Nutrition - General Feeding Guidelines for Dogs | VCA Animal Hospital (2023)

Perhaps the most common question pet owners ask their veterinarian is "What should I feed my dog?" Feeding your dog an appropriate amount of a well-balanced diet is vital to its overall health and well-being. To understand how and what to feed your dog, you need to understand what the nutritional requirements of dogs are and how these requirements have developed through the process of biological evolution.Nutrition - General Feeding Guidelines for Dogs | VCA Animal Hospital (1)

Since dogs are carnivores, doesn’t this mean that they need to eat a diet that is meat based?

As a species, the dog is a member of the scientific order Carnivora, a large group of mammalian animals that share a similar tooth structure. The dietary needs of animals belonging to this order vary. Some members of this group have an absolute requirement for meat in their diet (called obligate or true carnivores), while others can meet their nutrient requirements through eating plant material (herbivores) or a combination of meat and plants (omnivores). Cats are an example of an obligate carnivore, cows are an example of an herbivore, and dogs and humans are two examples of omnivores.

Because of the dietary needs of dogs, both their tooth structure and intestinal tract have become adapted to an omnivorous diet. This means that, under normal circumstances, dogs can meet their nutritional needs by eating a combination of plant and animal foods. The source of the proteins and fats is less important than the quality and digestibility of these essential components of the dog's diet. Dogs can thrive if they are fed a properly balanced vegetarian diet. However, an all-meat diet would be unbalanced and would not meet all of a dog's nutritional requirements.

"Under normal circumstances, dogs can meet their nutritional needs by eating a combination of plant and animal foods."

As research into basic and applied nutrition has expanded the knowledge of canine nutrition, it is now known that a well-balanced diet must also include an appropriate amount of minerals, vitamins, certain essential amino acids (from proteins), and specific essential fatty acids (from fats). These components are needed to build and maintain tissue and carry out biological reactions, and the necessary amounts vary somewhat with the dog's stage of life (puppy, adolescent, adult, pregnancy, senior).

(Video) Veterinary Nutritionist Explains Raw Dog Food Diet and Much More

I was told that dogs cannot digest carbohydrates. Is this true?

To meet their energy needs, dogs have evolved to use proteins and fats as their primary energy sources, but they can also use carbohydrates for energy. The fact that the dog's digestive system produces enzymes that are specific for digesting starches and sugars shows that they are capable of digesting carbohydrates. However, complex carbohydrates such as grains are more digestible when they are cooked.

I have heard that dogs should only eat raw foods and that dogs cannot properly digest cooked foods. Is this true?

Domesticated dogs have adapted over millennia to consume diets provided by their human companions, including foods that have been cooked. As mentioned above, dogs can actually digest complex carbohydrates more easily once they have been cooked. Feeding raw diets can carry a number of risks to the dog as well as people in the home, especially those who are young or immunocompromised.

What are the nutritional requirements for dogs?

The six basic nutrients are water, proteins, fats, carbohydrates, minerals, and vitamins. These essential nutrients are required as part of the dog’s regular diet and are involved in all of the basic functions of the body. The minimum dietary requirement has been established for many nutrients. The maximum tolerable amounts of some nutrients are known, and results of toxicity have been established. What is less understood is what may happen over time with marginal deficiencies or excesses.

Nutritional guidelines have been developed by the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO). AAFCO guidelines are the general basis for the nutritional content of commercial pet foods. Make sure that your dog’s food meets the AAFCO standards. Keep in mind that these are guidelines and your dog may need more or less depending on his health status. Speak to your veterinarian for more information on specific nutrients that your particular dog may need.

What should I look for in a dog food?

The best advice you can receive about feeding your dog is this: feed your dog the highest-quality food you can afford. The differences between a premium food and budget food are not found on the nutrition label; they are found in the quality and source of ingredients. Two dog foods may each contain 27% protein but be vastly different when it comes to digestibility.

