How Much Food Should I Feed My Dog?

You’ve got an excellent brand of dog food for your dog, right? But do you know how much you should feed them? Just maybe. There are specific amounts of food you should feed your dog with respect to their weight to avoid feeding them too much and getting them overweight or not feeding them enough and them become malnourished. 

Keeping your dog healthy isn’t just about the food they eat. It goes beyond that. Do you give them enough exercise, and playtime, and what is the quantity of food you feed them. Whether you just got a new dog or even if you changed your dog’s food, it is necessary to be sure what amount to feed them as the new food might have a different feeding chart compared to the other.

What is your definition of good food? What should be in your dog’s bowl?

You may have guessed the answer to this question but you could be wrong because the answer to this depends on what your dog is like. A puppy, adult, or senior dog. A sport, active or not-so-active dog. 

Well, in general, dogs need proteins, healthy carbs, fats, and a lot of vitamins and minerals to maintain good health and overall wellness. A puppy will need more protein since she needs all the energy and body she can get to grow into a fine adult. An adult dog will need lean proteins and so will a senior dog. They need lesser proteins than a puppy will. An active dog, especially a sport dog, will need all the calories she can get to keep up with her activities for the day and to stay strong, healthy, and active throughout the long day. A less active dog that does not participate in a lot of activities will not be able to burn many calories and so does not need to consume much as this can lead to obesity. You do not want this for your dog, I bet you. 

Hence to maintain a healthy body shape, you need to get the perfect dog food that suits the stage and age of your dog to keep them in the right shape.

There are a few factors to consider before determining how much your dog should eat and how often. They include

  • Age
  • Weight
  • Size
  • Breed
  • Age

Age plays a sizable role when determining how much you should feed your dog. You can consider it like feeding a child and an adult. A child will eat less than an adult basically because of their age difference and their activity level as well. In this same way, dogs might need to be served their food in portions depending on their age. Yes, there may be stipulated guidelines on the packaging of the food, but you may still have to watch your dog’s rate of eating to be sure how much they really do.

Let us look at a simplified version of how your dog’s meal varies with its age.

What Your Puppy Needs 

Just like how children eat less amount of food but often, your puppy will only eat a few amounts of kibble but then, often than an adult dog will. Puppies need to eat about three to four times a day until they are four to six months old. At this stage, you can decrease the frequency to three. At the early stage of their growth, they are slow eaters but they still need enough food to grow healthy. This is why their feeding needs to be frequent. In the later stages, they consume more, and three servings will be enough to help build their body. At the later stage of puppyhood, around six to twelve months, two servings will do this time. In this way, you are gradually feeding them into adulthood. 

Make sure to feed your pup food specially formulated for puppies during their puppy stage of life as this is very important. A different food may not provide the body with the nutrition it needs. 

Also, every bag of food you get your pup has a feeding suggestion by weight written on the packaging. Make sure to read this and follow the chart. A daily feeding chart means you should share the stipulated portion of the number of times you will have to feed your pup for the day. 

What Your Adult Needs

Your puppy has grown into a healthy, lively, and active adult. The feeding strategy has to change. Probably a little. The quantity and frequency will need to be adjusted, including the food. No longer puppy food. It’s adult food this time. Growth right!! 

Adult dogs are to be fed twice a day. They eat more food at this stage and giving them meals more than twice can get them to eat too much which can result in adverse health conditions like obesity.  Make sure to use the feeding-by-weight guide written on the packaging of the food. It will help you know accurately, how much your adult dog needs depending on their weight. You might realize they need to lose some weight.

What Your Senior Needs

When your adult dog is grown enough, at about six to seven years, they become a senior dog. You might want to keep feeding your dog her adult food if their body metabolism still functions as it has been. If you notice any changes, you may have to switch to senior dogs’ food. 

At this stage, your senior dog will need more fat in their diet as it may start decreasing in size as a result of weight loss. These fats will help keep them in shape.

Weight, size, and breed go together so we will discuss these as a unit.

  • Weight, Size, and Breed

The size and weight of a dog most times depend on the breed. A small breed dog cannot get so big to about seventy-five pounds and will definitely not consume food meant for such a dog. 

Toy breeds are small breeds of dogs and do not grow so big even in their adult stage. They do not weigh so much and will not need to consume so much food to compensate for their weight. A toy breed weighing about three pounds should eat ⅓ cup of food a day and one weighing six pounds, half (½) cup a day. You can also check the packing of their food to confirm what amounts dully suit their weights. Toy breeds include Yorkshire Terriers.

Small breeds are larger than toy breeds. They weigh between twenty to twenty-five pounds. These dogs should be fed three-quarters (¾) of their food if they weigh around fifteen pounds or 1⅔ if they are about twenty pounds.

Medium breeds are easy to decipher. They are bigger than the smaller breeds and smaller than the larger breeds. Their weight can easily tell you that. They weigh between thirty to fifty pounds. If your dog weighs thirty, you should feed them about 1¾ cup a day. Forty should be fed 2¼ cups daily and fifty should be fed 2⅔ cups daily.

Take note that this is a daily recommendation and make sure to partition the food into the number of times you feed your dog daily.   

Large and extra large breeds: large breeds weigh about sixty to over seventy pounds. They consume a lot of food and those weighing sixty can be fed up to three cups of food daily. Seventy pounds should be fed 3½ cups, eighty pounds should receive about 3¾ cups and ninety pounds can be fed 4¼ cups per day. Hundred pounds should receive 4½ cups of Food. These amounts of food will keep their body nourished and functioning.

Extra large dogs weigh above hundred pounds and you can add about ⅓ cup to their food for every ten pounds. This is a daily recommendation. Don’t forget to split the meal before serving your dog their delicious meal.

To determine the breed, size, and weight of your dog, you can visit your vet who will carry out the necessary checks and give you sufficient information about your dog.

We recommend that you check the packaging of your dog’s food to ensure that you follow the feeding suggestions as a guide while you watch your dog closely to see if there is any necessary adjustment you should make. 

How To Set A Feeding Schedule

This is one of the easy jobs as getting your dog acclimated to the schedule will only take a little consistency. It might seem difficult to find your dog’s preferred time to eat but once you do, that’s it. 

To start, fill your dog’s bowl with their favorite nutritious meal and place it in a corner. If they eat enough to serve as breakfast, then you have just caught on to your dog’s preferred time for breakfast. If they do not eat, take it out and wait for a while then repeat the process till you figure out their best time to eat. 

Remember, as they grow into different stages, this schedule may change as their feeding frequency changes, This schedule will be just perfect to last throughout their lifetime. 

One other method that may get your dog overweight is Free Choice Feeding. You just have to leave your dog’s food out there and they eat whenever they are hungry. This may seem less stressful to you as a pet owner but it is detrimental to the health of your furry friend. They can easily get obese or get other health complications and visiting your vet isn’t what you would love to do always, just as your dog hates it too.