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- When it comes to feeding a dog, the general rule is that his meals should be equal to 2-5% of the body weight.
- Other factors that affect how much fresh food to feed a dog include body weight, breed, age and energy level.
- As a rule of thumb for homemade dog foods, the meal should contain 40% meat, 30% grains and 30% vegetables.
How much fresh food to feed a dog can be a difficult decision for those who are just starting to have a pet. The enthusiasm and excitement of having a pet can be overwhelming and one can be inclined to feed as much dog food as possible.
However, I must warn you, dogs have their own unique dietary requirements that are different from people and other pets. If such requirements are not met, it can result to poor health, sickness and excessive body weight or obesity. You could even lose your dog.
Some take the easy route and depend their dog’s diet on commercially available dog food. Commercial dog food can be found everywhere, promising all kinds of fantastic result. But is processed better than natural food? Of course not. I do not recommend commercial kibbles at all.
Even if the label says “natural” or “organic”, commercial dog food has undergone processing that is so extensive most of the food’s nutritional value is removed. Your dog will survive on processed dog food but she will have a much better health and longer life span if you give more homemade dog food recipes. Options for the best fresh dog food, however, are available for convenience and ensuring your pup gets balanced meals.
How Much Homemade Food Do You Feed your Dog?
The amount of homemade dog food to give would depend largely on the body weight, breed, age and energy level of your pet. Generally, dogs should be given food two times daily. There is actually no strict rule on how often dogs should eat but twice a day is a good place to start.
Making your own dog food gives you full control over what your pup should eat. You can tailor each homemade diet according to your dog’s particular nutritional requirements and you get to decide on the variety, taste and quality of her every meal. To make things easier for pet parents, dog food delivery service platforms today take care of the portioning and daily supply of custom meals for pets that are regulated by the American feed control officials such as AAFCO and FDA.
Dogs with particular health problems like gastrointestinal issues, food allergies and sensitive stomachs will also benefit a lot from eating homemade food. Filler ingredients can be replaced with whole foods and you can decide what food source your dog will get her carbohydrates.
There are potential dangers to making your dog’s food at home though so always consult your pet nutritionist or veterinarian first. Never assume that what is good for you will also be good for your pet as certain human foods can be dangerous to dogs .
How Much Fresh Food Should I Feed My Dog Per Day?
Normally, commercial dog food has a feeding guide printed on the package. However, this is just a general guide and it should not be the only basis for your dog’s food requirements. Pet owners must always consider the factors such as a dog’s body weight and age.
Just like us, dogs also need variations in their diets. This can be attained better by feeding your dog homemade food rather than commercial dog food. Some even go for raw food diet.
For adult dogs, the general rule is around 2 to 3 percent of the pet’s body weight. That means if she is about 50 pounds, she will need around 16 ounces of fresh food. This is just a general guide though. If your dog’s weight is increasing or decreasing, adjust the amount.
How Much Should I Feed My Puppy?
If it is a puppy, you need to consider that it is growing and need to achieve its full body growth. Thus, it needs all the essential nutrients to be able to grow strong and healthy. Normally this means giving them double the amount of fresh food that you will give to adult dogs.
Feed puppies three to five times a day since they have a lot of energy in them. They burn a lot of calories each day and therefore need more food than an adult dog. Give her more fuel for that extra mileage. This special regimen for your puppy should continue until she is around six months old.
If your puppy is newly adopted and she is not eating well or developed some gastrointestinal problem do not panic. It is actually a common condition as she adjusts to her new environment. Things will get better once she starts feeling at home.
You may be inclined to give her extra treats but try to keep it at a minimum. At this stage in her life, using her puppy food as treat is enough.
How to Make Homemade Dog Food
Making your own homemade dog food can be very beneficial. Your dog gets less preservatives and additives and her diet, she will have more variety and better ingredients and you can adjust your recipe according to the needs of your dog.
In order to ensure that your dog gets the right amount of nutrients from home cooked food, you need to know that she needs protein, which can be derived from seafood, animal meat and dairy products.
She would also need fat from oil (fish oil) and meat as well as carbohydrates from vegetables and grains. Aside from these, there is also a need for calcium and essential fatty acids.
If you are giving her some kibbles with natural ingredients to make it healthier, you can toss in raw or cooked whole egg, cooked salmon, small amount of yogurt or cottage cheese and leafy greens. Mixed veggies are also an excellent choice whether raw or cooked.
As a rule of thumb when making homemade dog food, the mixture should contain 40% meat, 30% grains and 30% vegetables. There are dogs that do not tolerate grains well. So if you choose not to give them to your pet, make it 60% meat, around 10% of it organs, and 40% vegetables.
Again this is just a general rule. For dogs that have special requirements, feel free to adjust the amount.
The fat content in meat is a factor to consider. The fattier it is, the higher its calories. Great lean meat choices are pork and chicken. If you opt for beef or other kinds of meat to be your base, choose parts that have the least fat.
Avoid meats that contain nitrates like hotdogs and bacon in your homemade dog food. But whatever meat you choose, make sure that it is organic and free from hormones.
Take note that muscle meat does not provide all the essential enzymes, vitamins and minerals so include organs in your preparation. These include gizzards, heart, kidney, pancreas and liver. The stomach of ruminants or green tripe is considered as super food since it contains a lot of digestive enzymes and probiotics.
If you acquired a dog that has been raised on kibble, ease your homemade dog food into it. Use raw foods as a topper, gradually increasing the amount as your dog gets used to the new taste.
Homemade dog food recipes can actually be found everywhere. All you have to do is conduct a little research.