What Is the Recommended Quantity of Food for a Small Dog?

by Gena Husman
You would not feed a small dog the same amount of food as you would a larger dog.

You would not feed a small dog the same amount of food as you would a larger dog.

Gayla Bailey/Digital Vision/Getty Images

The recommended quantity of food for a small dog is the amount of food required to establish and maintain a healthy body and a healthy weight. The amount will vary from one dog to another depending on such factors as metabolism, activity and lifestyle. Unless you want your little companion to end up looking like a sausage, it's up to you, the owner, to learn how much food is enough.

Read the Dog Food Label

Regardless of whether you feed your dog dry or wet food, start with the manufacturer's guidelines on the label for the amount to feed. You will find a range that suggests amounts to feed for each 5- to 10-pound increase of body weight. Some brands will also indicate for which size dog a particular bag of dry food is intended -- such as toy, small, medium or large dogs. This information serves as a starting place in determining how much to feed your pet.

Weight

Know what your pet SHOULD weigh. Typically, a small dog weighs 22 pounds or less and measures 16 inches or less in height. Start by following the feeding guidelines on the dog food label and weigh your dog occasionally to see if he's at his proper weight. You may need to adjust his food portions up or down depending on his activity level. Another thing to consider is how many treats he receives during the day -- these add calories and weight.

Age of Your Dog

Your pet's age is an important factor when considering how much to feed. You wouldn't feed your puppy the same amount of food that you'd give an adult dog or a senior dog. Puppies are growing and need approximately three times the amount of food that an adult dog between 1 and 6 years of age on a maintenance diet would need. Your senior companion requires less food and less calories because he's less active.

Feeding Suggestions

According to the Basic Feeding Guide, typical amounts for a small adult dog weighing up to 10 pounds are 1/4 to 3/4 cup of dry food per day. If she weighs between 10 and 25 pounds, you may feed 3/4 to 1 cup per day. Dry food may be mixed with canned food by cutting the amount of dry food in half and substituting an equal amount of the canned food. Divide servings in half if you feed twice a day.

Photo Credits

  • Gayla Bailey/Digital Vision/Getty Images

About the Author

Gena Husman has been a freelance writer for 15 years. Her articles have appeared in "Birds&Blooms," "Mother Earth News," "BackHome," "Backyard Poultry," and "Grit." She currently writes a monthly nature column for a local magazine, and hospital related articles for the community hospital. Husman has an associate's degree in medical laboratory technology.

Trending Dog Food Articles

Have a question? Get an answer from a Vet now!