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How much should I feed my dog?

Are you worried that you are underfeeding your dog? Or maybe you are overdoing it with the food you give to your fur baby?

All dog parents often ask themselves – how much should I feed my dog?

Well, there is no straightforward answer to this question, as the amount of food you feed Fido depends on a number of different factors.

You need to make sure that you are providing your pup with a well-balanced diet, which is enough to keep it healthy, fit and active, and at the same time prevent it from becoming obese or leave it malnourished.

One rule of the thumb to use when making sure that your dog is in a healthy and good shape is to be able to easily feel the ribs of the pup with your hands and to be able to see a waistline when you look at the dog from above.

Another rule to remember is that the suggested feeding guidelines on the dog food you are giving to your pup are not always accurate and valid for all, and in fact, they are often much bigger than the healthy portion size.

Here is a comprehensive guide to how much you should feed your dog with detailed explanations regarding the ways to calculate just how much dog food is enough for your four-legged friend, how to schedule the meals, and how to ensure that your dog leads a happy and long life.

How much you feed your pup depends on the type and quality of its dog food

The higher the quality of the dog food you choose, the smaller the portion size can be, especially if you opt for high calorie, high protein food.

When picking the most suitable and healthy food for your dog, always take the time to look at the ingredient list.

Look for a real animal-based protein as a first ingredient in the guaranteed analysis of the food.

If you see meat, poultry or fish meat by-product or meal, or wheat, corn or another ingredient different from real meat, fish or poultry, you will probably want to pass.

If you pick a dog food which has a real protein as a first ingredient, the food will have a higher overall volume of protein content in it.

This means that the dog will be getting more of the amino acids it needs to build lean muscle and have more energy. Thus, you can feed Fido less of this food that you would feed it if the food is highly processed and includes a lot of fillers, grains or other ingredients you don’t immediately recognize.

Plus, dogs are not naturally inclined to eat or properly process too many grains such as corn, soy, wheat or others. Maybe this is why many dogs have allergies or intolerances to these foods, which lead to skin irritations, joint problems, and other adverse effects.

The higher the quality of the dog food, the better your pup will be able to digest it, so there will be more essential nutrients absorbed by its body, and lesser waste when the dog defecates.

Another advantage of investing in higher quality dog food is that your dog will have a shinier coat, which sheds less and smells less.

You need to understand the importance of your dog’s nutritional needs

You may not have studied the ingredients and labels on the dog food you buy, but if you really want what is best for your pup, you should ensure that it is getting all the nutrients and other healthy supplements it needs.

The different commercial dog foods contain different amounts and ratios of protein, fats, and carbohydrates. Plus, most foods have added vitamins and minerals.

Also, the volume changes depending on whether you decide to feed your pup with kibble or with wet or raw food, as the density of the food changes as well.

It is important to pick a dog food with the right ratio of proteins, carbs and fats and the recommended amount of minerals, vitamins, and antioxidants.

If you are unsure what the percentages should be, speak to your vet about recommendations for your dog based on its age, breed, size, health and other specific nutritional needs.

When deciding how much to feed your dog, you should take into consideration:

  • The caloric value of the dog food
  • The dog’s activity level
  • The ideal weight for your pup’s breed and sex
  • The season and current temperature
  • The added calories your dog receives from dog treats or table scraps
  • The recommended caloric intake per day for the age and size of your dog
  • How reliable the info on the label of the dog food is

Unfortunately, the listed recommended feeding guidelines on the dog foods are very rarely accurate and can differ considerably depending on the brand you choose.

In order to ensure that you are not under or over feeding your pup, you should weigh it once a month, and adjust the food quantity accordingly.

In some cases, if your dog is gaining weight, you may want to add more exercise and walks to its regimen, in order to ensure that the pup stays in good shape.

Be careful with the additional supplements you feed your dog, because in some cases, this can be counterproductive, such as adding too much calcium to the pup’s diet which can cause bone and joint issues.

