Making sure that your dog gets proper nutrition is essential to their long and happy life. But how much should you be feeding your dog?
The truth is a complicated answer because it’s not a one-size-fits-all answer. Different foods have different nutritions, and each dog has their own needs. A large breed dog that works as a police officer will need higher quality food and a larger quantity than a lap dog that naps on the couch all day.
The wide variety of food on the market doesn’t make this easy either, from generic bagged dry food to premium brands and raw diets, dehydrated, homemade diets, and more. Each of those will still have its own specifications about how much to feed dogs.
While treats should be considered as an extra and not part of your dogs diet, Runball treats have a delicious peanutbutter flavor that your dog will love. Pick some up today.
How Much Should Dogs Eat Based on Their Weight
Most foods have a guide on their packaging for the recommended amount your dog should be eating daily. Dog food companies break it down by your dog’s weight on the packaging.
But that shouldn’t be the only way to measure how much you feed your dog. Overweight dogs should have a reduction in food. And underweight dogs could benefit from a slight increase.
Here are some general guidelines for the total amount per day. Many pet professionals recommend spacing out meals.
Toy Dogs (under 10 pounds)
Toy dogs are great companions and are perfect for apartment living. These dogs that are three pounds and under should be eating around ⅓ cup of food per day. Those that are closer to six pounds should be getting about ½ of a cup.
Small Dogs (10-20 pounds)
Small dogs have a rich history, and many even had jobs. Like the dachshund terrier that would help flush out badgers. On average, dogs around the ten-pound range should eat about ¾ cup of food per day, and if they are closer to fifteen pounds, they can go up to a full cup. Twenty-pound dogs can have up to a cup and ⅓.
Medium Dogs (30-50 pounds)
Medium dogs incorporate many different breeds, and some can be pretty tall for a medium dog. For dogs around thirty pounds, they should be eating roughly one and ¾ cups of food per day. If your pup is closer to forty pounds, you should be feeding just over two cups per day. Fifty-pound dogs should eat about two and ⅔ cups per day.
Large Dogs (60-100+ pounds)
These big loveable breeds can eat quite a bit of food, but their larger bodies need it.
- 3 cups/day for 60-pound dogs
- 3 1/2 cups/day for 70-pound dogs
- 3 3/4 cups/day for 80-pound dogs
- 4 1/4 cups/day for 90-pound dogs
- 4 1/2 cups/day if they weigh 100 pounds
These are just basic guidelines. Please adjust your dog’s diet to their needs or vet recommendations.
How Much Should Dogs Eat Based on Age
Again, the above numbers are just a general idea about how much you should feed your dog. However, if you have a puppy or a senior dog, they will have different needs. Puppies generally need more nutrient-dense food to help them grow. On the other hand, senior dogs should be on a diet that promotes maintaining their health and weight.
How Often Should I Feed My Dog?
Depending on your dog’s age and eating habits, there can be a lot of answers. On average, puppies should be eating three times per day, and adult dogs should eat at least two times per day. You can easily take the amounts above and split them between feedings.
Spacing out meals not only keeps your dog full throughout the day, but it can help to reduce medical emergencies like bloat or flipped stomach. It’s also recommended that you allow your dog to rest for about a half-hour after feeding them.
The best thing to do is to feed your dog on a consistent schedule or close to it. For example, a puppy might eat at 8 A.M., 1 P.M., and 6 P.M., or an adult dog might always get fed before you leave for work and then again when you get home.
Every dog is different and has its own nutritional requirements. Here are some other things to consider when you decide how much food you should feed your dog.
Different liver or kidney diseases require special care. Dogs with diabetes could benefit from eating a bit less than recommended to help keep their weight and condition under control. Talk with your vet about options when it comes to your dog’s health and diet.
You wouldn’t expect a professional athlete to eat the same way that the average person does. Dogs are no different. If you have a dog and the two of you prefer watching Netflix rather than run a 5k at six in the morning, then your pup won’t need as much food.
On the other hand, if you want to partake in agility, herding, or other high-energy competitions with your dog, you will need to make sure your dog has enough calories to burn.
There are no set rules for how much food you should feed your dog. Sometimes it’s best to allow your dog to help guide you. If they seem to gain weight, cut back a little bit per meal. If they seem to leave food in their bowl, feel free to reduce the amount a bit. Or if they seem to be burning through all their energy and are always starving, a little more would be just fine.
Make sure your dog eats something. Sometimes they can be picky or stubborn. Missing a meal here and there won’t bother them too much, but it’s time for a checkup if you notice they aren’t eating at all. Some people recommend bribing them, but that will only lead to bad habits.
Know if your dog is a self-feeder kind of dog. Many dogs prefer having their meals as individual meals. Yet, some dogs prefer to graze throughout the day. If you notice your dog tends to nibble and walk away, you can leave out their full amount of food for the day.
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