Dogs are omnivores, but that doesn’t mean you should feed them everything that comes your way. The fact that they are allergic to some foods limits the variety they can eat.
Experts suggest that you follow a definite pattern regarding the food they can eat. That includes the cups, type, time, and food quality you’re feeding them.
How Many Times Should An Adult Dog Eat?
Dogs generally need about 1 to 2 times of food daily. However, the exact cups or grams vary according to the breed and factors dictating their physical conditions, such as weight, activity level, health, etc.
Still, to give you an estimation, dogs weighing 60, 70, and 80 lbs should be fed about 280, 305, and 330 grams, respectively. It’s entirely up to you how you want to divide these grams into the number of meals per day.
How Many Times Should A Puppy Eat?
Compared to adult dogs, puppies have a higher calorie intake. Thus, they should be fed 3 to 4 times a day, depending on their age.
For example, a Husky puppy’s feeding schedule involves 212, 325, 287, and 289 grams for 2, 6, 10, and 12 months of their age.
Here, too, you have to divide these grams into the number of meals your puppy will consume.
How Do I Know If My Dog Is Hungry?
We all show some signs when we are hungry, and dogs are no different. They may start begging, yelping, or even barking. You may see your pet making rounds of its bowl and then looking at you with those puppy dog eyes.
Some of them may even be trained to bring their bowls to you to show their hunger.
However, as you’ll read in the labrador feeding schedule, dogs can survive on a bare minimum. Feed them once a day, and they should be good to go. They may not show their hunger, but the lack of enough food will show in their physique.
- You may see their ribcage or feel it, according to CannaPet.
- Some dogs, such as Huskies, German Shepherds, and Golden Retrievers, may show hair loss as a major sign of malnutrition.
- Their coats will not be shiny or attractive.
- You’ll feel their pelvis bones protruding, and the skin between the ribcage and pelvis sucked in.
- Developing eerie bad breath is also a sign that your dog is hungry.
Why Is My Dog Always Hungry?
Your dog’s hunger depends on age, activity level, feeding times and portions, and general health. It’s understandable for a puppy to always ask for food because they need more calories for their growth.
For example, a German Shepherd puppy requires at least 80 to 90 calories daily to grow properly and stay active.
However, as the pup grows into its 4th or 5th month, the calorie intake drops to 40 to 60 calories per day. It’s not hard to understand that adult dogs may require less than that.
Now, whether a dog or a pup gets enough calories per day will weigh heavily on its hunger.
Here’s a checklist to help you with that.
- Are you feeding the dog enough calories?
- How often are you feeding it based on age, sex, health, and activity?
- Do you actively follow the instructions on the back of the dog food?
- Is your dog too active?
- Do you take it for walks more frequently?
- Is another pet eating or stealing its food right under its nose?
- Is the dog eating a balanced diet?
- Does the pet have any underlying health conditions?
Exploring the last checkpoint further, dogs that are going through some disease tend to eat more. You may not know about it for now, but you will in the long run when the dog shows the right symptoms.
Some of the diseases that may haunt their underlying health and, thus, disturb their feeding schedule have been clearly mentioned on our website.
For example, Bulldogs may have a swollen colon, intestinal worms, a coronary disease, or diabetes if they ask for food more often than their usual demands.
What Is A Good Feeding Schedule?
As you already read, the general rule of thumb says you should feed your puppy 3 to 4 times a day from weaning to 6 months.
After that, it should be reduced to 3 times a day till 10 months of age. From there onward, experts suggest feeding the dogs at least 2 times daily.
This is true for all dogs but keep your pet’s condition in mind before deciding meal times.
Also, the target adult weight of a dog significantly influences how many cups or grams it should consume to reach there. To know the dog’s target weight, you should see the weight of its same-sex parent.
Take the example of a made Bulldog whose same-sex parent is 66 lbs. At the age of 6 months, you should be giving him 440 grams per day.
When he turns 8, it will reduce to 370 grams and then to 320 grams when he’s 12 months and beyond. You can read about it in our article about Bulldog feeding.
For a Boxer, these conditions are totally different. When the target adult weight is 79 lbs, as mentioned in the article about Boxer feeding, he should be fed 276 grams at the age of 2 months, 494 grams when he turns 6 months; at 8 months age, he should eat 502 grams, and 405 grams 14 months onward.
The same is true for all breeds.
Dog Feeding Guide Chart
I have produced feeding charts for many breeds, including Golden Retrievers, French Bulldogs, Chihuahuas, Poodles, and Goldendoodles based on the recommendations by Royal Canin and Pawlicy (where they’ve laid out the ideal weights of adult breeds).