Pet food ingredients are listed by order of weight. Each ingredient is weighed when it is added to the batch of food, and ingredients such as fresh meat contain a lot of water, much of which is lost during processing. This means that a dry diet that lists corn as the first ingredient may be nutritionally superior to one listing meat first.

"Feed your dog the highest-quality food you can afford."
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To further complicate matters, some nutrients are listed as a "minimum" percentage, while others are listed as a "maximum" percentage, meaning that the batch of food may contain a higher or lower percentage of the ingredient than shown on the label.

The best method to choose a food for your dog is to ask your veterinarian. However, here are some general tips to help you decide what should go into your dog's food bowl:

  • Select diets with real, recognizable, whole-food ingredients. If the majority of listed ingredients is unfamiliar to you, find another diet.
  • Select a low-calorie diet. Most adult, indoor, spayed or neutered dogs have low energy requirements. Your dog's diet should contain a relatively small number of calories per cup; ideally less than 350 calories. If your dog food contains 500 calories per cup and you have a 20-pound dog, the amount you should feed is tiny (and unsatisfying!). Making matters worse, high-calorie foods mean even a few extra kibbles can really pack on the pounds.

How much should I feed?

The ideal method for determining how many calories to feed your dog is to determine what your dog's lean weight should be and feed according to that weight. Unfortunately, this requires constant monitoring (and weighing) and is not always practical.

"Your veterinarian can estimate how many calories your dog needs each day based on his lifestyle and body condition score."

Your veterinarian can estimate how many calories your dog needs each day based on his lifestyle and body condition score. The standard formula used for calculating the energy requirements of the average adult dog that lives inside your home, receives light daily exercise, and is spayed or neutered is:

30 x weight in kg (or pounds divided by 2.2) + 70 = daily caloric needs

Be aware that few of our dogs are "average," so this formula is merely a starting point. Most dogs will require fewer calories on a daily basis, while a few will require slightly more. This daily caloric total includes not only your dog's meals, but also any snacks and treats. If your dog needs to lose weight, your veterinarian will recommend caloric restriction (which is usually 70% to 90% of the calculated amount for weight maintenance).

(Video) Vet Guide | General Info and Tips About Feeding a Raw Food Diet to Cats and Dogs

How often should I feed my dog?

The biological evolution of dogs as hunters has given them specialized digestive and gastrointestinal adaptations that allow them to ingest a large meal followed by up to days of not eating. However, for most pet dogs, feeding once or twice per day is recommended. Many dogs will benefit from eating equally divided meals two to three times per day. See the handout “Feeding Times and Frequency for Your Dog” for more information on feeding schedules and mealtimes.

Regardless of the feeding schedule you choose, avoid allowing your dog to exercise vigorously after consuming a large meal, especially if your dog eats its food rapidly. This will help minimize problems with bloat, intestinal obstruction, or other serious digestive disorders.

Be sure your dog has access to fresh, clean water at all times.

Is dry or canned food better?

In terms of nutrition and digestibility, there are simply no differences between dry and canned (wet) dog food. You should make your decision based on your lifestyle, preferences, and budget. For dogs that need to consume more water or have certain special dietary needs, canned foods may be a better choice. Otherwise, most dogs will do fine on dry kibble.

Some dry kibble rations have been specially formulated as dental diets and can help to mechanically remove plaque. For further information, see the handout "Dental Disease in Dogs".

Are there any breed differences in nutritional requirements?

In the past several decades, nutritionists and veterinary researchers have identified that there are definite breed variations in metabolism and nutrient requirements. Breeds of dogs that were developed in specific locations, such as Arctic Circle breeds and some of the water breeds, may have adapted to specialized diets that are common in their place of origin. Inbreeding and genetic differences between individuals in each species may result in further need for individualization of the pet's diet in order to optimize health.

In addition to considering your dog's breed, you should also consider your dog's lifestyle. Working pets (hunting dogs, field trial dogs, herding dogs) require different ratios of proteins and fats in their diets than lap dogs or sedentary house dogs.

