One of the best ways you can keep your dog healthy is to make sure they're eating the right amount of food (not too much, not too little). Today, our Franklin vets give advice and tips on how you can make sure you're giving your dog the right amount of food every day.
Why is the right amount of food important?
It can be a challenge to tell how much food is appropriate for your dog while ensuring they get the right nutrients to maintain everyday good health. Overfeeding your dog can seem somewhat harmless, especially since it can be hard to resist our pup's begging eyes, but an overweight dog is at a higher risk of developing serious health conditions such as diabetes, congestive heart failure, and some cancers.
Remember, consistency and appropriate portion sizes are important parts of your dog's healthy diet.
How do I find out the right amount of food for my dog?
The size of your dog's meals depends on several factors, such as:
- How many times they should be fed daily
- The type of food they require
- Your dog's activity level
- Their weight
- Metabolic rate
Below, we go over some of the methods you can use to figure out how much your dog should be fed every day. It's important to talk to your veterinarian, who will be able to give you more detailed and accurate information about your dog's unique needs.
Dog feeding charts & guides
The majority of dog food brands include a feeding chart on the back of the packaging, which is a good guide for how much to feed your dog daily based on their size and weight.
Most adult dogs need about two meals a day, with puppies needing three or more daily. Using the daily feeding guide on the dog food brand's packaging, divide the daily feeding amount by the number of meals that you feed your dog a day. If you're not sure how many times a day you should be feeding your dog, make sure to get in touch with your vet.
Use a calorie calculator
Calorie calculators can be a good tool to approximate roughly how many calories you should be feeding your dog daily based on a specific set of criteria. A potential downside, however, is that the accuracy can be off by approximately 25% (sometimes more, sometimes less).
Make note of changes in your dog's weight
It could be helpful to keep a journal of your dog's weight if it is of concern to you. Weigh your dog every 2-4 weeks and mark down the results; if your dog is losing or gaining an inappropriate amount of weight, adjust their portions more or less, respectively. Keep your vet updated about significant changes in your dog's weight, as it could potentially be a sign of an underlying medical condition.
Recalculate portion sizes when you change foods
Every type of dog food has differing amounts of calories and nutrients, which means that you should readjust your portion sizes based on the dog feeding guide provided on the brand's packaging.
Talk to your vet
Your vet is the ultimate resource for your pup's dietary advice! They can tell you exactly how much food to feed your dog and even recommend the best types of dog food for your pet. You can ask your vet any questions that you have about your canine companion's dietary needs, and they will take the time to answer them thoroughly.
Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.