Updated at: 23-04-2020 - By: Jane Brody

Owning a pet dog is fun for many people until the question of feeding comes into play. Not every dog owner knows about his or her dog’s feeding and nutrition needs. Some feed their dogs with human food, not because they cannot afford to supply them with the right diets, but because they do not know what their pets need.

Other pet owners know about all the right diets and recipes to feed their dogs with but understand very little concerning the amounts. Feeding the dog does not take much, and anyone can do it with some guidance, which begs the question, how much should you feed your dog? The amount of food you feed the dog with depends on several factors.

How Much Should I Feed My Dog

You do not feed a puppy the same amount of food you feed an adult dog with, nor do you feed a small-breed dog with the same amount you feed a large-size dog. What you feed depends on the sizes, age, and activity levels of the dog. The amount of ingredients into what you feed the dogs also depends on the same factors.

A puppy, for example, is more active than an adult dog. In this case, a puppy will need food with more significant amounts of fat and calories than that of older, less active dogs. What even helps is that many of the dogs feed come with specific feeding instructions that include the amount to give the dogs during different feeding periods. Some of the guidelines, however, do not always lead to excellent results.

Some people follow all the laid down guidelines and still end up with obese dogs or dogs with health issues. The best way to monitor the amount of food you allow your dog to eat should start by watching the body and hunger conditions of the pet.

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Amounts of feed for different stages of a dogs growth

Feeding the dogs the right amounts of food depending on their ages, sizes, and levels of activity, are the first rule to keeping them healthy. Below are guidelines on the values of food to use during the dog’s different stages of growth.

The puppy

feed for different stages of a dogs growth

For the first three to four weeks, puppies mainly rely on their mother milk. Complete weaning takes place from the sixth to the eighth week of their growth. During this period, puppies are incredibly active and use a lot of energy running around. Because of their productive lives, the puppies need to feed for at least three times a day with diets rich in proteins and other nutrients.

You can reduce the number of feeding times when the puppy reaches five to six months. Instead of three times a day, you may reduce the number of times to twice a day. You should also take into consideration that not all puppies portray the same characteristics. For this reason, choose the amounts depending on the size, breed, metabolism, level of activity, and the environment.

Puppies, just like adult dogs, are prone to obesity, so overfeeding is not a good idea. They are also likely to get health issues such as abnormalities with bone formation, among others. Decrease the amount of food if the puppy starts to gain weight and increase the portions if your pup starts to look weak and thin.

The Adult Dog

feeding-adult-dog

When a dog is one year old, you can comfortably begin to treat it as an adult dog. The average adult life lasts to anything between six and eight years, depending on the breed of the dog. The dog is very active during this period of its life, and it maintains the same kind of lifestyle, exhibiting the same nutritional needs for six or more years.

The diet that you feed the dog during this period is for the maintenance of the lifestyle. If your dog is exceptionally active during this period, then you will need to feed it with more energy-giving diets. You can start the dogs with a small portion of food in the morning but offer them more portions that are substantial before or after an exercise or strenuous activity.

The ideal weight of the dog should also determine the amount to feed during this period. To help you with this, you should ensure that you read the food label servings listed on the bag. If there is no listing, you should ensure that you get a food chart to guide you.

You can feed the adult dog twice a day, but this will depend on the activity levels of the dog. If you have an exceptionally active dog, you may need to increase the feeding times to three times a day or adjust the amounts of energy, giving ingredients in the recipe to feed it two times a day.

The Senior Dog

feeding senior dog

Feeding the senior dog comes with more challenges than feeding a puppy or an active adult dog. Senior dogs have more dietary needs because, at their age, they are sensitive to various health issues. The energy requirements for the dogs at this age are also less, which means they should consume fewer amounts of food they did at their earlier stages of life.

You should feed senior dogs with foods that contain fewer calories but with all the right nutrients to keep their strength intact. Before deciding on the number of times to feed the senior dog, you should consider the levels of its activities, its weight, and overall health. Overfeeding a senior dog may lead to obesity due to fewer activities that help to burn energy. The average number of feeds should be twice a day.

Pregnant Dogs

feeding Pregnant dogs

A dog’s pregnancy lasts about 62 days. During the first four to five weeks of pregnancy, feed the dog the regular diet with the same ingredients and the same number of feeding times. During the last three to four weeks of pregnancy, increase the amounts of food and, if necessary, increase the feeding times to three times a day. The diet during this period should be that same as the puppy food or a lactation diet increases the number of calories.

What is the best time to feed the dog?