Here, I’ll give you a general chart for all dogs.
Remember: This is for dry kibble.
|Size in lbs||Cups||Grams|
|3 to 12||⅓ to 1||43 to 128|
|13 to 20||1 to 1/3||128 to 43|
|21 to 35||1 ⅓ to 2||171 to 256|
|26 to 50||2 to 2 ⅔||256 to 341|
|51 to 75||2 ⅔ to 3 ⅓||341 to 427|
|76 to 100||3 ⅓ to 4 ¼||427 to 544|
Note: The amounts given in the table are general. Consult your brand’s feeding charts on the packaging. Dogs’ feeding is subjected to various indicators, and it is based on calorie intake. You may want to talk to your vet to know the exact calorie requirements of your pet. Calorie calculators are also available, but they may not spit out the exact number.
Cups Vs Grams
There’s been a debate about grams vs cups in the industry. However, trainers and owners like me who want to take things by the book will go with grams.
The reason for this choice is simple. Grams will never let you go astray while cups are relative.
Some people will fill them to the brim, while others may not. The result of this difference is obvious. Considering they have the same breed and its indicators, the one who’s not filling the cups right won’t feed the right amount of food.
Measuring out the pet food in grams eliminates that anomaly or difference completely. You buy a kitchen balance and measure out the grams. Now someone measuring them in the US will feed the same amount of food to the dog as someone in Australia. The grams never change.
We’ve mentioned this repeatedly in our feeding articles – use grams, not cups, if possible.
What’s The Best Food For A Dog? Dry, Canned, Or Human Foods?
Another debate’s been going on for some time, and I have also talked about it on several occasions – the debate of dry vs. wet food.
Both of these have their own pros and cons. As you’ll read in the articles on this website, wet food is most suitable for puppies from weaning to 4 months. It’s soft and, therefore, easily chewable and digestible.
After 4 months, you gradually start introducing dry kibble. First, it’s a small introduction, and then you increase the latter’s portion until the dog’s entirely comfortable eating it.
The dry food also goes on into its adult life because it suits adult dogs. It has more calories per serving than wet food; it’s good for plaque removal, and it’s cheaper.
Wet canned food has 70% water per portion. It’s also loaded with fillers such as wheat and soy. Therefore, feed it to your dog only when it has diarrhea or other stomach-related issues.
You may also want to introduce it later into its life just to make its days better. Some dogs are fussy eaters, and I have had my share of experience with them. They tend to like wet foods more than dry, and that’s where the edge comes in.
Human Foods Dogs Can And Cannot Eat
Dogs are allowed only some human foods because of their allergies. However, even the allowed ones are meant for treats, not full meals.
Only kibble or dry food available in the market serves as a balanced diet for the dog. Yes, some dog food companies out there have started serving gourmets door-to-door but for an average owner, kibble serves as the easiest access to food.
Still, here are veggies and fruits that dogs can eat but only moderately.
Fruits That Dogs Can Eat
- 1. Apples without seeds and core.
- 2. Bananas
- 3. Blueberries
- 4. Coconut; only a pinch
- 5. Cucumbers
- 6. Kiwis without seeds and skin
- 7. Mangoes without pits
- 8. Oranges, only a few wedges without seeds
- 9. Pineapples (bite-sized)
- 10. Watermelon without rind and seeds
You may also like the following charts of fruits that Huskies, GSD, and Goldies can eat.
Fruits That Dogs Cannot Eat
- 1. Avocado
- 2. Cherries
- 3. Figs
- 4. Dates
- 5. Grapes
- 6. Raisins
- 7. Apricots
- 8. Currants
- 9. Grapefruit
Vegetables That Dogs Can Eat
- 1. Beets
- 2. Cabbage
- 3. Carrots
- 4. Celery
- 5. Broccoli
- 6. Green Beans
- 7. Peas
- 8. Potatoes (well-cooked)
- 9. Spinach
- 10. Asparagus
You may also like the following charts of vegetables that Huskies, GSD, and Golden Retrievers can eat.
Vegetable Dogs Cannot Eat
- 1. Green tomatoes
- 2. Mushrooms
- 3. Onions
- 4. Garlic
- 5. Rhubarb
- 6. Corn on the cob
- 7. Kale
- 8. Taro
- 9. Lemongrass
- 10. Leeks
These lists are not exhaustive. There are plenty of other veggies and fruits that your dog may be allergic to. Therefore, always check with your vet and then feed them to your dog.
Also, avoid feeding right from the table at all costs. Dogs do not fare well with sugars and salts. Excess sugars may lead them down the road to diabetes and salts may cause kidney problems.
