Are you feeding your dog the right amount of food? Research by the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention suggests that 53% of all dogs are overweight or obese. While lack of exercise contributes to canine obesity, overeating is perhaps even more influential. Therefore, owners must provide their dog with the proper amount of food to ensure their nutritional needs are met while also protecting against obesity. Today, we'll take a look at how much you should feed your dog and how often.
How Much Should You Feed Your Dog
One of the things you'll need to consider when feeding your dog is his age. As explained by the American Kennel Club (AKC), puppies require more calories than middle-aged dogs due to their increased energy levels. Consequently, senior dogs – those in the last 25% of their expected life – require less calories due to lower energy levels.
Different dog breeds also have different caloric needs. Energetic breeds like the Weimaraner and Australian cattle dog, for example, require less calories than sedentary breeds like the bulldog.
Perhaps the most important thing to consider when feeding your dog is his weight. The more your dog weights, the more food he'll need to sustain his energy. If your dog is underweight, however, you should feed him slightly more than the “normal” amount to increase body mass.
Feeding Your Dog
Assuming your dog has a healthy weight for his breed and age, a good rule of thumb is to feed ¾ cup to 1 cup of food if he weighs 20 pounds; 2 ¼ cup to 3 cups if he weighs 40 pounds or 3 cups to 4 cups if he weighs 60 pounds.
Don't just feed your dog one meal a day, however. Instead, most veterinary experts recommend twice daily feedings, once in the morning and again in the evening. Doing so promotes healthy blood sugar levels while protecting against nausea and other related problems.
Dog Treats & Chews
Giving your dog treats can also play a major role in your dog's diet. However, you must consider the caloric content of your dog treats. The AKC recommends limiting a dog's treats to no more than 10% of his daily calories. You don't have to necessarily count your dog's calories. Rather, make treats a small part of your dog's diet to ensure good health.
As you can see, a lot of factors play a role in a dog's diet. If you're struggling to create an effective feeding routine for your canine companion, talk to your veterinarian. They'll be able to provide a more custom dieting regimen that's best suited for your dog.
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