Something which is of great concern to many dog owners is knowing how much they should be feeding their pet for its best health and condition. And while every dog is different (just like every human) there are certain guidelines that can be followed that make things a lot easier.
Firstly, consider the quality of the food you are using. You will need to feed much less of a high quality food than a cheap supermarket or bulk food. This is simply because the quality of the ingredients is much higher and there won’t be much (if anything) in the way of ‘fillers’ which provide no nutritional benefit for the dog. It is actually a misconception that ‘cheap’ brands are in fact cheaper. In reality, most of them actually work out to be more expensive as you need to feed so much more.
Most petfood brands provide guidelines on the bag for how much to feed but these really are only a guideline. On the Petfood Direct website at www.petfooddirect.co.nz/feed-calculator/ we provide a feeding calculator; simply enter the weight of your dog and the selected formula and it will tell you the ideal amount to feed, again depending on the age and activity level of your pet.
Bear in mind that if you are feeding your dog other things (such as food scraps) you should cut down on the recommended daily quantity suggested on the dog food packaging.
Once you have a rough idea of how much you should be feeding on a daily basis, you should monitor the effects on your dog and adjust if necessary. As a general rule, always err on the low side in the amount you feed. Most dog owners feed their dog too much, and as a result have issues with obesity developing over time. It is far better to start with less food and increase the quantity if your dog starts to lose weight and condition. This is much easier to deal with than trying to reduce your dog’s weight.
Finally, and most importantly, don’t fret over your dog’s eating habits and the amount you feed. No dog ever starved from missing a meal or from being hungry. By monitoring the results the food has you will soon get a good idea of what is the best amount to feed your dog.