How Much Food to Feed My Dog

Updated: February 27, 2024

Determining how much food to feed my dog is hard work. All dogs are different and the amount you have been giving your other dog might not be the same and enough for your other dogs. Although food packages are already made to be complete and balanced for your dog, you will always have to make changes to be able to supply your furbaby with the right nutritional needs.

What Factors Impact How Much Food to Feed My Dog?

How much to feed your dog varies on a number of factors. Here are some of the most important factors to remember when deciding how much food to pour into their dog feeding station:

Weight. How much you feed your dog should maintain their ideal body weight. If your dog is way over or way below their breed’s ideal weight, then adjustments on how much to feed them should be made. Small dog breeds do not require as much food compared to the medium and large dog breed sizes.

Activity levels and lifestyle. How much food to feed your dog also varies on their activity levels and lifestyle. Does your dog belong to low-energy dog breeds that are total couch potatoes, like Chow chows, Bulldogs, and Pugs? Or do they belong to high-energy dog breeds that love to hike and spend most of their time outdoors, like Dalmatians, Border Collies, Jack Russell Terriers? How much you feed your dog is also based on their activities and the exercises they get.

Body Condition. The Ohio State University College of Veterinary Medicine has provided a chart for the body condition scoring of dogs. This chart describes the different body conditions your furbaby may belong to, ranging in under ideal, ideal, and over ideal. Based on your dog’s body condition score, your vet will be able to help you understand how your dog’s body condition will affect how much you feed them.

Age. As your furbaby grows and develops, their nutritional needs change, too. Puppies need food for their proper development. Senior dogs need food to keep their minds sharp. Check with your veterinarian to determine the nutritional needs of your dog. Your vet will evaluate your dog based on the nutritional requirements they need at the moment.

According to the National Academy of Sciences, puppies will be needing twice as many calories per pound of their weight. The general rule of the thumb is to feed puppies 20g per 1kg of their body weight when they reach 4 weeks old. At this stage, mama dog’s milk will no longer be sufficient to provide for their nutritional requirements. For an instance, you have a puppy that weighs around 7kg, then you will have to feed them 140g every day.

To learn more about the different factors that go into proper feeding and nutrition for dogs, check out Tips for a Healthy Dog Diet and How to Properly Feed Your Dogs.

How Often to Feed My Dog

The number of mealtimes you set to give your dog also depends on the factors mentioned above. How often to feed my dog can differ from how you should feed your dog based on lifestyle factors. But one thing that every pet parent must remember is to keep mealtimes consistent together with the type and amount of food you give your furbaby. It does not matter so much whether you choose to feed your dog at 8 or at 10 each morning, as long as it is always consistent.

Additionally, regardless of the factors involved, these mealtimes must be evenly spaced out evenly throughout the day. Consistent feeding will support your furbaby’s digestive health and maintain their weight.

"If your dog is way over or way below their breed’s ideal weight, adjust the amount you feed them."

Further, consistent feeding also helps prevent accidents in the house because by then you will know when they’ll go down to “business”. Remember that consistency is key when wondering how often to feed my dog.

If your dog is eating too fast, consider using a snuffle mat as a slow feeder dog bowl. Safe snuffle mats like the Forager® Mat or Forager® Bowl will help your dog digest the food and avoid choking and serious complications like bloat. Snuffle mats for dogs can also be great for dog enrichment ideas, which we will look more into below.

For most pet parents, feeding their furbabies once in the morning and once in the evening works well for them. Keep in mind that puppies, senior dogs, or dogs with health concerns may not fit this general schedule.

Why Does My Dog’s Food Amount Matter?

The right kind of meal and nutrition helps keep your dog fit and healthy. Overfeeding your dog can cause weight gain, which can lead to joint problems and other health issues.

On the other hand, underfeeding may also trigger underlying illnesses, especially if the weight loss is sudden and your dog’s nutritional requirements are barely met. A number of health issues can be caused by weight loss and malnourishment. Dogs who are underfed will display symptoms of lethargy, will seem skinny, and can even develop additional health complications if left untreated.

To be able to support your dog’s nutritional needs incorporate, Multifunctional SoftSupps® into their daily diet. These supplements for dogs help promote powerful daily health support with ingredients like biotin, Wild Alaskan Salmon Oil, Dog Glucosamine, Chondroitin for dogs, PurforMSM®, and our proprietary probiotic blend (1 B CFU).

"Multifunctional SoftSupps® provide your dog with daily health support."

From puppyhood to the senior years, the powerful, healthy ingredients in our Multifunctional SoftSupps® are the paw-fect way to help your furbaby live a happier, healthier life. Feed these to your dogs as treats or put them in the meal, following proper dosage per size.

Dog Enrichment Ideas

To make mealtimes more stimulating and fun, you can opt to try dog enrichment while feeding. The goal of dog enrichment while feeding is to make mealtimes more varied for your furbaby, rather than the same bowl at the same dog feeding station every day. These can also be excellent for dogs that eat too fast.

Some dogs who manifest behavioral problems may find this challenging and fun. Incorporating dog enrichment while feeding also helps curb inappropriate behaviors and helps decrease their anxiety.

Dog enrichment ideas you may try with your dog include the following:

  • have your dog push, chase, or bounce certain toys to get to the food
  • allow them to play with snuffle mats for dogs to help with mental simulation.
  • make them a delicious ‘pupsicle’ by taking some chicken or beef and placing it in the freezer. Wait for a few hours and serve it to your dog.
  • use a portion of your dog’s food to teach them tricks or practice obedience

Dog snuffle mats are an excellent way to help slow down meal time while working your dog's brain. Slower eating can help your dog to feel more full which is great for dogs who might be overweight and need to cut back. However, it also provides a rewarding activity to encourage dogs to eat which is excellent for underweight dogs or dogs who have a low food motivation.

Pet Parents® offers the Forager® Mat and Forager® Bowl for safe snuffling for your furbaby. These provide the mental enrichment that will benefit your dog while safely giving their meals slowly. Plus, both are machine washable for easy cleaning and triple stitched for durability.

How much to feed your dog and how often to feed your dog must be consistent and proper based on their weight, activity levels, lifestyle, body condition, and age. Providing your dog with a healthy diet will to help them maintain their ideal weight and to properly provide for their nutritional needs. Consider dog enrichment ideas and dog enrichment while feeding to help stimulate your dog and provide them a happy, healthy lifestyle.