The right amount of food for your dog
The right amount of food is very important for the well-being of dogs. If the quadruped receives too little food, sooner or later it will be underweighted. If he eats too much, the dog becomes overweight.
Both can have fatal consequences for the health of the animal and must therefore be avoided at all costs. How to determine the right amount of food for your dog and what factors play a role, we explain below.
Overall recommendations on the amount of food for dogs
In general, the manufacturers give a recommendation on the amount of feed, which is based on the type of food and the weight of the dog. Of course, this is also the case here and should help you to get a feel for the right portion sizes.
However, such information is never accurate and should therefore always be considered indicative only. Because the actual energy needs of your dog depends on numerous factors that have to be taken into account during feeding.
A blanket recommendation for the amount of food that applies to all dogs with the same weight is therefore not possible.
Relevant factors for the feed amount of a dog
With the optimal amount of feed, you ensure that your dog receives exactly the amount of energy and nutrients that he needs. What that means exactly, however, can be very different for each individual.
The following factors play a major role in determining the correct amount of food for dogs:
- The weight of the dog
- The age of the dog
- The health of the four-legged friend
- Type and extent of physical activities
- The type of feed
- The amount of dog snacks
Heavy dogs need more food
Dass sich die Futtermenge nicht alleine anhand des Gewichts eines Hundes bestimmen lässt, bedeutet selbstverständlich nicht, dass die Größe des Vierbeiners keine Rolle spielt. Denn natürlich hat ein 50 Kilo schwerer Rottweiler einen höheren Energiebedarf als ein fünf Kilo schwerer Jack Russell Terrier.
Wollen Sie die optimale Futtermenge für Ihren Hund bestimmen, müssen Sie daher auch das Gewicht des Tieres berücksichtigen.
Of course, the fact that the amount of food can not be determined solely on the basis of the weight of a dog does not mean that the size of the dog does not matter. Of course, a 50 kilo Rottweiler has a higher energy requirement than a five kilo Jack Russell Terrier.
If you want to determine the optimal amount of food for your dog, you must therefore take into account the weight of the animal.
The interaction of feed quantity and age
In addition to the weight, however, the age for the energy needs of your dog plays a major role. A young that is growing requires more feed than a full-grown dog in proportion to its body weight.
In older animals, however, the energy requirement decreases. This is partly because the metabolism slows down. In addition, old dogs usually move less than their younger conspecifics. An adjustment in the amount of food can help to avoid overweight in dogs in old age.
Feed amount and state of health of the dog
Another important factor to consider when determining the amount of food for your dog is his health. For example, animals recovering from illness have an increased energy requirement.
Underweight dogs should also receive more food, while the amount of food in overweight quadrupeds must be reduced. The latter also applies to castrated dogs, as the calorie requirement is reduced by changes in the hormone balance.
Feed amount and activities of the dog
Another factor that plays an important role in determining the optimal amount of food in dogs is the physical activity of the quadruped. For example, if you run your dog for three hours at minus degrees, it consumes significantly more calories than walking comfortably in the summer.
Especially sports and service dogs therefore usually have a much higher energy requirement, as pure social dogs in which to limit physical activities on the occasional retrieving a ball.
The type of dog food affects the amount of food
Um die richtige Futtermenge für einen Hund zu bestimmen, reicht es nicht, sich ausschließlich auf das Tier zu konzentrieren. Denn auch die Art des Futters hat einen erheblichen Einfluss darauf, wie groß die Portionen idealerweise ausfallen sollten.
Besonders deutlich wird das bei einem Vergleich des Energiegehalts von Nass- und Trockenfutter. Da Nassfutter einen sehr viel höheren Feuchtigkeitsgehalt hat, enthält es oft nur rund ein Drittel der Kalorien von Trockenfutter.
Aus diesem Grund macht es natürlich einen großen Unterschied, ob Sie Ihrem Hund 100 Gramm Trockenfutter oder 100 Gramm Nassfutter geben.
To determine the right amount of food for a dog, it is not enough to focus exclusively on the animal. For the type of food also has a significant impact on how large the portions should ideally be.
This becomes particularly clear when comparing the energy content of wet and dry food. Since wet food has a much higher moisture content, it often only contains about one third of the calories of dry food.
For that reason, of course, it makes a big difference whether you give your dog 100 grams of dry food or 100 grams of wet food.
Take dog snacks into consideration when feeding
Whether as a motivation during training or simply as a small reward for in between - various treats are likely to be an integral part of their diet in most dogs.
Practical tips for the amount of food your dog
As you can see, there are some things to consider when determining the optimal amount of food for dogs. Flat-rate recommendations, such as 1.5 percent of body weight, usually only apply in exceptional cases.
We therefore recommend that you use our information about the correct amount of food in your dog as a guideline and take into account the mentioned factors such as age, health status and activities during rationing.
Also, keep an eye on your dog's weight and make adjustments to the amount of food if necessary. Only in this way can you determine the actual calorie requirements of your four-legged friend and ensure an optimal energy supply.
Divide the amount of feed in dogs into several portions
Regardless of the exact energy requirements of your four-legged friend, we recommend that you divide the amount of food you need daily into two or three meals, if possible.
On the one hand, this helps to relieve the dog's digestive system and at the same time reduces the likelihood of a life-threatening stomach rotation, which is especially at risk for large breeds of dogs.