How much should you be feeding your dog?
It’s important to remember all dogs are individuals, and to make sure your dog’s diet is both complete and balanced to suit its needs and stage of life. Here’s a quick guide.
The amount of food your dog needs will depend on its size, breed and age, as well as how much exercise it gets. The most important thing is to make sure you don’t overfeed. Obesity in dogs is linked to decreased longevity and diseases such as osteoarthritis, and it is totally preventable.
Puppies come to you aged 8-16 weeks. Follow the diet (ask your breeder) they have been eating and introduce any new food in small amounts over a few weeks. Puppies have a high nutritional demand so it’s important to feed small meals regularly.
Gradually reduce meals to twice per day. Check with your vet when to change over from puppy food to adult- food.
Adult dogs should be fed once or twice a day. Use a high-quality commercial dog food, making sure it’s appropriate for the life stage and health status of your dog. You can add cooked or raw meat (choose meat for human consumption) and vegetables for variety.
Small or medium breed dogs are considered adult from 12 months of age; larger breeds from 18–24 months.
Many older dogs have chronic health issues that can be affected or improved by the diet you feed, so always consult your vet for advice.
- Always measure out your dog’s food.
- Don’t leave food out all day. This allows them to graze, which they sometimes do when they are bored rather than hungry.
- Avoid giving them human food. Commercial dog food is nutritionally balanced for dogs whereas ours isn’t.
- Always make sure your dog’s water bowl is filled and changed daily, so they can help themselves whenever they want and stay hydrated.
Your vet will also be able to help you calculate how much food your dog should be eating.