simple feeding chart that is very similar to ones that you may find on the back of any dry dog food packaging:
|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|
Note: Dog feeding amounts vary from product to product based on calorie content and formula. Consult the feeding chart on the back of your dog’s food packaging. Individual needs can vary, so consult your veterinarian regarding special dietary needs.
How often should you feed your dog?
The appropriate time for most dogs is to feed them twice in the day – once in the morning and once at night. It is recommended that you have set mealtimes, by keeping them consistent, as well as the type and quantity of food you are feeding your dog, it will help to maintain both the dog’s digestive health and its weight. Additionally, consistent mealtimes can also aid in preventing accidents in the house.