How to Measure Dog Food Portions Accurately in 4 Simple Steps
By Ashley Bates
On every bag of dog food, there are measurements of how much dog food you need to feed your four-legged pal. These portions differ due to serving size and individual values. So, how do you measure your dog’s food accurately? Read on to find out!
You can measure with a cup—or get fancy and get a scale—whatever works to appropriately portion your dog’s food, ensuring they get the right amount of nutrients distributed through their bodies daily.
What to Consider When Measuring Dog Food
Here, we can go over exactly how to measure and other nifty tips.
1. Have an 8-Ounce Cup
It’s probably pretty evident that the first thing you’ll need in this scenario is a measuring cup. But you mustn’t consider a cup of something that you have in your cabinet that you drink out of.
This is because most of the time, these cups are of all different shapes and sizes and are unsuitable for proper measurement. Always grab an 8-ounce measuring cup to correctly measure out your dog food portions to get an accurate serving every time.
Be very careful not to over- or underfill the cup. You must get the kibble level with the measuring cup. Take your finger and push the top flat, kicking off any pieces that might bulk up on top without spilling.
2. Consider Your Dog
The amount you feed your dog should be solely based on their weight, activity level, age, and any restrictions put in place by your vet. You will consider all these factors when dishing out your pup’s bowl. It’s essential to stay consistent and frequently check your dog’s weight to make sure they are not fluctuating, gaining, or losing.
3. Read Manufacturer Labels
Every dog’s food is going to be different. Every bag has different calorie contents and ingredients, making it vary based on brand and recipe. There should be a measuring section on every dog food bag or that can let you know how much to feed your pet. If your pet is on a rigorous diet, always follow your veterinarian’s calorie recommendation.
Here’s a basic example of how to know what portions your dog needs.
Dog Feeding Chart (in Cups)
|Dog Size||Weight||6-12 Weeks||3-4 Months||5-7 Months||8-12 Months||Adult|
|Toy||3-5 lbs.||1 ¼-1 ½||3/4 – 1 ½||2/3 – 1 ½||½ – ¾||½ – 1/4|
|Toy||5-10 lbs.||1 ½ – 2 2/3||1 ¼ – 2 ¼||1 – 1 2/3||¾- 1 ¼||¾ – 1 ¼|
|Small||10-20 lbs.||2 2/3- 4 1/3||2 ¼- 3 ½||1 2/3- 2 ¾||1 1/4 – 2 ¼||1 ¼ – 1 ¾|
|Small||20-30 lbs.||4 1/3- 6||3 1/2 – 4 ¾||2 ¾ – 3 ¾||2 ¼ – 2 ¾||1 1/3 – 2 1/3|
|Medium||30-40 lbs.||6 – 7 1/3||4 1/3 – 6||3 ¾ – 4 ¾||2 ¾ – 3 ½||2 1/3 – 3|
|Medium||40-60 lbs.||7 1/3 – 10 ¼||6 – 8 ¼||4 ¾ – 6 1/3||3 ½ – 4 ¾||3 – 4|
|Large||60-80 lbs.||7 1/3 – 10 ¼||8 ¼ – 10||8 – 9 1/3||4 ¾ – 6||4-5|
|Large||80-100 lbs.||7 1/3 – 10 ¼||8 ¼ – 10||8 – 9 1/3||6 – 7 ¼||5-5 ¾|
|Extra Large||100-125 lbs.||7 1/3 – 10 ¼||8 ¼ – 10||8 – 9 1/3||7 ¼ – 8 1/3||5 ¾ – 7|
|Extra Large||125-150 lbs.||7 1/3 – 10 ¼||8 ¼ – 10||8 – 9 1/3||8 1/3 – 9 ½||7-8|
|Extra Large||150+ lbs.||7 1/3 – 10 ¼||8 ¼ – 10||8 – 9 1/3||9 ½ – 10 ¾||8-9|
(Image Source: https://gallant.com/blog/how-much-to-feed-your-dog)
4. Using Scales
If you are extra ambitious, you might prefer to weigh your pet’s food instead. This can also be helpful when you are measuring out wet or fresh food selections. If your dog is on a very strict schedule, or you’re just a very precise person, you first have to invest in a scale. The scale needs to be capable of measuring accurately, so just ensure it works efficiently before use.
Health Issues Associated with Lack of Portion Control
It is essential to measure your dog food to prevent issues like obesity. Well, it might not seem like a huge deal, but obesity can lead to many other health issues. With excess weight, the heart must work harder to pump blood through the body, and other organs are similarly strained.
Also, obesity plays a role in increased risk for diabetes. If your dog is diabetic, not only is this an additional expense with that care, but it’s also quite a task to manage, depending on the severity. To avoid this, make sure that your dog is only getting the nutrients that they need and maintaining a healthy body weight for their activity level, size, and age.
Even though food labels on bags of dog food work to help you portion most dogs’ meals, some might not follow the same guidelines. If your dog has any health issue that requires a monitored and controlled diet, your vet might recommend portions that are different in measurement. If your dog is monitored by their veterinarian, check with them before deciding the exact amount of feed.
So now you know how to portion your dog’s food properly. We highly recommend getting the thumbs up from your veterinarian. They have hands-on experience with your dog and can physically examine them to ensure that any food recommendations are exactly what they need. However, as a standard, this is the general practice for how much food your dog needs and their daily bowl. You’re doing the right thing by measuring, as too much food can lead to a whirlwind of other health issues.
Featured Image Credit: APN Photography, Shutterstock