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Feeding Adult Dogs – DogTime

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There are lots of right ways to feed dogs. You can give your dog dry or canned food, cook for them, buy a frozen raw diet, or all of the above. With so many options for feeding, it can feel overwhelming. We’re going to offer up some guidance on feeding adult dogs to simplify the process.

Choosing the right dog food

No single food is right for every dog. Be willing to try different foods until you hit on the one that’s right for your dog. You’ll know by their bright eyes, shiny coat, and healthy energy level.

Commercial dry food is convenient

It’s easy to buy and backed by manufacturer research. It also has a long shelf life. What it won’t do is help keep teeth clean, contrary to what many people think. So, don’t think feeding Fido dry food means you can skip brushing.

Tip: Garnish dry food with a small spoonful of canned food, a little meat, or cottage cheese to add pizzazz.

Canned food has flavor going for it

Dogs love the taste. It’s mostly water, though, so you’re paying a lot for the amount of meat you actually get out of the can. Probably the best way to use canned food is as a flavor enhancer for dry food.

A home-cooked diet has no surprises

But it can be tricky to get the correct nutritional balance. You can’t just throw together some meat and rice and assume it will meet your dog’s needs.

Tip: Find recipes that have been vetted by a veterinary nutritionist.

Raw-food diets are healthy

But they’re also expensive. It also takes a lot more time to prepare (or it used to). Plenty of companies are now selling raw food, online or in pet stores, so you don’t have to do the work. But it’s still going to cost you.

Vegetarian is fine, if you do it right

Dogs can live long, healthy lives on vegetarian diets if you give them plenty of protein and all the essential vitamins and nutrients. About half of your dog’s diet should come from grains and the other half should be a mix of protein and vegetables. Excellent sources of protein include lentils, cottage cheese, cooked eggs, and baked beans. A little bit of low-fat cheese is okay too. Healthy grain options include potatoes, brown rice, wholegrain cereal, and bread. (Do not feed your dog onions, garlic, grapes, and raisins, all of which can be toxic to your pet.) You can now buy canned versions of vegetarian meals now in most major pet store chains.

How much to feed your dog

Base the amount you feed your dog on how they look, not by how hungry they act. Dogs are con artists. If they can make you think they’re hungry or need more food, they will.

Some general guidelines for feeding adult dogs:

  • A highly active dog will need more food, or a higher-protein food, than a couch potato dog.
  • Small dogs have higher energy requirements than large dogs and need a dense, nutrient-rich food.
  • Even dogs who are the same breed or size may eat different amounts.
  • Feeding requirements can vary by as much as 30 percent in dogs who are the same age, breed, or sex, so it’s easy to feed one dog too much while feeding another too little, even if both get the same amount of food.

The following guidelines for feeding adult dogs are based on weight. These measurements assume the food is high-quality. You’ll need larger amounts of low-quality food.

Less than 10 pounds: 1/4 to 1/2 cup
10 to 20 pounds: 1/2 to 1 cup
20 to 30 pounds: 3/4 to 1.5 cups
30 to 40 pounds: 1.5 to 2 cups
40 to 60 pounds: 1.5 to 2.5 cups
60 to 70 pounds: 2.5 to 3 cups
80 to 90 pounds: 3 to 4 cups
100 to 150 pounds: 4 to 5 cups
More than 150 pounds: 4.5 to 6 cups

When to feed your dog

Feed your dog twice a day, and try to make it about the same time every day because dogs like routine. If your pup still has food in their bowl after 20 minutes, take it away so they learn to eat it all at once.

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