Another question that some pet owners ask, especially those keeping dogs for the first time, is whether dogs should eat at the same time as humans. The times you choose to feed, the dog depends entirely on your preferences. However, you can go with some of the most common feeding times that many dog owners practice.

If you are feeding the dog two times a day, the best feeding hours will be around 7 am and 6 pm. Giving your dog this space between the meals ensures that the system digests the food entirely as it needs between 4 to 6 hours to do so. Hunger signals start to take place between 8 and 10 hours for a dog that feeds twice a day.

For senior and puppy dogs, the feeding schedule should have less number of feeding hours in between. If you feed the dog once a day, the most appropriate time would be in the evening. Feeding in the evening allows the nutrients in the meal to work through the system as the dogs rest at night in preparation for energy shedding the following day.

How much food should I feed my dog chart?

The following chart should help you to determine how much you should feed your dog daily. Even as you go through the chart, you should keep in mind that the number of times you feed and the correct size of the food depend on the breed, size, type of food, activity levels, metabolic rate, and age. Many of the dog food labels come with a feeding guide, so it is essential to compare the following chart with what shows on the brand of food products you buy.

Daily feeding chart for 24 hours

Dog Type

 

Dog weight (lbs)

 

No. of cups/day    

 

Calories

 

Toy

 

3 1/3 138
6 ½ 233
 
Small

 

10 ¾ 242
15 1 464
20 1 + 1/3 576
 
Medium

 

30 1+3/4 781
40 2+1/4 969
50 2+1/2 1145
 
Large

 

60 3 1313
70 3+1/2 1474
80 3+3/4 1629
90 4+1/4 1779
100 4+1/2 1926

How much chicken and rice should I feed my dog with diarrhea?

 my dog with diarrhea

Diarrhea is a common digestive problem with dogs during different stages of growth. Several different causes of diarrhea to the dog include sudden changes in their diets, eating something terrible in their menu, viral, parasitic, and bacterial infections, allergies, pancreatic and inflammatory diseases, and more. You can treat diarrhea by fasting the dog or feeding it on a rice and chicken diet, which helps to settle the stomach, and stop diarrhea.

Though white rice has less nutritional value than brown rice, it comes with properties that are friendlier to the dog’s delicate stomach. Before you start the dog on a chicken and rice diet to stop the diarrhea, you should first fast it for 24 hours without any food but with plenty of water. Feed the dog small amounts of rice and chicken diet for the next few days until you are sure the diarrhea is in control.

Feeding small amounts rather than the usual two meals, a day will ensure easier digestion that will not shock the dog’s digestive system. Remember not to feed any other kind of food until the bowel movements go back to normal. You should also break the feeding times with plenty of water to keep the dog hydrated after two or three days, you can start to add regular diet gradually as you decrease the amount of the rice and chicken diet.

Once your dog’s bowel movements are completely okay, you can stop the rice and chicken diet, and continue with the regular menu. Do not make any dietary changes immediately after halting the rice and chicken mixture as the dog may still have a sensitive stomach.

How much Wet food should I feed my dog

Wet dog food or canned food is a great alternative to dry food. It is especially significant as it contains some ingredients that do not come in dry food diets. Some of the things you get in wet foods that you do not in dry foods are more significant water content, which helps in hydration, and higher moisture content that helps in better satiety.

Others include better smells and flavors, which is especially great for finicky dogs and easier digestible and chewable kibbles. Wet food is also great to mix with dry foods, especially for fussy eating dogs, as it improves the taste of the dry ingredients in the diet. Even with the benefits of wet food diet, the question of how much you should feed the dog with still begs.

Before considering the amount of food the dog needs, you should take into consideration the age and stage life of the dog, the health condition, the dog’s activity levels, and the ingredients of the formula. Canned foods come with the amounts to feed the dogs with on the labels, but in case you buy one with no guidelines, then the following calculations can probably help you to measure the correct ratios of wet food to dry food.

Ratio of dry dog food to wet dog food measurements

Dog weight (pounds) Dry food (cups) Wet food (can)
10 And Below 1/3 to 1 ¼
10-25  1-2 ¼ ½
25-50 2 ¼-3 ¾  1
50-75  3 ¾-5 1 ½
Over 75 5-8 2

Wrapping it up

Some dog owners do not follow any feeding rules when it comes to feeding their pets. Instead, they follow the needs of their dogs and their activity levels to decide on when and how often they should feed their pets. However, following a guideline is beneficial for the good health of the dog. It prevents you from overfeeding, which may lead to obesity, diabetes, heart problems, and joint issues, among others. The right nourishment with the right amounts given at the right time will save you visits and costs spent at the vets.