Making sure your dog is eating enough food (but not too much) every day is one of the best ways you can help keep them healthy and active. In this blog, our Stockton vets discuss some ways you can make sure you are feeding your dog the right amount of food each day.
Why Does the right Dog Food Matter?
It's not always easy to tell how much food you should feed your dog, but it's important for them to get the right amount of nutrients every day to be healthy. However, if you feed your dog too much food it can cause weight gain. If your pup becomes overweight they are at a higher risk of developing serious health conditions such as diabetes, congestive heart failure, and some cancers.
This makes it important to give your dog the appropriate portion sizes, consistently every day.
How to Find the Right Amount of Food for Your Dog
The size of the meals you feed your dog depends on a variety of factors including:
- The number of meals they require
- The type of food
- Your dog's activity level
- Their weight
- Metabolic rate
Here, we also provide you with some ways you can determine the amount you should be feeding your dog every day. We also recommend talking to your veterinarian who will be able to give you a more accurate recommendation for how much your pup should be eating daily based on the criteria listed above.
Dog Feeding Charts & Guides
Most brands of dog food come with a dog feeding chart on the packaging, it can give you a good indication of how much you should be feeding your dog for their size and weight, over a 24 hour time period.
Adult dogs require approximately two meals a day, whereas puppies require three or more. You will need to divide the daily feeding amount listed on the dog food chart/guide by the number of meals you feed your dog a day. If you are uncertain how many times you should be feeding your pup every day contact your veterinarian.
Use a Calorie Calculator
Calorie calculators can act as a good guide by informing you roughly how many calories you should be feeding your dog every day based on a specific set of criteria. However, the numbers they inform you to feed your dog aren't always accurate and can be off by approximately 25% (sometimes more, sometimes less).
Record Changes in Your Dog's Weight
It may be a good idea to keep a diary or journal of your dog's weight. Weigh your dog every 2-4 weeks and track your results, and adjust the amount you feed your pup accordingly. If your dog is losing an inappropriate amount of weight give them slightly bigger portions, if they are gaining too much weight feed them less. However, inform your veterinarian if there are any changes in your dog's weight because weight gain or weight loss can be a sign of an underlying medical condition.
Recalculate Portion Sizes When You Switch Foods
Because the amount of calories or nutrients in every type of dog food is different, you need to readjust the portions you give your dog based on the feeding guide of the new food and your dog's calorie needs.
Talk to Your Vet
Your vet will be able to tell you exactly how much food you should be feeding your dog, and even recommend the best types of dog food for your pup. You can also ask them any questions you have about your canine friend's dietary needs.
Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.