When it comes to understanding a dog’s food feeding guide, knowing the required calorie count becomes the most important factor. This is because all the dogs, depending on their age, breed, size, activity level, and several other factors, require different amounts of calories.
When you come across a dog food chart by age, you will notice that puppies require much more calories than adult dogs. This is because they are much more active and have significantly higher metabolism rates than older dogs.
The dogs that are smaller in size (coming from a breed with smaller sized dogs, like Chihuahuas) require much more calories than larger dogs. This is because the metabolism rate of smaller dogs is higher and they are more physically active.
You can refer to this calorie requirement guide to figure out the amount of food your dog requires:
Here is a brief feeding guide for dogs, stating a ratio of wet and dry food you can give them.
Dogs should be given 3 ounces of wet food per every 1 - 1.5 kg of their body weight. You can adjust this amount as per your dog’s physical needs and conditions.
Complete dry food is only ideal for adult dogs who are more than 4 weeks old. Before that age, puppies should be given dry food only in parts, mixed with liquid. This dog food guide should help you understand the amount of dry dog food you should give to your adult dogs.
Understanding and following a dog’s food guide is important because just like humans, they too have a set of nutritional requirements. A deficiency or an overdose of any nutrient can end up causing health problems to them. This eventually affects the quality and the length of their life.
Here is a brief food guide for dogs as per their age, which indicates how often they should be fed in a day:
This age chart of dogs explains at what age dogs of different sizes of breeds mature. This information can help you in figuring out what kind of food to give to your dogs, and at what stage in their lives.
Apart from knowing what type of food to feed your dog and what schedule to set for it, it is also important to know when to make a switch from puppy food to adult food. Puppies are given a minimum amount of dry food. But their food is higher in calories and proteins than the food they are given as adults. So, when exactly does the switch happen?
You might have noticed in the dog food chart set as per their age that different sizes of dog breeds have different ages of maturity. So you can refer to that chart for your dog’s feeding guide, as per their size and age.
Also, the transition from puppy food to adult food should be done slowly and gradually. When your dog reaches adult age, you can begin the switch by mixing a small amount of their favourite puppy food with adult food. Slowly, over a week, you can lower the amount of puppy food and increase the amount of adult food. Following this process, at the end of seven days, your dog should successfully be on a full adult diet.
The amount of food that your dog should ideally eat in a day depends on factors like their age, size, activity level, and their physical conditions. To get a better idea of a dog’s feeding guide, you can refer to a dog food chart, which will tell you the amount of dry food, wet food, or a mixture of both that should be given to a dog, as per their age and size. For instance, dogs weighing between 9 to 11 kg should be given 3 ounces of wet food, mixed with about 1 - 1¾ cups of dry food.
A dog’s feeding guide will usually contain dogs’ weight chart in the first column. The first row may either contain dogs’ age chart or types of food (wet, dry, and mixture). You can locate your dog’s weight in the first column and age/type of food in the first row, and their intersection on the chart will give you the amount of food your dog needs to be fed in a day.
The best way to confirm if your dog is getting enough food is to keep an eye on their daily activity level. If their activity level seems to drop or if they show signs of losing weight quickly, you may need to adjust their feeding.
A dog needs a change in food as per its age. When dogs are in their puppy stage, they need puppy food. Similarly, they need adult food in their adult stage and senior food in their senior stage. Apart from that, if you see the below-mentioned signs in your dog, it might be time to change their food: