How many cups of food should I feed my dog?

Feeding your dog the right amount of food is the best way to keep your dog in good health and this question has always been there that how much food you should feed your dog. This article will cover the concern “How many cups of food should I feed my dog?”, factors associated, measuring dog food, etc. 

How many cups of food should I feed my dog?   

The amount of food you should feed your dog depends on several factors like weight, age, breed, activity levels, etc. The basic feeding guidelines are mostly on the back of a dog food bag and a pet owner should know how to read them. 

Dog weight (lbs) Dry food feeding amount (Cups)
3 to 12 1/3 to 1 
13 to 201 to 1-1/3
21 to 35 1-1/3 to 2 
26 to 50 2 to 2-2/3

However, these feeding guides should not be the only thing that you base the intake of your dog’s food on. There’s no universal feeding guideline and your dog’s weight, age, and activity levels influence how much and how often you should feed your dog. 

What are the factors associated with how much you should feed your dog? 

The factors that determine the quantity of food that should be fed to your dog are as follows: 


Your dog should be in its ideal body condition to maintain its overall health. If it’s not the case, you need to make adjustments in how much and how often you should feed your dog. It can be achieved by considering a weight management formula with the help of your veterinarian. 

Activity levels

The feeding guidelines on the back of a dog food package are for an average adult dog with normal daily activity. But if your dog is involved in strenuous activities like exercise or hiking, it may require more calories to meet its energy requirements.

Health conditions

Some dogs may have a health condition that should be kept in mind before formulating their feeding habit. Consult your veterinarian about any specific recommendations. 


As your dog grows, its nutritional requirements change with every passing week. Consult with your veterinarian about the food your dog needs based on his life stage. 


Puppies usually require food with higher amounts of protein, fats, nutrients, and calories. A puppy’s developing body requires more calories than an adult dog, with more frequent feedings. 


An adult dog has a slow body metabolism, its calorie requirements follow suit. Once your puppy grows into an adult, it usually drops to two meals per day. 

Senior dogs

Older dogs develop different health concerns, and their feeding habit is improvised accordingly. They may benefit from a specific formula diet that delivers the required nutrients. Some senior dogs may transition to one meal a day but consult with your veterinarian about eliminating a meal. 

Food brands 

The average dry dog food has about 350-600 calories. You can feed your dog with a specific calorie count depending on your dog’s requirements and you should try to avoid over- or under-feeding your canine friend. 

How to read a dog feeding chart?

The steps on how to read a dog feeding chart are as follows: 

  • Look at how the chart on the back of the package classifies dogs. Every brand will have its feeding suggestions based on weight, age, or some other factor. 
  • Understand the daily measurement. Most charts will list the recommended amount per day feeding, which means you should divide that amount by the number of meals your dog generally eats in a day. 
  • If you think the feeding schedule on the chart doesn’t match what you usually feed your dog, stick to your gut and be cautious about switching the dog food and consult a vet. 

How do I measure my dog’s food? 

To make sure your dog gets the right amount of dog food, you should consider weighing that food on a precise digital scale. By measuring dog food, you can ensure your dog is getting the right amount and is not eating too much or too little. 

A kitchen scale can work for this purpose. However, there are a variety of pet food scales available online that can be beneficial. By tallying the calories count on the back of the dog food package, you can measure the amount required by your dog on this scale. 

How to create a responsible dog diet? 

Here’s, how to create a responsible diet for your dog: 

Monitor your dog’s eating habits

It’s generally advised to monitor your dog in the early months of ownership to assess which foods will contribute the most to its health. For example, some dogs may be inclined to natural proteins and some may be allergic to them. 

Remember the treats your dog had

All the treats you give your dog boost their daily caloric intake. Treats are essential while teaching your dog tricks, but you should know how much to feed. The best way advised is the “10 Percent” rule. It means treats should compromise no more than 10% of your dog’s daily calorie intake. 

Adjust portions of dog food

Depending on your dog’s weight, age, and activity, portion sizes are determined. As more calories mean more energy, it’s to be burnt. While adding natural food supplements, portion sizes should be kept in mind.

Table food should be a no-go

Your dog may like to have scraps from your table, but it’s never a good idea. Feeding your dog from the table you eat on, only reinforces negative behavior. If you want to feed your dog leftovers, clear the table and put them in your dog’s feeding bowl. 

Avoid extra feeding 

Extra feeding doesn’t depict extra love for your dog. Always keep in mind the calorie count while feeding your dog. Overfeeding them can lead to obesity, which in turn, can cause major health problems. 


Today, we covered the article, “How many cups of food should I feed my dog?”, factors associated, measuring dog food, etc. From the above discussion, it’s clear that the amount of food you should feed your dog depends on its weight, age, health conditions, and activity levels. 


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