How much should a dog eat?

jca1November 29, 2006

I have an adult Cocker Spaniel that weighs about 19 lbs. She is a small dog, kind of a runt I guess. She eats atleast twice a day, and three times if I make it home for lunch. Based on two meals a day how much should they be each?

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We can't really answer this for you. If you are using dog food, kibble or cans, go by the suggested serving*... that is a daily serving so if it says to feed 1 cup per day and you want to feed three times per day, each serving should be 0.333 of a cup. If your dog is a good weight, not over or under then you've found the correct serving amount. My vet suggests two servings a day as opposed to one so I'm sure three is ok.ÂÂ

* the suggested serving on the bag tends to be about 25% more than is really necessary.
 Take into account any treats or biscuits.
ÂÂ Always consult a licensed vet

    Bookmark   November 29, 2006 at 7:23PM
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Every dog is different and will have a different metabolism, just like people. If her weight is normal right now, then you are probably feeding just fine. She probably doesn't need the 3rd meal. Dogs are carniverous feeders meaning their body doesn't need the constant food like herbivores do. That is why it is not a good idea to "free feed" a dog or even a cat.

Weigh her every couple of weeks and if you start seeing a noticable weight gain or loss (when nothing else has changed, ex. exercise) then adjust accordingly but do it slowly.

    Bookmark   November 29, 2006 at 8:02PM
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Our dog-- an "only dog", shepherd/lab mix in the 65-lb. range-- has free-access to her food bowl, which we refill when it's empty. She only seems to eat once a day though, in the evenings after hubby and I have had our dinner. (I guess she's holding out for people food, but we've stopped giving her table scraps-- although she does still get to "pre-wash" the plates, haha)

I'd say her bowl holds about 3-4 cups of dry kibble, which is a little less than what the package recommends for a dog her size for a day, but she doesn't seem inclined to overeat-- unlike us humans in the house. :)

    Bookmark   November 29, 2006 at 9:23PM
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It depends on her activity level. If you take her for long walks or runs every night, she'd obviously need more than if you just let her romp in the back yard. Also, do you give snacks? Rawhides?

If your dog will graze, like cnvh's, I think that is best.

My youngest dog is a hound mix and is a total P-I-G, so all day grazing is not an option for him. We walk about 1-2 miles nightly, so I'd consider him moderately active.

I started out by feeding him the "minimum" recommended on the bag of kibble for his weight--3C of kibble per day. At his next checkup, I asked the vet what she thought his healthy weight was (85-90lbs). Monthly, I took him into the vet for a weight check. With a smaller dog, you can use a bathroom scale.

Anyway, he started to get pudgy, so I reduced his food to 1.25C per meal, then to 1C. The 1C turns out to be the right amount for him, his weight is just right, not too chunky, not too skinny. This is about 1/3 less kibble per day than what the bag recommends, which is in line with what quirkyquercus said.

    Bookmark   November 30, 2006 at 11:13AM
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OK, everything makes sense, thanks for the input. The reason I ask is because she always seems to be hungry. She is healthy, no changes in her at all, she's always been that way. I guess she too is just a pig.

    Bookmark   November 30, 2006 at 10:13PM
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