How much dry and wet food to give a dog and puppy, dosages, norms and rules

Choosing a dry diet as the main food for dogs is a convenient, practical and affordable option that will simplify the life of the owner and maintain the health of the pet. It would seem that everything is simple, you just need to read on the packaging how much food to give your dog, measure out the required amount of dry granules and pour them into a bowl. In reality, many problems and questions arise. From the article you will learn: how the daily intake depends on the energy value and class of food, what to do if the dog does not eat enough of the recommended portion, how much water is needed and when it is necessary to review the amount of food given to the dog.

Should you feed your dog only prepared food or use a mixed diet?

Before we find out exactly what portion of dry food a dog needs every day, let’s find out whether it is possible to feed the dog exclusively with dry granules or canned food. Many owners worry that such a diet is too monotonous and can lead to negative consequences. To avoid this, they switch the pet to a mixed diet - mixing meat directly into a bowl of dry granules or replacing one of the meals with natural products.

Let's highlight the main risks that a dog's mixed diet carries:

  • the combination of dry food and meat products can lead to excess protein. Its excess puts additional stress on the kidneys and liver. The result is kidney failure, liver dystrophy, allergic reactions;
  • the combination of dry pellets and fish leads to an excess of phosphorus. The result may be urolithiasis. In addition, there is a critical decrease in the level of leukocytes. Minor hemorrhages appear. Bones lose calcium and accumulate phosphates. In adults this leads to osteoporosis, in children to rickets;
  • a mix of dry food and porridge leads to an excess of carbohydrates in the body. This situation threatens the rapid development of obesity and all the ensuing consequences.

Constant menu changes actually terrorize the gastrointestinal tract, forcing it to produce different types of enzymes. Such intense work leads to gastritis and peptic ulcers.

Opponents of dry food talk about the risks that a monoration poses. First of all, they note a negative effect on the mucous membranes, especially when the daily norm is exceeded. Despite the qualitative differences in dry diets depending on the class to which they belong, there is no negative effect on the mucous membranes. Before entering the market, all dry food undergoes laboratory testing. All of them are produced with a monoration in mind, so high-quality products contain the entire necessary set of minerals, vitamins and microelements.

Important: of course, it is worth considering the presence of diseases in your pet. Particular attention should be paid to gastrointestinal problems. If a veterinarian recommends giving up dry food and switching to a natural diet, this must be done.

Why do you need to define the norm?

Determining the daily feeding rate is very important. Overfeeding or underfeeding will lead to health problems. Dogs cannot control their food intake on their own. Some breeds, such as pugs or dachshunds, will eat whatever is in their bowl. This behavior has a genetic reason - in nature, the ancestors of dogs did not get prey every day. Of course, domestic dogs are freed from the need to get their own food, but unlimited access to dry food leads to excessive consumption.

Interesting: some manufacturers put a special measuring cup in the package with dry food, which is very convenient for measuring portions for your pet. It is worth remembering that such measuring containers are only suitable for granules from a certain manufacturer and cannot be used for others.

Constant access to food: yes or no

It is not a good idea to provide your cat with constant access to food. Thus, the owner himself can provoke the animal to have an extra snack. Overeating leads to weight gain, which is a direct path to obesity. The latter is dangerous for the development of heart disease, oncology, diabetes, and digestive tract diseases.

The cat may not overeat, but why take the risk?

The exception is when providing access to food is necessary. For example, if a cat eats poorly due to illness and needs to eat as often as possible.

How to calculate the amount of food for a pet

Since we are talking about ready-made food rations: dry and wet, we will need to take as a basis tables with recommended daily intakes placed by manufacturers on food packaging. However, the owner will have to take into account a number of individual factors that distinguish his dog. These include:

  1. Age category of the dog (puppy, young or elderly dog);
  2. Weight (can be normal, overweight or underweight);
  3. Dog activity (number and duration of walks, physical activity during the day);
  4. State of health (presence of chronic diseases, pathologies);
  5. Physiological condition (pregnancy, lactating bitch, recovery from illness or surgery, and others).

The tables from the manufacturer indicate the recommended daily intake of dry food. Quite often they are significantly overestimated; manufacturers are simply not able to take into account all the characteristics of your pet.

It is necessary to collect all individual information about the dog and determine the brand of food for which the calculation will be made. It is better if dry food is selected by the owner together with a veterinarian, since it is not always possible to independently take into account all the medical contraindications of the animal. The use of a dry diet can lead to serious kidney problems and a serious allergic reaction - advice from a specialist in selecting food and determining the portion size is simply necessary.