(Video) Vet Minute: Nutritional Recommendations for Breeding Dogs

What is meant by life-stage nutrition?

Dogs have varying nutritional needs during different stages of their lives, and feeding a diet that is formulated for all life stages is not necessarily appropriate. An all-purpose dog food may not provide enough nutrients to meet the needs of a growing puppy or a pregnant or nursing mother. Conversely, this same all-purpose diet may provide excessive nutrients to a senior or inactive dog. Feeding your dog according to its stage of life (puppy, adolescent, pregnancy, adult, senior) is now recommended by respected nutritionists to maintain your dog's overall health and well-being and improve both the quality and the quantity of your dog's life. This information can be found on the label of your dog's food as the AAFCO Statement.

Life-stage feeding for puppies.Early in life, puppies must eat often and lots! They need relatively larger quantities of food because they are growing rapidly and have limited space in their tiny stomachs.At 6 to 8 weeks of age, they need to be fed about four to six meals a day.By 6 months, the need for food is decreased because puppies are about 75% of their adult size and can be fed two to three meals a day.

A good-quality puppy food has advantages over adult dog food because it has been specially formulated for a puppy's demanding nutritional requirements and contains the appropriate amount ofcalcium. Because of their rapid growth, any nutritional mistakes made during puppyhood will have more severe, even irreversible and lifelong, consequences. Because growth is almost complete by 8 to 10 months of age, the average puppy can be switched to adult dog food at about 12 months of age.

If you have a large- or giant-breed puppy, one that is going to weigh more than 50 pounds (23 kg) as an adult, or is at-risk for hip dysplasia, elbow dysplasia, or other growth abnormalities (for example, Labrador and Golden Retrievers, German Shepherds), you should feed a puppy food speciallyformulated for large-breed puppies. These diets are formulated to contain the optimal ratio of proteins and calcium to moderate rapid bone growth that can lead to joint disorders. Your veterinarian may also recommend a transitional adolescent diet for your pet's 'teenage' years.

After weaning, the majority of puppies lose the ability to digest milk sugar (lactose). Therefore, while small amounts may be tolerated, feeding milk can cause intestinal upset and diarrhea because dogs cannot digest it properly.

Life-stage feeding for the older dog.Older dogs, especially those over 7 years of age, will benefit from a diet formulated for their needs. Senior dog diets often have lower calories, higher protein, lower sodium, and fewer carbohydrates. Many also contain ingredients such as prebiotics or probiotics to maintain healthy intestinal microbial populations, increased omega-3 fatty acids and other antioxidants to combat inflammation, and glucosamine to promote joint health. Be sure to ask your veterinarian about the best food for your senior dog. Some senior diets will include medium chain triglycerides to help slow down changes to the brain that can lead to senility issues.

What is my take-home message?

Choosing a high-quality food from the hundreds of available brands and formulas can be challenging. The pet nutrition industry is very competitive, and most commercially available foods are very good balanced diets. Ask your veterinaryhealth care team to help you select a diet that is backed by scientific principles and research and that meets your dog's individual needs.If you have any questions about a particular food, your best source for help is your veterinary health care team.

(Video) WSAVA Webinar: Pet Food Propaganda and How to Avoid It

Contributors: Ryan Llera, BSc, DVM; Cheryl Yuill, DVM, MSc, CVH


What are the general feeding recommendations for dogs? ›

Usually, adult dogs should be fed once or twice a day. Most large-breed dogs should be fed at least twice a day so they don't overeat and get bloated. Experts agree that treats and table scraps should never be more than 10% of your dog's daily calories.

What do veterinarians recommend to feed your dog? ›

The Top 4 Brands Of Dog Food Recommended By Veterinarians
  • Royal Canin.
  • Hills Science Diet.
  • Purina ProPlan.
  • Eukanuba.
Jul 12, 2022

What is NRC standards for dog food? ›

NRC recommends a level of 0.025 g/1,000 kcal ME of a combination of DHA and EPA for both kittens and adult cats. NRC recommends levels of DHA and EPA in the diet of 0.13 g/1,000 kcal ME for puppies and 0.11 g/1,000 kcal ME for adult dogs. Most commercial adult dog foods typically contain 5%–15% fat (dry-matter basis).

