A healthy lifestyle requires the right amount of food!
Many pet parents have this important question in mind, how much food to feed my dog? How to fix the dog feeding schedule? How often do dogs need to be fed?
Giving the right amount of food to your furry pal is essential, and it depends on many factors such as age, breed, size, activity level, etc.
To give you a clear understanding, we have covered all the important aspects regarding the food quantity, feeding schedule, etc. Let’s dig in and explore more to get better knowledge.
- How Much Should You Feed Your Dog?
- What Factors Impact How Much to Feed a Dog?
- How to Read a Dog Feeding Chart?
- How to Set a Daily Feeding Schedule?
- Well, It’s a Wrap!
How Much Should You Feed Your Dog?
It’s important to feed your furry pal correctly, including the right ingredients, nutrients, calories, and feeding ratio per day. Here, we have jotted down the feeding ratio, as per your dog’s different life stages.
|Food Per Day
|½ – 1¼ Cups
|1⅓ – 1¾ Cups
|1¾ – 2½ Cups
|2½ – 3¼ Cups
|3¼ – 4¼ Cups
|4¼ – 5½ Cups
Puppies need more food intake as compared to adult dogs. Like, they need to be fed thrice or four times a day to meet the requirement of their body. Until they reach the age of four to six months, you need to feed them thrice a day. So, accordingly, you need to fix his feeding guidelines and make sure you don’t overfeed him.
Finally, when he reaches the age of six to twelve months, his body will not demand more food. So, you can cut down meals to twice a day. In addition, keep in mind that no adult food should be fed to your puppy because the nutrient ratio is different in their food.
The actual amount of food ratio depends upon your puppy’s weight and health. So, the brand you are choosing to feed him will give you a feeding chart. Following the feeding chart will give you an idea of how much you need to feed him, which will help your dog’s body to receive proper nutrients for better development.
Dogs reach adulthood when they turn around one, and then their body starts demanding different nutrients for further development. Adult dogs require twice a day, so while feeding him, be careful that you don’t overfeed him.
There are also chances that they will demand treats, and try to have a bite from your plate, etc. In such cases, you have to be strict and don’t feed him treats, whenever they demand. This is because in this way you are giving more than their body requires, and which leads to obesity and other health issues.
Plus, when you are deciding how much to feed your dog, check the brand feeding chart, and according to his weight decide his meal quantity.
|Adult Dog Size
|Dry Food Feeding Amount
|3 to 12lbs
|1/3 to 1cups
|13 to 20lbs
|1 to 1/3cups
|21 to 35lbs
|1-1/3 to 2cups
|26 to 50lbs
|2 to 2-2/3cups
|51 to 75lbs
|2-2/3 to 3-1/3cups
|76 to 100lbs
|3-1/3 to 4-1/4cups
Well, senior dog diet changes with time, when dogs tend to reach their senior hood their appetite decreases. It has also been noticed that senior dogs’ metabolism changes and their digestive system takes time to digest the food.
One of the reasons behind slow digestion could be that when they grow old, their body is occupied with several diseases. This leads to the intake of a lot of medicines and eventually impacts their digestive tract.
When you switch your dog’s food from adult to senior, you need to cross-check the ingredients and whether it will suit his body. Always follow the feeding chart, so that you don’t overfeed your dog.
What Factors Impact How Much to Feed a Dog?
When you are giving more attention to the quantity of food that should be fed to your furry pal, it’s obvious that other related factors will also pop up in your mind.
As AKC Says”Veterinarians recommend feeding a dog at least twice per day. Dogs with medical issues or dietary needs may require specialized feeding schedules or restrictions on what they eat.”
As you keep on reading, you will come across the possible factors, that one thinks about while fixing the feeding quantity for their furry pal. Let’s dig in to explore the factors, and find out how it’s related to the quantity of food.
