Pet owners are often confronted with the same question “am I feeding my dog too little or too much?” This is a common question about our furry friends, and it does need to be asked. You want to make sure that your are giving your dog the correct amount of food, because over-feeding can cause massive weight gain and health problems, and under-feeding is cruel, and can lead to nutrition deficiencies that your dog does not deserve. There are certain rules to feeding your dog, mostly depending on age. There is a common rule among most experts: feed your dog twice a day. Think about it as giving your dog breakfast and dinner, and your dog will get the nutrients they need.

One rule you need to follow about feeding your dog is to never leave food out for a dog all day long. Many people use kibble dispensers that always refill the bowl once the dog is done with their current bowl. Having a constant flow of food will take any dog off of a specific feeding schedule, which will not help if you then try to feed your dog at designated times. It can also lead to obesity in dogs, which is a deadly disease that no dog or owner wants to go through. Some dogs do not have the self-control to stop eating when they are full, and see a full food bowl as something that they must finish. If there is an ever-flowing amount of kibble being given to a dog, they will not stop eating.

Eventually, you want to feed your dog twice a day. Depending on breed and size, the amount of scoops you give your dog will vary. For small dogs, 1-1 1/4 scoops (depending on what food you are giving your dog, a “scoop” will be a specified amount on the packaging of the food) is a good amount to give at every feeding. For medium breeds, 1 1/2 scoops- 2 scoops is a pretty neutral amount. For large breeds, 2- 2 1/2 scoops is a pretty normal average to give them.

Before you get to the two meals a day regular routine, you need to train your puppy on how much to eat in a day. When your puppy is 6-8 weeks old, you should feed it 3-4 times a day. Puppies need lots of nutrients to balance out all the energy that they have. Once your puppy is 8 weeks old, you can start feeding him twice a day, but make sure to adjust what type of food your puppy is getting the correct food for his age and size.

If your dog is getting a lot of treats throughout the day, make sure to lower the amount of food they are given at meal times. You do not want to over-feed your dog. If you are giving them healthy snacks throughout the day, they should be just fine with the regular amount of food you are giving them. Try putting their healthy treats (such as fruits and vegetables) on their food for an added bonus to their kibble or wet food.