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How Much Should You Feed Your Adult Dog?

DIY diets for adult dogs are a great way of taking full control over what goes into your dog, especially if they have some sensitivities or you're worried about some of the less-than-desirable ingredients that can be found in commercial formulas BUT it does take research, time & effort to get it right.

Image by Helena Lopes

When feeding a DIY formula to your dog, you would generally be following the BARF guidelines which means you would not be aware of how many calories are in the batch unless you are tracking that in a similar way, humans track calories themselves such as using an app, therefore a % of body weight is used as a rough guide. 


Puppies have different guidelines than adults because they need a lot of energy to grow so be sure you're following the right guidelines for the right life stage of your dog 

Kibble feeders who start feeding a fresh food diet can find how much whole foods to feed a puppy very confronting, it seems like too much but this is because of the moisture weight.  Kibble and other dry foods that haven't been hydrated before feeding are only around 10% moisture, whereas whole foods are around 60-70% moisture, so the volume you feed is much greater.

  • To maintain an adult dog's current weight, feed around 2.5% of its body weight per day. 

  • Working breeds/very active dogs may need as much as 6% of their body weight per day.

  • To lose weight, feed 2% of their body weight per day.

  • To gain weight, feed 3% of their body weight per day.

  • Do you suck at maths?  Click here​ for a calculator.

Working breed and active adult dogs may need much more food, it is important that you watch your dogs body condition frequently because dogs who become overweight decrease their lifespan by at least 2 years.

If you are feeding a recipe such as one from our recipe books or Patreon platform for adult dogs, you may prefer to feed based on caloric requirement than % of body weight, to learn how many calories your adult dog requires, head here.

Adult dogs are generally fed twice per day, however, there are potential benefits to feeding once per day based on the principles of intermittent fasting.  Giant breeds that are still consuming a lot of food as adults may benefit from feeding twice per day so as to not overtax the digestive system.

If you would like to take a lot of the guesswork out of DIYing, check out our web app, which will do most of the work for you.

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