It may be hard to figure out how much dog food to give. From a vet’s point of view, a dog’s daily food intake should be based on his ideal weight and the number of calories he needs.
Your dog’s ideal weight will be found by having your vet check him. Use the following ways to figure out if your pet is a healthy weight:The ribs of a healthy animal should be easy to feel but not easy to see. To feel a healthy dog’s ribs, flatten your palm and run your finger over your knuckles. If your dog’s ribs feel like your palm’s knuckles when you turn him over, he may be too heavy. Check to see if the dog has a waist, which means his body narrows after the ribs but before the hips. Because each breed is different, these are just general suggestions. Talk to a vet if you think your pet is too thin or fat.
How many calories does a dog eat each day?
If your dog is healthy, you can use the following formula to figure out how many calories (kilocalories, or kcal) he needs each day:
Needs (kcal) = 1.6 [70 x (weight in pounds times 2.2)] .75]
A dog that weighs 10 pounds and is only moderately active needs 350 calories daily to stay the same size. This is just a rough estimate. If the dog is overweight, he needs fewer calories. Active dogs need to eat more. Dogs who are pregnant or nursing need a lot more food. If your pet has cancer or kidney disease, they may need more calories. Puppies are hard to feed because they grow so fast. You shouldn’t give your pet too much or too little food.
How often should a dog eat?
It’s more important to give your dog enough calories than to feed him many times a day. The number for 24 hours is shown above. You can give him all this at once or split it into two meals and snacks. Dog treats also have calories. Some dogs eat too fast or get hungry later in the day, so it’s good to feed them at different times. Some people only eat one meal a day. Your vet can help you determine what you and your dog should eat.
In simple terms
No one likes math, measuring, or being a detective. Most dog food brands have instructions for feeding on their packages, cans, and websites. Once you and your vet have figured out your pet’s ideal weight, you can use the chart on the food to figure out how many measuring cups (or cans, if you use wet food) he should eat daily. Just like with calorie estimates, these charts need to be changed for dogs that are sick, underweight, pregnant or nursing, or very active.
Dogs need protein, fat, carbohydrates, vitamins, and more. If your dog’s diet isn’t balanced, he won’t get enough calories even if you count them. Consult your vet about your dog’s food, especially If you want to feed your raw dog food instead of store-bought food; consult a veterinary nutritionist to ensure you’re meeting his nutritional needs. Pet insurance is also essential to ensure you can afford vet visits. If you’re concerned about your dog’s health and weight, see a vet.