How Much To Feed Your Dog

Knowing how much to feed your dog can be tricky.  

Luckily, there's math for that... and even better, is you don't have to do the math because I've done it for you!

So here's some basics about this math.  

You know how our recommended nutrition intake is usually based on a 2000 Calorie diet when you read the back of a nutrition label?  But yet, not everyone should be eating 2,000 Calories a day to be healthy?  Well the same theory applies for dogs.  The math to find out your dogs' Calorie requirements is based on an average of size, activity, and overall condition.  It doesn't mean that your dog should be eating exactly that amount.  You still have to find what is really best for your dog, and generally the amount needed falls somewhere within 20% less to 20% more than the calculated amount.  

That's why below, you'll see the "calculated average" in yellow.  That's the exact result of the equation for Calories per day.  Then next to that you'll see Range -20% and +20% so you can easily see the range of calories your pup could fall in.

Then just like people, dogs of different activity levels and overall body condition require different amounts of Calories than the "average", so each special situation has it's own chart that takes those into account.  

So how do you use the chart below?

First, Select the Age / Activity Level / Body condition
below in blue that applies to your dog:

Neutered Adult (spayed or neutered over 1 year of age)

Intact Adult (not altered over 1 year of age)

Weight Loss (dog needs to loose weight)

Puppies 0-12 Months (puppies need more Calories to support healthy growth)

Working Dogs (high activity)

Weight Gain (skinny pup that needs to gain weight)

Senior / Inactive / Obese Prone

This will open the page of calculations for you to go off of.

Secondly, Find your dog's weight in pounds.

Thirdly, the Yellow "Calculated Average" shows you the exact calculation amount

The Gray "Range" next to that shows you within 20% of that calculation where you dog most likely falls.

Now you know your dog's ideal Calorie Intake range per day, Now What?  

Well, now you have to find out based on the food you're feeding what that means you should be feeding your dog per day...

Click here to find out!

So How Much of my Dog's Food do I Feed? 

Okay stay with me, this is going to take a tiny bit of math... but your dog will thank you for it...

 

First, Pull out your dog food bag...
(pro tip: just look it up online, I know you panicked if you throw yours away or its a 50 pound bag of food) 

You want to look on the back for the "Guaranteed Analysis" area: 

Find the part that says "Calorie Content" of the food...

This one is 3,650 kcal/kg, 370 kcal/cup

Ok now the math... 
Take your dog's required calories per day from the chart above.  Take the number from the -20% range.  Divide that by the kcal/cup in your food.

Then do the same with the +20% range number.

These two answers will be the Range in cups you should feed your dog of your food daily.

Example for a 5 pound neutered dog eating this dog food...

 Calories Per Cup: 370 kcal/cup

-20% Range Calories: 166

+20% Range Calories: 249

-20%: 166 cal per day /370 cal per cup = .45 cups

+ 20%: 249 cal per day /370 cal per cup = .67 cups

So for my dog I would feed between 

1/2 and 2/3 cup of this food a day!

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Please note our disclaimer: I am NOT a veterinarian!  The information contained on this site is not intended or delivered as medical advice, fact, or opinion; nor is it in any way a recommendation to not follow the advice of a trained veterinary professional.  K9 Manners Matter recommends a consultation with a veterinarian about any information provided. Thank you.

*This site contains affiliate links* -the profits of which help me buy more dog training stuff for all my favorite pups

K9 Manners Matter in SCV | Bachelors of Science from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo
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