What is the 80/20 Rule dog food? ›

80/20 Dog Food contains 80% animal ingredients with 20% fruits, vegetables and botanicals with 0% grain.

Are dog food feeding guidelines per day? ›

So, if you're feeding your dog more than once a day, you'll need to divide the amount recommended in the chart between those meals.”
What are Dog Feeding Charts?
Adult Dog Size (lbs)Dry Food Feeding Amount (Cups)
21 to 351-1/3 to 2
26 to 502 to 2-2/3
51 to 752-2/3 to 3-1/3
76 to 1003-1/3 to 4-1/4
3 more rows

How do you calculate dog food requirements? ›

(Resting Energy Requirements or RER), which can be calculated by multiplying the animal's body weight in kilograms raised to the ¾ power by 70, for example, a 10kg (22lb) adult neutered dog of healthy weight needs RER = 70(10kg)3/4 ≈ 400 Calories/day. One also can use the charts below to estimate resting calorie needs.

What is a well balanced meal for dogs? ›

Dogs are like us, though, in that they need a healthy balance of protein, carbohydrates and veggies. A balance between these elements is essential, but it can vary between dogs. A good recommendation is 40% protein, 50% vegetables and 10% starch.

What nutrients do dogs need the most? ›

The six essential nutrients your dog needs include water, fat, protein, carbs, vitamins and minerals.
  1. Water. Water makes up 70 to 80 percent of a mature dog's body mass. ...
  2. Fat. Fats protect internal organs, regulate body temperature, and promote a healthy nervous system. ...
  3. Protein. ...
  4. Carbs. ...
  5. Vitamins. ...
  6. Minerals.
Jun 25, 2019

What does the 95% rule state pet food? ›

The 95 Percent Rule: At least 95 percent of the product must be the named ingredient, for example, “Chicken for Dogs,” or “Salmon Dog Food,” must include at least 95 percent of chicken or salmon, respectively. In addition, this main product must be at least 70 percent of the total product when counting the added water.

What does the 3% rule state for pet food? ›

*WITH RULE RegPF3(c) (as in Friskies with Beef): at least 3% of the named ingredient must be present, minus the water needed for processing. The difference is great depending on wording. Beef Dog Food will contain a minimum of 95% (70%) beef. Dog Food with Beef need only contain about 3% beef.

Is pet food regulated by the USDA? ›

Pet food, treats, and supplements are regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) rather than by United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).

What's the 90 10 rule for dogs? ›

When it comes to where dog's get their daily calories, we recommend following the 90/10 rule: 90% of calories from a complete and balanced diet, 10% from treats! Treats can be considered the splurge, but more often, the actual act of giving a treat means more to the dog than the actual treat itself.

What are the four D's in dog food? ›

The term “4D meats” refers to meat that was sourced from cattle who were dead, dying, diseased, or down. 4D animals are not slaughtered; they are animals found dead, dying, diseased, or down in the field, feedlot, or poultry lot.

What should the first 5 ingredient be in dog food? ›

The first five ingredients of your dog's food should always start with protein. Dogs are omnivores, so they receive energy and nutrients from both plant and animal nutrients. But protein is essential to their muscle and tissue development, immune system health, energy, and healthy skin and nails.

How much food should I feed my dog chart? ›

Dog Feeding Chart: How Much & How Often to Feed
Adult Dog Size (lbs.)Dry Food Feeding Amount (Cups)
13 to 201 to 1-1/3
21 to 351-1/3 to 2
26 to 502 to 2-2/3
51 to 752-2/3 to 3-1/3
3 more rows

How much food should a 70 lb dog eat? ›

Large Breeds

If your dog weighs 60 pounds, you should feed them three cups per day. This increases with your dog's weight. If your dog is 70 pounds, 3 ½ cups is appropriate. If your dog's weight is 80 pounds, 3 ¾ cups is necessary.

