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Dog Diet – What Do Dogs Eat?

As dog owners, it’s our responsibility to provide our furry friends with the proper nutrition they need to maintain good health and well-being. But with so many options available, it can be overwhelming to know what to feed your dog.

Basic Principles of Dog Diet

Before we dive into what to feed your dog, it’s important to understand the basic principles of a dog diet. Dogs require a balanced diet that provides them with the right amount of macronutrients (proteins, fats, and carbohydrates) and micronutrients (vitamins and minerals). They also require access to clean water at all times.

Proteins are essential for a dog’s growth and maintenance, and they should make up a significant portion of their diet. Fats are also important, providing energy and supporting healthy skin and coats. Carbohydrates are a good source of energy, but they should make up a smaller portion of a dog’s diet. Micronutrients such as vitamins and minerals are important for maintaining good health and preventing disease.

How Much & When to Feed Your Dog

Dog Size/CategoryAgeDaily Food AmountFeeding Frequency
Small Breeds (< 20 lbs)Puppies (2-6 months)1/2 to 1 cup, divided3-4 times a day
Puppies (6-12 months)3/4 to 1 cup, divided2-3 times a day
Adults (1 year and older)1/2 to 1 cup, divided2 times a day
Medium Breeds (20-50 lbs)Puppies (2-6 months)1 to 1 3/4 cups, divided3-4 times a day
Puppies (6-12 months)1 3/4 to 2 1/2 cups, divided2-3 times a day
Adults (1 year and older)1 to 2 1/2 cups, divided2 times a day
Large Breeds (50-100 lbs)Puppies (2-6 months)1 1/2 to 2 1/2 cups, divided3-4 times a day
Puppies (6-12 months)2 1/2 to 4 cups, divided2-3 times a day
Adults (1 year and older)2 1/2 to 4 1/2 cups, divided2 times a day
Giant Breeds (> 100 lbs)Puppies (2-6 months)2 1/2 to 4 cups, divided3-4 times a day
Puppies (6-12 months)4 to 6+ cups, divided2-3 times a day
Adults (1 year and older)4 to 6+ cups, divided2 times a day

Notes:

  • The “Daily Food Amount” is a rough estimate and should be adjusted based on the dog’s individual needs, the caloric content of the food, and the dog’s energy level.
  • Always measure the food with an actual measuring cup. “Cup” refers to a standard 8-ounce measuring cup.
  • Fresh, clean water should be available at all times.
  • For the most accurate and personalized advice regarding your dog’s nutrition and feeding schedule, consult your veterinarian.
  • Some dogs, especially those with specific health issues or older dogs, may have different nutritional needs.

What to Feed Your Dog

Commercial dog food is the most convenient option, and there are many types available, including dry, wet, and semi-moist. Dry dog food is the most common, and it’s a good option for dogs who need to lose weight. Wet dog food is a good option for dogs who need more hydration or who have trouble chewing. Semi-moist dog food is the least common type, and it’s a good option for dogs who are picky eaters.

When choosing a commercial dog food, look for one that is high-quality and meets the nutritional requirements for your dog’s age and activity level. Avoid dog foods that contain fillers or artificial ingredients.

Homemade dog food is a good option if you want to have more control over your dog’s diet. However, it’s important to make sure your dog is getting all the nutrients they need. Homemade dog food should contain a balance of proteins, fats, and carbohydrates, as well as micronutrients. You’ll also need to make sure you’re measuring the ingredients accurately and cooking the food properly.

A raw food diet is a controversial option that involves feeding your dog raw meat, bones, and organs. Supporters of raw food diets claim that they are more natural and healthier for dogs. However, there are also risks associated with feeding a raw food diet, including bacterial contamination and the potential for nutritional imbalances. It’s important to consult with a veterinarian before starting your dog on a raw food diet and to take appropriate precautions to reduce the risk of foodborne illness.

Foods to Avoid

There are some human foods that are toxic to dogs and should be avoided at all costs. These include chocolate, onions, garlic, grapes, raisins, avocados, and macadamia nuts. Ingesting these foods can cause serious health problems or even death.

There are also some foods that can cause digestive problems or obesity in dogs. These include table scraps, fatty foods, and sugary treats. It’s important to limit these foods in your dog’s diet and to choose healthier options instead.

Providing your dog with a balanced and nutritious diet is essential for its health and well-being. Whether you choose to feed your dog commercial dog food, homemade dog food, or a raw food diet, it’s important to make sure they’re getting all the nutrients they need. Remember to measure your dog’s food accurately, adjust their diet based on their weight and energy level, and avoid giving them toxic or unhealthy foods. If you have any concerns about your dog’s diet, consult with a veterinarian for advice. With the right diet and care, your dog can enjoy a happy and healthy life. Click here for a list of Foods to Avoid

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Diet Information by Breed

Are you trying to find out what a particular breed should eat? See below for detailed diet information on all of the most popular breeds.

Dog Diet – What Do Dogs Eat?