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How much Should I Feed My Dog?

Posted on September 3, 2015

Great health begins from the inside out, which is why it's so important for dog lovers to learn about how to provide their canine companions with the best nutrition possible. One question that many dog owners have is "How much should I feed my dog?"

The amount of food that your dog needs really depends on a number of different factors. Your dog's age, activity level, size, and body condition need to be taken into consideration when you're figuring out the perfect meal size. For example, a puppy will typically need to eat larger amounts and/or more frequently than an adult dog, since they require extra protein and calories as they grow. A couch potato pooch, less active breeds and most senior dogs, on the other paw, generally require fewer calories.

Before you jump to doling out a specific feeding amount, however, it's best to first make sure that your dog is being fed a good quality, nutritionally complete and balanced diet. The right amounts of digestible proteins, fats, minerals and vitamins are enormously important to your furry friend's well-being! Lower quality dog foods online may be less expensive to buy, but giving your pup cheap chow may not only mean that your dog will need to eat more of it to gain the same nutrients, but your dog's overall health may suffer too, costing you more in the long run.

Next, it's important to weigh your dog. (Hey, no guessing allowed!) An accurate weight is essential for figuring out the right feeding amount. If you're not able to pick your pup up and weigh them on a scale at home, then your veterinarian will happily allow you to stop in with Fido for a weigh-in; they can also give you a good idea about whether or not your dog is at a healthy body weight, too.

Now, take a good look at the feeding guidelines listed on your dog's bag of food. All pet food companies are required to provide a recommended daily feeding amount based on weight for their products, so that guideline is a good place to start. Every dog is unique, however, so you may need to adjust that amount depending on your dog's activity levels and energy needs.

Puppies and pregnant females need to eat a food that's specifically made for growth and development, too.

Finally, keep an eye on your furry family member – changes in their lifestyle, activity or health status could mean that you need to adjust their food intake, too. And when in doubt about what's best for your favorite doggie friend when it comes to nutrition, it's always a good idea to check with their veterinarian.