Wednesday, February 28, 2024

How Much Food Should I Be Feeding My Dog

Why Does My Dogs Food Amount Matter

How much food to feed your puppy? | Veterinary Approved

The right kind of nourishment helps keep your dog healthy. Overfeeding your dog can cause weight gain, which can lead to joint problems and other health issues.

Keeping portion sizes consistent and appropriate based on his age, weight and activity levels will help him maintain his ideal weight and remain active. Find out how your veterinarian assesses your dogs body condition with our Body Condition System.

For more feeding tips from our experts, visit our Pet Expertise page.

How Often And How Much Should You Feed A Puppy

Puppies nutritional needs are of course different from an adult or even adolescent dog. For starters, they often eat more times a day than adult dogs. Depending on your puppys breed and age, she may eat up to four meals per day or two to three times the amount of an adult dog.

AKC recommends a method called watch the dog, not the dish. Giving puppies a schedule for their meals, and then taking away any leftover food 10-20 minutes after a meal is served, helps to establish good eating habits.

This method will help you to learn how much your puppy needs and helps your pup to establish good habits, as in: if youre hungry, eat!

If a puppy misses out by not eating enough at one meal, their hunger will help them finish their meal at the next feeding and learn to eat when the food is available. And because they have frequent meals, they wont go hungry for long.

How much your puppy eats is also dependent on her breed size:

  • Toy and Small Breeds: 4-6 meals per day
  • Medium Breeds: 3 meals per day
  • Large Breeds: 3-4 meals per day

Raw Dog Food: Sardines And Other Seafoodfinal Thoughts

Fish deserves to be in your pups food bowl due to its nutrient composition.

Although dogs have much to gain from having seafood on the menu, some marine creatures are just not worth the risk.

Whether youre feeding raw dog food or a cooked meal, it is vital to prepare it the right way. Whenever introducing something new, start with small portions to eliminate the potential side effects.

In choosing food for your dog, you need to consider your pups activity level, age, size, and food allergies. Your lifestyle also matters if you have the time to spend preparing or shopping for your dog.

So, what should you feed your dog?

The best dog food is up to you to decide. Dogs dont get to choose what they eat, so as owners, we choose what we think is best for our pups health.

Every dog has its unique dietary requirement, so it is important to remember that not all dogs have the same nutritional needs.

But of course, this is not a substitute for medical advice.

Your vet has the answers about pet nutrition. They are a valuable resource to help you narrow down your options regarding your dogs food.

A consultation gives peace of mind as it ensures you are giving good raw food for dogs to provide a complete and balanced diet your pooch needs to thrive.

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How Much Raw Food Should I Feed My Dog

As a general rule, dogs should eat approximately 2-5% of their body weight in raw daily food. This will vary depending on the dogs energy and activity levels.

  • If your pet is overweight and needs to lose a few extra kilos, feed them closer to 2% of their body weight and give them more exercise.
  • For the average activity level, 3% per day is generally fine.
  • If your pet is underweight, or has high activity levels, closer to 4% should be fed.
  • Very highly active dogs, like working dogs will need up to 5% of body weight per day.

Should You Feed By Calories Or Cups

How Much Should I Feed My Dog? Your Dogs Complete Nutrition Guide ...

Going by a foods feeding chart recommendations is, admittedly, the easiest route. Just look for the amount recommended for your dogs weight range, and youve got your portion size. While this requires less effort on your part, its not necessarily the best or healthiest approach.

We know that dog foods must include a feeding guide on their label. However, theres no set guidelines on how companies determine appropriate serving sizes. Meaning every company can take a different approach, which puts dog owners at risk of feeding unhealthy portions.

In many cases, the feeding instructions found on dog food labels dont align with the standards set by the Pet Nutrition Alliance. Sometimes, this is because the companys calculations were based on more active dogs than the average household pet. Dr. Simon admits, Its not uncommon for owners to have to tweak feeding guidelines by as much as 20%.

Luckily, Dr. Whittenburg informs us theres a pretty easy solution: online calorie calculators.

Calculators are easier to use and more accurate than charts, as they can be much more precise as opposed to providing ranges. They also are able to take into account sex, body condition score, and activity level.

Recommended Reading: Where To Buy Dr Marty’s Dog Food

Canned Vs Fresh Sardines For Dogs

Fresh food offers the best source of nutrients, but fresh sardines arent always available. Its not even a cost-effective choice, so, you may have canned sardines.

Although canned, its best to keep it as natural as possible with no additives. It is important to note that when purchasing from raw dog food companies, look for brands packed in water and contain no added salt.

If you can source fresh sardines, they might be larger than the canned ones. Keep in mind to remove the backbone to prevent the risk of choking.

Lets Start With The Wet Food Amount Basics

Every dog food brand is going to have a recommended serving size based on a dogs weight, so make sure you know how much your pooch weighs. Some brands recommend one three ounce can of their food per 3 to 3.5 pounds of body weight.

