The amount of regular food for dogs is the correct serving size required to keep your pet healthy, happy, active and at his proper weight. Since not all dogs are the same, even within the same size and age group, the amount of food may vary from one dog to another. Factors, such as metabolism and activity level, can affect how much food to give your dog.
Quality vs Quantity
Start with a good quality dog food and you won't need to feed your pet as much as you would using a poorer quality brand. Quality is determined by the ingredients listed on the label of any dog food you buy -- canned or dry. The first item listed should be a specific meat or meat meal. Grains, such as corn and wheat, are added as fillers and have little nutritional value to your pet.
Adult Feeding Guide
Your dog is an adult if she is between the ages of 1 and 6 years. This age group is fed a maintenance diet. Determine what her ideal weight should be and start with the suggested daily servings listed on the dog food label. For example, if your pet is under 10 pounds, expect to feed her 1/4 to 3/4 cup; if she weighs over 75 pounds, you may feed her 2 to 4 cups.You'll have to adjust the amounts depending on your pet's weight and activity.
Puppies and Seniors are Special
The nutritional needs of bouncy, growing puppies are different from those of adults and older, less active dogs. Your growing puppy will need a food high in protein, calcium, fat and calories, and he'll need to be fed 3 times a day between the ages of 6 and 8 weeks. Cut back on the calories for your less active senior pet, either in smaller portions or in a lower calorie food. Beware of overfeeding or you'll end up with a pudgy puppy or an overweight senior.
Feeding the Expectant Mother
Your best friend is expecting. Her pregnancy will last about 62 days. For the first 4 to 5 weeks feed her the same amount of regular food she was eating before she became pregnant. Gradually increase the amount you feed her so that in the last 3 to 4 weeks of her pregnancy she's getting about 25 to 30 percent more food. At this stage in her pregnancy you might consider switching her to a puppy/growth food or a nursing/lactation diet to increase her calorie intake.
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