Your dog’s diet is an important concern. It is critical that you provide for all their nutritional requirements while ensuring that they aren’t eating ingredients that could be harmful to their health. And then of course, their weight also needs to be taken into consideration when determining how much you should be feeding your dog.
There are a number of factors related to your dog to keep in mind when figuring our how much your dog needs to eat:
– The size of your dog (small, medium or large)
– The age of your dog (puppy, adult or elderly)
– The weight of your dog relative to their size (are they overweight or underweight)
– The energy level of your dog (high, moderate or low energy)
– Any physical or mental health issues that your dog might be suffering from
A smaller dog or underweight dog is going to need less food than larger dog breeds or dogs that are overweight. Puppies need more nutrients to meet their growing nutritional needs. Elderly dogs and pregnant or lactating mom’s also need greater nutritional value and may eat more than regular adult dogs. Dogs that spend most of their day sleeping are going to eat less than dogs that are active and have high energy.
There are also a number of factors related to the dog food that you choose:
– Food should be high in protein and low in carbohydrates
– Avoid food containing preservatives, artificial flavors or colors and other synthetic ingredients.
– Check the sodium content (salt) of the food. Low sodium or no sodium is more suitable for dogs.
Dogs are canines and therefore require high amounts of protein in their dog food in order to meet their nutritional requirements. Unfortunately, many dog foods available on the market bulk up the food with maize, rice or other carbohydrates. While these carbs may give your dog a quick energy boost, it is more likely to result in weight gain. The weight gain may make you think that your dog is eating to much and feeding them less resulting in them getting even less protein than they actually need.
The higher the nutritional value, the less your dog will need to eat. Food choice is therefore an extremely important factor when deciding how much you should be feeding your dog. Another factor is how often you are feeding your dog.
How Often Should You Feed Your Dog?
In nature, canines can go days at a time without eating. This doesn’t mean that you should only feed your domesticated dog every few days. Our pets have become accustomed to being fed more regularly than their cousins in the wild or their ancestors. However, one feed a day should be sufficient although most dog owners prefer feeding twice daily.
In general, it is not recommended to have a bowl of food readily available for a dog to eat whenever they choose. This can lead to overeating. Keep in mind that dogs are tuned to eat as much as possible in one sitting. In other words, they won’t stop eating even if they are full.
How Much Should You Feed Your Dog?
Most types of dog food are labelled with a feeding guide on the packaging. Some high-end foods will even provide a measuring cup to ensure that you are feeding your dog the right amount. However, you will need to know the size or weight of your dog in order to follow these guidelines.
It is also important to keep in mind that the guidelines are calculated according to the average nutritional requirements of specific sizes of dogs who are at an ideal weight. If your dog is overweight, it is best not to follow this guideline but rather feed the dog according to what they should weigh. The same goes for a dog who may be underweight. Remember that the guide is for daily feeding. If you are feeding twice daily, the recommended amount should be halved for each feed.
Choosing high-quality dog food that is high in protein and low in carbohydrates is also recommended. These dog foods are more expensive but you are going to be feeding your dog less while ensuring that you meet their nutritional needs.
If you have any doubt about how much you should be feeding your dog and the type of dog food that will be best, speak to your vet.