Count the calories

The calories which your pup needs in order to be healthy, fit and happy, depends on the pup’s age, activity level and on the environmental conditions.

Since young puppies grow fast, they need more calories and higher protein levels as well as other nutrients as compared to older dogs living sedentary lifestyles.

Also, if your dog spends a lot of time outdoors in the cold weather, it will be burning more calories in order to keep warm than if it spends most of its time in warm conditions.

As a starting point, you can begin by following the feeding guidelines offered by the manufacturer of the food.

Keep in mind, that these guidelines are usually for the recommended daily amount of food, so if you are feeding your dog twice a day, you should divide the recommended quantity by two.

Monitor your pup for any changes in its weight or body size. Also, if it tends to leave food in the bowl or even decides to skip meals, it probably needs smaller sized meals.

The goal is to be able to see a waist on the dog’s body and to be able to easily feel its ribs. If you can see the ribs – the pup may need more food, and if you need to poke its chest to feel the ribs, you are probably overfeeding it.

Feeding your dog based on its weight

Calculating the right amount of food for your dog based on its body weight is one of the simplest methods to determine the portion sizes for it.

In order to use this method, you need to determine whether your pup is small, medium or large sized. Not understanding the body size of your dog may easily cause you to underfeed or overfeed it.

It may sound counterintuitive, but actually smaller dogs require larger volumes of food per pound of body weight than larger pups.

Here are some guidelines on feeding the pup based on its weight:

Toy breeds (up to 10 lbs.)

If you are the proud owner of a tiny dog with a huge personality, like Havanese, Pomeranian, Chihuahua or another dog weighing up to 10 lbs. the recommended food quantity per day is as follows:

1/3 cup for dogs up to 3 lbs.

½ cup for dogs up to 6 lbs.

¾ cup for dogs up to 10 lbs.

Small dogs (10-20 lbs.)

Small dogs weigh between 10 and 20 lbs. Some of the breeds which are considered in the small dog category are Shi Tzu’s, Dachshunds, Pugs, Boston Terriers, and others.

For dogs of this size, the recommended daily amount of food is:

¾ cup for dogs weighing 10 lbs.

1 cup for dogs weighing 15 lbs.

1 2/3 cups for dogs weighing 20 lbs.

Medium-sized dogs (30-50 lbs.)

There is a wide variety of medium-sized dog breeds, some weighing 30 lbs. and others reaching a weight of 50 lbs. Some of the medium-sized dog breeds include the Bull Terrier, Collie, Australian Shepherd, and others.

The recommended daily food quantity for medium-sized pups is:

1 ¾ cups for dogs weighing 30 lbs.

2 ¼ cups for dogs weighing 40 lbs.

2 2/3 cups for dogs weighing 50 lbs.

Large-sized dogs (60 – 100 and more lbs.)

If you are the proud dog parent of a Golden Retriever, a Bernese Mountain Dog, a German Shepherd or any dog which weighs over 60 lbs. then your large dog should eat the following recommended quantities of dog food per day:

3 cups for dogs weighing 60 lbs.

3 ½ cups for dogs weighing 70 lbs.

3 ¾ cups for dogs weighing 80 lbs.

4 ¼ cups for dogs weighing 90 lbs.

4 ½ cups for dogs weighing 100 lbs.

Add 1/3 cup per 10 lbs. for dogs weighing over 100 lbs.

Feeding your dog in accordance with its activity level and its age

Dogs of different ages and of different activity levels have different caloric requirements too.

The amount and type of food you feed your pup may vary in accordance with its age its activity level.

In any case, it is vital that you feed your dog with age appropriate food. Thankfully, there are numerous commercial dog foods which are specially formulated for the different life stages of the dog – puppy, adult, senior, or all life stages.

Here are the general rules to follow when deciding how much to feed your pup based on its age and on its activity level:

Puppies

Puppies should start being introduced to eating solid food from an age of three to four weeks. At the age of eight weeks, it is expected that the puppies are weaned from their mother’s milk completely.

