How much should I feed my dog?

Ever wondered whether you’re feeding your dog the right amount? Perhaps they’re leaving food in their bowl, or constantly begging you for more.

Ever wondered whether you’re feeding your dog the right amount? Perhaps they’re leaving food in their bowl, or constantly begging you for more.

The fact is our dogs are all individuals and the vague feeding guidelines on the back of food packets are arbitrary. They’re often only based on weight and even then it’s often in increments of 10kg – and we all know that there’s a big difference between a 10kg dog and a 20kg dog!

And how about the other things about your dog that could affect their energy needs, like their age, target weight, breed and even their activity levels? You could be forgiven for ignoring the guidelines altogether, and figuring out how much to feed them based on trial and error alone.

Our dogs deserve more than trial and error. It’s time to get serious about portions. After all, we all know the consequences of over or under-feeding our dogs. Here are our top tips to make sure they’re getting the pawfect amount of food.

Resting energy use

Even the laziest pups are burning calories – those naps on the sofa are hard work! When your dog is resting, they’re using energy to keep their body working, to stay warm, and if they’re a puppy, to grow.

Their resting energy use can be affected by a number of different things, such as their size, breed and age.

At the very minimum, your dog needs enough calories to cover their resting energy needs.

Active energy use

All that walking, running, and playing takes lots of energy, so your dog needs plenty of calories to fuel it. This is called their active energy usage.

Of course, activity levels can vary wildly from dog to dog. To make things even harder, you’ve not only got to account for their formal exercise, like walkies, but you also need to consider all that exercise they’re doing at home too.

How to find out how many calories your dog needs

The easiest way to find out what your dogs’ energy usage is and their corresponding calorie needs. is to use a dog activity monitor like a PitPat.

PitPat measures your dog’s active and resting energy usage and tells you how many calories they’ve burnt each day. Plus, it’s entirely tailored to your dog.

PitPat will tell you exactly how much PitPat food your dog needs every day, and will even adjust the portion as your dog’s average activity increases or decreases.

Alternatively, if you know the calorie density of your dog’s food, you can then use this to figure out what the appropriate portion size is.

Don't forget about the treats!

Treats, chews and titbits from the dinner table all add up, so you need to make sure you account for these when deciding how much food your dog needs.

Try to keep these extras to no more than 10% of their daily intake. If you’re running short of treats, you can always try using some of their normal food as a training tool too.

Figuring out the right portion for your pup can be a minefield, but PitPat has made it easy. Whether you choose to get started with the PitPat dog activity monitor or go all-in with PitPat Food as well, you can rest assured that you’re doing the best by your dog.

Our Expert

PitPat is the UK’s number one dog monitor. PitPat gives you an easy way to keep track of your dog’s activity level, to manage their weight, and because it’s all about your dog, to have lots of fun along the way.

You can also use PitPat to keep an eye on the exercise your dog gets while other people (like a dog walker, kennel or another family member) are caring for them.

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