dog feed with a dog food

How Much Dog Food Should I Feed My Dog?

Many people overfeed their dogs without knowing and they don’t understand the consequences of allowing their pups to have too much kibble. A lot of pet owners aren’t sure how much to feed their canines, which causes them to give their furry friends more than enough food each day.

As a pet owner, it is important to understand the amount of food to feed your dog and how to keep them healthy. You want your fur babies to live long and healthy lives, and you are a major contributor to their overall well-being.

If you are a curious pet parent who is asking the question how much should I feed my dog? Then don’t worry we have you covered! This article will help you better understand the quantity of food to give your dog and how to help them live satisfactory lives!

Things to Consider First

There are many things to consider when it comes time to nourish your dog. You must take into consideration your dog’s breed, weight, metabolism, and the amount of daily exercise they receive.

You may have a small pup that is hyperactive or a large hound that is quite lazy! Or it may be completely opposite, but regardless these factors matter when it comes time to feed your dog and helps establish a baseline for your dog’s daily caloric needs.

What Is Your Dogs Breed?

Playing Dogs with Different Breeds
Image by Katrin B. from Pixabay

Depending on the breed of your dog, they may require more or less food. Larger breeds such as Mastiffs, Saint Bernards, and Great Danes require at least 3 cups of food per feeding. A dog is considered to be a large breed if they weigh more than 60 pounds and stand at least 24 inches tall.

Small breeds such as chihuahuas and Yorkies will require significantly less food per meal. Small breeds only need between 1/4 cup and 1 cup of food. Small breeds are typically less than 21 pounds, and anything under 12 pounds is a toy.

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What Is Your Dogs Metabolic Rate?

The next thing you must test is your dog’s metabolic rate. Your dog’s metabolism is can be high when they are younger, but as they age it can decrease significantly. Other factors such as muscle loss due to illness, diet, and activity level can all contribute to your dog’s metabolic rate.

You can help increase your dog’s metabolism by exercising them more, adding more fiber to their diet, and reducing their caloric intake. But, remember senior dogs’ metabolism is going to be significantly slower regardless of any changes in activity or diet due to their advanced age.

How Much Exercise Does Your Dog Receive?

Person Exercising a Dog
Photo by Zen Chung on Pexels

Exercise is very important for your dog’s health. You should feed your dog more if they are extremely active because they burn extra energy. Increasing the caloric intake of a puppy who runs and plays all day won’t allow them to become heavy but it will supply them with energy to keep moving.

Always aim to exercise your an ample amount for their level of youth and ability. Never over-exercise your dog and always look for signs of exhaustion. If your dog shows any signs of heat stroke or injury reduce the amount of exercise and call your vet immediately.

What Is Your Dog’s Weight?

Small Dog That Weighs as Much as A Large Dog
Image by Myriams-Fotos from Pixabay

If you feed adult dogs too much they will eventually become overweight. If you have a small dog that weighs as much as a large dog, this is a sign that they are overweight. Feed your dog according to their size requirements, not the size they are currently.

For example, if your chihuahua weighs 23 pounds, don’t give them the amount of kibble for a 23-pound dog. Give them the amount needed for their baseline of between 10 and 15 pounds.

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What Is Your Dogs Feeding Schedule?

Dog With a Feeding Schedule Eats Proper Portions
Photo by Kabo on Unsplash

How much kibble to give your dog is an important question but many people just pour a whole meal into a bowl not realizing that it’s way too much or sometimes not enough. Your dog needs a feeding schedule that helps with proper portions and consistency.

How Often Are You Feeding Your Dog?

A lot of owners allow their dogs to have access to their food bowls all day. This method is called free-choice feeding. This way of feeding can make it harder to see the quantity of food your pup is consuming.

Your dog may consume more calories if they are free to eat anytime they want, especially if you keep the bowl full at all times. Avoid feeding your dog this way because it will eventually cause fat accumulation and oftentimes can create more serious illnesses.

Your pup should be given one to two meals per day. If you have a healthy adult dog, the meals should be similar in size. If your dog is overweight the second meal can be smaller or have fewer calories.

How Much Food Does Your Dog Receive Per Feeding?

Your pup needs to be fed an amount that they can properly digest per serving. Knowing how much food to feed your fur baby is important because overfeeding eventually causes complications that you will learn about below.

Learn the proper needs of your specific dog so that you don’t give them too much food.

What Type Of Food Does Your Dog Eat?

The type of food that your dog consumes is just as important as how much they consume. Your dog should be consuming quality brands of dry and wet dog food. You can also feed adult dogs and younger pups human foods such as bananas, melon, and beans as well as low-calorie treats.