To make the transition from mother’s milk to dry puppy food, you can add some warm water to the kibble at first, until they are completely weaned off it.

Because they are growing and playing all day, puppies need high protein food and all the necessary nutrients for healthy development and growth

You should choose a food which is formulated for puppies if you decide to feed them with commercial dog food.

Puppies should be fed three times a day – in the morning, at noon and in the evening. This should continue until they are 6 months old, or until their food requirement per pound of body weight start leveling up.

In case your puppy is a fussy eater, you can add a bit of warm water to the food.

Make sure you take away the bowl of food if the puppy hasn’t eaten all of it within one hour.

The portion size for puppies depends on their breed, size, metabolism, activity level and on the temperatures.

Overfeeding the pup can cause deformities in the bones and musculoskeletal structure of the dog, especially in large or giant breed puppies.

Then again, underfeeding a growing puppy may cause malnourishment and problems in its development as well.

Speak to your vet for the recommended food type and portion size for your puppy. Also, keep an eye on its weight gain and on its body. If it is gaining too much weight too fast, you may want to reduce the portion sizes.

On the other hand, if you can see the ribcage of the puppy showing, then you may want to increase the amount of food you give it.

If you have a toy breed puppy, you should feed it more frequent small meals, because due to its tiny size, it is more prone to low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) which can be dangerous for these delicate creatures.

So, feed your toy breed puppy 4 to 6 times a day until it is at least 3 months old.

Medium sized puppies can do well with 3 meals a day up to the age of 6 months.

Large and giant breed puppies should eat 3 to 4 times a day, preferably large or giant breed puppy food, which is formulated to provide them with the nutrients they need without the risk of growing and gaining too much body mass too fast. Gaining too much weight can cause serious bone, joint and muscular problems in larger breed puppies.

Adult dogs

On average, a dog is considered to have reached full maturity at the age of 1 year, even though in some breeds the maturity is reached later on. For feeding purposes, the dog is considered an adult when it reaches about 90% of its estimated adult weight.

Once it is fully matured, the dog is considered an adult dog and it’s nutritional needs will most probably remain the same throughout its young adult life.

The weight of the young adult dog needs to be stable, and its body needs to be properly proportioned – with a visible waist and with ribs which can easily be touched but not visible through the coat.

Of course, every dog is different, so the food it requires to be healthy, active and fit varies depending on its size, activity level, metabolism, age and on the type of food you are feeding it with.

It is absolutely normal for the dog’s appetite to fluctuate from one day to another, so if it refuses to eat for a day, you shouldn’t be too worried.

If you notice that your dog has stopped eating or is eating very little and is losing weight for a longer time, it is recommended that you speak to your vet.

Most dog parents prefer to feed their adult dogs once or twice a day, with an occasional treat from time to time during the day.

Active adult dogs

All dogs need some exercise in order to be happy and stay in shape, but some dogs are more active than others.

If you have an active dog, which jogs with you, or exercises or works on a daily basis, it is only natural that it will be needing more calories to meet its energy needs than other dogs which lead more sedentary lifestyles.

But even very active dogs may have moments when they are not as active, such as in the winter months or in case of injury. So, if you normally feed your active dog with high energy, nutrient dense food, you should gradually transition it to a lower energy dog food during the time with lowered activity.

Remember that if you have an overly active dog, you should not feed it immediately before or right after any strenuous activity. Eating in these moments can lead to various digestive problems and discomfort, as well as to the life-threatening condition known as bloat, which causes the stomach to twist and can kill your dog.

The proper feeding schedule for highly active dogs is to feed them a small meal in the morning, and the larger part of the daily meal should be given at least an hour after the last exercise or another activity session for the day.

You can give your active dog small treats or snacks during the day to keep it active and strong throughout the day, and always allow it to rest properly, and provide it with access to fresh water at all times.

Senior dogs

Just like with humans, as they age, dogs will need smaller quantities of food because their energy requirements will reduce as well.