Remember: the recommended serving size on your dog food can is for total daily consumption, so youll need to split it into smaller sizes for meals or your dog is getting way more food than it needs. She or he might be happy about all the food, but you wont be once the weight piles.

Most adult dogs should eat two to three meals a day, and puppies often need to be fed more frequently.

Most of the recommended serving sizes you find on the can are not going to be what you end up feeding your dog, because every dog is so unique. If your dog starts to gain or lose weight based on the recommended serving size, change the amounts accordingly.

Recommended Reading: What Is The Best Dry Dog Food For Labradors

Sardines For Dogs On A Raw Diet

Now, let us discuss one of the dogs absolute favorites, sardines!

Sardines are great for dogs. They are actually one of the best types of fish to share with your canine companion.

Not only are they safe, but sardines are also full of essential nutrients.

To begin with, your pooch can consume this small, nutrient-rich, oily fish to prevent cancer as it is naturally rich in vitamin D. This vitamin allows your dogs body to balance minerals like calcium and phosphorous for healthy growth.

In addition, sardines are also a great source of vitamin B-12 which is crucial for the formation and growth of blood cells, as well as for a healthy nervous system and brain function. This vitamin also maintains healthy digestion.

Sardines are an abundant source of omega-3 fatty acids that support the brain development of puppies. It boosts the heart and kidney health of canines and improves their skin and coat health.

In conclusion, these nutrients support all functions of your pups body. Adding sardines into your pets raw diet can offer benefits and positively impact its health.

Average Dog Weight Is A Myth

Nutrition 101: How Much Should I Feed My Puppy?

Theres no true average weight because there are no average dogs. Each dog is unique, and their ideal weight will vary based on several factors.

To learn more about dog weight and overall health from our experts, visit our Pet Expertise page. Browse all our weight management foods to find the right formula for your dog.

*According to the 2018 Pet Obesity Survey by the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention.

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How Do I Know The Puppy Food Will Meet My Dogs Needs

The Association of American Feed Control Officials sets nutrient guidelines that most pet food manufacturers follow. Check the package label for a statement saying the food is formulated to meet AAFCO nutrient guidelines for complete and balanced nutrition, or that feeding trials following AAFCO guidelines have substantiated that it provides complete nutrition.

Along with that statement, the label should give the life stage the food is suited for. Puppies should be eating food labeled for growth or for all life stages.

After a month or 6 weeks on the food, assess your puppyâs health. They should be playful and energetic, with a shiny, thick coat. Formed brown feces are a sign that your puppy is digesting most of the nutrients in the food.

A General Guideline For Preparing Homemade Dog Food

My DIY dog food recipe is more of a general guideline, rather than an exact meal plan that I follow each week. My dogs diet changes the same way ours does, depending on what we do and what we buy or grow.

However, we almost always stay with this basic formula:

  • 50 percent cooked protein
  • 25 percent cooked complex carbohydrates
  • Fats and supplements
  • Eggshells

Protein is always meat and usually chicken, though weve also used turkey, pork, and beef. We feed any and all parts of the animals, but most commonly, we saute chicken breasts or chicken thighs in coconut oil and ground turmeric.

Coconut oil has a host of health benefits for dogs, such as improving the skin and coat, increasing energy, aiding digestion, reducing allergic reactions, promoting wound healing, preventing yeast and fungal infections, and supporting arthritis or ligament problems.

Turmeric has long been studied for its powerful medicinal properties, including its use as an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory.

We add it to the coconut oil since it is fat-soluble, and use it to support our pugs joint health.

Speaking of dark meat, we feed thighs and breasts interchangeably. While well remove the skin from poultry and trim off excessive fat from red meat, we dont worry about buying the leanest meat possible for our dogs.

A little fat is necessary for a well-rounded diet.

They tend to be the leftovers in our produce bin, so we never have to buy, say, a whole head of cauliflower just for the dogs.

Recommended Reading: What Human Food Can I Feed My Dog

Should Large & Small Breeds Eat The Same Food

Not really.

Large and small breeds have different metabolism and health needs. As such, high- quality dog food for their size offers proper nutrition adapted to those requirements.

Small breed dogs have a fast metabolism and need a diet thats slightly high in calories. On top of that, small dogs have significantly smaller jaws and their kibble should fit their mouths. Just imagine having to eat food the size of a brussels sprout, all in one bite! Thats how a small dog feels when you offer regular kibble.

Large and small dog breeds have different metabolism and need specific food adapted to their energy needs.

On the other hand, large breed dogs tend to have joint issues and are more prone to bloat. As such, they need food with extra supplements and specific calcium levels. Large dog breed food is a little less energy dense than small breed dog food, to fit the slower metabolism of large and giant breeds.

PRO TIP: Large breed puppies need to grow slowly to avoid calcium deficiency and ensure their joints stay strong as adults. When in doubt, its better to slightly underfeed a giant-breed puppy than offer too much food too soon. Talk to your veterinarian to adjust your puppys feeding schedule as needed.

Determine Your Dogs Body Condition Score

How Much Should Dogs Eat?

