Simple as it may sound, measuring dog food portions accurately is an art. According to a 2019 study, improperly measuring your dog’s food can result in consequences health-wise, including nutritional deficiencies and obesity. Obesity affects around 25–30% of dogs, with a high percentage affecting dogs between 5 and 11 years old.
For these reasons, it’s worth investing a bit of time in learning how to measure dog food portions properly. In this post, we’ll share tips on measuring dry dog food and factors to consider when doing so.
How Much Should I Feed My Dog: Factors to Consider
As dogs come in all shapes and sizes, their portion sizes vary greatly. When deciding how much you should be feeding your dog, you’ll need to consider:
To give you a better idea of how much to feed your dog, we’ve put together this table based on the standard recommended daily feeding amounts with information from PetMD. PetMD recommends using a standard 8 oz measuring cup. These measurements are standard estimates and may differ, for example, if your pet is a puppy or adult, reproductived intact or spayed/neutered, or if your vet has put your dog on a special diet due to a health condition or weight issues.
|Breed Size||Dog’s Weight||Amount to Feed Per Day|
|Toy||3 lbs||⅓ cup (139 calories)|
|Toy||6 lbs||½ cup (233 calories)|
|Small||10 lbs||¾ cup (342 calories)|
|Small||15 lbs||1 cup (464 calories)|
|Small||20 lbs||1 ⅓ cup (576 calories)|
|Medium||30 lbs||1 ¾ cup (781 calories)|
|Medium||40 lbs||2 ¼ cups (969 calories)|
|Medium||50 lbs||2 ⅔ cups (1145 calories)|
|Large||60 lbs||3 cups (1313 calories)|
|Large||70 lbs||3 ½ cups (1474 calories)|
|Large||80 lbs||3 ¾ cups (1629 calories)|
|Large||90 lbs||4 ¼ cups (1779 calories)|
|Large||100 lbs||4 ½ cups (1926 calories)|
How to Measure Dog Food Portions
It can be very difficult to accurately measure dog food portions because cup sizes, cup types, and scoop sizes vary so much. Our top tip is to check out the advice on your dog’s food bag, where—if it’s a quality pet food brand, at least—you should find recommendations on the cup size and type to use and a feeding guide so you know how many cups and calories to feed on a daily basis.
You can also make use of online dog food calorie calculators—these can be helpful for getting an estimate, though there’s no guarantee they’ll be 100% accurate.
When measuring the portion in the cup, try your best to keep the food level with the cup’s rim or the appropriate measuring line and avoid going over it. Then, grab some weighing scales to make sure the amount matches what’s recommended on the feeding guide.
Because it can be tricky measuring out portions accurately in a cup, weighing is the best way to ascertain that you’re consistently feeding the same amount every time and adhering to the recommended amount for your dog’s size and weight.
It may be a good idea to measure and weigh your dog’s food in one go first thing in the morning to save you from having to repeat the process throughout the day. Put the measured-out food into a bag or Tupperware and split it according to the number of meals your dog eats per day.
To sum up, weighing your dog’s food cup after you’ve measured out a portion is the best way to know for sure that you’re feeding the correct amount. Always refer to the feeding guide on the food pack to find out the recommended daily amount to feed. If you have any doubts about how much you should be feeding your dog, talk to your vet or a pet nutritionist who will be able to best advise you.
Featured Image Credit: O_Lypa, Shutterstock