Article Last Updated December, 2023
Key Takeaways –
- Feeding your dog wet food isn’t one-size-fits-all. It should be customised based on age, size, breed, activity level, and health status.
- Understanding the nutritional content of wet food is crucial. Always check the feeding guidelines on the packaging to ensure a balanced diet.
- Regularly monitoring your dog’s weight and overall health is essential to adjust feeding portions and detect potential health issues early.
- Always provide your dog with access to fresh water. Hydration is as important as nutrition in keeping your dog healthy and happy.
Hello, fellow dog lovers! If you’re like me, you consider your pooch a part of the family. And just like any family member, we want to ensure they’re getting the best – especially when it comes to their grub.
Feeding our four-legged friends isn’t as simple as dolloping a scoop of wet food into their dish and calling it a day. Just like us, their nutritional needs can vary based on factors like age, size, and how often they’re bouncing off the walls, or rather, your new sofa.
But fear not; this doesn’t mean you need a PhD in Doggie Dietetics.
You’ve already taken the first step by being here, ready to learn about the ins and outs of feeding your dog wet food. We’ll go through it all – from how much and how often to what changes you might need to make for a hyperactive pup or a serene senior.
And remember, while we’re aiming to give you a good understanding, every dog is an individual. So, it’s always a good idea to chat with your vet if you are unsure about your dog’s dietary needs.
So, fetch your reading glasses, find a comfy spot (perhaps with your furry friend by your side), and let’s get started. A healthier, happier chow time for your pet awaits.
Wet Dog Food Feeding Table:
|Dog Weight||Example Breeds||Puppy (g/day)||Adult (g/day)||Senior (g/day)|
|Under 10 lbs||Chihuahua, Pomeranian||370 – 550||185 – 370||185|
|10-25 lbs||French Bulldog, Beagle||550 – 925||370 – 740||370 – 550|
|25-50 lbs||Border Collie, Bulldog||925 – 1480||740 – 1295||550 – 1110|
|50-75 lbs||Labrador, Boxer||1480 – 2035||1295 – 1850||1110 – 1665|
|75 lbs and above||German Shepherd, Rottweiler||2035 and above||1850 and above||1665 and above|
What Is This Information Based on –
- For puppies, the recommended amount is about 2.5-3% of their body weight per day, as they require more nutrients for growth.
- For adult dogs, the recommended amount is about 2-2.5% of their body weight per day.
- For senior dogs, the recommended amount is about 1.5-2% of their body weight per day, as their metabolism slows down with age.
Factors Affecting the Amount of Food a Dog Needs
Several factors come into play, each with its own INFLUENCE on your dog’s dietary needs.
Let’s delve into these factors – age, size, breed, activity level, and health status – to help you serve up the perfect portion.
Puppy, Adult, or Golden Oldie: How Age Influences Your Dog’s Meal Size
Your dog’s age isn’t just a number for its meal size. Picture a playful puppy, full of energy and in the prime of its growth phase .
This little fella would need a calorie-dense diet to fuel their development, which could be anywhere between 370 to 2035 grams of wet food per day, depending on their breed and size.
On the other hand, adult dogs require a balanced diet to maintain their body weight and overall health, with portions ranging from 185 to 1850 grams of wet food per day, based on their size and breed.
And let’s not forget about our senior pals. These golden oldies usually need fewer calories due to a slower metabolism. However, they might require more specific nutrients to keep them in peak condition during their golden years, with their meals ranging from 185 to 1665 grams of wet food per day.
Pro Tip: You should split portions into 2 meals a day, apart from puppies which should be split into 3-4 meals a day.
From Teacup to Giant: The Role of Size in Your Dog’s Diet
It’s pretty clear that our towering Saint Bernard pals are going to chow down a bit more than their Chihuahua counterparts. But when it comes to feeding our furry friends, size isn’t just about the quantity of food. Oh no, it’s also about what’s in that food.
Take our Saint Bernard friend, for example. According to our handy feeding guide, an adult Saint Bernard weighing over 75 lbs would typically need around 1850 g of wet food a day. But it’s not just about filling that large breed belly; we must also consider what their bodies need.
Large breeds like Saint Bernards often need food high in joint-supporting nutrients to keep those big bones healthy and strong.
On the other end of the scale, we have our tiny but mighty Chihuahuas. Now, an adult Chihuahua weighing under 5 kg would typically need around 370g of wet food a day.
But don’t let their small stature fool you…..
These little guys have fast metabolisms, which means they can burn through calories quicker than you can say ‘walkies!’ That’s why small breeds often need more calorie-dense food to keep up with their energy needs.
Breed-Specific Needs: Why Your Dog’s Breed Matters When Feeding
Some breeds are prone to OBESITY and may need a lower-calorie diet, while others, like working dogs or high-energy breeds, may need more protein to fuel their activity levels .
