4 Tips On How Much To Feed A Dog (Plus Facts)

Just like you, your pup gets hungry throughout the day. It can be difficult to know how much to feed your dog, as some dogs act hungry all the time! It’s important to make sure that your dog is eating an appropriate amount of food. Establishing rhythms like a feeding schedule and consistent portion sizes are necessary to ensure your dog’s health.

Let’s bury this bone on how much to feed a dog in this full guide below:

How much food should I feed my dog chart

Generally speaking, how much you feed your pet depends on their weight.

Use the simple guidelines of:

  • 1 cup per 15lbs per day
Dog Weight Cups of food in 24 hours Fed as 2 meals
7 lbs 1/2 cup 1/4 cup x 2
15 lbs 1 cup 1/2 cup x 2
30 lbs 2 cups 1 cup x 2
50 lbs 3.3 cups 1 2/3 cup x 2

 

So, for a dog weighing 45 lbs, they should eat 3 cups a day. That comes out to 1.5 cups for breakfast and 1.5 cups for dinner if you feed your pet twice a day.

Cute dog being feed in front of a waterfall

How many grams should I feed my dog?

One cup of dog food translates to about 227g. Using the chart above, a 30lb dog would require about 450g of food throughout the day.

It can be that simple, but the precise feeding guidelines for your dog are dependent on a few different factors like age, activity level, health, breed, and more. You want to make sure that you feed your dog the food amount that is described on the back of your dog food bag. This amount of food equates to what dogs need for 24 hours.

You can distribute this amount into any portion size that works best for your dog. Some dogs do better with less food at a time than others. Finding the right amount to feed your puppy per meal and you’ll be providing the best care you can to your dog.

Consider the below factors when deciding how much food to feed your dog:

 

Dog age

Portrait of a german shorthaired pointer

Your specific dog food brand should distinguish between the various dog food amount needs based on dog age.

Adult dogs will need a larger amount, while puppies need much smaller portions. Senior dogs also have unique nutritional requirements! A 15-year-old dog will have vastly different feeding needs compared to a puppy.

Puppies and seniors have specific needs and often, dog foods designed for them have different makeups to help support their health. You may not think that your pet needs to eat a particular type of food based on their age, but they do!

 

The following are basic differences between feeding an adult dog, a puppy, and a senior dog:

  • Puppies: Puppy food is designed to support growth with high protein, fat, and calories.
  • Adult dogs: The main nutritional need of an adult dog is maintenance. They require less protein than puppies and lower amounts of vitamins and minerals that aren’t needed.
  • Senior Dogs: food for older dogs will have lower calories and fat and include important vitamins for improving energy and maintaining muscle in old age.

The bottom line: you should feed older dogs food for seniors and should be feeding your new puppy food for young dogs.

 

Weight

bathroom scales and fat dog

Maybe one of the most important factors to take into account is your dog’s body weight. For dogs that are overweight, they’ll need to eat a smaller size portion to help manage their weight. It may seem harmless at the time, but dogs that carry extra pounds are at risk for developing health conditions in the long run.

There’s no better time than now to get your overweight dog on a structured feeding schedule. Find your dog’s weight and start from there. Be sure to check their weight often and regularly to keep track of any changes.

Follow these simple steps to keep your overweight dog healthy:

  • Weigh your dog and record the number
  • Decide how many pounds your dog needs to lose to obtain a healthy weight
  • Calculate the right amount of food to cut back on calories, but still provide enough nutrition
  • Get your dog on a feeding routine and stay strict!
  • Weigh your dog often to help keep track of any pounds lost or gained

 

Discuss your dog’s progress with your vet to be certain you are taking the best care to manage your dog’s weight.

 

Activity level

Dog eat a prawn fried shrimp salt feed pet owner

Aside from body weight, the activity level is another important consideration in deciding how much to feed your dog. If you’re out running half marathons with your dog, just like you they may need more food per day to accommodate their extra effort.

A lackadaisical puppy won’t need those extra calories. If your pet is on the sedentary side, you won’t need to supplement their meals.