Look for dog food for senior dogs if you want to ensure that your older pup is getting all the nutrients it needs without the excess calories which could make it gain weight.

Senior pups should be fed in accordance with their health, metabolism and activity level.

You need to be careful not to allow an older dog to become overweight or obese because this can cause numerous health problems, reduce its mobility and shorten its lifespan.

Feeding the dog with breed specific food

Since what you feed your dog depends on its size, activity level, age, metabolism, and breed, it makes sense to choose a breed-appropriate dog food, if possible.

They are made to meet the specific nutritional needs of the dogs of that particular breed.

So, if you can find a dog food which is formulated for the breed of your dog – then go ahead and switch to it. Your dog will be happy, and so will you.

Feeding a dog in accordance with its health

In case your dog has an underlying health problem such as heart, kidney or liver disease, urinary stones, or weight issues, you should speak to your vet about the appropriate food and the portion size and feeding schedule for it.

If your pup has food allergies, you should stick to dog food which doesn’t contain the allergen, and be careful to keep the food causing the adverse reactions out of the daily menu of your pup.

Choosing the most suitable feeding regimen for your pup

Not only do dog parents frequently ask themselves – how much should I feed my dog? But many of them are not sure about the right feeding regimen for their pup.

Here are some dog feeding schedules which you may decide to explore to find the best one for your adult dog and for your convenience.

Keep in mind that puppies need to eat more often until the age of about 12 months.

Free feeding

Although many vets are opposed to the idea of letting the dog decide when it wants to eat, there are some dogs and pet owners who find the free feeding regimen the most suitable one for their needs.

With the free feeding daily regimen, the food is left out all day and the dog decides when to go graze on it.

This is a good feeding method for active dogs which burn a lot of calories during the day and not recommended for couch potatoes that are always hungry.

This is also a very suitable feeding regimen for nursing dogs that need all the calories they can get in order to produce the mother’s milk their puppies need.

Also, if your dog is underweight, leaving the food out all day may make it eat more.

In case you decide to experiment with the free feeding regimen, make sure you choose kibble and other dry food which won’t spoil if left outside all day long.

One potential downside of this type of free choice feeding is that the bowl may attract insects or rodents, especially if your dog eats outdoors.

Another problem could be if you live in a multiple dog household and the pups can get into quarrels and fights over the food while you are not watching them. Plus, you will not be able to control which dog eats what, so one can end up eating more than it should whilst the other may remain hungry or malnourished.

Free feeding is not suitable for diabetic dogs that need to be monitored at all times, especially when it comes to feeding times.

It is also not recommended for overweight dogs, or for dogs with deep chests that are prone to getting bloat from consuming large volumes of food at once.

Dogs that are not prone to over-eating or to obesity, and do not have accidents at home, can actually live pretty well on a free feeding schedule.

Feeding the dog controlled portions

This feeding regimen is recommended for pups that never seem to stop eating. Look at the portion size recommended by the manufacturer of the food, or ask your vet to recommend the most appropriate portion size for your dog.

You can feed the pup once or twice a day, but it is highly recommended to feed it twice – once in the morning and the other about 8 to 12 hours later in the evening. By providing the dog with food every 12 hours, you will help prevent blood sugar spikes or hunger pangs.

Check out the recommended portion size and divide it into tow, if you are going to be feeding Fido controlled portions twice a day.

Feeding Fido by the clock

If you are not worried about portion size, another way to feed your dog is to provide it with its meal and let it eat for let’s say 20 or 30 minutes. After the time is over, pick up the bowl.

After 8 to 12 hours, you can do the same and offer your dog its meal for the same amount of time.

Feeding the pup 3-4 times a day

You may want to divide the daily meal of your dog into 3 or 4 smaller portions per day. This is suitable for senior dogs, or for dogs with a smaller appetite. It is also a preferred schedule for pups that are underweight.

Small and more regular portions are recommended for working dogs or for those which have low blood sugar levels.

What about the yummy treats?

