How Much Dry Food Should I Feed My Dog?

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A measuring cup in dry dog food.
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As with any commercial dog food, the amount of dry food your dog should receive depends on his individual needs. Start by purchasing the right type of high-quality dry food for your dog's age and size. The amount of dry food your dog requires depends on his activity level and overall health and weight. It also depends on whether your dog receives canned as well as dry food. Your veterinarian can give you advice.


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Portion Control Versus Free Choice

Many dog owners divide their pet's meals into two or three feedings daily, with the same amount of food served at each meal. Others allow dogs to consume dry food freely. While the free choice method works for some dogs -- those who don't tend to overeat -- in other dogs it's an invitation to obesity. Another alternative is placing food down for a certain period, perhaps half an hour, then removing the dish with any unconsumed food. You can repeat this process two or three times a day.

Athlete Versus Couch Potato

An athletic or working canine, who spends much of his day in training or on the job, requires more dry dog food than the "couch potato." For the latter, getting off the sofa and padding over to the food bowl might provide his major exercise. An athletic dog might require 20 to 40 percent more dry food daily than the average canine of the same size, while the couch potato type can thrive on 10 percent less than average.