Selecting one manufacturer

The most common mistake dog breeders make when choosing food is changing manufacturers or brands. If you constantly use one type of food when feeding a dog, it begins to produce gastric juice of a certain composition.

How often can you wash your dog at home and how to properly bathe your pet after a walk

Food from different manufacturers, and even within the same brand, may differ in the content of substances, so switching to another type can provoke disturbances in the functioning of the stomach and intestines. While the digestive system adapts to the new composition of the feed, nutrients are not fully absorbed.

Types of dog food

One of the most important indicators of dry food is its relationship to a certain class and the energy value of such a diet. There are types of dry food:

ViewEnergy value (Kcal/100 g)CompoundRecommendationsExample
Economy250-300Poor composition, based on grains and corn. Contains aromatic additives and dyes. A large portion is needed to satiate the dog. Should not be used for regular feeding of dogs. Requires the use of additional vitamin and mineral complexes. Chappie, Oscar, Meal, Favorite, Our brand, ProTail, Darling, Pedigree.
Premium300-350Higher protein content (about 20%), mainly due to offal and meat production waste. The composition contains vitamins and minerals, fiber. Suitable for everyday nutrition, requires vitamin supplements adjusted for the physiological state of the dog.Royal Canin, Brit Premium, Monge,
Super premium360-450The most balanced diet, with a minimum content or complete replacement of grains, a maximum content of meat (up to 75%). A complete complex of vitamins and minerals. Suitable for daily feeding of dogs, no additional feeding is needed.Akana, Eukanuba, Grandorf.
Holistic360-450Difference from the super premium class: the ingredients that make up the food are approved for use in the human food industry.Maximum benefits, recommended for use in dog nutrition.Landor, G.O., Canidae, Grandin.

The daily amount is indicated by the manufacturer based on the normal physiological weight of the animal, and not the actual weight. If your dog weighs much more than is expected for a certain age, this is a reason to contact the veterinarian.

There is no direct relationship between the amount of dry kibble in your pet's bowl and how quickly he becomes satiated. A dog can eat a “bucket” of economy class pellets and remain hungry. Don’t think that buying low-grade food will save you money.

Example of an optimal menu

If you are short on time, you can prepare mixtures that are sufficiently nutritious and balanced in advance and freeze them. There are recipes approved by experts, of which the most simple ones can be distinguished.

From meat, buckwheat or rice and vegetables:

  • Beef - 2kg;
  • Vegetables - 500 g (they are boiled separately).
  • Cereals - 200g;

Grind everything in a meat grinder and freeze in portions.

From chicken fillet:

  • Chicken fillet - 1 kg;
  • Vegetables - 150g.
  • Boiled rice - 100g;

Pass everything through a meat grinder, form into balls and boil. After the meatballs have cooled, they need to be frozen.

In addition to main dishes, a cat’s daily diet should include about 30 grams of fermented milk products.

The choice of type of feeding for a pet depends on the owner, his capabilities and preferences. Each food has its own advantages and disadvantages. A caring owner will, if desired, find the best option for his pet.

Dry food

There are average feeding rates, according to which the daily dose is divided by the number of feedings. Most often, this standard is indicated in grams or in the number of measuring cups. 1 measuring cup = 240 ml (about 100 grams).

If necessary, dry granules can be softened with liquid: for puppies under 4 months of age, for older dogs or those with gastrointestinal problems.

I do this with different liquids depending on the dog’s preferences.

You should not prepare a large portion of soaked food, so as not to throw away an expensive product. Experts note that in the warm season, many animals refuse the softened product, preferring to drink dry granules with water.

Drinking regime for “dry feeding”

If the animal is fed only dry foods, then the required daily amount of liquid is calculated using the formula: 50 ml of water per kg of body weight.

Of course, you don’t need to give your dog water at certain intervals. She should have a free approach to drinking water and satisfy her own needs. And needs may vary depending on numerous conditions: age, physical activity, time of year, etc.

The water should always be clean - it needs to be changed every few hours. If this is not possible, a special automatic drinking bowl for dogs will come to the rescue. You should not use boiled water: the best option would be filtered or bottled water without gas. Raw water is strictly prohibited.