I would always check if there are any BREED-SPECIFIC dietary recommendations for your dog’s food.
Consider the Border Collie, for example, a high-energy breed renowned for its agility and intelligence. These dogs may require more protein to fuel their activity, meaning they might need around 740-1295 grams of wet food daily.
However, due to their active nature, their diet should be rich in nutrients to support their energy levels.
Couch Potato or Athlete: How Activity Levels Impact Your Dog’s Diet
Just like us, a dog that gets MORE exercise needs more calories. Working dogs, active breeds, or lucky dogs who run around the park for hours daily may need more food to keep up with their energy expenditure.
On the other hand, dogs that prefer a more sedentary lifestyle will obviously require FEWER CALORIES to avoid weight gain.
When Health Comes into Play: Dietary Adjustments for Health Conditions
Certain HEALTH CONDITIONS can dramatically impact your dog’s dietary needs.
For instance, dogs with diabetes or those prone to weight gain may require a low-glycemic diet, while dogs with allergies may need a hypoallergenic diet.
Each factor determines how much-wet food to feed a dog. By understanding your dog’s individual needs, you can ensure they’re getting just the right amount for optimal health.
The Nutritional Content of Wet Food
When it comes to the culinary delights of wet dog food, not all cans or pouches are created equal.
Much like our own supermarket shelves, the NUTRITIONAL content in these moist meals can vary wildly.
Some are packed to the brim with HIGH-QUALITY protein, while others might sneak in a bit more fat or filler than your furry friend truly needs. And then, there’s the gourmet stuff that could probably pass as human food in a blind taste test (not that we’re suggesting you try).
That’s why it’s so important to play detective with the feeding guidelines on the product packaging BEFORE feeding wet food to your dog.
These guidelines are there to ensure that whether you’re dealing with a perky Pomeranian or a gargantuan Great Dane, your pet gets a WELL-BALANCED diet, perfectly portioned for their needs.
So if you’re feeling a bit overwhelmed by the array of choices on the pet food aisle, don’t worry! Check out our comprehensive guide on the best wet dog food to help you make an informed decision that will delight your dog and nourish them right.
Monitoring Your Dog’s Weight and Health
Monitoring your dog’s weight isn’t about canine vanity; it’s about keeping them in tip-top shape so they can keep chasing their tails, fetching their favourite toys, and stealing your slippers for years to come .
And it’s not just about the scales – you also want to watch for CHANGES in their coat, energy levels, and even their poop (yes, you read that right).
So, what signs might hint that your beloved pup is being fed a bit too much or perhaps too little?
If your dog’s ribcage starts to feel like a bag of marbles under a heavy duvet, or if they’re gaining more weight than a bear prepping for hibernation, you might be serving up a few too many dinner portions.
On the flip side, if their ribs are more visible than a xylophone or show less interest in playtime, they might be missing out on some much-needed nutrients.
Want to get a better understanding of what your dog should weigh?
To help you keep a keen eye on your canine companion’s health, we’ve put together an article on how much dogs should weigh.
Head over to our guide for more details on maintaining the perfect weight for your furry friend, ensuring their tail keeps wagging for years to come.
We’ve journeyed through the ins and outs of feeding your dog, understanding that it isn’t one-size-fits-all. It’s about tailoring meals to your dog’s age, size, breed, activity, and health.
We’ve underscored the significance of the nutritional content of wet food and the need to monitor your dog’s weight and health. Remember, each dog is unique, and balance is key. Always consult your vet, and here’s to feeding our furry friends the best way possible.
Happy feeding, pups!
- Puppy nutrition | Dog health | The Kennel Club. Thekennelclub.org.uk. Published 2023. Accessed May 15, 2023. https://www.thekennelclub.org.uk/health-and-dog-care/health/health-and-care/a-z-of-health-and-care-issues/puppy-nutrition/
- Aydin A. Breed-Specific Food for Dogs | zooplus Magazine. zooplus Magazinee. Published October 29, 2019. Accessed May 15, 2023. https://www.zooplus.co.uk/magazine/dog/dog-nutrition/breed-specific-food-for-dogs#
- 4 ways to understand and monitor your pet’s normal weight | WALTHAM. Waltham.com. Published 2022. Accessed May 15, 2023. https://www.waltham.com/4-ways-understand-and-monitor-your-pets-normal-weight
Jeff Carbridge is a dog behaviourist and trainer with 15 years of experience. He is strongly interested in nutrition and diet for both canines and humans. Jeff has been featured in several publications, providing expert commentary on dog-related topics. His knowledge and expertise make him a valuable resource for anyone seeking to improve the health and well-being of their dogs.