Guide for Dog Feeding Amount by Age Chart

What are the calorie requirements for dogs?

When it comes to understanding a dog’s food feeding guide, knowing the required calorie count becomes the most important factor. This is because all the dogs, depending on their age, breed, size, activity level, and several other factors, require different amounts of calories.

  • Age: When you come across a dog food chart by age, you will notice that puppies require much more calories than adult dogs. This is because they are much more active and have significantly higher metabolism rates than older dogs.
  • Size: The dogs that are smaller in size (coming from a breed with smaller sized dogs, like Chihuahuas) require much more calories than larger dogs. This is because the metabolism rate of smaller dogs is higher and they are more physically active.
  • Weight: Maintaining body weight is essential for a dog’s growth and development. Being underweight can lead to malnutrition and obesity may invite many unwanted health concerns. Feeding an appropriate portion is directly linked to how much your dog weighs. Hence, you must always consider your pooch’s weight at the time of feeding.

Daily calorie requirement for active dogs:

Dog’s WeightCalories Required
4.5 kg400 calories
13 kg to 27 kg900 – 1300 calories
27 kg to 32 kg1700 calories

Other factors to consider for a dog’s calorie requirement:

  • Pregnancy and lactation: A pregnant or lactating dog need more calories.
  • Climatic conditions: Dogs living in colder areas require more calories.
  • Healing dogs: Injured or sick dogs need more calories to aid in their healing.

Understanding the quantity of dog food type

Feeding an appropriate amount of food ensures that your canine companion receives balanced and complete nutrition for better growth and development. So, let us understand how much wet and dry dog food your dog needs basis its body weight.

Quantity of mixed wet and dry 

Here is a brief feeding guide for dogs, stating a ratio of dry and wet dog food you can give them.

Dog’s Weight in KgFeeding Size in Cup
1 - 5.5 kg85 grams of wet food, mixed with about ¾ cup of dry food
5.6 - 9 kg85 grams of wet food, mixed with about ¾ - 1 cup of dry food
9 - 11 kg85 grams of wet food, mixed with about 1- 1¾ cups of dry food
11 - 23 kg170 grams of wet food, mixed with about 1½ - 2 cups of dry food
23 - 34 kg170 grams of wet food, mixed with about 2 - 3 cups of dry food
34 kg+170 grams of wet food, mixed with about 2½ - 3 cups of dry food.

Amount of wet dog food

Dogs should be given 85 grams of wet food per every 1 - 1.5 kg of their body weight. You can adjust this amount as per your dog’s physical needs and conditions.

Amount of dry dog food

Complete dry dog food is only ideal for adult dogs. Puppies, on the other hand, should be fed dry food in parts, mixed with liquid like water. This dog food guide is an easy-to-understand weight-appropriate dry food feeding guide for adult dogs.

Dog’s Weight in KgFeeding Size in Cups
1 - 5.5 kg⅓ - 1 cup of dry food
5.6 - 9 kg1 - 1⅓ cup of dry food
9 - 11 kg1⅓ - 2 cups of dry food
11 - 23 kg2 - 2⅔ cups of dry food
23 - 34 kg2⅔ - 3⅓ cups of dry food
34 kg+3⅓ - 4¼ cups of dry food (+ ¼ cups for each 4.5 kg of body weight, if your dog weighs more than 45 kg)

Importance of following dog food feeding guidelines

Understanding and following a dog’s food guide is important because just like humans, they too have a set of nutritional requirements. A deficiency or an overdose of any nutrient can end up causing health problems to them. This eventually affects the quality and the length of their life.

How often to feed a dog

Here is a brief food guide for dogs as per their age, which indicates how often they should be fed in a day:

To puppies, food should be given three times a day. As mentioned earlier, puppies have higher caloric requirements than adult dogs, since their metabolism rates are higher and they are more active. Hence, they can be given three or more feedings in a day to fulfil their nutritional needs. Once the puppies turn 12 weeks or 3 months old, their feeding schedule can be switched to that of an adult dog.

As soon as dogs turn three months old, their feedings can be reduced to twice a day, since their metabolism rate slows down and their activity decreases. The two meals can be given with about 12 hours of time difference between them. This feeding schedule can continue for the rest of their life. Vets also advise pet owners to feed their adult dogs twice a day.

You can adjust the feeding schedule of your dogs in case they are healing from an injury or an illness. In those cases, their food requirements may increase. Your vet will be able to guide you better in that situation.

Overview about age chart of dogs based on weights

This age chart of dogs explains at what age dogs of different sizes of breeds mature. This information can help you in figuring out what kind of food to give to your dogs, and at what stage in their lives.

  • Toy dogs, which usually weigh less than 5 kg, are puppies till 9 months of age. Till this age, they should be fed puppy food. After 9 months, they enter the adult age, and that’s when you should switch to adult food. At 10 years of age, toy breeds are considered seniors and begin becoming less active. From 10 years of age, they should be fed a senior diet.
  • Small dogs, who weigh between 5 to 10 kg, are considered puppies till 12 months of age. They become adults after 12 months, and that’s when you can begin giving them adult food. They too are considered senior after they become 10 years old. They become less active at this age and should begin to be given senior food.
  • Medium-sized dogs, who weigh between 10 to 25 kg, are also considered puppies till 12 months of age. They become seniors earlier, at an age of 8 years, at which point, they should be switched to a senior diet.
  • Large dogs, who weigh between 25 to 45 kg, are considered puppies till they are 18 months old, and should be kept on puppy food till then. They too become seniors at the age of 8 years.
  • Giant dogs, who weigh more than 45 kg, are considered puppies till 24 months. Their adult age lasts till they are 5 years old, after which they become seniors.

Guide to switch a dog’s diet from puppy food to adult food

Apart from knowing what type of food to feed your dog and what schedule to set for it, it is also important to know when to make a switch from proteins than the food they are given as adults. So, when exactly does the switch happen?

You might have noticed in the dog food chart set as per their age that different sizes of dog breeds have different ages of maturity. So, you can refer to that chart for your dog’s feeding guide, as per their size and age.

Also, the adult dog food. Following this process, at the end of seven days, your dog should successfully be on a full adult diet.

Frequently Asked Questions on Dog Feeding Guidelines:

The amount of food that your dog should ideally eat in a day depends on factors like their age, size, activity level, and their physical conditions. To get a better idea of a dog’s feeding guide, you can refer to a dog food chart, which will tell you the amount of dry food, wet food, or a mixture of both that should be given to a dog, as per their age and size. For instance, dogs weighing between 9 to 11 kg should be given 3 ounces of wet food, mixed with about 1 - 1¾ cups of dry food.

A dog’s feeding guide will usually contain dogs’ weight chart in the first column. The first row may either contain dogs’ age chart or types of food (wet, dry, and mixture).  You can locate your dog’s weight in the first column and age/type of food in the first row, and their intersection on the chart will give you the amount of food your dog needs to be fed in a day.

The best way to confirm if your dog is getting enough food is to keep an eye on their daily activity level. If their activity level seems to drop or if they show signs of losing weight quickly, you may need to adjust their feeding.

A dog needs a change in food as per its age. When dogs are in their puppy stage, they need puppy food. Similarly, they need adult food in their adult stage and senior food in their senior stage. Apart from that, if you see the below-mentioned signs in your dog, it might be time to change their food:

  • Their coat becomes dull or flaky
  • They become lethargic/weak
  • They become obese
  • They suffer from a lot of itching/allergies

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