How to Estimate the Right Dog Food Serving Size for Your Pet
Gain weight – If your dog needs to gain weight, increase the amount of food by a quarter of a cup per feeding and observe for 2 to 3 weeks
Small breed dogs such as toy poodles, Yorkshire terriers and Chihuahuas typically weigh less than 10 pounds. Because these dogs are so small, they do not require as much food as many other dogs. Dogs weighing less than 10 pounds require only between 1/4 cup and 3/4 cup of dry food per day. Very active toy breed dogs may eat as much as 1 cup of food on a daily basis. If you plan to feed your dog a mixture of wet and dry foods, cut the amount of dry food in half and substitute it with the same volume of wet food.
Miniature poodles, miniature pinschers and other small breed dogs like Scottish terriers and Pekingese usually weigh between 10 pounds and 25 pounds. Dogs of this size require between 3/4 cup and 1 cup of food per day. If you plan to feed your dog twice a day, give him about 1/2 cup of food for each meal. To add wet food to your dog's diet, cut the amount of dry food in half and add an equal volume of wet food.
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Puppies will be able to eat more than adults, and still be a proper weight. Dogs getting a tremendous amount of exercise can eat more than the dog who sits on the sofa all day. A dog will need more food when the weather is good and he can get out to play, than he will when it’s the rainy season and he has to stay indoors. An adult, neutered dog needs less food than a growing un-neutered dog. The recommended daily feeding amounts on the bag do not apply in certain instances. If a dog is unhealthy or overweight, the amount of food can change. Beneful recommends feeding a pet 20 percent less each day if weight loss is desired. In some instances, such as when a dog is pregnant or nursing, more food--sometimes up to twice as much--may be needed each day, according to "The Doctors Book of Home Remedies for Dogs and Cats." Very active dogs may also eat more than the recommended guidelines.Some people choose to leave food out all the time or feed one large meal per day. As a veterinarian, I do not prefer the free-choice feeding method. My concerns about this method are multi-dog households where one dog may eat too much food and become overweight. Often pet owners compensate for the empty bowl by adding more total volume so the “healthy eater” of the group will still eat too much but now the more timid eaters are getting the proper amount instead of too little. This method may also not reveal if a dog is not eating well, especially if you are using a feeder that holds multiple days worth of food. Illnesses may go undetected for some time because you are unable to see that your dog is not eating well. One large meal a day works fine for many dogs. However, large and giant breeds that are prone to bloat should be fed multiple smaller meals per day (at least two). The reason for this is that one large meal tends to stretch the ligaments that support the stomach, and over time, this relaxed ligament will make the stomach more likely to twist if the dog bloats. Bloating is bad, but bloating and twisting is much worse.If you have never fed raw before, you may be surprised as you watch your dog’s health improve while they transition to a healthier diet. It’s important to be aware of how much you should be feeding your pet. When you feed your pet a raw food diet, they will often require less food than if you were to feed them a kibble/grain-based diet, because the food has so much more nutritional value. There are a few factors that will affect the recommended amount to feed your pet, such as age, activity level, and weight goals. We use the bodyweight percentage rule, which estimates feeding amounts based on the weight of your pet.