Treats can also cause your pup to become overweight. During the first few months of training treats can be given, but don’t allow your pup to over-consume them. Treats should never be given in place of a meal and used more sparingly as they get older.

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Other Things to Consider

These are other things to consider when learning the proper needs to feed your fur babies.

Do You Have Adult Dogs? Or Puppies?

Adult Dog and Puppy with Separate Food Bowls
Images from Unsplash

The age of your dog is very important to understand their nutritional needs. Young pups and puppies are more active than old dogs. They need more frequent meals, more food, and a higher caloric intake.

You can reduce the portion size for a senior dog but still allow them to eat twice a day. The most important thing is that they are receiving the right nutrition. You can feed adults in a similar manner but you should keep the portion sizes larger than you would give to a senior dog.

How Is Your Dogs Health?

Dog With Healthy Diet and Nutrition Plays Fetch
Image by Katrinbechtel from Pixabay

We want the overall health of our dogs to be the best that it can be. Dogs in poor health may require more or less food depending on their ailment. It’s always good to be vigilant with any complications that you may notice with your dog’s health.

Talk with your veterinarian if you feel that your dog is not the best that it can be. Your vet will help you improve your dog’s diet by suggesting the right type of food for them to eat with the maximum nutrition and health benefits.

Problems With Overfeeding

Many people don’t realize the complications of overfeeding their young pups because they don’t see the negative side effects until the dog has had time to mature. There are many problems that can and will arise after years of overfeeding.

Most of these problems can be reversed when you reduce your dog’s daily caloric intake and adjust their portion sizes. Feeding your dog the appropriate amount will help their overall well-being. But if you continue to feed your dog too much the following complications can occur.

Obesity

Obese and Overweight Dog
Image by Светлана Бердник from Pixabay

Obesity is not just being overweight, it is a step above. Extreme amounts of fat can hinder your dog’s quality of life and causes them to be less agile and active. Obese dogs are more likely to have a lower energy level and a decline in their quality of life.

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Extreme heaviness leads to many diseases and chronic illnesses. But, the good thing is that it can be reversed with a proper feeding schedule and healthier eating habits. Starting a feeding schedule or reviewing a dog feeding chart can help you reduce the amount that you are feeding your dog.

Heart Disease

Heart disease is becoming more common in older dogs because their owners are not feeding them the proper amount. Increased caloric intake, deficient dietary needs, and a reduced activity level are all contributing to heart disease in dogs.

Arthritis

Arthritis is another ailment that is becoming more popular in dogs of all ages. While this one can be a sign of aging in older dogs, it can also be amplified by excessive body mass in dogs of all ages.

Skin Disorders

Dog With Healthy-Looking, Soft, And Shiny Skin and Fur
Image by PublicDomainPictures on Pixabay

Healthy skin is important for our dogs. The skin is their largest organ and when it is damaged it can lead to irritation, pain, and other complications. Overweight dogs are more likely to have skin disorders because they can’t be as hygienic and groom themselves properly.

If your dog has any skin disorders talk with your vet as soon as possible. They will give you a list of foods to eliminate from your dog’s daily routine that can cause skin allergies.

Cancer

Cancer is a word that animal owners never want to hear, but it is a real side effect of improper feeding. If your dog is not consuming foods that supply them with the right nutrition or they are at an increased risk of developing cancer.

Your dog can develop while cancer when they are a puppy or at an advanced stage of life.

Kidney Failure

Kidney failure is a very concerning life occurrence for your dog. When a dog enters kidney failure its body no longer eliminates toxins from its system. They can no longer stay hydrated or hold onto body mass.

Diabetes

Young dogs can develop diabetes from inadequate nutrition, being fed too much, and being fed too often. Your dog’s diet should consist of trusted dog food brands and foods that provide them with proper nutrition.

Diabetes is reversible with proper portion size, healthy meals, and by following a strict routine. If you suspect your pup may have diabetes call your vet right away and they will assist you by helping you review a dog feeding chart to better understand your fur baby’s needs.

Death

Death is an unfortunate side effect of a poor diet, extreme overfeeding, and disease. We want our dogs to die naturally at a ripe old age, not when they are still considered a puppy.

Final Word

We should always be aware of our pet’s dietary needs and feed them a healthy amount. Allowing our pups to make decisions for themselves may limit their life quality and lead to extra trips to the doctor.

Always give your pup balanced meals that are healthy and nutritional. Limit the number of times per day that you feed your dog and adjust their feeding chart if you see any signs of them becoming overweight.

Dog feeding is easy once you understand how much to give for each meal. If you need more information regarding your dog’s needs reach out to your veterinarian.

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