One of the important factors to look upon while fixing the feeding guidelines for your pup is to focus on his weight. If you are parenting an overweight puppy then you have to select the food accordingly, which does not include high fat and calories, and you need to cut down the feeding ratio.
On the hand, if you are parenting an underweight, their food will be different with different ingredients and calorie ratios. Accordingly, you have to fix his feeding guidelines.
Maintaining your pup’s weight as per their age, and size is very important because if you overlook this issue it will lead to health issues. Such as thyroid, joint problems, liver issues, digestion issues, etc. Always consult the vet, when you are planning to change your dog’s diet plans.
As your dog grows older, its food needs change, it varies according to its body requirement.
Like, during puppyhood they will demand more food along with milk food because there were in the developing stage and for better development. All the nutrients requirement needs to be fulfilled.
During their adulthood, their food requirements vary all time they will not demand to eat something. At least twice a day is enough for them, but that should be in an ample amount so that they will not ask for snacks or midday midnight treats to fill their empty stomach.
If we talk about their senior hood, their food intake ratio decreases. As they grow old. One of the main reasons behind eating less is that their body is already occupied with several diseases. And loaded with medicines, so they avoid having a proper diet as they are not able to finish their meal and don’t feel, like finishing a full meal.
We recommend you consult the vet and decide the food quantity as per your dog’s lifespan and lifestyle.
One of the factors is activity level, which many food brands display on their packaging. If your dog belongs to those categories who carry out a lot of exercises and regularly take part in physical activity, then their feeding ratio is different as their body will require more calories to meet their energy level.
On the other hand, there is a different feeding ratio for the dogs with less activity level, and who only like to take rest. For them, it is recommended not to feed them much food as their body is not active in doing any physical activity. Plus, intaking food in a large ratio will only add fat to their body and make them more lethargic.
It also solely depends upon the food brand you are giving to your furry pal. If you are preferring dry food for your dog, then its feeding ratio is different as compared to wet food.
Different brands have different measuring cups. It is recommended to stick to the one brand which your dog is comfortable with and follow the same feeding guidelines which that particular brand had given and your vet guides you to feed him.
If you keep on searching different brands measuring way, then you will end up giving the wrong quantity to your furry pal. And he won’t be able to receive the exact nutrients and calories his body required to meet the development.
Once you understand the factors and are clear about which type of food is suitable for your pup. You can focus on the feeding guidelines and can seek advice from the vet if you are switching your pup’s food flavor or brand.
How to Read a Dog Feeding Chart?
There is a variety of dog food brands available in the market. Whichever brand you select for your furry pal, will have feeding guidelines and a nutrients chart in detail.
If you look carefully at the food package, there is a bifurcation of nutrients, feeding measurements, dog age, and breed classifications. Here, are simple ways to read the dog feeding chart.
- Before you buy food for your pup, it’s important to check the flavor and whether it is suitable for your pup or not.
- Look at the ingredients’ classification, and match it with your pup’s sensitivity level.
- If you look carefully, many food brands do include weight classification. In this breakdown, they specify the food intake ratio also.
- Many dog food brands mention the feeding guidelines once a day. So, if you are planning to give meals twice a day to your furry pal, then you have to divide that feeding ration, which will give you a proper balance of feeding food to your dog.
Feeding charts are just a rough idea of how much quantity you should feed to your furry pal. If you are planning to switch the food brand or flavor of the food. In such cases, a feeding chart will also help you out with the ingredients, and calorie intake list.
How to Set a Daily Feeding Schedule?
It’s very easy to set a feeding schedule for your dog. This is because they quickly get adapt to things and stick to them for the rest of their life.
After deciding the food quantity, all you need to do is fix the feeding schedule of your furry pal.
As Per duckteam6“The dog should be fed at the same time(s) and the same place every day. Consistency is key, so if you help in making sure the dog is fed daily, ask for help from a few trusted individuals.“
For instance, you fill your dog’s food bowl and kept it in his place, waiting for him to come and have his meal. If he comes near the food bowl and eats it, then you don’t have to hustle, much, to fix the feeding schedule. Just mark the time he is coming to have his meal and accordingly fix the meal time.
