Having a dog is one of life’s greatest joys. Enjoying time with your furry friend is so easy – but feeding them can feel complicated. A good diet is one of the most important ways that we keep our pets healthy, and it can be hard to know if you’re feeding your dog the right amount.
Why Is Getting It Right Important?
Food is central to dogs’ health and feeding them well is the best way to maintain good nutrition and body weight. Underfeeding can lead to issues like vitamin deficits, malnutrition, and even starvation – but overfilling the bowl comes with risks, too.
Overfeeding can cause dogs to become overweight and obese. While chubby dogs may seem cute, dogs that are overweight have shorter life spans and are more likely to suffer from all sorts of illnesses including arthritis, diabetes, and even cancer. Making sure that your dog stays fit, trim, and active will help them live long, healthy, and happy lives.
How to Measure
So, how do you know how much to dish out? Here are some considerations to help you figure out the right amount for your dog:
-Body Weight: The most basic way to calculate how much to feed your dog is by body weight. Each type of food has a recommended daily feeding amount based on how much your dog weighs. For instance, if your dog weighs 6 lbs., the recommended amount might be ½ cup a day – but if your dog weighs 60 lbs., that number would be 3 cups.
While bodyweight is a good place to start, it’s not the only thing you need to think about.
-Lifestyle: The next thing to consider is how active your dog is. An active German Shepard that runs, plays, and trains is going to need a lot more calories every day than a more laid-back Pug, so adjust your calories to account for this difference.
-Weight Gain: While you’re feeding your dog, take look every few weeks to see if they’re gaining or losing weight. Use a scale or jot down a few notes to remind yourself and adjust the amount if needed.
A Few Helpful Tips
Here are a few extra tips for feeding:
- Always use an accurate measuring cup or measured scoop
- Feed your dog multiple times throughout the day – like once in the morning and once at night
- Avoid feeding your dog too many calorie-dense dog treats and “people food”
Figuring out the right amount to feed your dog can feel like a daunting task. When it comes to getting things right with your dog, Canine College can help. We offer dog training services to help make feeding time – and everything else – easy.