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Dog Feeding 101: How Much Should I Feed My Dog?

Dog Feeding 101: How Much Should I Feed My Dog?

Here are the basics of dog feeding. Learn about the quantity of food to give your puppy and the frequency of his meals.

It’s the big day! You have waited weeks, maybe months, for this day! It’s all set up, the bed, the toys, the potty area. All that’s left is food. What are you going to feed this new puppy? How much? How often? Let's dive into these all.

We know this step is overwhelming, we all want what’s best for our new family member, and we want him to have everything he needs. That's why we put together this dog feeding 101 guide for you. Follow these tips, and you’ll be set up in no time. 

Importance of Knowing About How Much to Feed My Dog

Knowing how much to feed your dog is crucial. Each dog will require a different amount. We are tempted to think all big dogs should eat the same amount of kibble, and all small dogs should do the same, but the weight, size and health of each dog vary, and that’s what you need to base your amount of food on.

Following the wrong feeding chart could lead to your dog overeating or undereating. Both can lead to multiple problems for your dog and can be dangerous. 

Overweight dogs can develop - 

  • Hypothyroidism
  • Oral disease
  • Diabetes
  • Pancreatitis
  • Cancer
  • Arthritis

while underfed dogs can develop - 

  • Lethargy
  •  Dehydration
  • Skin conditions 
  • Symptoms of organ or neurological compromise.

How Much Should My Dog Eat Based on Weight

Weighing your dog will be essential to determine how many grams of food to give him. Once you have your dogs weight. Follow this simple chart 

 

Feeding chart

 

How to read a feeding chart

Each brand will have its feeding measurements for a healthy weight. The result will seamlessly be the same; you need to know your dog’s current weight, age and size. You’ll get the hang of it from there. You can always consult your veterinarian if you are unsure of any measurements or need help understanding a chart. 

Here is how to read a feeding chart:

  1. Look at how dogs are classified. Some will break down feeding suggestions by weight, while others will separate suggested feeding portions by age.
  2. Understand the daily measurement. Most charts will list the recommended amount you should feed your dog per day. This means that you’ll have to divide this number by the number of meals your pup generally eats in a day.
  3. Schedules are directional only. Stick to your gut — if the feeding schedule on the chart doesn’t match what you usually feed your dog, be cautious about switching and contact a vet. 

Dog’s age and weight

Puppies and adult dogs will require different feeding frequencies. Just like babies should be fed more often than adults. Different life stages will require different feedings. Puppies will require smaller feedings spread 3-4 times a day, while adult dogs can be fed once in the morning and at night. 

If you are training your puppy, you will probably be feeding him treats throughout the day also. You don’t have to count those in the feedings but pay attention to his desire to earn the treat. As your pup gets full, he will tend to care less about the end reward. Try including feeding in the first hour of waking up and the last one a few hours before bedtime. This will set a routine and give the dog time to eliminate. 

Portion Sizes

As your dog grows older, bigger portions will be needed. A labrador will need more energy to stay active than a Yorkie. When dogs reach adulthood, their portions will remain consistent from year to year. But puppy sizes will increase substantially from month to month in the first year. 

Daily Feeding Schedule

Setting a feeding plan for your dog is one of the most straightforward aspects of dog ownership; practice makes perfect! Fill a dog bowl with the amount and type of food you intend to feed your dog, place it in a chosen position, and leave it for five minutes to establish a feeding schedule. If your dog eats, that’s fantastic! If not, remove the bowl and set it aside until the next scheduled feeding time. After a few days, your dog should pick up on the routine and stick to it for the rest of his life!

As they develop, reduce the number of meals your dog receives and increase the number of meals they receive according to the feeding chart. 

Foods to Avoid

Some foods are excellent boosters for your dog’s diet, and with the right amount, some “people” foods can have significant benefits to your dog. But you should avoid feeding table scraps as well as these foods : 

  • Macadamia nuts
  • cooked bones
  • chocolate
  • onions
  • garlic
  • raisins
  • avocados
  • caffeine
  • sugar

Steps to Create a Healthy Dog’s Diet

Create new habits

Creating a routine with your dog sounds complicated, but all effort is worth the price. According to  Patricia B. McConnell, PhD, CAAB it takes about 21 to 28 days to learn a new habit. Setting feeding times will not only help your dog, but you won’t have to wonder if you already did it or not! Meals will easily include themselves in your daily routine. 

Exclude table foods

As mentioned previously, some foods can be beneficial for your dog. But feeding him straight from your plate can lead to destructive behaviors and a lack of dominance on your part. You wouldn’t want to come home to your dog on the kitchen table eating from your plate, would you? If you want to share your snack with your furry friend, clear the table and place leftovers in your dog’s feeding bowl with their next meal.

Adjust portions

One of the most important aspects of a dog’s health is its diet. A healthy puppy will be given the appropriate food at the appropriate time. Remember that caloric intake varies with age and should be adjusted accordingly, especially in pups.

Try food topper 

Suppose you notice your pup doesn’t seem interested or has difficulty eating at the scheduled time. Try adding a tasty food topper; he won’t be able to resist! 

Dogsnob's 5-in-1 gravy topper is packed with healthy ingredients, from strong bones to a glossy coat—this formula has your bestie covered from tail to toe.

This easy-to-add liquid topper formula supports hip & joint well-being, invigorates skin and coat, promotes heart health, helps with digestion, and improves immune function. Available in a delicious steak and salmon flavor, it’s sure to please even the pickiest pooch palates.

Remember the treats

Too many treats can be harmful. We love to spoil our fur babies, but the dog’s daily caloric intake is further increased by all the snacks he receives. When teaching dogs tricks, treats are a must, but keeping track of how much you’re feeding them is crucial.

The 10% rule states that treats should account for no more than 10% of your dog’s daily caloric consumption. Dietary supplements are no exception. This means keeping track of the nutritional information on the reward, but it will prevent your dog from developing health problems in the long run.

Remember that the information listed above are only suggestions. Health difficulties may cause your dog to age more quickly, or they may keep them vibrant well into their senior years.

  • Monitoring your dog's health
  • Choosing a quality dog food
  • Communicating with your vet

Will assist you in determining how much and when to feed your dog and making the best choices to nourish your best pal.

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