Rules for soaking dry food

If for some reason the amount of dry food is soaked, it is recommended to adhere to the following rules:

  • use clean drinking water (can be bottled or filtered), but not boiled. Temperature - 40°C;
  • The ratio of liquid to dry product depends on the preferences and age of the dog, and the manufacturer’s recommendations. Possible ratios (water:feed) - 1:2, 1:3;
  • In addition to water, you can use low-fat fermented milk products - yogurt or kefir. The diluent should not be sweet, the temperature should be room temperature;
  • the daily feed intake is not increased or decreased. Only the consistency of the portion changes.

Important: soaked dry food should be eaten within 2-3 hours. At any temperature, such food quickly sours and is inseminated by bacterial flora. If fermented milk products are used, it is necessary to carefully monitor the animal's stool. Minor liquefaction that resolves quickly should not cause alarm. If diarrhea continues for a long time, it is necessary to stop soaking dry food and consult a veterinarian.

The manufacturer may set a limit on the soaking of dry granules, which should be noted on the food packaging.


Is it possible to combine drying and natural?

It is not recommended to feed your dog dry food and natural food at the same time, because the intestines will digest different types of food differently. In addition, the dog may subsequently refuse to eat the dry food. Mixing diets is possible in some cases:

Feeding puppies in nurseries. Breeders accustom babies to both types of food, so that in the future they can more easily adapt to what the owner chooses.

Sports dogs and hunting breeds. They need an increased amount of protein, but no more than 30% of the norm. The source can be meat, eggs or cottage cheese.

Breeding males and females. To obtain more nutrients, you can add herbs, meat, cottage cheese, and vegetables to the concentrate.

When combining, remember that you cannot give both types of food together.
It is better to divide it into several doses: dry food in the morning, and natural food in the evening. Warning! The concept of “natural food” should not be confused with human food. For natural nutrition, only fresh or boiled meat, fish, vegetables, fruits and dairy products are used.

Wet food

Soft canned food has exactly the same division into classes as dry food. This means that the higher the class of food, the greater its energy and nutritional value, which means that less of it will be needed to saturate.

However, it is not recommended to completely switch the animal to feeding canned foods - soft food can cause problems with the gastrointestinal tract, constipation or loose stools, and the risk of tartar formation increases, since there is no mechanical cleaning of plaque.

Type of dogDaily calorie requirement (kcal)Combined diet (dry + wet) (g) PedigreeOnly wet (100%)
(gr) Using Pedigri as an example
Miniature (2-5 kg)250-35040-50300-400
Small (6-10 kg)360-55050-100400-700
Medium (12-24 kg)600-1050100-250800-1300
Large (26-40 kg)1100-1550200-3001400-2000
Very large (45+ kg)1600-2500300-5502050-6000

Feed classes and their energy value

For the convenience of the owner, the quality of feed is indicated by classes. There are four classes of feed:

  • Economy class feeds are considered the most affordable. When performing a comparative analysis of economy and premium class feeds, it turns out that their prices differ slightly.
  • Premium products contain more plant carbohydrates, which makes the food unsuitable for feeding dogs with allergies.
  • Super-premium food is usually well balanced, containing enough proteins and all the necessary vitamins and microelements.
  • Holistic class food , like super-premium products, is optimally balanced, but is made from higher quality raw materials. Manufacturers of holistic feeds claim that they use products suitable for human consumption as raw materials.

Daily food intake for puppies

Puppy age (in months)Number of meals per dayDaily kcal norm per 1 kg of weight in
Up to 16220-250

Small breeds of puppies

Puppies of small and miniature breeds develop very quickly due to increased metabolism; at 6 months, such a miniature dog puppy is already very similar to an adult dog. Therefore, during the period of intensive growth, such babies need high-calorie food, which allows the animal’s body to properly form in such a short time.

Age\weight (months) dog weight up to 10 kgSuper premium diet (using Akana as an example, value about 450 kcal)Economy (using the example of Our Brand, value about 300 kcal)
1-315-80 gr45-100 gr
3-417-115 g60-200 gr
4-620-120 gr70-250 gr
6-1225-125 grFeed used for adult animals


Large breeds of puppies

Large breed dog puppies need a diet rich in protein and calcium for muscle growth and healthy skeletal development. Their development occurs spasmodically, at six months of age they look more like ugly ducklings rather than adult dogs. The heart muscle also requires special nutrition, which must receive all the necessary elements for further uninterrupted operation.

