How Much Should I Feed My Dog

The quantity of food that one must feed his dog is important for maintaining the health of the animal. If you too are wondering how much should I feed my dog a day, then continue reading the following article for answers.
'Woof, Woof'. With his tail wagging at 80 miles/hour, one look and you could guess Patchie is hungry. Patchie is our dear 3 years old pet. We got him as a pup loitering around the street and did not know what breed he actually was. Anyway, he was a bubbly little pup who grew up to be an active dog. But, I did not know how much to feed him. This is because I did not want to overfeed him or underfeed him. He is a healthy dog, and I always wanted him to stay healthy. After speaking to his veterinarian and doing a little research myself, I found out some answers.

Quantity of Food

Most of us dog owners, feed our pets commercial dog food. Each brand and type of dog food contains a different formulation and ingredients. Thus, it is not possible to understand the exact amount of dog food one should be feeding a dog. The best way to decide this is to understand certain parameters and adjust the amount. You should keep a watch on the dog's health after you begin feeding a particular dog food brand and amount. If you feel the dog has improved in health, continue with the same brand and quantity of food.

In Dog's Years
One of the main factors that influences the food quantity is its age. You need to remember a puppy tends to have higher metabolism rate than that of an adult dog. This is because a puppy is a growing dog and needs more nutrition to fulfill his growth and development needs. Adult dogs on the other hand, have reached their maximum size and developmental potential. Thus, they need enough food to maintain their average weight and nutritional level. If you own an old dog, you need to decrease the amount of food. Its metabolism rate has slowed down and do not need to be overfed. Just like a human senior needs to watch the amount they eat, a senior dog needs to watch his diet too.

Size Matters
Weight, one parameter that will help you understand whether you need to feed him more or less. How do you decide if your dog is a bit underweight? Well, you need to check the dog's rib. If you feel the ribs of the dog, this means he is underweight. You need to follow a general rule that will help you feed him food according to his weight. For example:
  • 10 pounds dog - Feed one cup food per day
  • 10 to 25 pounds - Feed him 1 ½ to 2 ¼ cups per day
  • 25 to 50 pounds - Feed him 3 ¾ cups to 5 cups per day
  • 50 to 75 pounds - 5 to 8 cups per day
This formula works fine when you are feeding dry dog food to your dog. You need to adjust a bit, if you are feeding him canned food.

Get Ready for Exercise
After a nice walk down the park or a game of basketball, don't you feel a bit more hungry than usual? Yes? The same rule applies to your dog. If he is an active dog, who spends a lot of time running around the yard or plays with his dog toys, then you need to feed him more. This means slightly more than normal and not too much more. Or else you will turn him in a fat blob. If you dog takes it lightly, does not undertake a lot of physical activity, then you can feed him normal or slightly less than normal amount of food. This will prevent him from gaining those extra pounds that will be hard to shed, taking into consideration his low activity level.

You know the factors you need to take into consideration. Based on these parameters you need to decide how much you should feed him. If your dog comes under the ideal weight range, then feed him according to the recommended amount printed on the dog food label. If your dog weighs less, then feed him a little more. You can feed him ¼ to ½ cup extra each day for about 4 weeks. If your dog weighs more than normal then feed him ¼ cup less than normal. When you find his body weight coming down to the normal range, adjust the amount and number of times fed per day.

If you are still having doubts, speak to your dog's veterinarian. He will be able to guide you correctly based on your dog's weight and health. Make sure you feed you dog only the best dog food on the market, to make him a healthy and happy dog.
By Batul Nafisa Baxamusa
Last Updated: 10/8/2011
Bouquets and Brickbats