How Much to Feed A Dog – Feeding Guidelines and Advice

A bowl of chips, a plate full of french-fries, fried chicken, and a slice of pizza. This is a delicious frenzy of food, irresistible, and very unhealthy. Isn’t it a bit too much food for one meal? Not that it has to be junk food or large in quantity. It can be healthy food and very little or large in quantity too. Being irresponsible about food is very harmful to us. 

We as creatures have a versatile range of food. But how is malnutrition any good for us? Then why not consider this same idea for your dog. If your body is a temple that you need to take care of, so is your dog’s body. 

Diet based on nutrition is one of the most important factors to lead a healthy lifestyle. The amount of food can vastly affect your dog’s daily life and eventually lead it down a certain path based on the quantity of food it eats. Generally, this can be good bad or very bad depending on the results. 

Understanding Portions Based On Factors

Is there any perfect guide or method to feed your dog? No! There isn’t. Not one dog is alike and not every size or breed can determine the amount of food they will need exactly. Dog’s diets are vastly affected by a large and sometimes unknown number of variables. 

These can range from the simplest physical factors like, how much does your dog weigh on average to all the other dogs of the same species and for its age? What kinds of health problems cause it to avoid certain food or quantity of food? 

The mental behavior of a dog like when if you let it eat, how much will it keep eating? Does it prefer a certain type of kibble over another? Is it not feeling it to eat most times? All of these factors can lead to a certain restricted diet that the dog can neither over or under-eat. Portions are super important for this matter. Or else health issues arise and very early deaths of your dogs can be expected.

Health

A dog’s health can be as fickle as humans in the regard that its super susceptible to deterioration. Genes lead to the biggest changes in its life and ultimately lead them to eat food to cope with the negatives. A liver, kidney, and heart disease among other diseases can severely restrict the dog’s diet.

Allergic dogs need to avoid certain foods and a non-allergenic diet is recommended. Many brands nowadays have products available on the go for your dogs that you can order online for cheap. Like American journey salmon sweet potato recipe and Purina Pro Plan Focus Adult Sensitive Skin & Stomach Salmon & Rice Formula among many more.

Diabetes is a good example of a restricted diet. Low-fat foods and the little amount at a time is the key to controlling a diabetic dog. As well as the type of food and the water content, as thirst is a symptom of diabetes for dogs.

Overeating can lead to obesity; undereating can lead to poor health. Keep in mind your dog’s health situation when feeding it. Vets are the first person to ask for in that regard.

Feeding According To The Weight 

Dog’s weight can be a major factor that can affect the proportion of food it eats. Obese dogs need less food per meal. While thin and boney dogs need a bit more food than most dogs. Keeping track of its weight is a must. By weighing it or by looking at its physical nature based on its breed size age can be very beneficial. Always take a vet’s recommendation before proceeding.

And labels on the food packaging should help out in the proportions that you need to keep. Water content on the food is also a big factor in the weight the dog exhibits so be wary.

Activity And Behavior

Dogs are just like humans in the fact that some are lazy, others are skittish and full of energy. Breeds often contain similar traits about similar behavior. A Retriever might be active whist a Pug or German Shepard can show laziness. But this often on an individual basis. 

A lazy dog needs to burn more calories and in turn, needs to use up the unused energy from the food. While an active and uppity dog that loves to go on walks and exercise needs a lot more food portions to keep them going throughout the day.

Recommended Portions On Packaging

Every dog food packet has some sort of nutrition facts. That includes Calories, fats, carbohydrates, proteins, etc. They also include the measured weigh of cups that correspond to different sizes and ages of dogs. Often also recommending different methods of portioning per meal. They are usually based on the adult stages of the dogs and some also include all the growth stages. 

But the exact portioning is not always fit for the dog you own. Because these portions are calculated by collecting the data over a large range of dog breeds and sizes. Your dog can need a bit more or a bit less depending on how his physical state is.

So, a portion size on the packaging might not always be the correct amount for your dog. Often consulting the vet can be a full-proof way to keep it simple.

Nature Of The Food

There are different properties of different dog foods that fit in separate categories. 

The two main types are wet dog food and dry dog food. Wet Dog food refers to it to contain watery solutions or liquids based on water with the food. These are contained in tin cans for obvious reasons, and wet dog food comes in a variety of packages and cans alike.

Wet dog food contains water/ more water per gram of meal of dog food. This often lends it the benefit of having fewer calories unlike the dry food; being concentrated forms of carbohydrate, protein, and calories. 

There are raw forms of meals that can be bought or made at home. These can be bones, flesh, small quantities of vegetables that are given as a raw diet for the dog.

This type of feeding has to be estimated by your intuition and observations. As dogs need to have a balanced diet and overfeeding or underfeeding can be bad as always. So, the best method is to track its calorie count, weigh the dog often. Take caution and consult your vet to decrease your chances of harming the dog. Giving the wrong type of food, which can affect its health negatively and worsen its conditions can be lethal in some cases.

