How much should you feed your dog?
When it comes to setting how often and how much you should feed your dog, it’s important to consider their age, breed, weight and individual energy levels. Depending on their size, age and activity level, your pup will need more or less food, several times a day. Unfortunately, your dog’s feeding needs depend on many factors and it isn’t possible to give a blanket answer that will work for everyone.
Most dogs will eat whatever food you put in front of them, no matter what it is or the serving size. But many dog owners have little idea whether that food, or the amount they dish up, is suitable, or that their dog’s diet should change according to the pups age, weight, activity levels and health conditions.
The best place to start from is by looking at the feeding guides on the pack of your dog’s food. They are often presented as a table and are generally pretty easy to navigate. Most adult dogs should eat two meals a day whereas puppies often require more regular feedings so you will need to divide the amount on the table by the number of meals you are offering.
It is also important to take your dog’s lifestyle into consideration. For example, a relatively inactive pooch with a tendency to gain weight may need a little less food than the table on the back of the pack recommends. Likewise if my dog was a very active pup who never sits still, he would probably need slightly more than what the table says.
The table below is a great guide to follow:
What other factors impact how much I feed my dog?
Female dogs may also need more fuel if they are pregnant or feeding a litter, this is something you should speak to your vet about to find what the ideal amount is relevant to you dogs breed and litter size. Similarly if your dog has digestive issues, health conditions or is on medication, the amount will likely vary from the chart above. Once again this is something to chat to your vet about so you can be sure you are fuelling your dog with the right amount of nutrition.
What about treats?
Dog treats must also be accounted for within your pet’s daily calorie intake and as a general rule, shouldn’t make up more than 10% of their daily energy requirements. Feeding them scraps from the dinner table can also be harmful as there are many seemingly normal human foods that can be dangerous to our furry friends.
Feeding your dog a balanced and nutritious diet is key to a healthy and happy pup. It is important to remember that this is not a “one size fits all” approach, it is vital to remember that some dogs need more or less than others based on their breed, activity levels, age and other contributing health conditions. Always remember to keep fresh, clean drinking water in an easily accessible spot at all times, as water is life’s most essential nutrient!