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Just How Much Must I Feed My Dog?


How much you should feed your dog  relies on your pet’s:

  • Size  
  • Activity level  
  • Age  
  • Personality  
  • Temperature of surroundings

Young puppies and those being worked, or which are really active every day, may require more food (calories) per day than the average pooch, while an old, inactive dog will need less.

Keeping Track of the Calories

Energy is calculated in units of heat called calories. In a healthy dog, the number of calories he requires levels out the number of calories that his body uses daily. If this balance is well kept, the dog stays healthy and fit and his weight remains regular. An underfed dog steadily loses weight and condition as his body pulls on the reserves of fat and protein to make up the insufficiencies in his diet.

The amount of calories a dog needs daily is dependent on his size, life stage, activity level and individuality. As an example, a little healthy adult dog with two hours of regular activity a day demands anything between 125 and 700 calories daily depending on his size; a big dog will need from 1,400 per day, depending on size.

Puppies require more calories with regards to their body weight since they’re growing swiftly, tend to be more susceptible to heat loss because of their small size, and their energy requirements are greater. Lactating female dogs require some 50 to 60% more calories than usual, and highly active (working) dogs require at least 40% more calories than normal moderately energetic requirements.

When Should I Feed My Dog?

Most owners feed either in the morning or the evening, and quite often both, determined by their dog’s age needs or individual preferences. Some canines fare better with their daily ration broken into two or even three meals, while some are pleased to eat their daily allowance in just a single helping, providing it’s safe for them to do so.

It’s best to not feed adult dogs at the same periods each day, since counting on a rigid routine can upset the dog if you come home late and aren’t able to give him food at the predicted time. Being unsure of when it will be fed likewise helps feed a dog food-orientated, which often proves most helpful when training; additionally, it discourages fussy eating.

Feeding Recommendations

Here are a few basic guidelines to adhere to when feeding your dog.

Place a feeding mat, or newspaper, underfeeding bowls, since many canines are sloppy eaters.  It is advisable to introduce changes to diet little by little to prevent intestinal problems.  Never give spiced food or that to which any liquor has been added  To avoid choking, get rid of all bones from fresh meats and fish.  Fresh, clean drinking water must always be accessible.  Make certain food and water bowls are always clean.  By no means allow your dog to consume chocolate intended for human consumption, as it’s toxic to them.  Confer with your vet if your dog exhibits any reluctance to eat or drink.   Dissuade your dog from begging at the table, and definitely, don’t give into it.

Food Types

Good-quality proprietary food is the simplest to feed. It consists of all the essential nutrients in the correct proportions, which includes vitamins and minerals that may be lacking from a home-made diet of fresh or cooked meat and table scraps.

These are four forms of commercially prepared food.

  1. Wet or Moist Canned or Pouch Dog Food Canned food has high water content, is available in a wide range of flavors and is usually the preferred choice of dogs.

Pros: • Extremely palatable • Contains all the nutrients a dog needs

  • Long storage time if unopened

Cons: • Bulky to store and heavy to carry • Fattening • Strong odor • Not good for teeth • Contains many artificial additives • Spoils quickly • Expensive

  1. Semi-moist Pouch Dog Food

Often containing vegetable protein like soya, this food type contains less water than canned, therefore keeps well in a bowl without drying out and losing texture.

Pros: • Palatable • Contains all the nutrients a dog needs • Easier to store than the cans

Cons: • Fattening • Strong odor • Not good for teeth • Very expensive • Contains man-made artificial additives • Spoils quickly

  1. Dry Complete Dog Food

As its name suggests, the dry complete food contains minimal water and all the nutrients your dog needs. Some types are designed to be moistened with water before feeding, while other types can be fed as they are, in which case your dog will need plenty of water to drink in conjunction with it.

Pros: • Economical • Low odor • Contains all the nutrients a dog needs • Better for teeth • Convenient to food


  • Bulky to store • Goes off if stored too long • Not as palatable as canned/semi-moist • High cereal content can cause problems for gluten-sensitive dogs
  1. Dry Complementary Dog Food

Designed to be fed with canned, cooked or raw meat, this food usually comprises cereal meal or biscuits. Fed alone, it doesn’t fulfill a dog’s daily nutritional needs.

Pros: • Economical • Low odor • Good source of energy • Most are supplemented with vitamins and minerals • Better for teeth

Cons: • Time-consuming to mix with protein-giving ingredients • Spoils if stored too long • Bulky to store

Homemade Food

A lot of dogs enjoy homemade foods, but basing a completely balanced diet around these can be really difficult; a vitamin and mineral supplement will likely be needed as well – consult your vet for advice.

For easy feeding, particularly for busy owners, it’s simpler to stick to proprietary dog food and only give a periodic homemade meal for a treat or to tempt a dog that is ill and has lost his appetite. In the case of the latter, items such as cooked porridge, boneless meats and fish, and scrambled eggs are often appreciated and easily digested. Always allow cooked foods to cool before serving.  

In the succeeding chapters, we’ll focus more on homemade dog food – their pros and cons, and how to make each recipe good and sumptuous for your dog.