Whichever method you pick, youll have to use a scale or body condition scoring system to fine-tune the amount of food you offer.

Your veterinarian can help you decipher your dogs body condition score and determine an appropriate calorie amount.

In general, dogs who are at a healthy weight:

  • Have an hourglass figure when you look down on them from above. The abdomen should be narrower than the chest and hips.

  • Are tucked up when you look at them from the side. This means that their chest is closer to the ground than their belly when standing.

  • Have ribs that are not readily visible but are easily felt with only light pressure.

Read Also: Why Did My Dog Throw Up His Food

My Dog Doesnt Finish Her Meal All At Once I Think She Prefers To Graze What Should I Do

Some dogs really can regulate their food intake fairly well. It is still a good idea to create the expectation of mealtimes. This will help make it easier if another pet is added to your family at some point in the future. For grazers, simply measure out the entire day’s portion of food in the morning and offer the bowl several times throughout the day. Choose regular times in order to create the routine we know is helpful. The important thing is to use a measured portion, either with a measuring cup or a kitchen scale, for the day.

“The important thing is to use a measured portion for the day.”

Another consideration is the use of food toys. Many options exist from rolling food toys that just drop out a kibble of food intermittently to stationary food toys that require the dog to work for the food. See the handout Feeding the Mind and Body: Interactive Feeders for Dogs and Cats for more information on these types of feeders. Food toys are almost as entertaining for the people in your family as they are for your dog!

Your veterinarian remains the best source of nutritional guidance for your dog, answering important questions like what to feed, how much to feed, and how frequently to feed. Feeding time can be an important bonding time. Creating routine and regular feeding times builds fun into everyday activities.

Contributors: Ryan Llera, BSc, DVM Robin Downing, DVM, CVPP, CCRP, DAAPM

Dog Feeding Guidelines: How Much Food Should Me Dog Be Eating

It makes sense then that your dog should only eat what is good for it and in quantities that wont result in it developing health problems later in life.

Feeding guidelines on dog food can be a good starting point when assessing how much dog food is the right amount, but as Dr Lowe told K9 Magazine:

feeding guidelines on dog food packaging are extremely useful but should serve as a starting point only when assessing the right amount of food in your dogs daily diet.

Working dogs will need more food for the energy that they will expend in the course of the day but a dog that lays around the house all day and doesnt get any exercise will not need to eat the same portions of food.

You should weigh your dog on a regular basis and see whether it is gaining or losing weight and adjust the amount of food it is eating accordingly.

You know, its quite incredible the amount of people who have literally no idea how much their dog weighs or indeed any idea of how much they should weigh. Simply getting to grips with this information can literally extend your dogs life, in some cases for a considerable amount of time.

Many experts argue that there has been a general decline in the general health of dogs that correlates with the widespread introduction of certain types of processed dog foods.

Also Check: Should Dogs Have Wet Food

How Much Should Puppies Eat

A fresh meal service like Ollie helps change your feeding approach as your dog changes ages from puppy to adult so you dont have to worry about portions during different life stages.

Since puppies are growing rapidly, they need more food than adult dogs. Puppy nutrition is crucial for developing a foundation for future growth, as well as their bone and organ development. Puppies must have a specific amount of calcium in their diet, otherwise, they can develop metabolic bone disease or orthopedic conditions like early-onset arthritis. Toy-breed puppies, in particular, are prone to hypoglycemia.

Puppies need small, frequent feedings. For the first few months of a puppys life, they will need small meals of food throughout the day as they transition from their mothers milk to solid food. Starting around four months, puppies can begin eating about three times a day, and after that, puppies will quickly graduate to twice-a-day feedings.

Feeding them three or four times per day makes it easier for puppies to digest and help keep energy levels consistent. However, its important to not overfeed them, since overweight puppies are more likely to become overweight adult dogs.

Even though puppies grow quickly, its important to keep caloric intake and food amount consistent from four to twelve months of age. Puppies use fewer calories for growth as they become older. This comprehensive puppy feeding chart has vet-recommended guidelines on how much and how often to feed your puppy.

Supplements To Add To Homemade Dog Food

How Much To Feed A Puppy & How Often Should Puppies Eat

Most of the homemade dog foods dont fulfill the nutritionalrequirements of your canine. This problem has nothing to do with the selectionor quality of ingredients that you use in these recipes. Instead, its down tothe nutritional needs of dogs that cannot be reached without adding too manycalories. Therefore, you have to add supplements to these homemade diets tomake them balanced.

Unfortunately, it can be much harder than it seems to find a suitable dog supplement for homemade dog food. An ideal supplement that could ensure a balanced diet must have the following three characteristics.

  • Should have useful Vitamins and Minerals
  • Should have Digestive Enzymes
  • Must provide Skin, Coat, and Joint Support

Some of the supplements that you can safely add in yourhomemade dog foods are discussed below.

Want to know how to tell if a dog is healthy? Check out our post How to Tell If Your Dog is Healthy.

Read Also: How To Make Healthy Homemade Dog Food

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