(This is the second in our 3 part series covering basic dog nutrition all dog owners should know.)
How much should you feed your dog? Your dog might tell you a different story than your veterinarian...
Feeding your dog the correct nutrients is vital to your dog's health, but feeding your dog the appropriate amounts is additional knowledge dog owners need to have in order to care for their lovable pet properly.
Despite your dog's begging, there is a correct amount.
How much you should feed your dog?
Dogs require sufficient nutrients to meet their energy needs and maintain and repair body tissues. The amount you feed your dog should be based on his or her size and energy output. A large breed dog, such as a Mastiff, or a German Shepherd, will require more food than a small breed, such as a Pekingese or a Dachshund.
Your dog’s activity may be different than the next dog, so an energetic, active dog may require more food than a sedentary house dog. Also extreme hot or cold weather can influence how much your dog may require.
Feed your dog too much, and he may become obese and develop other health problems as a result, such as increased risk of diabetes, liver problems, and joint pains. The easiest way to overfeed your dog is to give your dog too many high-calorie treats throughout the day or feed your dog table scraps.
The best way to control this is to not feed your dog table scraps, and give your dog quality treats in moderation, which are not overly loaded with calories or carbohydrates, such as our Brutus and Barnaby chicken breast jerky treats.
It is generally recommended that dogs should be fed twice daily. Divide your dog’s daily requirements into two feedings in a day, spaced 8 to 12 hours apart.
Puppies have different feeding requirements than adult dogs, as they are growing, and often eat more times a day. Depending on your puppies’ breed and age, they may eat up to four meals per day, 2-3 times the amount of an adult dog.
More important than how many times you should feed your dog per day, is how much at each feeding you should give your dog. This regulates the amount of calories and nutrition they get to fulfill what they need to be happy and healthy.
Most pet food bag labels state the general amounts you should feed your dog on the back. Factor in your dog’s activity level into this calculation, and you can come up with a rough idea how much you should be feeding your dog. Here is a rough rule of thumb you to get you started in the right direction:
Your dog may beg for more, and give his/her cute puppy eyes, which can be irresistible. We recommend having handy healthy treats in between feeding times, which you can reward your dog with.
The trick is to not give in to their adorable begging, but instead give the treats in moderation!
Another factor is to provide ample exercise for your dog, which can help maintain your dog’s weight and help to burn more calories, plus reduce appetite and anxiety. Dog's need exercise just like humans do to function properly, burn calories, and stay healthy. Walks, playing, running, all are beneficial for your dog's overall well-being.
Takeaway tip: By being aware of how much your dog requires to maintain a healthy and active lifestyle and sticking to that plan (despite how much it tugs at your heart when your cute dog is giving you the puppy eyes look when begging for food) can go great lengths to having your dog stay healthy and keeping his weight in check.