Dog's age/weightSuper premium diet, value 400 kcal (using Grandorf as an example)Economy food, value 300 kcal (using the example of Pedigree)
1-3 (from 5 to 70 kg)50-220 gr400 gr
3-4 (from 25 to 70 kg)230-330 gr450-530 gr
4-6 (from 25 to 70 kg)260-500 gr550-600 gr
6-12 (from 25 kg)250-800 gr650-900 gr

Feeding rate

Puppies need to receive a sufficient amount of food daily for good growth and proper development. They are weighed every 10-14 days from the age of two months to see if they have enough nutrients. The dynamics of weight gain should be checked at approximately the same time of day.

If your puppy's weight gain has become less than normal or he has started to lose weight, his activity has decreased, and he lacks nutrients and energy. You should slightly increase the dosage of portions, and wait a little while reducing the number of meals. It may be worth changing the food to a better quality one - it is higher in calories. Too large portions are also not healthy. They stretch the stomach and lead to the development of obesity.

Expert opinion

Anna Abramenko

An avid dog lover. Experience in veterinary medicine since 2009.

Ask a Question

It is imperative to select dry food intended for a puppy of a given age and body weight. Different species have different sizes of granules and their calorie content.

In almost every line of food from manufacturers you can find a suitable diet for a specific baby or litter. The packages usually indicate the norm depending on age and weight. It is advisable to adhere to these recommendations. If the baby's weight significantly deviates from the average value, the veterinarian will prescribe a temporary change in nutrition necessary to correct the difference.

The ratio of daily feeding norms for a puppy with the diet of adults:

  • from 7 to 11-12 weeks - the same;
  • from 3 to 6 months – 50%;
  • from six months to 1 year – more by 25%.

The increased diet is explained by the increased needs of the puppy’s growing body. In addition, the number of feedings during which he eats the required amount is 2-3 times more than in adult dogs.

For large breed puppies

This species has a slower metabolism and maturation of the body ends later than in smaller individuals. Although the dog looks mature in appearance, it is recommended to give it puppy food until it is 1.5-2 years old. It contains substances that make joints and muscles stronger. The granules are large, so the pet is forced to chew them without choking. The energy value of the feed is reduced, but saturation occurs faster.

Average feeding rate for large breed puppies per day in grams

Age/monthAdult weight/kg
26-2930-3334-3738-4445-5455-6465-74more than 75

As you approach the upper limit of the weight indicated in the table, the amount of food that should be put in a bowl per day increases.

This is interesting: What food is best to feed large dogs

For small breed puppies

Accelerated metabolism allows small dogs to mature earlier. As early as 11 months, they no longer need nutrients and can be switched to adult food. The size of the granules is comparable to cat food; dogs can easily chew them with their small teeth.

Average feeding rate for small breed puppies per day in grams:

Age, monthsAdult weight, kg

For small dogs, dry food can be the same for any age - only its daily intake changes.

Daily food intake for adult dogs

Normal dog weight (kg)Norm of dry granules per day (g) with normal activityNorm for high animal activity (in g)
45+510 + 50 g/ 5 kg weight800 + 100 g\ 5 kg weight

For a pregnant bitch, the daily intake of an adult dog (by weight) is increased by 25-50% depending on appetite, in consultation with a veterinarian. It may be worth giving up food intended for adult dogs and using a diet for puppies. A portion of such food is calculated according to the rule: the daily norm of an adult healthy individual with normal activity + 25-50%.

Natural diet

It is not easy to create a complete diet from natural products; this requires following some rules and being patient.

  • Cats are naturally conservative, so they do not require a varied diet.
  • Once you set the correct diet, you can use it constantly.

It is worth considering that to maintain and preserve the health of the animal, free access to water is very important, which needs to be changed twice a day.

Daily food intake for older dogs

Upon reaching the age of seven, the pet needs to review its diet and the amount of food consumed. During this period, chronic diseases and pathologies worsen, and metabolism slows down. The dog needs additional minerals, but not an increase in food portions. It is worth changing the food, choosing one that contains special markings.

Let us note that with age, most animals’ need for rest and sleep increases, but food preferences change greatly: from uncontrolled food consumption to refusal of it.

If your dog has problems with the gastrointestinal tract or teeth, you should start soaking the granules or switch to wet canned food.

Dog weight (over 7 years old) in kgDaily value (in g)Daily value in a cup (1 measuring cup about 100 g)
45+480 + 50 g/ 5 kg5+

Is it possible to soak or is it better not to?

As soon as complementary foods are introduced into the dog’s diet, some owners immediately begin to feed “drying”.

This cannot be done; the sharp edges of dog biscuits can scratch not only the pet’s delicate gums, but also the mucous membrane of the stomach and intestines after swallowing.