Yes, your fur baby loves those delicious treats, but make sure that the number of treats you give to your dog comprises of no more than 5-10% of its daily caloric intake.

The amount of treats you can safely give to your dog depends on its size, age, and activity level too.

If you are using treats for training purposes, you should break them down in small pieces, so you can still reward your dog for good behavior but without risking it becoming overweight.

You can also use kibble as treats, or use fresh chopped veggies such as delicious carrots as healthy treats for your pup.

How much should I feed my dog that always looks hungry?

Make sure that you differentiate from the dog actually being underfed and hungry and the dog which is already overweight and is craving food all day long.

Monitor the weight and the body structure of your dog to make sure that it is properly fed – and neither underfed nor overfed.

When your dog is looking at you with those hungry eyes, you need to ensure that it is not doing it for the attention alone, but is actually hungry.

Some dog breeds are famous for their ability and desire to eat all day long. These include Beagles, Labradors, Dachshunds, and Pugs.

The way to deal with this trait is to switch to a less nutrient and energy dense food, or switch to a high fiber food, and feeding the dog smaller meals more frequently.

When is it time to change the usual amount of food I feed my dog?

During the life of the dog, there are moments when the amount of food and the type of food you usually feed it should be changed.

Some of these cases are:

  • If the dog is pregnant or nursing
  • When the weather outdoors is very cold and the dog is using much more energy to keep itself warm
  • If the pup is recovering from an infection or surgery

What are the risks of obesity in dogs?

Obesity will not only cause your dog to become more immobile and unhappy but can also cause serious health problems and significantly shorten its lifespan. A recent study found that obesity can shorten the lifespan of dogs by 2 years, which is something all dog parents should be warned about.

In fact, in the US obesity is one of the most common preventable canine diseases which affect 25-30% of the adult dogs, and 40-45% of the senior dogs.

Obesity occurs when your dog begins to weigh 20% or more than its ideal body weight.

Some of the health problems which an obese dog is more likely to develop include:

  • Heart disease and congestive heart failure
  • Diabetes mellitus
  • Musculoskeletal problems such as intervertebral disk disease, osteoarthritis, ligament ruptures, and others
  • Certain types of cancer
  • Urinary bladder stones
  • Lowered heat tolerance
  • Complications during anesthesia
  • Cushing’s disease
  • Pancreatitis
  • Oral disease

Although in some cases obesity in dogs is due to another underlying health issue such as Cushing’s disease or hypothyroidism, in the majority of cases, it is due to overfeeding the dog, or the pup eating inappropriate food.

You should work with your vet to make changes in your dog’s diet and feeding regimen if it is overweight or obese. You should set a target with the ideal weight you want to reach and monitor the progress by weighing the dog every week or every other week.

There are special weight management dog foods which are formulated to help dogs reduce their weight but without ripping them off of the essential nutrients to stay healthy and well.

You will need to be consistent and stick to the new feeding schedule and portion size if you want to help your pup lose weight and become a healthy and happier dog.

Also, you will have to withstand the urge to give your dog endless treats or table scraps and snacks outside of the planned diet, if you want it to actually lose that extra weight and live a longer and better life.

When you achieve the desired and recommended body weight, it is essential to work on maintaining those pounds and not allowing the dog to become overweight and obese once again.

What about malnourishment in dogs?

Malnourishment in dogs can be as equally worrying and dangerous for the dog as obesity.

It can be a result from being underfed, fed with the wrong type of food, neglected, or due to a number of health conditions causing problems with the digestion and absorption of nutrients, parasites, lack of appetite and other reasons for a pup to become malnourished.

The symptoms that your dog may be malnourished is unexplained weight loss, skin irritation and hair loss, digestive issues, bad breath, a weakened immune system, and a dull coat.

If you notice any of these worrying signs, make sure that you ask your vet for an expert medical opinion and for uncovering the underlying cause for this malnourishment which can cause the dog to starve to death in extreme cases.

