How much should I Feed my dog?

We often get asked, how much should I feed my dog? Different dogs have different calorific needs. A lot of how much you feed a dog depends on breed, age and life stage.

Bigger breeds may eat more than tiny breeds but some smaller breeds may have a faster metabolism. Dogs that exercise a lot need more calories than more sedentary dogs. Also working dogs which are on the go more often need to eat more calories as they are burning off more energy through exercise.

How much should I feed my dog at different life stages?

Puppies need smaller meals but need to eat more often. They need to be fed around three times a day as they have smaller stomachs and can’t digest the food as easily, but the calorie content of puppy food is generally higher, with more protein and fat.

When a dog is one year old, on average, they are considered a young adult. They should be fed the right amount so they aren’t too fat or too thin.

Senior dogs that are less mobile need fewer dog food calories. When a dog is classed as senior depends a lot on its breed. Vets on average say around the age of 8 but it may be as young as 5 or 6 in large breeds and as old as 10 in smaller breeds.

A pregnant dog or dogs that have just had puppies need more food too.

If you feed according to the life stage of your dog and look at the feeding guidelines on the product you’ll get a general idea of how much to give your dog. Weigh it out at first if you are unsure how much is the right amount but you’ll soon be able to judge yourself without using scales. To help you keep track of what you are feeding your dog and how often, download our dog feeding guide.

Dog obesity is a growing problem and a third of our dogs are carrying too much weight, so feeding the right amount will keep your dog at a healthy weight and avoid common health problems associated with obesity. You may prefer to feed a dog diet food like Butcher’s Lean and Tasty which has fewer calories but the same nutrients.

Remember feeding guidelines on the packaging are a guide only. You can tell by your dog’s weight and health whether or not his diet is right.

Look at your dog with an objective eye to see if they may be a bit too heavy. Pounds have a tendency to creep on without you realising in dogs, just as with humans!

If you are unsure about what’s best for your particular dog get advice from your vet.