Feeding your dog: How much, how often and when?
It’s hard to not give in to those adorable puppy-dog eyes when it comes to feeding your dog. If most dogs were given the chance, they would eat and eat and eat! However, it’s important to put in place a feeding schedule - one that creates structure and routine in their day and keeps them healthy. You may be wondering what exactly this schedule looks like? Well, there’s no single answer and it somewhat depends on their breed, age and lifestyle amongst other factors, however this handy guide should give some guidance to get you started.
How much to feed a dog?
Feeding amounts differ greatly across brands and food types. You may have to feed more wet food compared to dry kibble due to its moisture content. Some foods may also be bulked out with hard-to-digest filler ingredients such as grains, so you may need to feed more in order for your dog to get the right amount of nourishment from them.
Look out for the suggested feeding guide on the back of your food packet, which will give you the best direction on how much your dog needs to eat. If your dog is older and overweight, go for the lesser amount suggested, if your dog is skinny and active, go for the higher recommended number of grams. Remember if you are feeding a combination of foods, for instance dry kibble with some freshly cooked food on top, then you will need to work out 75% of their daily requirement of calories for their dry food and 25% of their daily calorie requirement of their freshly cooked food, so not to overfeed.
What about treats?
Treats are also something you need to consider when working out how much to feed your dog. These extra calories can very easily cause them to pile on the pounds without you even realising. Treats should not make up any more than 10% of their daily calorie requirements.
If you use treats regularly for training, you can use smaller pieces of high value treats such as dried and freshly cooked meat or healthy low-calorie options like vegetables, (carrots are a good option). Always make sure to reduce their food in order to offset the extra calories from these treats.
Small Dogs: lighter than 10kg
When feeding a small breed dog, they will have a lower calorie requirement than a bigger dog so will not need as many grams per day. When feeding Different Dog, you can expect to feed between 100g and 350g a day for an adult dog doing an average amount of exercise.
Medium Dogs: weigh between 10-25kg
An adult, medium dog will need between 350g and 700g of Different Dog food a day. This is based on an average amount of exercise a day.
Large Dogs: heavier than 25kg
Large breed dogs require the most calories so will need more grams of food a day. You can expect to feed between 700g to 1kg+ of Different Dog daily.
Some large dog breed owners feeding Different Dog opt to use our food as a topper on their original food, as introducing just 10% of fresh food into a dog's diet has shown major health benefits. This also makes it more budget and lifestyle friendly.
To find out exactly how much your dog needs to eat a day, check out our calorie calculator here. It only takes a couple of minutes and will ask you some questions about your dog’s age, weight and activity level to determine the suggested amount of daily calories to feed.
You can also visit our recipes page to find out what meals we offer and the ingredients we use to hand-cook them in our Shropshire kitchen.
How many times a day should I feed a dog?
Good question! Most adult dogs are fed twice a day; however, this isn’t set in stone for every dog.
Small dogs (under 10kg) have fast metabolisms, so this can make them sensitive to low blood sugar throughout the day. Scheduling 3 feeds instead can help to keep things more stable for our smaller furry friends.
Extra-large breeds can also benefit from increasing the number of times they are fed a day. Larger breeds tend to suffer from bloat after eating, so feeding smaller portions of food more regularly can help to prevent this, as well as ensuring they get all the calories they need for the day.
Dogs with medical issues or dietary needs may require a specialised feeding schedule, but these will be put in place by your vet.
How many times a day should I feed my puppy?
Puppies will need different treatment to their adult counterparts due to the need for more calories as they’re growing. However, they will often struggle to eat all their food in two meals due to lack of space in their little tummies so young puppies will need to be fed small and regular meals. Most people feed their puppy around four times a day and drop down to three a day when they are around four months old. Once their growth has started to slow down, you can then drop down to two feeds a day depending on their adult size.
How do I know when my dog is hungry?
How often do you sit down to eat and suddenly find your dog by your side, begging for a bite of your breakfast? Their pleading eyes and whines may be convincing, but how do you know if your dog is actually hungry or just trying to score a bite?
If your dog is getting regular meals, it’s likely they aren’t starving. By monitoring their body condition, you can see if they may need some extra calories.
When to feed a dog: should I feed my dog before or after a walk?
When it comes to food and exercise, the general rule is to separate their meals from their walks by at least 30 minutes, though 1-2 hours is better. If you feed directly before or after a walk, you can risk causing problems with their digestion, which may produce loose stools, bloat, and vomiting.
At Different Dog, we provide tailored meal plans hand-cooked in our kitchen and delivered to your door. Spend just two minutes telling us about your furry friend here and we’ll provide a tailored meal plan just for them. All 12 of our recipes are designed by our pet nutritionist and approved by vets so you can be sure your dog is getting the nutrients they need. To find out more about how our subscription plans work, read more here.
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