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How Much Food Should You Give Your Dog?

By Josie F. Turner, Journalist specialized in Animal Welfare. Updated: October 23, 2016
How Much Food Should You Give Your Dog?

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As a general observation we can say that the daily amount of food that a dog should eat will vary according to age, daily physical activity and the quality of the food it is given. Usually we can find specifications on the product packaging regarding feeding amounts, but it is always good to have additional information so that we know for sure that we are providing the best possible nutrition for our pet.

You may also be interested in: How much Food Should a Chihuahua Eat

How much should a puppy eat?

Once weaned, dogs begin to grow and will therefore need a specialized food source. This is sometimes labelled on the packaging as 'junior'.

These are foods with a high energy content and varied nutrients that also tend to stimulate the animal's natural defences which are so necessary at the developmental age. You can get advice at the veterinary centre or in specialised shops regarding the most appropriate foods according to the type of dog as different breeds may require specialised foodstuffs.

The average recommended amounts in these cases are usually:

  • 2 to 3 month old puppies will receive from 150 to 200 grams per day in 4 servings. Due to their age, they should be supplied with a soft diet or one where the food is mixed with water. Consult your veterinarian for specifications.
  • 4 to 6 month old puppies should receive 250 grams per day in 3 servings.
  • 6 month old puppies should be given 300 or 400 grams per day in 2 servings.
  • 8 month old puppies should be given 300 grams per day in 2 servings.

In giant dog breeds additional calcium should be supplied in the diet to support the rapid growth that these animals undergo. Consult your usual animal expert regarding what supplements you should offer your dog according to its breed, other than the usual ones found in their food.

How Much Food Should You Give Your Dog? - How much should a puppy eat?

Recommended amount of food for an adult dog

For adult dogs we should draw upon foods from the 'adult' food range. To provide the correct dose it is essential to know the weight of the dog and what physical activity it carries out.

We recommend that you provide your dog with 2 daily meals (midday / night) and take note of its daily water needs.

  • Toy dogs, e.g. Chihuahua. They weigh around 2 to 3 kilos in weight. They will need a serving of 50 to 90 grams of dry feed and about 250 ml of water daily.
  • Small dogs, e.g. West Highland White Terrier. Between 3 and 5 kilos in weight. They will need a serving of 90 to 120 grams of dry feed and between 400 and 500 ml of water daily.
  • Small - medium dogs, e.g. Bulldog. These dogs can weigh between 5 and 10 kilos in weight. They will need a serving of 120 to 190 grams of dry feed and between 500 and 600 ml of water daily.
  • Medium - small dogs, e.g. Spaniel. They weigh around 10 to 15 kilos. They will need a serving of 190 to 260 grams of dry feed and between 600 and 700 ml of water daily.
  • Medium dogs, e.g. English Setter. They weigh around 15 to 20 kilos. They will need a serving of 260 to 310 grams of dry feed and between 900 ml and 1 litre of water daily.
  • Medium - large dogs, e.g. Boxer. They weigh around 20 to 30 kilos. They will need a serving of 310 to 410 grams of dry feed and between 1 and 2 litres of water daily.
  • Large dogs, e.g. Rottweiler. They weigh around 30 to 40 kilos. They will need a serving of 500 to 590 grams of dry feed and between 2 and 3 litres of water daily.
  • Giant dogs, e.g. Great Dane. They weigh over 50 kilos. They will need a serving of 590 to 800 grams of dry feed, depending on their weight and about 3 litres of water daily.

The amounts of food can vary depending on the behavior and energy needs of a dog. It is very important that your dog stay active through exercising. The measurements of water mentioned in this table are approximate and recommended for a healthy adult with normal physical activity levels for a dog.

It is also interesting to know about combining homemade food with bought food for dogs.

How Much Food Should You Give Your Dog? - Recommended amount of food for an adult dog

How much should an elderly dog eat?

If we are responsible for an elderly dog we must know that its needs are different from those of a young or adult dog. There are several factors that affect its physical condition and we will notice a decrease in the amount of exercise they require as an older dog compared to the higher energy levels of their youth. For these reasons we must reduce the amount of food given in order to prevent obesity.

The ranges labelled 'senior' are ideal for this later stage when our pet does not need as many calories for its everyday life. As the amount of calories decrease, we should continue to offer two servings of food a day.

In principle, the amounts that it will need are the same as our guidelines for adult dogs as it is the 'senior' food itself that is low in fat. If you do not have this type of specialised food for advanced ages you can use the food that is made for adult dogs and reduce the serving by 20%.

As with the previous case, these amounts may vary depending on the type of product that is given to the dog as well as the daily activity it enjoys, as not all older dogs have limited mobility. You should maintain exercise with an older dog, even if they do not have the same stamina as their younger selves, as they will have a better quality of living. As before, measurements of food and water are approximate.

How Much Food Should You Give Your Dog? - How much should an elderly dog eat?

Dog food

Whatever the breed and age of the dog it is important to buy food that is of the best quality possible, so we recommend that you visit the food and health section here at AnimalWised.

If you want to read similar articles to How Much Food Should You Give Your Dog?, we recommend you visit our Healthy diets category.

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3 comments
Chamil Manjula
Hi ,
I am a rottweiler breeder .I have 7 Rottweiler male dogs in sri lanka .I am giving them Dry Dog food .Please let me know how many grams per day i have to give the dogs & only i have do the work out twice a week .

Please send me the reply soon
Jacqueline
Hi you will need a lot of patience but if she is not eating (I have had a similar problem) you can feed her using a syringe like the provide with the medicines ask your vet for one use baby food that does not contain anything forbidden for dogs like onions or celery etc warm the food slightly to improve texture please make sure is slightly warm not hot!!!! fill the syringe place it on the side of the mouth and feed slowly with care so no much goes in and might choke her!! Do the same for water. I hope it helps
Ainsley
Hi, I have a 14 week old yorkipoo and he weighs 1.67 kg. He is struggling eating his food. And come to think of it, he probably isn’t drinking as much as he should either. Does anyone have any ideas on how we can get him eating and drinking more and what roughly the amount is that he should be having of food and water. Thanks
Administrador AnimalWised
Hi Ainsley,

Here is our article on why your dog may not be eating their food:

https://www.animalwised.com/my-dog-doesn-t-want-to-eat-dog-food-256.html

However, the most important reason they may not be eating is the possibility of an underlying pathology. As your Yorkipoo is still a puppy, they are more vulnerable to infection, so it's important to look at other possible symptoms. If your puppy continues to refuse food, please take them to the vet for a proper diagnosis if needed.

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How Much Food Should You Give Your Dog?

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