How much to feed your dog

Video: Dog Feeding Guide - How To Feed A Dog

If you`re not sure how much to feed your dog or puppy, this page has all the information you need to get it right.

Most new puppy and dog owners worry about how to choose the best dog,or puppy, food..... but it`s also really important to think about how much food your pet needs.

I can`t overstate the importance of feeding a premium, highquality dog food, because diet plays a hugely important role in yourpuppy`s (or dog`s) health. It can even affect how long he or she lives.

But did you know that the quality of the food you give your pet, directly affects HOW MUCH of it he needs to eat?

Generic or low-quality foods don`t contain nearly as much nutritionper cup as the premium foods do, so your dog needs to eat more of themto get his nutritional needs met.

Unfortunately this also means that there`s going to be more waste(because poorly formulated foods contain a lot of fillers and `junk`which your pet can`t digest) and that`s going to be coming out the otherend of your dog in the form of more poop!

Because of the wide variety of nutritional value in dog foods,there`s no one-size-fits-all answer that will tell you how much to feedyour dog, but there are some simple, reliable formulas that you can use.

I`ve gone into these in more detail below.....

Calculating How Much Food Your Dog Needs

There`s no `one-size-fits-all` answer to the question of how muchdogs eat.... it depends on a whole host of different things, the mostimportant being:

  • Age

  • Breed and/or size

  • Health

  • Activity level

The label on your dog food (or puppy food) bag will show`Feeding Guidelines`, and these are usually calculated according to theage/weight of your pet.

These guidelines are a good `jumping off point`, but all puppies anddogs are different and what works for one dog may not work for another.

The best way to make sure you know how much to feed your puppy or dog isto know how many calories he needs each day.

Luckily, this isn`t as difficult as it sounds!

Nutritionists have devised a formula called the `Resting EnergyRequirements` (aka `RER`) to calculate how many calories dogs need on adaily basis.

You can use this formula yourself to figure out how much to feedyour own pet, but do bear in mind that it`s a very `generic` formula,created to meet the needs of an `average` dog... and most dogs aren`t average!

To work out how many calories your dog needs, follow this formula...

your dog`s weight in kg X 30 + 70 = required daily calorie intake

If you`re not sure of your dog`s weight in kg, you can use this calculator to convert his weight from pounds to kilograms.....

Once you know how many kg your dog weighs, do the calculation asshown above, then take a close look at the food you are using and seehow many kcal/cup it contains (this info. should be on the label, wherethe feeding instructions are).

When you know how many calories your dog needs, AND how manycalories there are in one cup of food, it`s easy to figure out how manycups to feed!

Here`s a quick example calculated for a dog who weighs 20 lbs, which is 9.7 kg:

9.7 X 30 + 70 = 361 .... so your 20lb dog needs approx 361 calories per day.

If you`re using a food that supplies around 460 calories per cup,feed him about 3/4 cup of food per day, divided into two meals. BUTREMEMBER this is a guideline only, your own dog may need more or less.

Different Strokes For Different.... Dogs!

The guidelines for how much to feed your dog that are given above arecalculated based on an adult dog, of an average size, and with anaverage activity level.

It doesn`t work for dogs who are younger, older, overweight,extremely active, or who have health conditions of one sort or another.

Puppies and very active dogs may need a calorie intake that is double that of your `middle-aged`, more sedentary dog. BUT that doesn`t mean that he needs twice as much food!

For example, if you`re trying to work out how much to feed your dog if he`s still a pup or adolescent, a double helping of adult food won`t provide the balance of nutrients that he needs. Instead you need to choose a food specifically designed for a puppy (and preferably one that is size/breed appropriate).

How Much To Feed Your Puppy

Puppies are growing at a phenomenal rate and their bodies have very specific dietary needs.

Also, large and giant breed pups have different needs to those of thesmall or tiny breeds. Mid-sized (or average) puppies fall somewhere inbetween.

When choosing a puppy food for large breed youngsters, it shouldcontain protein levels somewhere between 23 and 25%, fat between 12 and15% and calcium between 1.2 and 1.5%

Small or tiny breed puppies need more calories because theirmetabolism is much faster and their tummies smaller. Look for protein tobe a minimum of 25% and fat a minimum of 15%.

An medium sized pup needs protein to be somewhere between 22 and 29% and fat between 8 and 14%.

Their calorie intake will generally be about twice that of anadult dog of the same weight. So you can use the above RER calculation,but multiply the end figure by two.

Luckily, there are a wide variety of puppy foods that arespecifically formulated for puppies who are considered `large` or`small` breeds. They make it easy for you to how much to feed your puppyand to make sure that he gets exactly what he needs to grow up big (ornot so big!) and strong.

Video: 5 Ways You're Feeding Your Dog Wrong

You can find all the information you need on the very best puppyfoods available today (including reviews and nutritional values) on my Puppy Food Reviews page.

How Much Food Do Pregnant/Nursing Dogs Need?

If you want to know how much to feed your dog who is pregnant ornursing, just double the calories she would normally need (but alsoallow for an increase in her weight and adjust accordingly).

Remember that pregnant and nursing females also need extra water so always keep that water bowl full!

How Much To Feed Senior Dogs

How much to feed your dog who`s a `senior` and what to feed him, depends mainly on his health.

Some senior dogs are healthy and active, others are `couchpotatoes` or have health problems such as kidney or heart disease,diabetes etc.

Healthy seniors need a bit more protein than your average adultdog so that they can maintain healthy muscles.

Those with healthproblems may need specific nutritional supplements, or a variety ofdifferent adjustments.

Again there are a range of foods specifically designed for olderdogs, or for particular health problems so it just takes a little bit ofresearch and some browsing to find the best dog food for your `oldfella` or `old lady`.

Feeding Overweight Dogs

Deciding how much to feed your dog if he`s overweight can be achallenge! We want our furry family members to be happy too, anddepriving them of their favorite activity (eating!) is difficult atbest.

However, canine obesity is on the rise and it carries with itsome very serious health risks including joint/hip problems, heartconditions, diabetes and damage to other major organs.

A `fat` dog isNOT a happy dog and it`s very important to make sure that your pet stayslean and trim.

There are several foods on the market designed for `weightcontrol` and the premium brands in this category are always a goodchoice.

Look for reduced calories and fat and more fiber.

How Much To Feed Active Or Working Dogs

If your dog is highly active, such as those involved in activitiessuch as hunting, search and rescue, weight-pulling, flyball, agility,herding etc., then he will need extra calories.

This sometimes also applies to dogs who are a bit `hyper` or veryanxious or nervous because these behaviors also increase metabolicrate.

Look for foods high in easily-digestible protein and withabove-average fat content. If you want to know how much to feed your dogwho is `always on the go`, expect his calorie intake be about twicethat of your average, two-walks-a-day dog.

Look for premium dog foods specifically formulated for active dogs.

Once you`ve figured out how much to feed your dog in terms of thecalorie intake that`s right for his age/breed/exercise level, here aresome pages that will help you negotiate the `dog food minefield` outthere!

There are many, many dog and puppy food choices on the market,but not all of them will contain the quality ingredients that your puppyor dog needs, or in the right proportions.

It pays to do your research and make sure that you pick the right food for your pup or dog.

Video: How often should a dog be fed?

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