How much to feed a dog?

One of the most frequent questions among dog tutors is about the amount of food that should be provided for dogs. In this article we will talk about the amount of food to be offered to dogs, and the importance of a balanced diet for dogs.

How much to feed a dog?

The amount of food to be offered to the dog depends on the type of food the animal is fed on. Today there are two types of food: industrial processed foods and the natural diet cooked at home.

Industrial processed foods

Dogs can feed on industrial foods that are manufactured to meet all the dog’s dietary needs when provided in adequate amounts. Each manufacturer has a feed formula and therefore the amounts of food to be offered to dogs also change according to the animal’s weight.

Industrial food can be divided into regular, premium, and super-premium.

  • Regular foods are industrial foods made to supply the basic dogs diet. It is usually made from grains and may contain dyes. Dogs need to eat more food to meet their nutritional needs.
  •  Premium foods are foods that reduce the amount of grain and increase the amount of meat, including vegetables, fruits, and even natural probiotics. They are better foods and tend to always maintain their composition. Dogs tend to need less food when compared to regular food.
  •  Super-premium tends to be the best foods on the market today, in addition to meeting the dog’s nutritional needs, they are foods without artificial flavors and colors and cuts synthetic preservatives. A small amount of food is sufficient to meet the food needs of dogs.

Along with industrial food, snacks can be offered, and foods such as fruits, vegetables and even meats. However, there is no need to add these types of foods. That’s why they should be done periodically to avoid the dog’s diet being unbalanced.

Natural diet cooked at home

Another way to feed the dog is through natural diets, diets that the owner can cook at home and provide for his pet. In order to have a balanced diet, you should look for a veterinary nutritionist.

Homemade diets can include grains, vegetables, and meats. In addition, to supply all nutrients to dogs, supplementation with commercial vitamins may be necessary.

Food must be prepared according to the veterinarian’s instructions. The quantities of each food must be respected as prescribed. Avoiding the loss of nutrients and making it as tasty as possible for the dogs.

What happens when a dog has an unbalanced diet?

The excess of nutrients and the lack of them can lead to serious problems in dogs. The main symptoms to watch out for are:

  • Obesity;
  • Weakness;
  • Fur loss;
  • Locomotion difficulty;
  • Pain in limbs;
  • Neurological signs.

Animals with excess nutrients can present an imbalance in the homeostasis of the dog’s physiology. Depending on the nutrient, the dog can have skin diseases, kidney disease, heart disease and even neurological signs.

Also, the excess of food can lead to obesity in dogs, which favors the appearance of metabolic diseases that can deteriorate the animal’s health.

Already the absence of some nutrients can lead to weakness, weight loss and even difficulties in bone fractures, resulting in pain, litter, and a lot of discomfort for dogs to get around.

When the dog’s diet is unbalanced, a veterinarian should be urgently sought for dietary corrections, avoiding damage to the animal’s health. That is why you should not feed an animal with homemade diets without first consulting a veterinarian.


Due to the great variety in the manufacture of industrial foods, the amount of food may vary according to each manufacturer. Thus, it is necessary to follow the guidelines described on the packaging of each industrial food. Regarding natural diets made at home, it is important to consult with a veterinarian so that he adapts the amount of food to the animal’s caloric needs.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs): How much to feed a dog?

What are the types of industrial food for dogs?

Industrial food can be divided into regular, premium, and super-premium. And these foods can still be divided into different breeds and sizes, in addition to being classified as:

  • Vegan;
  • Hypoallergenic;
  • Gastrointestinal;
  • Heart;
  • Renal;
  • Liver;
  • Neutered dogs;
  • Moist;
  • Organic;
  • Others.

What foods are toxic for dogs?

Common foods that are highly toxic to dogs are:

  • Grapes and Raisins;
  • Xylitol;
  • Chocolate;
  • Tea;
  • Coffee;
  • Onions;
  • Garlic;
  • Alcohol.

Can you put salt in dog food?

Yes, but salt should be offered to dogs in small amounts. The sodium present in salt is a very important mineral for the proper functioning of the dog’s organism. If in doubt, consult a veterinarian.


Araújo, I. C. S., Furtado, A. P., Araújo, G. C. P., & Rocha, C. G. (2018). Effect of the diet of healthy dogs on clinical analysis and behavioral aspects. Arquivo Brasileiro de Medicina Veterinária e Zootecnia, 70, 689-698. 

Stockman, J., Fascetti, A. J., Kass, P. H., & Larsen, J. A. (2013). Evaluation of recipes of home-prepared maintenance diets for dogs. Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association, 242(11), 1500-1505. 

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