How much food should a 50 lb dog eat? ›

Small Breeds (10-20 pounds): 3/4 cup to 1 1/2 cups per day. Medium Breeds (30-50 pounds) 1 3/4 to 2 2/3 cups per day. Large Breeds: (60-100 pounds) 3 to 4 1/2 cups per day, plus 1/3 cup for every 10 pounds over 100 pounds.

How much and how often should you feed malnourished dog? ›

The amount of food, or total calories, should not exceed over 24 hours what the dog would normally eat at its normal weight. An emaciated dog is best served consuming a small meal every six hours (4 times a day) rather than consuming one or two larger meals.

How many calories should a 50 pound dog eat per day? ›

Daily Calorie Requirements for Dogs
Body weight in poundsPupppy up to 4 mos.Puppy over 4 mos.
32 more rows

What ingredients should be in homemade dog food? ›

Your dog needs protein (chicken, beef, lamb, duck, etc.), fat from meat or oil, carbohydrates like grains and vegetables, and essential fatty acids, often from plant based oil, oatmeal, and/or eggs. Eggshells provide a good amount of calcium, along with other dairy products.

Can I feed my dog chicken and rice everyday? ›

Rice and chicken are a great combination for dogs, and they can be a part of a healthy diet if you feed them in moderation. If your dog is overweight, you should try to limit her carb intake, but if she's healthy she can eat a moderate amount of carbs and still be healthy.

What foods should dogs absolutely not have? ›

Here's a list of tens things your dog should never eat:
  • Chocolate. ...
  • Avocados. ...
  • Onions and Garlic. ...
  • Grapes and Raisins. ...
  • Milk and other Dairy Products. ...
  • Macadamia Nuts. ...
  • Sugary foods and drinks. ...
  • Caffeine.

Is it better to feed dogs homemade food? ›

Homemade food is a great option for many pets, but we recommend that owners avoid general recipes from books and the Internet and instead consult with a board-certified veterinary nutritionist,” Larsen said.

Is Sweet Potato good for dogs? ›

Why Sweet Potatoes Are Good for Dogs. Sweet potatoes provide an excellent source of dietary fiber, which helps the digestive system function more effectively. Eating fiber on a regular basis lowers the risk of heart disease and certain types of cancers.

What are the 6 basic nutrients in animal feed? ›

The six major classes of nutrients are water, protein, carbohydrates, fats, minerals and vitamins.

How much protein does a 60 lb dog need? ›

Dogs need one gram of protein per pound of ideal body weight every day, while cats need two grams of protein per pound of ideal body weight per day. For example, a 50-pound dog needs 50 grams of protein a day, and a 10-pound cat needs 20 grams of protein a day.

What is the easiest protein for dogs to digest? ›

Eggs have the highest biological value and are thus the benchmark for this measurement; they are given a value of 100 points. Fish meal comes next, with a value of around 92. Among the various types of meat, lamb and chicken provide the most digestible forms of protein for your dog, with beef coming in after that.

Why do vets say no grain free dog food? ›

Your vet may recommend against grain-free dog food because it lacks ingredients that contain critical nutrients for dogs. Heart health is big for dogs, and grains help support heart health. If your dog eats grain-free dog food, they're not getting those nutrients which can lead to poor heart health.

Are dog food feeding guidelines accurate? ›

The numbers may not exactly match because labels can only provide a limited amount of information and can't provide individualized recommendations for every pet. However, feeding directions should at least be close to the calculated amounts.

What percentage of meat should be in dog food? ›

How much meat? Owners should look for at least 50% meat content in their dog's food. That means they'll be getting enough animal protein and fat to help them build and maintain strong bones and muscles in a controlled way.

Do vets know about pet nutrition? ›

Nutrition for companion animals is taught in most veterinary schools to some capacity, although not all schools employ board-certified faculty in veterinary nutrition.

