Dry food allowance for puppies: calculation table, multiplicity and feeding rules
When a puppy appears in the house, there are many questions concerning the care of him, the main of which is feeding. Dog owners in this matter are divided into two camps: some are strongly against dry food, others, on the contrary, believe that it has all the necessary nutrients for the pet. Proponents of wet food should learn about the characteristics of that food and how to calculate pet’s daily allowance.
How do I calculate the daily allowance?
This question initially plagues many good owners, because you don’t want to overfeed your pet or keep him hungry all the time. But before you start calculating the daily allowance for the pet, you should familiarize yourself with the peculiarities of dry food.
The benefits of dry food are obvious.
- Convenience for the owner. There is no need to prepare daily for the pet and calculate the ration of each meal.
- Complete nutrition. Most dry foods contain all the nutrients dogs need, which frees the owner from extra costs and trips to the vet.
- Variety. If a pet needs special nutrition, it can be found among a variety of foods.
- Financial and time savings. Using dry food is an opportunity to save money on groceries, because a portion of food will obviously be different in quantity and price compared to the food prepared by the owner.
Many dog owners who use dry food worry that their members mark exceed dog food pet’s diet is monotonous. Because of this, they sometimes “dilute” their pet’s menu with homemade food, believing that they are doing the dog well in this way, but this is often not the case. Such feeding has its own consequences.
- If you mix the food with meat, there will be an overproduction of protein. This affects the kidneys, which can lead to kidney failure and allergies.
- If you mix the food with fish, you can not avoid a large amount of phosphorus in the body. In this case, the genital system of the animal will suffer, especially the urinary system: stones are formed, affecting adversely the liver and intestines. Also the hemoglobin in the blood decreases, which leads to a weakening of the immune system and subsequently to small hemorrhages. The bones begin to weaken, making the dog prone to numerous fractures.
- If you mix the food with porridge, you get an excess of carbohydrates. This leads to excess weight, which already causes other problems such as: obesity, heart problems, excessive appetite.
- Mixed type of feeding badly affects the stomach, so gastritis is inevitable.
If you want to diversify your puppy’s menu, you’d better switch to separate feeding. You can safely give both meat and fish, vegetables, fruits, just it must be in reasonable quantities and not mixed with dry food.
When using one type of diet or another, you should calculate your daily allowance. It is not difficult to do this with natural foods, because each of them has its own energy value. With the calculation of the daily rate of dry food is even easier, because it is divided into classes, for each of which this indicator is also known.
There are four classes of dry food
- Economy. The energy value is 260-300 kcal. This feed includes the cheapest foodstuffs, and more precisely, leftover meat. This class of food will help save your budget, but the dog’s body will “pick up”, because it has almost no vitamins, minerals and carbohydrates.
- Premium. Energy value 310-350 kcal. Many purebred dogs are allergic, so it is recommended to take at least premium food. The composition in small quantities includes the necessary vitamins, significantly increased the amount of protein.
- Super-premium. The energy value is 350-450 Kcal. It is considered a complete balanced diet. This class includes proteins, carbohydrates, fiber, oils and fats, as well as vitamin and mineral complex. Thanks to this combination, the pet will not only get all the necessary substances, but also feel great.
- Holistic. The energy value is 350-450 kcal. It is made exclusively of natural products. Such food is comparable in its ingredients with human food.
In order to determine the daily norm of food for a puppy, you need to know its weight and calculate the daily activity, so that the calories are restored in a balanced way. The table below shows the daily serving size for a moderately active pet. If the pet is less active, the amount should be reduced slightly; if more active, increase it. (You can go up or down by +/- 15 grams.)
Daily food allowance according to your pet’s weight:
|Weight of dog (kg)||Number of grams per day (grams)|
If you can’t tell the grade of dry food your pet is eating, you should look at the packaging. It usually says the energy content and the content of useful nutrients in 100 grams. It is essential to read the package, because the gram amount may sometimes differ from the table provided. It is important to know how many calories you want your puppy to eat per day, and you can base your decisions on this number and weight.
Calories for a puppy per day:
|Age||Calories per 1 kg|
|up to 4 weeks||218|
|1 month to 3 months||263|
|3 to 4 months||200|
|4 to 8 months||134|
|8 to 12 months||100|
After determining your pet’s daily nutrient allowance, it’s time to figure out how many times a day you should feed him.
How many times a day to give?
Calculate the number of feedings per day should be based on the breed and age of the dog. And it is better to give food to the pet at a certain time and a certain number of times, then the pet will get used to the diet and there will be no problems with digestion. The time intervals between feedings should be left approximately equal and keep in mind its own regime, so that the owner or the one who will feed the dog has the opportunity to do it regularly. It is also worth noting that puppies need to be fed more times per day than adult dogs.
