More than 76 million pet dogs are living in American households. Like their humans, dogs have specific dietary and caloric needs to stay happy and healthy.
If a dog over eats, it can lead to obesity. Obesity in dogs can lead to a range of health issues, from diabetes and heart disease to heat intolerance and early death.
A common question pet owners have is, “how much should I really be feeding my dog?” Continue reading to learn the answer.
How Much To Feed Puppies
Puppies require a different feeding schedule and special food. It’s recommended pet owners feed puppies four times a day, and allow them to eat for a certain period. Then, food should be taken away.
If a puppy misses out during one meal, they’ll eat enough to make up for it at the next one. This teaches your new puppy to eat when food is available and helps meet their higher caloric needs during growth spurts.
How Much To Feed Adult Dogs
Adult dogs should generally be fed twice a day. Ideally, this would be once in the morning and once in the evening. Busy families can feed their dogs before leaving the house in the morning and around normal supper time, supplementing with a small treat when arriving home for the day.
- Toy dog breeds – about 1/2 cup a day (1/4 cup a meal)
- Small dog breeds – about 1 1/2 cups a day (3/4 cups a meal)
- Medium dog breeds – about 2 2/3 cups a day (1 1/3 cups a meal)
- Large dog breeds – about 4 1/2 cups a day (2 1/4 cups a meal)
For very large dog breeds, pet owners should add about 1/4 cup of food per day for every ten pounds over 100. For example, a dog that weighs 150 pounds would need about 5 3/4 cups a day, split between two meals.
Some considerations should be made. Dogs who are naturally sedentary or overweight should eat a little less than the recommended amount. Dogs who are naturally very active may require a little more.
A Note on Treats and Wet Food
Dogs love treats, and most prefer wet food over dry. However, quality dry food offers a combination of nutrients that your dog can’t get from other sources.
Treats should only make up about ten percent of your dog’s daily caloric intake. Wet food should be combined in moderation with dry food. For example, a large dog breed may eat 4 cups of dry food and 1/2 a cup of wet food per day.
How Much Should I Be Feeding My Dog? Answered!
The above recommendations should answer “how much should I be feeding my dog?” If there are ever any concerns about your pet’s diet or weight, it’s best to speak to your veterinarian for a more personalized recommendation.
Do you have more questions about feeding your dog?
Check out our other blogs. You’ll find articles on dogs, pet food, and similar topics to help you learn more on the subject.