You probably know how many calories are in one of those chocolate cupcakes brought in by your coworker, but do you know your dog's ideal caloric intake each day? Follow these four tips to determine what to feed a puppy or adult dog to keep them healthy.
Calculate Based on Weight
Your dog's weight determines how much food she needs, so weigh her regularly. Use an online dog nutrition calculator or calorie chart for guidance and be sure to confirm your findings with your vet.
Sniff Out Nutrition Labels
Packaged dog foods and treats should list calorie counts. The information may appear as "kCals" per cup or can. This is kilocalories, which is the same as calories. For example, if your dog needs 900 calories a day and the food is 300 kCals per cup, you could feed her 3 cups a day.
Measure Every Meal
Use a clearly labeled dog food scoop or measuring cup so you know how many calories you are serving at each meal. Be sure to level out the food to match the measuring line. No more generously rounded scoops! The quality of the food you feed your puppy matters so take the time to research dog food labels, dog food ingredients and what to feed senior dogs.
Read the labels on her treats and keep track of what you and others are giving your pupper. You'll need to adjust her mealtime portions accordingly if she's had a pup-cake at a party or a regular night time snack. The LINK AKC Smart Collar with activity tracking gives you a quick way to see if an extra walk is needed to offset an extra treat.
It's easy to get started feeding your dog the right amount by weighing her and recording the weight and date. Start using this information to determine what to feed either your new puppy or adult dog. This data can serve as a baseline to track future changes.
Dog Feeding Checklist:
- Weigh your dog regularly and use a chart or calculator to determine daily calorie needs. Review with your vet.
- Familiarize yourself with dog food and dog treat nutrition labels.
- Measure all meals with a clearly labeled scoop.
- Keep track of treats so you can adjust meals accordingly.
- Use a LINK AKC Smart Collar to track your dog's activity to keep pace with his calorie intake.