How much to feed a dog is something that should be asked at a vet appointment. Before you get your pet to the vet, you may need to have a few feedings without the sage advice. Most dog food packages include an easy-to-read chart that includes basic information and a general feeding schedule, but your pet's individual preferences must also be taken into account when figuring out how much to feed your best friend.
To feed your new charge, you'll need a few things including:
- pet dish
- food and water
- special food for special needs
- water dish
- measuring cup
- Guesstimate your dog's weight. The amount of food your dog should eat is partially based on the weight and size of your dog. It's a given: larger dogs eat more food. That doesn't mean big dogs get to pig out. It means that big dogs need more to keep the body healthy and full of energy.
- Guesstimate your dog's age. If you know your dog's age, great. If your dog was a gift or an adoption, make an educated guess based on when you took in the dog — or maybe, the dog adopted you. Older dogs need less food. Puppies need lots more food than adult dogs.
- Check the recommended serving on the bag. The basics of how much to feed a dog require a quick read of the food label. Food bags list a generic chart for age and weight. Check the bag, box or can and note the information. The serving charts are designed for healthy dogs with average activity.
- Determine the activity level of your dog. Dogs who get out during the day for a short walk usually meet the packing serving suggestions. If your dog thinks getting out pounding the pavement is punishment and exercise is falling off the couch before slowly moving to the food dish, a reduction in the suggested serving size is in order. Maniac dogs that run around the world during a simple trip to the mailbox need more food than the suggested product amount listed by the manufacturer.
- Observe your dog's eating habits. How much to feed a dog also requires observing your dog after eating. Start with the packaging's suggested feeding size and look to see if any food is left in the dish. This suggestion doesn't mean to load the dish again, if the dog cleaned the serving bowl. If the dog acts hungry ten to fifteen minutes after eating, it may not be an act. Start with a small supplemental snack size serving to supplement the regular meal.
- Determine your dog's metabolic rate. This factor deals with how your dog processes food. It is influenced by the breed of dog and any medical problems your dog might have. Occasionally, when dogs are spayed or neutered, this throws the metabolic rate off, as well as the perception of how much food must be eaten each day. Check with your vet to see what should be the normal serving size for your dog's condition.
- Determine the serving schedule. Measure out the daily foot allotment for your dog at the beginning of the day and determine how the food will be given to the dog. If you're home only in the morning and evening, then divide the food into two servings. Some dogs enjoy noshing all day and have the ability to regulate the food to last all day. Other dogs inhale the food in one short session and beg for more the rest of the day. Determine your schedule and match it with your dog's schedule. If the two don't match, invite a neighbor over to provide a snack.
- Note any special needs. Some dogs need special foods during the day to supplement vitamins or to provide other needs. Older dogs may have difficulty eating due to problems with teeth or gums. These dogs may require small servings of food throughout the day to absorb the necessary medical needs.
Tip: When feeding your dog place water close to the food bowl, no more than five feet away. Make sure the water is fresh for each feeding.