When you get a dog, there is not a manual telling you all the things your pet needs. You may feel uncertain about key points, such as the right amount of food to feed your dog. The amount of food your pet needs may change over time based on their age and condition. A dog’s dietary needs are an important piece of its wellness and health; therefore, you should be mindful of how much and what you are feeding your dog.
How Much Should I Feed My Dog?
This may seem like a simple question without a clear-cut answer. It is not as simple as following the instructions on dog food packaging. Does that measurement provide enough of what your dog needs? What about certain ingredients like those found in high protein dog foods? Perhaps it is too much and your dog is gaining weight.
In 2019, about 55 percent of dogs were considered obese, so it seems clear that dogs are not getting exactly what they need from their food. They may, in fact, be getting too much food. When your dog is overweight, it can lead to health concerns. Many dogs will eat what you put in front of them, so it is important that you control what your dog is eating.
A good place to start is by having a conversation with your vet. The vet will weigh your dog and perform an exam, which can help you have a conversation about the current food and amounts you are feeding your dog. You should have an honest conversation with your vet about the amount of activity your pet gets as well as any extra food you are giving your pet. This will give you and your vet an accurate idea of what your dog is currently eating. Your vet may even suggest a change in your dog’s diet by recommending dog weight loss food.
While all dog food packages come with instructions as to how much to feed your dog, the instructions are estimates or generalizations. There is a big difference between a dog that weighs 15 pounds and a dog that weighs 40 pounds. Following this guideline may not be the best for your dog. An active dog needs more food than a dog that lays around all day. The instructions that say feed your dog 1 to 1 1/2 cups of food means throughout the entire day, not just at one meal.
In reality, only you and your vet together can determine how to manage your dog’s weight and the correct amount of calories to feed them. Once you both are on the same page about the number of calories your dog needs, you then need to decide on a feeding schedule. Most dogs do well with two meals a day, but for some adult and healthy dogs, once a day also works if that fits in your schedule better. Puppies, on the other hand, should eat more often. They may need to eat three or more times a day depending on size and age.
A typical serving for an adult dog is 2 cups of food per day. This is for a typical dog, and it could change if your dog has an atypical condition. If you decide that your dog should eat two times a day, then your dog would get 1 cup of food in the morning and 1 cup in the late afternoon. You may want to feed your dog wet food in the morning and dry food in the afternoon. Just be sure that half of your dog’s total food intake is given in the morning and the remaining half in the afternoon. It is important that you use a 1-cup measuring cup or spoon so you know you are actually giving your dog 1 cup and not more or less. You should not guess what 1 cup is.
We all like to give our dog treats, but they are a good way for us to add a lot of calories to our dog’s diet without realizing it. A good rule to follow is 10 percent of your dog’s calories should come from treats.