How Much Do Dogs Need to Eat? (July 2019)

Overfeeding a dog is just as bad as underfeeding a dog, so it’s crucial to know whether your dog is getting too much or too little.

Guidelines on Bags of Dog Food

Do you follow the feeding directions given to you on a bag of dog food? If you do, I need you to stop doing that.

Manufacturers use a broad feeding schedule suggestion that doesn’t exactly meet serving sizes based on weight, age, etc.

I never recommend following the instructions on bags of dog food because, more often than not, owners overfeed their dogs.

Those companies want the bag to empty faster so you have to buy a new one – never follow their feeding guidelines. They’re crap.

How Much Food Does a Dog Need Per Day?

I’m going to try and make this as simple as possible to follow without overly complicating things.

The information I’m about to provide is a general guideline that will vary based on your dog’s level of activity, health problems, etc.

How to Measure Out Dog Food

The best way to measure dog food out is to use a standard measuring cup. More specifically, have 1/3, 1/2 and 1 cup measuring cups at the ready.

How Much Food Should I Give My Dog?

Feeding varies based on age, so to ensure you aren’t overfeeding your dog, follow my wee guidelines below.


Once your puppy has been introduced to eating solid food when they are around 4 weeks and full weaned from their mom by 8 weeks, giving them what they need will start.

Puppies are absolutely off the wall, so they should be fed around 3 meals per day.

1/2 cup of food 3 times a day should do your puppy nicely.


By the time your dog is an adult, he will be fully matured and at a properly proportioned body weight and size. It’s your job to maintain a healthy level of weight.

Depending on your dog’s size and breed, 1 to 2 cups per day is the standard, but this can vary based on breed, size, activity level, health problems, etc.

Interestingly enough, dog’s have appetites that vary just like humans do. You should only raise the alarm if their appetite changes completely or changes for a long period of time.


Senior pups often have very special needs when it comes to their diet and how much they should be eating a day.

The standard of adult feeding based on size and breed still applies, the 1 to 2 cups per day, but it highly depends on their level of activity more than ever before.

The Risks of Overfeeding a Dog

There are a ton of health problems that are the result of overweight to obese dogs everywhere.

  • Cushing’s disease
  • Congestive heart failure
  • Oral disease
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Diabetes
  • Multiple types of cancers
  • Arthritis
  • Pancreatitis

Remember, overfeeding a dog is just as bad as underfeeding one.

Work Closely With Your Vet

If you have an overweight dog who needs to lose weight, or you’re unsure as to how much you should feed your dog a day and want an exact number, make sure you work closely with your dog’s vet.

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