Learn how to adjust your dog’s feeding schedule according to their age and activity level. Find out how much food to feed your dog, how often, and what type.
If you’re a dog owner, you probably want to give your furry friend the best nutrition possible. But do you know how much food to feed your dog, how often, and what type?
Feeding your dog right is not only important for their health but also for their happiness and behavior. In this article, we’ll show you how to adjust your dog’s feeding schedule according to their age and activity level.
We’ll also give you some tips on choosing the right food for your dog and avoiding common feeding mistakes.
Why Does Age and Activity Level Matter?
Dogs have different nutritional needs at different stages of their life. Puppies, for example, need more calories and protein than adult dogs, because they are growing rapidly and developing their bones and organs.
They also need more calcium to prevent metabolic bone disease or orthopedic problems. Puppies should be fed small meals throughout the day, as they have small stomachs and high energy levels.
Adult dogs, on the other hand, need fewer calories and less protein than puppies, but more fiber and antioxidants to support their immune system and digestion.
Adult dogs should be fed twice a day, ideally 12 hours apart. This helps them maintain a healthy weight and avoid gastric problems.
Senior dogs need even fewer calories than adult dogs, as they tend to be less active and more prone to obesity and arthritis. They also need more omega-3 fatty acids to reduce inflammation and support their brain function.
Senior dogs should be fed twice a day as well but with smaller portions and lower-fat food.
Activity level also affects how much food your dog needs. Active dogs, such as working dogs or sporty breeds, need more calories and protein than sedentary dogs, as they burn more energy and need more muscle mass.
Active dogs should be fed high-quality food that provides enough calories and nutrients for their activity level. They may also benefit from snacks or supplements before or after exercise.
Sedentary dogs, such as couch potatoes or senior dogs, need fewer calories and protein than active dogs, as they are at risk of gaining weight and developing health issues.
Sedentary dogs should be fed low-calorie food that still meets their nutritional needs. They may also benefit from portion control and regular exercise.
How Much Food Should You Feed Your Dog?
The amount of food you should feed your dog depends on several factors, such as age, weight, breed, activity level, health condition, and type of food.
There is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question, but there are some general guidelines you can follow.
One way to estimate how much food your dog needs is to use the feeding chart on the back of the dog food bag or can. This chart usually tells you how much food to feed your dog per day based on their weight.
However, this chart is not very accurate, as it does not take into account other factors such as age or activity level. It also assumes that your dog is eating only that brand of food, which may not be the case.
Another way to estimate how much food your dog needs is to use a calorie calculator online or consult your veterinarian.
A calorie calculator can help you determine how many calories your dog needs per day based on their age, weight, activity level, and health condition.
Then you can divide that number by the number of calories per cup or can of your dog’s food to get the amount of food you should feed them per day.
For example, if your dog needs 800 calories per day and your dog’s food has 400 calories per cup, you should feed them 2 cups of food per day (800 / 400 = 2).
However, this method is not very precise either, as it does not take into account the quality or digestibility of the food.
The best way to determine how much food your dog needs is to monitor their body condition score (BCS).
The BCS is a scale from 1 to 9 that measures how thin or fat your dog is based on their ribs, waist, abdomen, and spine.
A BCS of 4 or 5 is ideal for most dogs, meaning that you can feel their ribs but not see them, they have a visible waist when viewed from above and a tucked abdomen when viewed from the side.
If your dog has a BCS of 1 or 2 (very thin), you should feed them more food or higher-calorie food until they reach a healthy weight.
If your dog has a BCS of 8 or 9 (very fat), you should feed them less food or lower-calorie food until they lose weight.
If your dog has a BCS of 3, 6, or 7 (slightly thin, slightly fat, or fat), you should adjust their food intake accordingly.
You can use the table below to check your dog’s BCS and adjust their feeding accordingly.
|Increase by 50%
|Increase by 25%
|Increase by 10%
|Decrease by 10%
|Decrease by 25%
|Decrease by 40%
|Decrease by 50%