What makes a dog food a good one?

Most dog parents choose to feed their pups with processed commercial wet or dry dog foods. Although they are convenient for the owners, they do not always contain all of the nutrients your pup needs.

Thanks to the fact that in the US, these foods are highly regulated, and tested, you can be pretty sure that you are buying a good food if it is made by a reputable manufacturer and brand.

Then again, you should always check the label, the ingredient list and the ratio of proteins, fat, and carbohydrates in the food.

How do I read the label on the dog food?

As mentioned previously, it is important to check the label of the dog food, in order to ensure that it has sufficient nutrients and provides a well-balanced meal for the pup.

In the US, the labels on dog food are required to provide information regarding: the product name, the net weight of the food, the name, and address of the manufacturer, the guaranteed analysis, the list of ingredients, the animal species it is intended for, feeding guidelines, statement of nutrient adequacy.

First of all, look at the product name. If it contains “beef” this means that beef should be at least 70% of the content for the food. In case the product name says “beef platter” or “beef dinner”, this means that beef is only at least 10% of the product.

In case the product name says “with beef”, this means that the food contains at least 3% of beef only.

“Beef flavor” implies that there is just enough beef to give the food flavor (less than 3%).

Ingredients

The list of ingredients on the dog food will not tell you where they come from and what their quality is. In some cases, a single ingredient can be split into several types of the same ingredient used to make the content of the original ingredient smaller. For example, ingredients listed as flaked corn, kibbled corn, and ground corn altogether imply that the content of corn in the food is higher.

Whole meats all have a lot of water weight before processing, so the amount stated in the ingredient list may be misleading too.

Meat meals, on the other hand, contain no water, so their stated percentage or quantity is correct.

If you have an allergic dog, it is essential to check the ingredient list closely to make sure that the food doesn’t contain the allergen causing your pup allergic reactions.

If you notice that the label contains the claim that the dog food is “complete and balanced” you can be sure that it is, in fact, complete and balanced due to the strict regulations and requirements by the Association of American Feed Control Officials.

FAQs about how much should I feed my dog

Finding the answer to the question – how much should I feed my dog, is not the only tough part of being a dog parent when it comes to the pup’s diet.

How can I stop my dog from gobbling up its food too quickly?

The danger of dogs gulping up food too quickly lies in the fact that this means that large amounts of air are swallowed along with the food. This can cause discomfort and in some cases by causing the air to be trapped in the stomach and the twisting of the organ.

This condition is called bloat and requires immediate emergency surgery because the dog can lose consciousness and die very rapidly due to the blocked blood circulation to the heart and other organs.

Dogs which are prone to bloat should be fed in raised bowls which can help prevent the swallowing of excess air too.

In order to make the dog eat smaller bites or slower, you can place a large ball in the bowl, or use one of those dispenser toys which have obstructions in them causing a slower release of the dog food.

Also, if you have more than one dogs at home, feed them separately, so that they do not feel compelled to eat everything as fast as they can out of fear of their competition.

How can I safely introduce new food to my pup’s diet?

Many dogs tend to be sensitive to drastic changes in their diets. In order to allow for the gut flora to get adapted to the new dog food, you should transition from the old one to the new one gradually.

Start by adding small amounts of the new food to the old one, and gradually increase the new one and reduce the old one.

The transition should be done slowly, and within a week, your pup should be ready to eat the new food safely without digestive upsets such as diarrhea, constipation or vomiting.

If you notice any of these signs, reduce the amount of new food and reintroduce more of the old food again.

Are there table scraps which are considered healthy for dogs?

It is always preferable to feed your dog with dog treats and snacks and to limit their quantity to up to 10% of the daily caloric intake of the dog.

If you feel the urge to feed Fido with scraps from your table, and with snacks from human food, then you should proceed very cautiously, as some of the foods we eat can be unhealthy and even toxic or dangerous for canines.

Do not feed your dog with high-fat scraps, and never feed it chocolate, raisins, grapes, macadamia or onions or garlic, because these are toxic for canines.

