Dog Feeding Guidelines

We offer hundreds of food products for dogs of all shapes and sizes. Giving your dog the right amount of food is an important part of keeping them healthy, just like giving your dog good, nutritious food and enough exercise.

That’s why all the dog food we sell has feeding guidelines on the packet. They’re a useful guide for how much to feed a dog and how often. But they may not be right for your dog. Feeding guidelines are based on the energy needs of an average dog. And as we all know, every dog is different − in size, age, breed, lifestyle and health.

You may need to feed your dog less or more than feeding guidelines advise. This guide will explain how you can get the right feeding routine to help keep your dog healthy, happy and full of energy.

Most experts recommend feeding your dog at least once a day, or twice. You should measure out the portion of dog food (normally in grams) based on the feeding instructions on the packet. These instructions are usually based on the ideal body weight for dogs of different sizes and ages. But as we’ve already mentioned, feeding guidelines are only a rough guide. The amount of food your dog needs, and how often, can vary depending on their:

  • Age
  • Size
  • Breed
  • Activity (e.g. how much time per day your dog spends running, walking, playing with other dogs, children, etc.)

Another feeding consideration is whether there are any specific feeding guidelines for the breed of dog. This may be about the type of food as well as portion size and frequency of feeding. For example, small and toy breeds need more energy from their food for each pound of their body weight than do the large and giant breeds.

Just like humans, some dogs need to eat more than others to stay a healthy weight. Others put on weight easily. Being overweight or underweight can cause health problems in dogs and harm their quality of life. Working out the right weight for your dog can help you get feeding right. There are three checks you can do:

  • You should be able to see and feel the outline of your pet’s ribs without excess fat covering them.
  • You should be able to see and feel your pet’s waist and it should be clearly visible when viewed from above.
  • Your dog’s belly should be tucked up when viewed from the side.

If your pet does not pass these checks, or if you’re not sure, speak to one of our in-store colleagues or speak to your vet.

If your dog isn’t eating all their food in one go, or is losing/putting on weight, you can adjust portion size, by a small amount (about 10%), or try a different dog food. Make changes gradually over a week.

If your dog’s having a healthy diet, their stools should be dark brown and firm. If they’re wet, or if your dog has wind or diarrhoea, it may be due to a problem in their diet. And don’t forget to give your dog constant access to clean drinking water.

If you have any questions about your dog’s diet or want some advice, click here to book a FREE Pet Food Consultation at your nearest Pets at Home store.