How Much Food Does Your Dog Need?
Since dogs cannot speak for themselves, it is quite difficult to estimate how much food they require. Remember just like humans, over feeding or under feeding your dog can result in its own consequences.
Cons of overfeeding
Overfeeding will lead to:
- Problems of musculoskeletal like osteoarthritis, ligament ruptures or disk diseases
- Heart failure
- Cushing's disease
- Skin disorders
Cons of underfeeding
Not providing the right amount of calories will result in:
- Nutritional disorders
- Fatigue and weakness
There is no hard and fast rule to find out the exact amount of dog food to provide. Moreover, feeding habits will vary from one day to another. However, as a general application, you should feed your dog based on
- Your dog's physical characteristics such as your dog's size, how much of physical activity they indulge in an average metabolic rate
- The kind of diet you intend to put your dog under, for example, vegetarian, non-vegetarian or fat-rich
- How many times you plan to feed your dog
Additionally, you can follow these simple thumb rules to determine how much to feed your dog:
- Newborn puppies - Just as a newborn baby needs to be fed every 2 hours, newborn puppies to need to be fed small portions in regular intervals as they have a small stomach and digest what they eat very soon. You can gradually reduce the interval, cutting one meal a month.
- 6 months+ puppies - Feeding 3 times a day is ideal
- 12 months+ dogs - One time per day is good.
However, if your dog is smaller, increase it to two as they can feed only a limited portion at a time.
Puppies and young dogs are hyperactive, so always provide them with protein and fat rich diets, whereas older dogs require lesser amounts to remain healthy. All these are just general rules, so feel free to modify it as per your dog's diet, age, and breed. You can also use a dog food calculator to estimate how much to feed your dog. However, if you are still in doubt, seek professional help.