In order for your pet to get the nutrients they need—and deserve—to live a healthy life, it’s of the utmost importance that you feed them the correct amount of food. Nevertheless, it can be difficult to decipher exactly how much food your pet needs. That’s why we’re here with a handy guide to help make it easier.
At Sundays For Dogs, we know how important your furry friend’s wellness is to you—and it’s important to us, too. After all, Sundays was founded by a veterinarian herself.
Today, we’re talking about all things feeding-related. You might be surprised to hear how much you should be feeding your pet!
How Age Affects How Much to Feed
When you’re considering how much you should feed your dog, what comes to mind as a determining factor? Is it weight? That’s certainly part of it; however, age also plays a sizable role. In fact, dogs might even need to be fed in different ways or portions, depending on how old they are. That’s why it’s important first and foremost to pay attention to your dog’s age when filling up their food bowl.
There are plenty of guidelines in place that can help you determine how much you should feed your furry friend. Still, the abundance of rules and information can be overwhelming. Luckily, we’ve broken it down for you in a way that’s digestible (yes, pun intended!).
What Puppies Need and Why
First up, let’s talk about feeding your puppy. Puppies are going to need to be fed more frequently than adult dogs. Puppies need to eat four times a day until they’re three to six months old. At that point, you can begin to decrease your puppy’s feedings to three times a day.
Finally, when your puppy reaches six to 12 months, you can start giving your puppy food only two times a day. This will be how frequently you’ll feed your pup into adulthood.
In addition to this, you should prioritize feeding your puppy food that is specifically designed for puppies. If you feed your pup adult food, they won’t be getting all the important nutrients they need to effectively grow.
The actual amount of food that you should feed your puppy will depend on a combination of how old they are and how much they weigh at that time. There will be a chart on your puppy food bag that will provide specific guidance. Follow this chart to ensure your dog is getting the nutrients they need as a pup.
What Adult Dogs Need and Why
Up next are adult dogs. Dogs most often start eating as “adults” after they turn one year of age. Your dog’s dietary needs change once they mature from puppy to adult, just like humans do. As a result, what they eat and the quantity of what they eat alters, too.
In addition to this, adult dogs generally require feedings twice a day. While it can be tempting to give your dog more than that, it’s essential that you adhere to a regular feeding schedule. If you give your dog more food than they need, you could actually be contributing to an adverse health problem.
Also, when you’re deciding how much to feed your adult dog, you should rely on using their weight as a guide. After all, an adult chihuahua will require a different amount of food than an adult husky.
What Seniors Need and Why
Finally, we have senior dogs. As your dog ages, their metabolism will likely change. This means that their body will process the food that they're eating differently than they used to. As a general rule of thumb, if your dog is doing well on their adult food, there’s no real need to switch them to senior food.
If you notice that your senior dog is losing weight, don’t panic.As dogs go from old to older, they start to lose weight. Weight loss is just a sign that it might be time to increase your senior dog’s food. Ensuring that there’s a high enough fat content in the diet can help.
Ultimately, your vet knows your pet the best. If you’re observing significant changes in your dog’s diet or weight, bringing them for a quick checkup to figure out how to proceed with feeding could prove beneficial.
How Breed, Weight and Size Affect How Much to Feed
When you’re figuring out how much you should feed your dog, their weight and body size should be taken into account. As we mentioned earlier, a chihuahua won’t require the same amount of foodas a husky - even if they’re around the same age.
Even tinier than small breeds are the toy breeds! You probably recognize a toy dog when you see one because they’re itty bitty. Typically, a toy breed weighs around ten pounds. Some popular toy breeds include Pomeranians and Yorkshire Terriers. If you have a toy breed, you should plan on feeding them ⅓ cup a day (if they weigh three pounds) or ½ cup a day (if they weigh six pounds).
Up next are small breeds. This includes dogs such as Boston Terriers and Dachshunds. It can be difficult to decipher between small and toy dogs sometimes, but generally, a small dog will be larger - weighing around 20 pounds. If you have a small dog, you should be looking to feed them ¾ cup if they’re ten pounds, one full cup if they weigh 15 pounds, and finally, 1 ⅔ cup if they’re 20 pounds.
Medium dog breeds refer to breeds such as Australian Shepherds and Beagles. While the term ‘medium breed’ itself is vague, you can generally tell if your dog is by considering their weight. If they weigh 30 pounds, look to feed 1 ¾ cups a day. If they’re 40, move that up to 2 ¼ cups. Finally, if your dog is 50 pounds, you should be giving them 2 ⅔ cups a day.
If you have a Golden Retriever or Bernese Mountain Dog, or a similar-sized dog, you have a large breed. These dogs require more food than small or medium breeds. If your dog weighs 60 pounds, you should feed them three cups per day. This increases with your dog’s weight. If your dog is 70 pounds, 3 ½ cups is appropriate. If your dog’s weight is 80 pounds, 3 ¾ cups is necessary. This increases if your dog’s weight is 90 pounds - 4 ¼ cups a day. Finally, if your dog weighs 100 pounds, you can increase their amount of food to 4 ½ cups!
If your dog is more than 100 pounds, then you should add an additional ⅓ cup for every ten pounds. This ensures that your X-Large dog is getting the nutrients that they need to support their larger body.
How Age and Weight Go Hand in Hand
As you might have guessed, age and weight actually go hand in hand when determining how much to feed your dog. Dogs of different sizes require different amounts of food, but they also could require different kinds of food.
For example, your large dog breeds will generally require puppy food for a longer period of time than smaller breeds. To ensure that your dog is growing at the proper rate, tailoring what kind of food you should give them might be necessary. This can ultimately help contribute long-term to healthier joints, which are crucial for a large dog.
Working Dogs and Activity Level
Still, there’s more to take into account. How active is your furry friend? If your pet is a working dog or has an extremely high activity level, they might require more food still. In addition to this, working dogs require high-protein diets to help bolster their growth. The best food for a working dog is one that has real meat in it - not “meal meat” or something vague.
When your pet is a working dog or has exceptionally high activity levels, it’s of paramount importance that they build healthy muscles. Protein allows them to achieve that.
Importance of Quality Ingredients Over Quantity of Food
Of course, what really matters when it comes to your dog’s food is the quality of the ingredients it contains. If you’re giving your dog the right amount of food, but it isn’t high quality, they’re still not getting the nutrients they require.
Bioavailability and Usability of Ingredients
When we talk about bioavailability, we’re referring to the proportion of a particular nutrient that can be absorbed, digested, and metabolized. It’s essential that the food that you choose for your dog is able to be digested easily.
If you use low-quality food, you’ll find that your dog has a difficult time digesting the food. This could cause or aggravate stomach issues. It’s a better idea to provide your dog with grub that won’t hurt their belly.
Sundays as a Prime Example
At Sundays for Dogs, we’re proud to offer food that is equal parts digestible and tasty. That’s why we’ve formulated food that’s appealing to even the pickiest eaters, is safe for sensitive stomachs, packed with antioxidants, and helps support joint health. Our formula also supports a shiny coat and features a high fiber content for easy digestion.
You’ll never find any questionable “meal meat” or antinutrients in our food. Sundays is committed to avoiding common allergens and avoiding artificial/synthetic ingredients at all costs. If you’re looking for a supportive food brand to feed your pet, we have the answer you’re looking for.
While it’s essential that you feed your pet the right amount of food, what ultimately matters even more than that is that you’re giving them the correct type. That means food with nutrients they’ll be able to use and absorb. Sundays For Dogs is proud to offer human-grade food that will appeal to both your dog’s overall health needs and their taste buds.