How Much Food Does My Dog Need?
Updated: Feb 26, 2022
The amount of food your dog needs each day depends on a variety of factors, including the size, age and activity level of your dog.
There are a few ways to determine how much food your dog needs. One is to look at your dog's weight and calculate how many calories your dog needs per day based on its weight and activity level.
It is also important to make sure your dog is getting the right balance of nutrients. Dogs need protein, carbohydrates, fats, minerals and vitamins. You can find some commercial dog food that meets all of these needs, but there are so many alternatives these days, which we will have a look into in more detail later on.
To determine how much food your dog needs, you should understand a few key terms that are used about pet health and nutrition:
Calorie - a unit that measures energy produced from foods
Kilocalorie (kcal) - the number of calories in a food
Macronutrients - nutrients that the body needs in large quantities, such as protein, carbohydrates and fat
Micronutrients - nutrients that the body needs in small quantities, such as vitamins and minerals
Note: This blog post is the opinion of the author and not professional nutritional advice. You should seek the advice of your Vet or a canine nutritionist if you are worried about your dog's health.
How to calculate your dog's caloric needs
Calculating your dog's caloric needs is the best way to determine how much food they need each day. As mentioned, this depends on a variety of factors, including weight. However, it can be really difficult to get your dog to step on your bathroom scales and stand still. Visits to the Vet usually start with your dog stepping on the scales, so you can use the weight from their last weigh-in.
If you have an average-sized adult dog, for a rough idea, you can start by taking your dog's weight and multiplying it by 50. This will give you the approximate amount of calories your dog needs per day, assuming that your dog is of normal activity level.
For a more accurate calculation of your dog's calorie requirements, and to take into account their activity levels and any health concerns, you should use a calorie calculator like this one by allaboutdogfood.co.uk
If your dog is a large breed or has health problems, you should discuss your dog's dietary needs with your vet.
Which macronutrients are important
Dogs need protein, carbohydrates, fats, minerals and vitamins. These are ca