The amount of food will depend on several factors. The most obvious os your dog. How large are they? How active? How old?
Alongside that you need to factor on the type of diet you are giving your dog.
Kibbles are perfectly balanced in nutrients needed for a healthy life. Kibbles are developed by veterinary nutritionists. They have different types, designed for the needs of different dogs, according to their size and age, and they prevent any deficiency. These are the easiest and safest way to get your dog the nutrition they need.
There has been so much written about raw food diets, and there is also some evidence that it is marginally better. However, there is also far more risk that you may miss out on some vital parts of the diet when trying to create the “perfect” meal for your pet…it is harder than you might expect!
Kibbles are also very nutritious; for the same nutritive value, you can give fewer kibbles than canned dog food. Canned dog food contains a large amount of moisture (about 80% water), so more must be given to satisfy the dog.
How much kibble does my dog need each year?
Calculations have been made, and it showed that to feed a 20kg dog for one year, about 8- 15 kg bags (or 120 kg) of kibbles are needed.
How Many Cups is in A Pound of Dry Dog Food?
Most bags of kibbles provide 4 cups per pound. Nevertheless, it can be more or less depending on the brand, for instance, 1 pound of Nutro will yield 5 cups. This information is usually provided on the packaging.
So using this information, we can calculate that:
Professional dog food = 4 cups per pound
Cups per pound / pounds in bag= number of cups per bag
Cups per bag / cups consumed = how long it will last
Here is an example:
4 cups X 30 (lb. bag)= 120 cups per bag
120 cups / 2.5 (cups consumed per day) = 48 days
Hence, 30 pounds of dry dog food will last a little over one-and-a-half months.
How much food should you give to your dog?
Commercial dog food comes with very clear instructions on the amount to feed your dog. Many manufacturers offer cups with their products to make it easy to give your pet the correct amount.
Do keep in mind that these figures are calculated without giving your dog anything outside meals. So if you feed your dog treats or anything else, you may need to reduce the amount of food, or your dog could become obese.
How much home-made food should you give to your dog?
If you have opted for home-made dog food, you will need to make a note of how much food you are giving your dog and the nutrients.
Since the amount of food depends on the weight of the dog, you must know how much your dog weighs.
How to weigh your dog
Unless your dog is small and calm, it will be very tricky to get them to stay on the scales long enough to get an accurate result!
A better solution is to take your dog in your arms, then get on the scales and note your combined weight. Once you have done this, then weigh yourself alone, and the difference between the two values gives you the weight of the dog.
For example, if the combined weight is 70Kg and you then weigh yourself at 60Kg, then your dog must weigh 10Kg.
If your dog is too big to be held in the arms, or if you have a bad back, you can take it to the vet to obtain the weight, or weigh the dog on a luggage scale….but be prepared for some strange looks!
How many meals does your dog have during the day?
Young dogs and puppies need to be fed more frequently, as much as 4 times per day as they cannot hold much and burn off a lot of energy. As they age, you will find that they stabilise at around once or twice a day.
There has been a lot of conjecture about whether the correct amount of feeding is once or twice a day, but much of the research contradicts the other, but neither is seen as harmful, and any benefit of one over the other seems to be minimal at best.
Generally smaller dogs are more likely to need feeding twice a day, and larger dogs once, but this will depend on your dog.
If you do feed your dog once per day, the best time to feed them is in the evening.
How much food does an adult dog need?
It is pretty tricky to give a general answer to this question.
You can start with the values on the tables on the packaging of the food you are using, but these are only generalized values. You will need to adapt to this depending on your dog’s age and metabolism, the state of their health (especially if pregnant or recovering from surgery or illness), the outside temperature and above all, the physical activity of your dog.
When a dog is very active, its need for food will be far higher than an older dog that spends more time in their bed. Likewise, a Yorkie will require substantially less than a German Shepherd.
The easiest way to assess whether you are giving your dog enough food is that the body condition of the dog is correct. You should be able to feel the ribs of your dog when you touch its side without feeling a distinct layer of fat, but you should not see their ribs (if they are a very furry dog, then you should not be able to feel the ribs as more than a harder part of their side rather than a definite jut)
How to change the amount of food you give your dog
When changing the amount of food, do not do it in one hit. Instead gradually increase or decrease the amount of food over approximately two weeks.
I increase the amount of food I give my dogs during the cold winter months by a small amount (10-20%) and then reduce it down as spring comes round as they seem to be more hungry during the winter…although this may be more down to them finding more stuff to feast on during the summer!
How much food does my puppy need?
For puppies, meals need to be smaller more numerous than they are for adult dogs as they burn off a lot of energy and only have small stomachs. So for puppies, you should feed them approximately;
From 2 to 4 months, feed them 3 times a day
From 4 to 6 months, give 2 meals a day
Around 6 to 8 months old, they should be big enough to be fed just once if this works for them.
Since all dogs are different, I cannot give exact amounts to feed your puppy, but these are the guidelines I use.
At first, give your puppy a quantity of food 4 times a day, in a quantity that he can eat in 10 to 15 minutes. Generally, puppies are more interested in their world than food and cannot eat that much anyway. So let them eat as much as they want, but regulate their diet as they get older and always monitor what sort of condition they are in.
Don’t Forget about Water for Your Dogs!
It is quite easy to forget that dogs need a lot of water, too. Dehydration can be a severe problem so make sure they have enough water to remain hydrated the whole day.
To determine how much water your dog needs, measure how much water your dog is drinking and compare this to their regular meals. For every pound of food that you give your dog, you should also provide at least two litres of clean drinking water to your dog.
If your dog comes from a large breed and can consume three pounds of dog food a day, then your dog should receive at least six litres of clean water over the same period.
Rather than “feeding” your dog water, your dog should have access to a clean water source so they can drink water whenever they like and they will regulate their own needs.
Be particularly vigilant if you see your dog panting heavily on a hot day, or it has been playing or training hard, that’s a sign the dog is already feeling tired and dehydrated – so make sure their water bowl is full.
Water consumption can increase noticeably if your pet is pregnant or ill, so keep an eye open for an empty water bowl. If your dog is vomiting, consult with your veterinarian as there are some cases when you will need to limit their water intake and others where they will need more.
How much to feed your dog is actually quite simple by asking yourself are they fit and healthy? If they have energy and are not overweight, then you are feeding them the right amount.
The debates around how often to feed them are also very overblown. For adult dogs, the research does not really favour one meal a day over two (or vice versa) to any huge degree, so your best bet is to go with what works best for your dog and schedule.
If you are in any doubt about what to feed your dog, kibble is balanced and the easy way to ensure that your dog gets all the nutrients they need. However, there is some evidence that raw food diets are marginally better as the nutrients are better digested, but do not underestimate the time it takes to prepare everything and ensure your pup gets all the nutrients they need.
- 1 How much kibble does my dog need each year?
- 2 How Many Cups is in A Pound of Dry Dog Food?
- 3 How much food should you give to your dog?
- 4 How much home-made food should you give to your dog?
- 5 How to weigh your dog
- 6 How many meals does your dog have during the day?
- 7 How much food does an adult dog need?
- 8 How to change the amount of food you give your dog
- 9 How much food does my puppy need?
- 10 Don’t Forget about Water for Your Dogs!
- 11 Summary