As I said, they should act as treats. You may increase the quantity slightly when the dog’s bearing the brunt of an upset stomach.
For example, oranges and watermelons have abundant vitamins C, A, and water that could help the pet go unscathed through diarrhea or subsequent dehydration.
How Do I Know My Dog Is Eating Enough?
It’s fairly easy to know whether your dog’s eating enough. There are some telltale signs to look for.
For example, overfeeding leads to obesity, lethargy, and an exponential increase in hunger, while underfeeding manifests in a skinny dog with low energy and mood swings.
Bowel movements also indicate a lot of these issues. Overfed dogs have loose stool in the evening, and an underfed dog’s go-times are far apart.
You’ll also start noticing what I call sideline symptoms such as unruly farts because of eating a lot and digestive tract issues as a result of not eating the recommended amount of food.
Overfed dogs may also over-groom themselves. Underfed dogs, however, start losing their coat health, sheen, and sometimes fur!
Should You Feed Your Dog Once A Day?
Many owners prefer feeding their dogs once a day because intermittent fasting is a hype these days. There’s nothing wrong with it, only when it’s done without considering the negative reactions of the dog’s body to it if any.
You should understand that each dog is a different individual with different needs. One size doesn’t fit all here. So, before deciding whether you should feed your pet once a day, look at its general health, age, activity level, sex, breed, and calories.
Talking about calories, it’s best to calculate them before making this decision. Vetcalculators have a calorie calculator that has helped owners like you and trainers like me.
Still, I’d suggest using it only when you know what you’re up to. Otherwise, consulting your vet is the way to go.
Portions Vs. Meals
Before deciding about once-a-day feeding, you should have an idea about portions and meals. The difference between them is fairly simple.
Portions refer to the quantity of food you feed your pet in a single day based on its weight and age. Meals, on the other hand, are the number of times you divide that portion to feed the dog during a given day.
Let’s say the portion size is 341 grams or 2 ⅔ cups for your dog weighing 50 lbs. That’s the portion size. Divide it into two, and you get 170.5 grams, the size of a single meal should you choose to feed the pet twice a day.
While intermittent fasting reduces age-related diseases, letting your pets experience it without considering their needs is a lost cause.
Knowing that is hard; therefore, I advise owners always to divide the portion sizes into meal times to help the dog manage its hunger.
Besides that, setting up meal times can help you train the dog around them. For example, dogs tend to go pooping after each meal. You can easily train them to relieve themselves at a specific time after that.
I’d generally go for a 15-minute window and take the dog to do its business in the usual area of our choosing.
Should Dogs Eat More In The Morning Or Evening?
There’s no “best” feeding time when you’re feeding the dog twice a day. However, owing to my experience as a trainer, I have noticed that setting up definite mealtimes keeps the dog sane.
They prefer predictable routines, so moving the feeding times back and forth during the day will only make them anxious.
Having said that, structure the dog’s day with the morning meal just after you get up. It will devour it in a few minutes, and before you’re ready to leave the house to start your day, it’ll be ready to potty outside.
Then, the next meal should be around the time you come back home in the evening. Right before cozying up in your home, you’ll be done taking the pet to relieve itself after having its second meal.
I’ll like to reiterate here that portion size holds more importance than meal times. Try to feed the dog the right portion per its calorie intake in a single day. Otherwise, you may lead it down the road of overfeeding or underfeeding.
How Much Water Should Dogs Drink?
According to Emancipet, dogs should drink one ounce of water for every pound of their weight. So, if your dog is 25 pounds, it should ideally consume 20 to 25 oz of water per day.
That may be a little confusing for you. In that case, follow the AKC’s recommendation. It says you should feed at least 0.5 cups of water every two hours to your pup, which is about 118 ml.
Keep the bowl filled with that amount of water but remove all sources before putting the dog to bed. You don’t want it to wet it by leaving the bowl out the entire night.
The amount of water mentioned is a general recommendation. You should consider the dog’s health and routine here, too.
Also, make sure you don’t feed it salts of any kind because they make them thirsty. It will make frequent rounds of the water source and, as a result, will lose a lot of nutrients and ions in its pee.
The result will be dehydration, lethargy, loose skin, and sickness.
What I Recommend – Wrapping Up
A dog’s feeding routine depends on a number of factors, and that’s why the charts don’t have a definite answer to how much you should feed it. They present ranges.
To know the exact portion, calculate the calorie intake of your dog or consult your vet about it. It’s established, however, that feeding them twice a day makes these animals comfortable.
Lastly, add an ounce of water for every pound of your pet’s weight to quench its thirst the right way.