 

Dog brReaeed

Dog breed

It might not seem like it matters, but dog breed does play a large role in the type of food and amount you feed. Dog breed goes hand in hand with the dog weight and activity level.

For example, small breeds like Chihuahuas have very tiny mouths and tiny tummies – they’ll need to eat food that has a small kibble size and the appropriate amount of food based on their weight.

On the flip side, huge breeds like Rottweilers or Great Danes will be eating upwards of 6 cups of food a day!

Some dog breeds are more susceptible to certain health conditions. Take Dalmatians, for example, who are extra-sensitive to allergies and require a lot of protein in their diet.

How many times a day should my dog eat?

Dogs should be fed multiple times throughout the day. You know your dog best, and the needs may vary for each pup. They might do better with eating twice a day or three times a day. Whatever the case may be, they’ll certainly need at least two meals a day to be healthy.

Pay attention to the overall amount you feed them throughout the day. Use that equation for calculating cups per weight and distribute the total amount you are feeding in a 24-hour timeframe evenly in multiple meals.

 

Is free feeding my dog bad?

Dog eating boneFree feeding a dog is leaving their bowl of food out and available to them all day. This method does not work for most dogs, as Fido usually isn’t the best at portion control. For smaller picky dogs, free-feeding might work just fine!

This could also be a good way to keep food regularly available to the dog that struggles with gaining weight.

 

How much dry food should my dog eat?

There are so many different types of food available for dogs. Some cater to puppies, different breeds, health conditions, large dogs, etc. The most common type of dog food is dry kibble and most people choose this to be the base of their dog’s diet.

Large bags of dry dog food are easy to get and help you keep a good stash of food on hand for your dog. It’s easy to measure to make sure you’re feeding your dog the right amount.

Refer back to the chart at the beginning of this article for basic instructions.

Dry food also provides a good texture for keeping dog teeth clean and helps satisfy a dog’s need to crunch and chew!

 

How much wet food should my dog eat?

Though dry food is the most common form to feed your dog, you may find that wet food offers nice variability and flavor to your pet. Small and large breeds alike will benefit from a soft and delicious wet meal.

Wet food typically comes in cans or containers and you’ll find feeding directions on how much to provide your pet per meal. You could also use wet food for one meal a day and dry kibble for the other. Or, just add a small scoop of wet food to your dog’s dry dinner to help with boosting the yum-factor for reluctant eaters.

Extra goodness!

Snacks and treats are a sweet way to show your puppy that you love them. They can also offer extra nutrition and calories when you need it too. For dogs that have a hard time gaining weight, feeding them healthy treats often can boost their intake.

You don’t necessarily have to completely avoid treats for a dog that is overweight either. One or two healthy low-calorie treats a day is a great way to keep some variety in an otherwise strict diet.

For the pet that doesn’t struggle with weight gain or loss, you may feed them as many treats as you want. Treats are great to help with training and provide extra happiness to your puppy.

Why not whip up your own custom dog treat recipe to hand out to all your pals at the dog park? Just don’t forget to stamp “All Rights Reserved” on the bag to keep that recipe copyright for that multi-million dollar dog treat company you’re starting.

Happy dog

The Tail End

It might seem like there is a lot to consider when you feed your dog and there is! But it comes down to one thing: taking the best care of your puppy that you can! You’re doing that by learning the best practices on how to feed your dog.

Keep your dogs healthy by feeding them the right amount and kind of food for them. They depend on us to give them love, shelter, and food and for being such amazing companions, it’s the least we can do.

Mathew. Barham
Hi, everyone! My name is Mathew Barham and I’m the editor in charge here at M-Dog. I’m currently based in Northampton, Pennsylvania, where I live with my beautiful wife, two amazing kids, and four rowdy rescue dogs. Growing up, my parents had a huge backyard and lots of animals. So my entire life, I was surrounded by pets that I cared for deeply. When my wife and I moved into a bigger place, I knew that I wanted to do the same for my family. That’s when we went to an animal shelter and fell in love with the most adorable little rescue pup. Since then, our family just kept growing, and we couldn’t be happier about it.

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