Does FDA regulate animal feed? ›

Who Regulates Animal Feed? FDA regulates animal feed to ensure that it's safe for the billions of animals in the U.S., including chickens, turkeys, cows, pigs, sheep, fish, dogs, cats, and horses.

Do dogs need access to food all the time? ›

No healthy dog will starve himself when you are offering food at regular intervals. While a healthy dog won't starve himself, some take longer than others to understand the new game plan and decide to eat when you offer a meal.

What dog foods are approved by AAFCO? ›

What pet foods are AAFCO-approved? In short, AAFCO does not approve, certify or otherwise endorse pet foods. There is no AAFCO-approved pet food. Most state feed laws and regulations reference to the AAFCO Official Publication as part of the nutritional adequacy labeling for pet foods.

Does AAFCO regulate pet food? ›

AAFCO does not regulate, test, approve or certify pet foods in any way. AAFCO establishes the nutritional standards for complete and balanced pet foods, and it is the pet food company's responsibility to formulate their products according to the appropriate AAFCO standard.

What is required on a pet food label? ›

The FDA has some basic requirements for pet food labels: proper identification of the product, net quantity (weight) statement, name and place of business of the manufacturer or distributor, and an ingredient list ordered from most to least, based on weight.

What is the 3 second rule for dogs? ›

Many dog trainers recommend the 3-second rule that allows for a more controlled meeting experience, allowing an initial interaction time of only 3 seconds or perhaps even less if negative body language is displayed. At the first meeting, allow an initial 3-second period for exploring and sniffing.

What is the 5 second rule for dogs? ›

The centre instructs: "Place the back of your hand on the pavement. If you cannot hold it for five seconds, it's too hot to walk your dog." A dog's paws are just as sensitive as human feet and are therefore susceptible getting painfully burned and can suffer these burns even on days you wouldn't consider overly hot.

What is the 3 3 dog rule? ›

Whether you rescue an older dog or a puppy, a lot of dogs tend to follow the 3-3-3 rule when getting acclimated: 3 days of feeling overwhelmed and nervous. 3 weeks of settling in. 3 months of building trust and bonding with you.

What three ingredients should not be in dog food? ›

Four Ingredients to Avoid in Dog Food
  • Corn Syrup and Artificial Food Coloring. The sweetness from corn syrup and the artificial coloring from food dye are completely unnecessary and unnatural in dog food. ...
  • BHA, BHT or Ethoxyquin. Just say “no” to these artificial preservatives. ...
  • Rendered Fat. ...
  • Propylene Glycol.
Aug 3, 2022

What ingredients should you watch out for in dog food? ›

Ingredients to Avoid in Dog Food: Nasty Preservatives
  • BHA (butylated hydroxyanisole)
  • BHT (butylated hydroxytoluene)
  • Ethoxyquin.
  • Nitrates/Nitrites.
  • Propyl Gallate.
  • Carrageenan.
  • MSG.
  • Sodium Hexametaphosphate.
Mar 31, 2022

Should I cook oatmeal before adding to dog food? ›

If you plan to share your oatmeal, make sure it's cooked and not sprinkled raw over food; serving it raw will only make it harder for your pup to digest.

What is the number one ingredient in dog food? ›

One thing is certain – the first ingredient listed in any high-quality dog food will be protein. And not just any protein, but one that comes from meat is likely best.

What is the best oil to use in homemade dog food? ›

Sunflower Oil – Low in saturated fat and high in Vitamin E and Omega-6. Sunflower oil is pretty common in dog food, and present in Scratch. Flaxseed Oil – Has both Omega-3 & 6. Coconut Oil – Easy to metabolize, with lots of healthy saturated fats.

How much should I feed my dog chart? ›

Assuming your dog has a typical activity level, toy breeds should have about ¼ cups to 1 cup, small breeds should have about 1 cup to 1 2/5 cup, medium breeds should have about 2 cups to 2 2/3 cups, and large breeds should have about 2 4/5 cups to 3 cups. -Senior dogs should be fed a little less than adult dogs.

