How Much Should You Feed Your Dog?
Whilst feeding guidelines are helpful, every dog is an individual and you should feed your dog whatever amount it takes to keep them lean. Never continue to feed a guideline at the detriment of your dog.
Whatever new diet you feed your dog, will check them after 1-2 weeks by placing your hands on your dogs ribs and make a decision about if your dog is lean, underweight or overweight and make the necessary adjustments. Hip bones are not a landmark you should use to make decisions about your dogs weight. You should be able to feel your dogs ribs through a thin layer of fat without pressing down. Your fingers should not fall into the wells between the ribs. Ideally you will see the outline of the last rib, a tuck on in the loin and a defined waist.
Pre-packaged Raw - these preparations have their own feeding guidelines that are calculated by how many calories are in the formula. When feeding pre-packaged commercial foods, you will use their feeding guideline not the D.I.Y guideline, you will then reassess regularly to see if your dog needs any adjustment to their intake.
D.I.Y Feeding - When feeding a D.I.Y preparation, there are some general guidelines but these aren't right for all dogs because it is impossible to take into account your dog's personal variables and this is why you will regularly place your hands on your dog and decide whether to change your dog's intake.
To maintain a dog's current weight, feed 2.5% of its body weight. Working dogs may need around 6% of their body weight.
Working breeds/very active dogs may need as much as 6% of their body weight.
To lose weight, feed 2% of their body weight.
To gain weight, feed 3% of their body weight.
Adults are fed 1-2 times per day. Dogs who have trouble keeping weight on can be fed more meals per day especially small dogs who may not be able to consume larger meals in one sitting. There are health benefits to feeding 1 meal per day in adult dogs, we recommend you do not feed a big once a day meal to your dog 4 hours before bedtime when digestion effectively shuts down.
Use our web app to learn how to feed a balanced diet to your dog.
Puppies, especially large-giant breed puppies should not grow chubby, this is very detrimental to their joint development. In puppies, you can use the D.I.Y Guidelines but you will be constantly checking them to see if they need any alterations because they are constantly growing. Download our puppy guide on how much o feed here.
2-4 months: 10% of body weight
4-5 months: 8% of their body weight
6-8 months: 6% of their body weight
8-12 months: 4% OR the adult guidelines in smaller dogs who appear to have finished the majority of their growth.
10-12 months of age signals the end of the critical growth period, this is the period where most of their growth is completed.
Puppies under the age of 6 months should be fed 3 times a day where possible. Small breed puppies who are prone to glucose drops may need 5 feeds per day.
Puppies who are toilet training would do well to consume their last meal of the day at least 4 hours before bedtime so they can toilet before bed.
Use our web app to learn how to feed a balanced diet to your puppy.