Dogs have been called man's best friend for a long time and for good reason, as the bond between human and dog is much stronger than with any other animal. But the problem is that many dog owners are killing their pets with kindness by overfeeding them. And overweight dogs are prone to developing all sorts of health problems as well as dying prematurely. So in this article I'll outline how much, as well as what type of, food you should feed your dog.
What Should I Feed My Dog?
You need to choose a good quality brand of dog food, as this will make him less likely to develop health problems. And apart from that, his coat will be shinier and he will have less body odor.
If you are feeding your pet canned food, the first ingredient on the label should be some type of meat. It should not be just 'meat' or 'meat by products'. And most definitely not wheat or corn, as this is not processed well by dogs and will just go straight through them.
Dry food however is usually more nutritious and is also better for their oral health. But dogs do tend to like canned food better, so a good idea is to mix the two together.
How Much Should I Feed My Puppy?
A puppy can leave its mother at the age of 8 weeks, and at this age he should be fed three times per day. But once he is a few months old this can be reduced to twice per day.
Younger puppies need about three times as much food per pound of bodyweight as adults, but again as the puppy gets older this can gradually be reduced.
At about 3 - 6 months old your pet will be teething, so there may be some loss of appetite during this time. And a dog will reach adulthood at anything between 6 months and 2 years, depending on the size of the breed.
How Much Should I Feed My Adult Dog?
Requirements are obviously going to vary, depending on what breed you have and how active he is, but the approximate amount of dry food to feed your pet is as follows:
- Toys (up to 10lb) 1/4 to 1/2 cup per day
- Small (10 - 25lb) 1/2 to 1 cup
- Medium (25 - 50lb) 1 to 2 cups
- Large (50 - 75lb) 2 to 3 cups
- Giant (over 75lb) 21/2 to 4 cups
(Amounts are based on an 8oz cup)
If you want to add in some canned food, just cut the dry food by up to half and replace that with canned.
You can feed your dog either once or twice per day (if twice just divide the total amount into two).
Older dogs (from about age 7) need a little less food. But mother dogs who are lactating will need a lot more – up to four times the amount.
You should feed your pet the same brand of food each day; but if you do want to change it do this gradually by mixing the new food in with the old first. And try to feed him at the same time each day too.
It's also important to make sure your dog always has fresh water available.
Apart from that, just keep your eye on his weight, and if he starts to get a bit fat, feed him a little less. Or if he seems a bit thin, feed him more.
So you now know how much to feed your dog and you also know what food to feed him. If you stick to the advice given here your pet should remain happy and healthy for many years.