How much should I feed my dog by age? ›

Dog Feeding Chart: How Much & How Often to Feed
Adult Dog Size (lbs.)Dry Food Feeding Amount (Cups)
3 to 121/3 to 1
13 to 201 to 1-1/3
21 to 351-1/3 to 2
26 to 502 to 2-2/3
3 more rows

How much my dog should I feed my dog? ›

As a general rule, dogs should eat approximately 2-5% of their body weight in raw daily food. This will vary depending on the dog's energy and activity levels. If your pet is overweight and needs to lose a few extra kilos, feed them closer to 2% of their body weight and give them more exercise.

How much food do you need to feed a dog? ›

adult or mature dog would need 3 ¼ – 3 ¾ cups per day. This can be split up equally into 2 meals a day at different feeding times, or you can feed the amount all at once. Adjust your dog's feeding schedule to best fit you and your dog's lifestyle.

How much nutrients do dogs need per day? ›

Scientific research has shown that an adult dog's daily diet can contain up to 50% carbohydrates by weight, including 2.5–4.5% from fiber. A minimum of approximately 5.5% of the diet should come from fats and 10% from protein. Petfood labels do not generally list amounts of essential nutrients in grams.

How do I know if I'm feeding my dog enough? ›

Look at your dog if their waist is extremely exaggerated instead of a gradual slope your dog might be underfed. If you can see or feel the ribs and they don't seem to have any fat on them your dog is probably underfed. If your dog is losing patches of hair there may be an issue with the nutrition.

Do you feed dogs more as they get older? ›

Older Dogs Need Fewer Calories

One of the most important changes to a senior dog's diet isn't related to the type of food, but the quantity. A dog's metabolism slows with age. This means the body burns fewer calories and needs less food to function.

How many times a day should you feed an older dog? ›

Seniors. As your dog gets older (generally 8+), their dietary requirements will change a bit. Just as for adults, we recommend the two-meal-a-day schedule - ideally one meal in the morning and one in the evening.

How much should I feed my 60 lb dog? ›

3 cups per day if they weigh 60 pounds. 3 1/2 cups per day if they weigh 70 pounds. 3 3/4 cups per day if they weigh 80 pounds. 4 1/4 cups per day if they weigh 90 pounds.

Is it OK to feed a dog dry food only? ›

It is entirely acceptable to feed your dog a pure kibble diet. Or you can mix their diet up with some cooked or raw meat, fish, vegetables and rice. Many owners like to feed a raw meat diet to their dogs, and while this can suit some dogs very well, there are some important considerations you need to be aware of.

What is the healthiest type of dog food? ›

25 Best Healthy Dog Foods in 2023
  • Pupper Chicken Topper. ...
  • Open Farm Homestead Turkey & Chicken Dry Dog Food. ...
  • Life's Abundance All Life Stage Grain Free Recipe. ...
  • Nature's Logic Sardine Meal Feast. ...
  • Solid Gold Holistique Blendz with Oatmeal, Pearled Barley & Ocean Fish Meal. ...
  • Merrick Backcountry Great Plains Red Recipe.
Dec 31, 2022


1. Everything You Need to Know About Dog Nutrition
(The Drake Center for Veterinary Care)
2. Introduction to Dog Nutrition | Body Condition and Calculating Energy Requirements
(Everyday Vet)
3. DON'T Feed Your Dog This (Dangerous Dog Foods)
(Long Live Your Senior Dog)
4. Diets For Pets With Kidney Disease
(Dr. Judy Morgan’s Naturally Healthy Pets)
5. Pet Food Basics: Choosing the Right Diet for Your Dog or Cat with Dr. Lisa Weeth
(The Schwarzman Animal Medical Center)
6. Raw Pet Food - The Facts with Dr. Martha Cline, Veterinary Nutritionist
(Michael 'DrT' Tokiwa - The Collaborative Vet)
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