Breed sizes

Breed sizes are an important factor in portioning a meal for dogs. This has to do with the larger and the smaller breeds.

Larger breeds often eat larger meals throughout their lives and often require one less meal then smaller breed but with twice the amount of food portioned.

Smaller breed often tends to needless to eat as their stomach is small and doesn’t need much energy to move around like a large dog. So, their food is portioned half as what the larger breed would eat if not less to keep them active. So, keep this in mind if you have multiple dogs and don’t give them an equal amount of food to not overfeed and underfeed them.

Scheduling Meals

We need to always keep the meals per day in different portions, that are eaten throughout and at certain times to give the best benefits to our body. The same is said for dogs and all other animals alike. 

Dogs based on weight, age, and breed needs different times at which they should be fed. Often this keeps them from overheating or getting stomach pains and other progressive issues.

Feeding dogs freely can be bad as they will always overeat if they are free to do so. This is their way of coping with mental problems too. Often, we leave them alone for too long and they resort to food as a way to handle it. 

Puppies 

Puppies are in the most crucial development stage of the life of a dog. How it’s fed and nurtured will have a definite impact on its life later on. And some diseases and issues can be avoided by feeding it properly and in time. 

6 to 12 Weeks of Age

At this age, the puppies are very frail and can’t eat dry food properly. So wet food that has very small pieces in it should be fed. They need the most nutrients at this age to help the development. Specially made food should be given for puppies and adult dog food should be avoided. Adult dog food has less nutritional value and causes them to get underdeveloped. They require to be fed 4 times throughout the day in small quantities. Get some advice from vets preferably.

3 to 6 Months of Age

The food should be wet dog food and portioned at 3 times a day. In small quantities as before if it’s still frail and weak.

6 to 12 Months

Start by reducing the meals two times a day. Dry food can be introduced without the full nutrients-based puppy food. Smaller breeds take a longer time. Keep puppy food on for a bit if you are not too sure. Consult a vet just to be sure.

Adult Dogs

Give them half portions of every meal twice a day. And adult food is recommended with a wet and dry mix for the best results. Sometimes feeding 1 time is still good if you end up busy at work. But best to schedule accordingly

Senior Dogs

Twice a day. They need supplements, anti-oxidants, and nutrition to keep them going. Dogs this age often have many physical issues to deal with so be selective about the food. Wet food is better since they might have a harder time chewing.

Feeding Amount Instructions

The amount of servings per meal differs per dog’s age, weight, and depending on the food product. 

They are often measured by standard water cup sizes and volume of around 100 grams.

Dry foods include:

Few products such as Purina Pro Plan Focus Puppy Large Breed Formula are for puppies of large size and give their feeding instruction in a very clear way. 

Weight at Maturity (lbs.)1 1/2 – 3 Months (Cups)4 – 5 Months (Cups)6 – 8 Months (Cups)9 – 11 Months (Cups)1 – 2 Years (Cups)
UP TO 501/2 – 1 1/41 3/4 – 2 1/31 1/4 – 22 1/4 – 2 1/22 1/3 – 3 1/2
UP TO 752/3 – 21 3/4 – 3 1/31 1/2 – 3 1/42 3/4 – 43 – 5 1/4
UP TO 1001 – 2 1/42 1/4 – 3 1/43 1/3 – 5 1/34 1/2 – 5 3/46 1/2 – 9 1/4
UP TO 1302 1/4 – 3 1/33 1/4 – 4 1/35 1/3 – 6 1/25 3/4 – 79 1/4 – 10 1/3

 

They include information for reproducing dogs and also other crucial information that you can use to give your dog special attention. As well as transition period instruction to give dogs some time to change their diet to the new food.

Taste of the Wild High Prairie Grain-Free is for adults and the feeding instructions are as follows.

WeightDaily Feeding for Adult Dogs (cups)
3-5 LBS1/3 – 1/2
5-10 LBS1/2 – 3/4
10-20 LBS3/4 – 1 1/2
20-30 LBS1 1/2 – 2
30-40 LBS2 – 2 1/3
40-60 LBS2 1/3 – 3
60-80 LBS3 – 3 3/4
80-100 LBS3 3/4 – 4 1/3
100-125 LBS4 1/3 – 5
125-150 LBS5 – 5 3/4
150-175 LBS5 3/4 – 6 1/2

 

For senior dogs Purina ONE SmartBlend Vibrant Maturity 7+ Adult Formula

WeightDaily Feeding (Cups)
3 – 12 LBS1/3 – 1
13 – 20 LBS1 – 1 1/2
21 – 35 LBS1 1/2 – 2 1/4
36 – 50 LBS2 1/4 – 3
51 – 75 LBS3 – 4
76 – 100 LBS4 – 5
OVER 100 LBS5 plus 1/4 for every 10 lbs. of body weight over 100 lbs.

In Conclusion

It’s fairly complex to feed a dog. But with enough information and proper procedure, it should be a simple matter. Always be on the side of caution and always take advice from the vets. Feed your dogs with compatible food, always be mindful of the physical and mental health of your dogs before feeding them.

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