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How Much Should I Feed My Dog?


Last updated on April 15th, 2023 at 10:25 am

One of the most common questions dog owners have is, “How much should I feed my dog?” It’s important to make sure you’re feeding your dog the right amount of food for their health.

image of small dog looking over an overflowing pile of dog food in a dish

We’ll cover various factors when considering your dog’s appropriate food intake. We’ll answer questions like:

  • How much should you feed your dog?
  • What are the different types of food your dog should eat?
  • What are the nutrients your dog needs?
  • When should you feed your dog?
  • How to measure how much food to give your dog?

So if you’re wondering how much to feed your dog, read on!

How Much Should I Feed My Dog Per Weight?

Although several factors play into calculating how much to feed your dog daily, below is a generalized dog feeding chart to get you started.

dog feeding chart

However, calculating exactly the right amount is a little more complicated than just a standard chart and depends on numerous factors, such as:

  • Type of food
  • Your dog’s breed
  • Your dog’s current health condition – Is your dog over or underweight?
  • Your dog’s activity level
  • Your dog’s stage of growth – puppies will require more food.
  • Your dog’s current weight
  • Your dog’s current life stage – older dogs may have special dietary needs that will need to be met.

If you’re not sure what kind of diet works best for YOUR DOG, please consult with a vet or animal nutritionist.

Why Does the Amount of Food Matter?

Feeding your dog too little will result in nutritional deficiencies that can cause serious injury/sickness to your dog.

Overfeeding your dog can result in obesity, which can lead to diseases/illnesses such as osteoarthritis, congestive heart failure, skin disorders, cancer, a shorter life and reduced quality of life.

Different Types of Dog Food

There are various types of food your dog can eat, and each has its benefits. It’s important to familiarize yourself with the different types of food so you can provide your pet with the best possible nutrition.

The most common type of food is kibble (or dry food). Kibble is an easy way for dogs to get all the necessary nutrients. It also helps keep their teeth clean and healthy- which is important for your dog’s overall health.

Another popular type of food is canned or wet dog food. This comes in various flavors, textures, and sizes – perfect for any pup! Canned dog foods offer convenience as well as plenty of flavors and nutritional value, making it ideal for busy households.

You can also try incorporating fresh fruits or vegetables into his diet now and then – they’ll provide essential vitamins & minerals which will help keep him healthy & happy!

Examples of Different Brands and Feeding Recommendations

Among the many different factors that you need to take into consideration when calculating the correct amount of food to feed your dog, the brand of food is one of them. Each type/brand of food has different dietary guidelines based on the nutrients and calories of that brand. The quality of the food will reflect the amount of food needed.

Below are some examples of different brands’ food labels and how their feeding recommendations differ based on the nutritional values of the food.

Image of Pedigree dog food & daily feeding guide
Image of Iams dog food  and daily feeding recommendation
Image of Pedigree Canned Food and daily feeding recommendation
Image of Pure Balance Pro Dog Food and daily feeding recommendation
Image of Purina Dog Chow and daily feeding recommendation
Image of Kibbles & Bits dog food and daily feeding recommendation
Image of Purina One Canned dog food  and daily feeding recommendation

By comparing these different types of food, you’ll notice the feeding recommendations are different for each one – this is due to the different types and levels of nutrition of each brand.

These recommendations are tailored toward an average dog with average activity levels.

Always use the feeding guide listed for the food you’re giving your dog, and note that the total portion listed is per day, not just one serving.

What Are the Essential Nutrients My Dog Needs?

There are some essential nutrients your dog needs to stay healthy and happy. Knowing which ones and how much to feed them is important for you and your pet.

Dogs need protein, carbohydrates, vitamins A, D3, B12, C (including calcium), E (vitamin K), Niacinamide, Folate, and Iron, among the most common, to maintain a healthy weight as well as have healthy and strong muscles and bones.

How Often Should I Feed My Dog?

What you feed your dog is an important part of their overall health. However, how often you feed your dog is also an important factor to consider.

Generally speaking, your dog’s daily allowance of food should be split up into at least two meals per day with regular feeding times. However, the number of meals per day can vary by breed. Small and medium size breeds will require two meals per day, but larger breeds will need three meals per day.

The thing to remember is that a regular feeding schedule helps prevent overeating and obesity and helps maintain a healthy weight.

Is Free-Feeding My Dog OK?

Free-feeding is when food is left out for your dog all day, and they can eat whenever they want. This is never recommended. Free-feeding can lead to your dog consuming more food than recommended, leading to obesity, amongst other health issues.

Although over-feeding is not the only reason for dog obesity, it is a major contributing cause.

According to vca animal hospitals, approximately 25-30% of the general canine population is obese, with 40-45% of dogs aged 5-11 years old weighing in higher than normal.

Veterinarians use tools like the below chart to evaluate your dog’s body condition score.

Image by

How Much Should I Feed My Adult Dog?

There is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question, as the amount of food your dog needs will vary depending on his weight, age, activity level and type of food. However, if you follow the guidelines listed in this article and be sure to provide your dog with a balanced diet containing all the nutrients he needs, chances are he’ll be a happy and healthy pup!

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