But there are also chances that this experiment will not work. And you have to wait for your dog to come to you, and demand his meal. In such cases, it is recommended to continue the habit of filling the food bowl and offering him to eat. It will take time to set the schedule, but there are chances that he will adapt it soon.
After observing closely his feeding schedule, now it’s time to fix the schedule. This will ease your feeding work and your furry pal will be getting his meal on time.
Note:- Never keep a habit of filling your dog’s feeding bowl and leaving it. This leaves a bad impression on your furry pal, this could also lead to overeating and behavioral change in your furry pal.
How much raw food should I feed my dog?
Generally, food quantity depends upon the weight of a dog. So, feeding raw food solely depends upon the dog’s weight, like they can have 2-5% raw food as per their current body weight. If your dog is overweight, then it’s better to cut down to a 2% ratio of feeding raw food to him.
Is it OK to feed a dog raw chicken?
We recommend you do not feed raw chicken to your dog. This is because there are chances that raw chicken might be contaminated with harmful bacteria. That can lead to stomach infection issues and other digestion-related problems.
How often a dog should eat?
It’s recommended to feed the dog twice a day, and at least keep 12 hours gap between the two meals. So, this is the reason the vet recommends giving healthy meals both the time. If you exceed the time limit between the two meals, then your dog may experience nausea. Because an empty stomach can become hyper-acidic, which will lead to nausea symptoms, and other related symptoms.
When to ring the dinner bell?
Apart from fixing the meal quantity for your pup, it’s important to decide the meal time as well. Like if you have an active dog who likes to carry out physical activities, then don’t feed him right before playtime or just after playtime. It’s better you keep a gap between their activity and meal time. This is because such a meal schedule will lead to stomach issues and create problems in digesting food. On the other hand, if you have a lazy furry pal, then you just have to fix the meal according to their appetite requirement.
How much should puppies eat?
Well, initial days puppies will be needing mother’s milk and semi-solid food for the development of their body. So, you can’t fix a schedule like free feeding is more recommended during the initial stages. Then, around the fourth month, cut short the free feeding to three times a day. Eventually, it will come down to twice a day feeding schedule when their body will be developed fully.
Why does my dog’s food amount matter?
Your dog’s food amount matter because overfeeding is not a good thing. It can lead to weight gain, which can further lead to joint issues and other severe health issues. So, keeping food quantity fixed as per your dog’s size, weight, age, and breed is good for their health.
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Well, It’s a Wrap!
Concluding our blog on how much food should be fed to your dog. Let’s quickly recall!
Before fixing the feeding guidelines, select the appropriate food type and brand for your furry pal as per their age, body requirements, activity level, etc.
Many food brands have displayed the feeding guidelines on their package so according to the ingredients included in the package, you can feed your furry pal if they have taken ratio once in a day. All you need to do is divide it, and they feed your furry pal twice a day.
If your furry pal is suffering from any health issue, then also it’s important to choose the food and feeding ratio accordingly so that you don’t overfeed your furry pal.
After reading this blog, you are very much clear with the feeding ratio, how to read a feeding chart and what to look for while buying food for your furry pal.
- John, J., DVM. (2023, March 7). How Much Food to Feed My Dog? | DogLikesBest. DogLikesBest. Retrieved March 7, 2023, from https://www.doglikesbest.com/how-much-food-to-feed-my-dog/
Julia is a Board Certified Veterinary Nutritionist, practicing veterinarian in a non-profit animal hospital and feline sanctuary located in Rochester, NY. She is also a full-time veterinary advisor at DogLikesBest. She focuses on writing healthcare-related topics including dog foods, treats, veterinary diets, food for specific healthcare features, etc. Moreover, any article on DogNeedsBest that has to concern feline health in any way, goes under her scrutiny before being published.