How Much Dog Food Should I Feed My Dog?

February 26, 2010  
Filed under Dog Food Tips

Taking charge of your dog’s diet is a full-time job, especially since dogs seem to be constantly hungry! However, there are some common mistakes that many dog owners make in relation to feeding their dog. The most damaging of these mistakes is to feed your dog an incorrect portion size. There are many health and behavioral conditions in dogs that can be a result of over or underfeeding. To prevent this, it is essential that you are familiar with the factors that can influence how much food you should be feeding your dog.


Depending on how old your dog is, you will need to adjust their feeding portion accordingly. Though some dog food formulas have a general guideline that gives you an idea of how much food your dog will need, most only cite your dog’s weight as an influential factor. As a general rule, you will have to feed your dog less as a puppy, more as an adult, and less when they are over seven years of age. This is because as your dog ages, their metabolic rate will fluctuate slightly. It’s also best that you switch formulas in each of your dog’s life stages, since this will affect your dog’s development and caloric intake.


The majority of commercial dog food formulasPuppy Eating Dog Food include a weight chart that will allow you to figure out how much your dog should be eating each day. However, there is a general rule that you can use as far as portion size. If your dog weighs up to 10 lbs, you will want to feed them around one cup of food per day. If your dog weighs from 10 to 25 lbs, you need to feed your dog from 1 ½ to 2 ¼ cups per day. If your dog weighs from 25 to 50 lbs, they will require from 2 ¼ to 3 ¾ cups of food per day. Dogs that weigh from 50 to 75 lbs will need from 3 ¾ cups to 5 cups per day. If your dog weighs over 75 lbs, you will want to feed them from 5 to 8 cups of dog food per day. These are the general guidelines for dry food formulas, and should be adjusted when feeding your dog canned food formulas.


Contrary to popular belief, the guidelines stated for your dog’s daily feeding portion should be adjusted according to your dog’s activity level. Some dogs that are highly active should be fed slightly more food per day. However, it is important not to overfeed your dog, since this will cause them to have a higher likelihood of becoming obese. If your dog has a low level of activity, and spends a significant amount of time indoors, you will want to feed them slightly less than their recommended daily portion. As stated before, you need to only use very slight adjustments when finding the proper portion of food for your dog. This will prevent your dog from gaining weight, or from becoming prone to malnutrition.

As always, we appreciate your comments!

Question:  Do you adjust the amount of food your dog consumes based on their activity level?

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53 Responses to “How Much Dog Food Should I Feed My Dog?”
  1. angelasfeathers says:

    Dog Diet homemade for dog using example for 20 lb dog

    Daily guidelines


    1.4 lb of meat ( preferably raw and or thawed ) ; select one

    Skinless chicken

    Lean ground beef

    Lean ground turkey



    a few times a week add some chicken liver, heart, gizzard etc.

    ( optional for a healthy treat give a whole raw chicken wing , backs or necks with bones included or put in grinder )


    1 cup cooked : select one

    Whole brown rice

    Sweet Potatoes


    ½ cup cooked : select 2 and rotate for variety


    Green beans





    Prepare with: recommended to add:

    2 T sardines or liver ( supplies B-12,omega 3’s) 3 x per week per 20 lbs

    1/4 t salt substitute ( potassium chloride)

    1 t vegetable oil ( virgin olive oil )

    fish oil (omega 3’s)

    Note: Bones that are raw are not a problem ,it is cooked bones that are what cause splintering and are dangerous.

  2. Catherine says:

    “If your dog weighs over 75 lbs, you will want to feed them from 5 to 8 cups of dog food per day.” That is plain crazy unless the dog is running and hunting all day!
    Our Lab is 80pds and we feed him 2 cups of dry food a day. He is healthy and trim. I think your numbers are totally wrong…Just a thought…

  3. claude carpentieri says:

    I agree, it’s very important to feed your dog adequately to their level of physical activity. Of course, along with folliowing the recommended dose. And don’t forget to fend off the temptation to give them that extra food…A man can be dog’s best friend as long as we take good care of them 🙂

  4. my dog is really cute

  5. Cheryl G says:

    My 90lb Lab/G.Retriever gets 3cups in the am and 3 cups in the pm. I think he is to skinny and considering increasing it to 4 and 4. He is highly active and I just don’t think he is getting enough.

  6. I have two small dogs and both love their food of course! There is definitely more to it than size when considering how much to feed them.

  7. mewlittle says:

    my 2 dachshund 14 lbs one get 1,1/2 cup dry and 1 can wet and the 16lb one get 1,2/3 cup dry and 1 can wet so i think your numbers are of and my dogs are at a healthy weight if they eat any less they loose allot of weight

  8. shirley King says:

    My Basset Hound is 55-60 pounds and he is average on the activity scale. We feed him 11/2 to 2 cups daily, broken up into two meals one in the am and one in the pm. He is healthy and Happy:)And he gets the occasional homemade treat too.

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Should you have a concern regarding the diet of your dog, you should contact your veterinarian. All information on this site is the opinion of the author, and is presented solely for informational purposes and should not, at any time, be considered a substitute for seeking or receiving professional veterinary care for your dog(s).
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