A good rule of thumb is to go with the dog feeding chart that is often printed with dog food products. Most brands give out a table of dog breeds and sizes with weekly recommended food quantities. This is normally based on their breed, size and activity levels. The food sizes differ greatly with wet and dry types as the nutritional density is so different.

 

1. Active dogs. Active dogs can eat as much as they can have an appetite for if they are well exercised and don’t gain any weight. Working dogs or lucky dogs with big back yards may burn twice as many calories as dogs that have to get used to being housebound more often. Activity levels depend on the owner and the weather or certain events, so just keep a close eye on how much you actually give your dog compared with his exercise regime, and see if he gets heavier or lazier. This means cutting down on food.

2. Puppies. Feeding puppies is a more delicate balancing act because, despite their breed, you don’t know exactly how big they will get. Mixed breeds could end up in different shapes and sizes so it will be a learning curve for both of you. Your puppy will be fine on small amounts served more frequently. He will show his appreciation more often which strengthens the bond. He should never act frantic or starving around being fed. He is likely to tell you how much as he will want to play as soon as his saucer is empty, so let him lead the way with the feeding ritual. If he shows the slightest hesitation then cut back a little.

3. Inactive dogs will always need fewer calories. Unfortunately his brain will keep telling him to eat normal amounts even if not getting enough exercise to warrant it. Therefore these dogs often beg for more food. To combat this, take him for a walk immediately after he has eaten, or give him a small bone to gnaw on to take his mind away from thinking he should be eating already.

4. Dogs with special health needs need closer attention. Your vet will have the correct idea as to the feeding regime. You should make any necessary adjustments they suggest and keep a doggy diary to make sure nothing gets missed out.

 

Usually your best friend will tell you how happy he is, and this relies a lot on food, exercise and owner’s love (that’s you!). If he is getting plenty of exercise with you he will eat well and his coat and demeanor will be your best guide.