You can give your dog some raw carrots, broccoli, green beans or peas, but do so in moderation because dogs are not naturally equipped to digest too much fiber so this could lead to stomach upsets.

Avoid feeding your dog with raw meat or fish, because they can contain harmful and dangerous bacteria and parasites.

If you are a fan of a raw diet for dogs, you should opt for food which has been processed to kill off any harmful bacteria or parasites which is readily available on the market.

Bones, especially cooked ones can damage the dog’s teeth, can cause obstructions in their digestive system or can splinter and injure the gut.

Do not feed your dog with cat food, because cat food is high in calories.

Overall, you should avoid feeding your dog off of your table, in order to prevent it from creating a habit and to prevent it from being tempted to steal food from the table.

What are the foods I should never give my dog?

Chocolate contains a substance called theobromine, which is dangerous and can even be fatal for canines. It causes vomiting, an increased heart rate, and restlessness. Too much chocolate especially dark chocolate can be fatal for dogs.

Keep your dog away from grapes or raisins which can cause renal failure.

Onions are dangerous for dogs as they can cause digestive upsets and anemia. While all dogs show signs of toxicity from onions, Akitas have been found to be particularly sensitive.

You should also keep your pup away from garlic, as it can cause skin irritation and asthma. If you use garlic tablets as flea repellants for your dog, be sure to check the recommended dosage first.

Lactose cannot be digested by dogs. It is found in dairy products and milk.

Many fruits are too acidic or high in sugar and can cause digestive problems in dogs especially in larger quantities. You can still give your dog apples, strawberries or blueberries in small quantities as delicious fresh snacks, but do not give it cherries or avocados.

Potatoes are high in starch which is not very easily digested by canines.

Keep in mind that many common house plants and garden plants can be toxic to dogs, so make sure you check which plants are toxic and keep them away from your pup. Some of the more common ones include Azalea, Daffodil, Tulips, Sago palm, Oleander, Mums, Peonies, Black Walnut, Irises, and others.

You should also avoid feeding your pup with most types of nuts, especially Macadamia nuts, which are highly toxic. You can treat your pup with an unsalted peanut or two from time to time.

Are grains really bad for dogs?

Grain-free dog foods are on the rise, and many dog parents are choosing to switch their pets to grain-free diets.

Unlike cats, dogs do need some whole grains which can provide them with the fiber and various other nutrients.

Grain-Free food is suitable for dogs with food allergies or food sensitivities to grains, and those that commonly suffer from digestive problems such as diarrhea and vomiting.

So, if your dog is healthy, you can feed it with good grains. Avoid dog foods which include soybean meal or modified cornstarch or fillers.

Feeding a stubborn or finicky dog

If your puppy or dog is a fussy eater or is stubborn and refuses to eat, it is very helpful to add some real broth or a small delicious treat to the food.

In case your dog takes all day to eat its food, you can teach it to stop doing that by leaving the bowl outside only for 10-20 minutes and then picking it up, no matter whether the dog has eaten or not.

Pretty soon the pup will realize that it needs to act quickly if it doesn’t want to stay hungry.

Checking the dog’s stool can help determine whether the food is right

A good, healthy stool is dark brown and log shaped and firm. If your dog is producing this type of stool then the food is right for it. Also, if the stool size is smaller than the food quantity you are feeding your pup, then it is digesting most of it, which is a good sign too.

The stool which gets soft at the sides is a common sign that you are overfeeding the dog.

Final words

As you can see, just like we humans like to say – we are what we eat, dogs too are what they eat.

Their health, wellbeing, fitness, and overall happiness on feeding them with the right type of food, and with the proper and healthy quantities.

Keep in mind that every dog is different and that you know your dog best, so make sure you adjust your fur baby’s diet in accordance with its lifestyle, health, and metabolism.

Also, keep an eye on its weight to make sure that Fido is getting just the right amount and type of food to stay in good shape for longer.

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