How Much Should I Feed My Dog?
30 January, 2012
I know a lot of dog owners struggle with the question of how much they should feed their dogs. Dogs will eat all day long if they could, so as dog owners, it is your responsibility to monitor their daily intake. (My cat, Sammy, eats all day so I have the same issue)!
Taking charge of your dog’s diet is a full-time job, especially since dogs seem to be constantly hungry. However, there are some common mistakes that many dog owners make when feeding their dog(s). It is important to feed your dog the correct portion size as there can be many health and behavioral conditions that result from over or underfeeding.
The majority of commercial dog food includes a weight chart that helps you figure out how much your dog should be eating each day. However, there is a general rule that you can use as far as portion size. If your dog weighs up to ten pounds, you should feed them approximately one cup of food per day. If your dog weighs from ten to twenty five pounds, you should feed your dog one to two cups a day.
Dogs that weigh more than fifty pounds will need from three to five cups a day; dogs over seventy five pounds should be fed anywhere from five to eight pounds of food a day. Obviously, these are simply general guidelines for dry food formulas and should be adjusted when feeding your dog canned food.
I eat whatever is in front of me!
Depending on how old your dog is, you will need to adjust his or her feeding portion accordingly. As a general rule, you will need to feed your dog less as a puppy, more as an adult, and then less when they are over seven years old. As your dog ages, their metabolic rate will fluctuate slightly. It’s also best that you switch formulas in each of your dog’s life stages, since this will affect your dog’s development and caloric intake.
Contrary to popular belief, the guidelines stated for your dog’s daily feeding portion should be adjusted according to your dog’s activity level. Some dogs (like humans) that are highly active should be fed slightly more food per day. However, try not to feed the dogs too much as this can lead to obesity.
If your dog has a low level of activity and spends a significant amount of time indoors, you will want to feed him or her slightly less than the recommended amount. You need only use very slight adjustments when finding the proper portion of food for your dog. This will prevent your dog from gaining weight and/or becoming prone to malnutrition.
Each dog is different and by trial and error, you will find the correct amount for your specific dog.