On the one hand, feeding your dog isn’t rocket science: you just throw some kibble in a dish and place it in front of her face; she’ll take it from there.
On the other hand, there are a few details that need to be considered. You must, for example, provide her the necessary amount of food on a regular basis.
Keep reading to learn more about these topics.
Key Takeaways on How Much and How Often to Feed Your Dog
Every day, dogs must ingest an adequate amount of calories. You may figure out how much food she’ll need by estimating her caloric requirements, reading the food manufacturer’s recommendations, speaking with your veterinarian, or using a trusted calorie calculator.
You should also keep a close eye on your dog’s weight and alter the amount of food given to him as needed. While calculators and professional advice can give you a good idea of how much food your dog needs on a daily basis, this is simply a starting point.
It is preferable to feed your dog a few smaller meals throughout the day rather than a single large meal. It’s also crucial to feed your dog on a consistent and regular basis. Adults should eat at least twice a day, whereas pups should eat three times every day.
What Should I Feed My Dog and How Much Should I Feed It? Canines’ Energy Requirements
It’s normal to be concerned about how much food to feed your dog. After all, it’s a crucial component of your dog’s overall care!
And, because dogs come in many shapes and sizes, each one need a different amount of food. This may lead you to question how much you should feed your dog to ensure she gets adequate calories without gaining weight.
A mathematical formula is frequently used by veterinarians and scientists to estimate the right quantity of calories a dog requires. This is going to get a little deep, so scroll down to the next part if you’d rather avoid the arithmetic lesson. I’m not going to be insulted.
The first step is to figure out what your dog’s RER (Resting Energy Requirement) is. This is the amount of calories your dog needs to maintain her heart pumping blood, her lungs expanding with air, and her brain calculating how to convince you to give her more goodies.
Keep in mind that the term “calorie” (with a capital “C”) refers to a kilocalorie, or 1,000 calories, in the context of nutrition.
RER may be calculated by first calculating your dog’s weight in kilos and then multiplying it by 34. The RER of the dogs is calculated by multiplying this value by 70.
A nice example for a 10-kilogram dog comes from Ohio State University:
- The RER is 70. (10kg)
- 400 calories per day = 3/4
But we’re not quite done yet. The RER is merely an element of the overall system. In addition to the RER, your dog need additional calories. The precise dosage depends on a variety of factors, including your dog’s age and reproductive status.
As a result, scientists and veterinarians employ a second set of calculations to determine the total amount of daily calories required by your dog.
- Adults who have not been transformed – RER x 1.8
- Adults who have been spayed or neutered – RER x 1.6
- RER x 1.2 – Inactive Dogs
- RER x 2.0 – Working Dogs
- RER x 3.0 for puppies under 4 months old
- RER x 2.0 for puppies older than 4 months
If the 10-kilogram dog seen above were a regular spayed adult, she would require 640 calories per day (400 x 1.6). However, if she was not spayed, she would require 720 calories each day (400 x 1.8).
It’s critical to remember that these algorithms only offer a rough estimate. Individual canines, like people, have different calorie requirements. As a result, you’ll need to keep track of your dog’s weight and bodily health and make modifications as needed.
Naturally, if you make significant changes to your dog’s nutrition, you should inform your veterinarian.
Do you dislike math? Take a Look at These Time-Saving Techniques
I realize, calorie calculations may be complicated. But don’t panic if you don’t have an abacus or a degree in theoretical arithmetic – there are three shortcuts you can use to figure out how many calories your dog need that don’t require an abacus or a degree in theoretical math.
Use a calorie calculator. Several doctors and pet-health groups use the following formulas to create charts. The World Small Animal Veterinary Association (WSAVA), for example, publishes a decent one. Simply calculate your dog’s weight and then multiply it by the number of calories she need.
Consult the feeding instructions on your dog’s food. The majority of dog food companies post suggestions on the packaging. While these suggestions are typically accurate, it’s crucial to remember that they are in the business of selling dog food, so they aren’t an objective source of information.
Use the standard 30 calorie per pound of body weight method. You may use the calculation of 30 calories per pound of body weight to acquire an approximate number of how much food energy your dog need for very broad, back-of-the-envelope reasons. Active dogs, on the other hand, may require somewhat more, while sedentary dogs may require slightly less.
For proper feeding, keep an eye on your dog’s body condition and weight.
Individual dogs have different caloric demands, so formulae, charts, and manufacturer recommendations can only give you a ballpark figure; you’ll have to monitor your dog’s bodily condition and weight to figure out exactly how many calories she need.
To ensure that your dog is getting the correct quantity of food, try using the following tips:
Weigh her on a regular basis. The majority of dogs should be within the breed’s average weight range, while some who are unusually small or tall may fall just outside the range.
