Dog Diet-How Much Should I Feed My Dog?

Unfortunately, as humans have gained weight so have their pets. This can be seen simply walking down the street with your dog. While it appears that unlimited access to food and lack of exercise is the problem, this is just part of the puzzle. The missing piece to this diet mystery comes from understanding how to properly feed your dog so that he/she is healthy and satisfied. Believe it or not, this knowledge is just as important as making sure your dog gets exercise but where does a pet parent start?

The very first step to answer the question as to how much to feed your dog may or may not be what you expect and it does not entail reading your bag of dog food. While this information is very informative, it is not all the knowledge you need. In just, the information is a general guide that does not include activity level, age, and other factors that would affect the amount of food required. The best way to answer this “food” question begins with working with your veterinarian.

As with any medical question, diet is a medical concern, a veterinarian is the best individual to go to for the answers. He/she will take into consideration the dog’s breed and age but you as the pet parent will also need to provide information. What is this detail that you must provide? Well, as with a human, your dog’s activity level needs to be considered. This is one of the most important factors when planning your dog’s diet. A young, active dog will require more calories compared to a senior who only walks to the food bowl and outside to go to the bathroom. The other factor that needs to be considered is the sex of the dog. Male dogs tend to require more calories along with pregnant/nursing females.

With all these factors presented to your veterinarian, he/she will be able to come up with a set feeding requirement but…….this only works if you understand what this diet means. As with humans, anything that enters the mouth needs to be calculated in the diet. This includes meals, drinks, and snacks. While “drinks” are normally not a problem when it comes to calories in a dog’s diet, meals and snacks can be an issue. As an example, when a diet recommends one cup of food a day, this means one cup of food for the whole day. To satisfy your dog, this should be spread over at least two small meals so that your dog is satisfied. This caloric requirement also includes snacks. So that little “bacon strip” needs to be considered when filling your dog’s food bowl for dinner.

At the end of the day, as your diet is important to your health so is your dog’s diet. Working with your dog’s doctor can help you raise a healthy pet that has a long life along with his/her pet parent. As with any diet though increasing the exercise level along with diet is the key.