Number of puppy feedings:
|Age of puppy (months)||Number of feedings per day|
|Up to 2 months||6 times|
|2-3 months||5 times|
|4-6 months||4 times|
|6-12 months||3 times|
|A year and older||2 times|
It should not be forgotten that the regime for the pet is a very important component, so it is not recommended to change the number of feedings all the time. It is desirable to calculate at once the correct dosage of food per day. Once you’ve read the information on the package, calculated the number of kcal per day for the dog, and decided how many times you need to feed him, you can begin by calculating his daily portion size. This figure per day will depend on the age, weight and activity of the pet.
The table below shows a possible daily food allowance for moderately active puppies. Depending on the food, the grams may vary from the table.
Daily food allowance for puppies (in grams):
|Puppy weight (kg)||2||3||4||5||6||7||8||10||12||14||15||16||18||20|
|Puppy age (months)|
|from 2 months||49||64||79||93||103||113||124||146||163||182||192||200||215||231|
|from 3 months||55||72||88||105||110||132||145||171||192||214||226||236||257||277|
|from 4 months||56||75||92||110||125||131||153||183||205||230||242||254||276||298|
|from 5 months||56||75||93||110||126||142||156||185||208||234||246||259||282||306|
|at 6 months||48||69||84||100||125||141||155||184||207||233||247||258||282||306|
|at 7 months||41||62||76||90||113||127||140||167||188||217||229||240||263||285|
|at 8 months||40||55||67||80||101||114||126||147||169||202||213||224||245||266|
|at 9 months||40||54||67||79||90||101||112||133||151||185||195||205||224||242|
|At 10 months of age||40||54||66||78||89||100||111||132||149||168||176||186||203||221|
If the pet is too active, for example: a sports dog or a service dog, the calculation of the food allowance is slightly different. An additional 1/3 should be added to the standard portion, and the number of feedings should not be increased or decreased. Otherwise there will be overfeeding the puppy or, conversely, there will be a lack of nutrients, and to avoid this happening, it is advisable to familiarize yourself with the rules of feeding.
How to feed properly?
In order not to overfeed your puppy, you need to follow a few rules.
- Feed at the same time so that the body gets used to the daily routine. It will also help to avoid stomach enlargement and later obesity. This makes it easier to accustom your puppy to the toilet, and you should walk him after each meal after 15 minutes.
- If your puppy ate a certain food before you did, don’t switch straight away – give him time to adjust. For the first week, feed him what he’s used to. Then gradually add ¼ of the new food to the portion (increase the amount of new food in relation to the old food within a week). Only after that can he switch to a different food entirely. It’s best to add the new food in a separate bowl.
- If the puppy has never eaten dry food, you can soak it up a little in the first few days of feeding. Not all puppies are happy to eat dry food, so to keep them calm and digestion free, you can pour warm water over the dry food pellets a few minutes before each meal to allow them time to absorb the water. If in this form the puppy didn’t finish the food, it’s better to put it in the fridge, because in the soaked form it spoils.
- Always have clean water to drink. Because of the abundant consumption of dry food can appear lack of liquid, which will lead to a metabolic disorder, and against this background there are a number of diseases. Make sure that the water bowl is always filled sufficiently.
- If the pet did not finish a portion or did not touch the bowl at all, remove the food. The next feeding will be on a schedule – in no case give food earlier or in larger quantities. But if food refusals recur, you should reconsider the feeding schedule or go to the vet – the pet may just be sick.
- Mixing different varieties of food is undesirable. This may not be good for your pet.
- If your puppy hasn’t fully transitioned to dry food yet, it’s best to watch him while he’s eating. Usually 10 minutes is enough time for him to get full. But if all the food disappears and the bowl is licked, then the amount is not enough and the dosage needs to be increased slightly. If there is food left in the bowl, it is too much and the amount needs to be reduced.
To keep your pet happy and healthy at all times, the rules should not be ignored, and at first you should observe the preferences and reactions during the food intake.
What to do if he’s not eating?
You can tell when a dog isn’t getting enough to eat by looking at his quick bite and his bowl licked clean or by the dog‘s mood shortly before a new meal: he may be lazy, exhausted and waiting to be fed. If this is the case, there are different solutions:
- To begin with, you should once again read the packaging of the food: each variety has its own dosage, based on age and weight category;
- If the information on the package is not helpful, you can look for another food, maybe that’s what’s wrong;
- If it’s not the food, you should review the feeding schedule and daily quota, perhaps the dog has a more active life than originally calculated.
But if you can’t solve the problem (he’s having difficulty finding the right food, or you can’t get a suitable daily allowance), it’s best to talk to a professional, because good nutrition should be practiced right from the start.