Make an effort to feel her ribs. You shouldn’t be able to see your dog’s ribs, but if you press through some fat, you should be able to feel them. If you can see them, she’s underweight and needs to eat more; if you can’t feel them clearly, she’s overweight and should lose weight.
From above, take a look at her waist. The waist should taper behind the ribs if she is at the right body weight, but her pelvic bones should not be apparent. Overweight dogs will not show any signs of a taper.
Examine her haunches on the backside. Healthy-weight dogs have muscular haunches that aren’t bloated with fat. Overweight dogs have haunches that are overly rounded or wide.
Consult your veterinarian if you believe your dog’s weight is outside the parameters of a healthy bodyweight. He or she can validate your assumptions and make the necessary dietary modifications for her. If your dog is growing a little round around the middle, try switching to a weight-loss dog diet.
How Often Should I Feed My Dog?
how much and how often should i feed my dog ?
Now that you know how much food your dog requires, you must choose the ideal feeding plan for your ravenous canine.
Some owners only feed their dogs once a day, however this is not recommended. In most circumstances, your dog’s calories should be distributed across two or three meals. If your dog requires 500 calories per day, for example, you may feed her 250 calories in the morning and 250 calories in the evening (give or take – it doesn’t matter if one meal is slightly larger than the other).
Puppies should be fed three times a day since they burn calories quickly and their little stomachs can only store a limited amount of food at a time.
Feeding your dog numerous smaller meals rather than one large meal helps keep her satisfied for longer periods of time and may help prevent bilious vomiting syndrome and other related disorders.
Smaller meals may also assist your dog avoid overeating and then vomiting up her food a short time later.
But arguably the most essential reason to feed your dog several times a day is that it lowers the risks of her developing bloat, a potentially deadly illness in which the stomach twists and traps gases.
Another common method for slowing down your dog’s eating is to give them a Kong, which may be loaded with their food (and even frozen), causing them to struggle for their food and keeping them from eating too quickly.
When Should I Give My Dog Food?
how many times a dog should be fed ?
how much should i feed my dog per day ?
You need to decide when to feed your dog now that you know you’ll want to feed her twice a day (and three times a day when she’s a puppy).
You should feed her once in the morning and once in the evening (with pups getting a “lunch” in the middle of the day as well). The ideal time for your dog’s dinner is 8 to 12 hours after breakfast.
To put it another way, if you give your dog breakfast at 7:00 a.m., supper should be between 3:00 and 7:00 p.m.
Apart from that, there are no hard-and-fast rules when it comes to meal times, except that they should be constant.
This will not only keep your dog from growing famished in between meals by giving her body enough time to digest her last meal, but it will also help your dog maintain a regular schedule, which canines desire.
When it comes to establishing regular feeding times, it’s frequently good to think about your own routine. If you leave for work at 8:00 a.m., for example, you might want to make 7:30 your pup’s typical meal hour. Because you arrive home from work around 5:30 p.m., you might want to schedule supper about 6:00 p.m. every day.
Of course, not everyone follows a set plan on a daily basis. That’s OK; all you have to do now is find out how to feed your dog at the same time every day. If you come and depart at odd hours, an automated feeder could be useful. If you have difficulties remembering, you might want to set your phone to inform you when it’s time for your dog’s breakfast and supper.
Other Feeding Suggestions
While we’re on the subject of feeding your dog, there are a few additional things to consider.
Remember to factor in the calories in your dog’s goodies. Dog snacks sometimes cram a lot of calories into a small, nutritionally deficient package. Some snacks have over 100 calories! This can account for a large portion of your dog’s daily requirements, resulting in long-term weight increase. Treats should be given to your dog in moderation.
Take it easy on the table scraps. The occasional piece of chicken from your plate, like snacks, may mount up over time. Furthermore, giving your dog table scraps may encourage begging. If you can’t resist giving your dog a delightful bite or two, go for low-calorie options (a carrot slice or a green bean instead of a lump of lard) and stay away from anything poisonous.
Don’t make a drastic change in your diet. If you need to alter foods, do it gradually to prevent putting your dog’s digestive system under stress. Most veterinarians advocate gradually increasing the amount of new food over the course of 5 to 10 days.
Feed your dog high-quality food at all times. The quality of various dog and puppy diets varies greatly, and some of the lower-end ones might create health concerns for your pet. Choose foods with full proteins as the first component and steer clear of foods with artificial colors or tastes.
Make sure your dog’s food and water dishes are kept clean. The ideal storm for bacterial development is a mix of warm temperatures, saliva, and food residue. Your dog’s food dishes should be washed after each meal, and her water bowl should be washed every time you refill it (at least once per day). When cleaning bowls, use dish soap and warm water, and be sure to rinse them thoroughly with cool water; alternatively, you may just place them in the dishwasher. Another way to avoid standing water and keep your dog’s water fresh is to install a running dog water fountain.