In addition, industrial food contains no more than 10% moisture content, which does not satisfy the dog’s needs.

Breeders and veterinarians advise soaking food in liquid: water, vegetable broth or kefir:

  1. Firstly, this will help avoid pain when changing baby teeth to permanent ones.
  2. Secondly, this is the easiest way to regulate water consumption.
  3. Thirdly, this way of eating helps to avoid digestive problems.

You need to soak dry food until all the teeth have changed. However, if your dog has problems with his gums or bite, you should wait. Most dogs are ready to completely switch to drying by the age of seven months.

There are several ways to prepare soaked food:

  1. Pour water over the granules, but not too cold or hot. The optimal temperature should be approximately 38ºC. After this, let it brew for 15 minutes and mash well with a fork into porridge.
  2. Hot, but not boiling, vegetable broth is suitable for soaking industrial feed.
  3. Puppies are given food soaked in breast milk replacer or diluted with dry food.
  4. In case of dysbacteriosis, you can dilute the “drying” with heated kefir. The main thing is not to overheat the product and serve only after it has completely cooled.

In liquid food, pathogenic microorganisms develop faster, so food should not be prepared in advance. It is best to start preparing half an hour before feeding your pet. If the portion remains uneaten, you should not leave the food until the next feeding.

How much water does a dog need when eating dry food?

Water is the basis for proper digestion and metabolism. In order for your dog’s body to receive all the necessary substances from their dry food, you must strictly follow the rules for providing it with water:

  1. The daily water intake depends on the dog’s weight and the portion of dry food consumed;
  2. For 1 kg of animal weight, about 40-60 ml of water is required;
  3. Puppies need more fluid - about 80-100 ml per kg;
  4. Monitor your pet's behavior - if he eats exclusively dry food, he may need more water than normal;
  5. If the ambient temperature drops below +20, the dog can reduce its fluid intake.

A bowl of clean, fresh water should always be available to your dog. Monitor your fluid intake - deviations from normal behavior should alert you and this is a reason to consult a doctor. Don't get dehydrated!


How much does a cat need to eat? — General Considerations

If you're still wondering how much a cat should eat, here's what you need to consider:

  • It is recommended to always leave cat food at their disposal because they can ration it themselves and only eat it when they are hungry and not for pure pleasure. If you don't do this, your cat will likely become anxious while waiting for food to arrive and may become stressed (with associated consequences).
  • Cats are creatures of habit, so it is advisable for them to have a set daily routine as soon as they become adults.
  • Following the routine task is to feed them every day in the same place and at the same time, in a quiet place and always away from their litter box.
  • To feed your cat, use a mat or easy-to-clean surface on which you place a metal or ceramic bowl. Some cats prefer to eat in a flat feeder, and this helps them avoid eating too quickly.
  • If you have more than one cat, you should make sure that each of them has an appropriate feeder at a considerable distance to prevent them from fighting or eating each other's food.
  • Remember to keep an eye out for banned cat foods to avoid health problems.

Article by: Josie F. Turner Journalist specializing in animal welfare.

If the dog does not eat enough dry food

All these rather complex and sometimes inaccurate calculations are needed to ensure that the dog does not starve and receives the maximum amount of nutrients from the food it eats. Of course, if a dog is constantly begging for treats and food from the owner’s table, this does not mean that the portion of food is not enough for him. However, you should carefully ensure that the offered portion is enough. Symptoms of deficiency may include:

  • after feeding, the dog does not leave the bowl, freezes, waiting for more;
  • the dog’s ribs, pelvic bones and scapular edges are clearly visible;
  • the hunger pit is pronounced;
  • the fat layer is thin.

These signs indicate that the dog is underweight. This can be either a consequence of the disease or insufficient nutritional value of the daily diet. In this case, the owner must:

  • Visit your veterinarian to rule out your pet losing weight as a result of illness. For example, infections with parasites;
  • if the dog receives super premium or holistic food, it is worth increasing the portion. Perhaps the animal’s physical activity has increased, its physiological state has changed, the cold season has arrived - all these are reasons to increase the proportion of dry granules in the bowl;
  • if feeding is carried out with a diet of a lower class, choose higher quality, high-calorie and energy-rich dry food. It is better to choose an option, buying it in small packages in order to choose exactly what your dog will like;
  • You can switch your dog to a mixed diet according to the following scheme: wet canned food + dry granules. Canned food is more nutritious and is often more appealing to animals.

How to determine the weight for one serving

There are several ways to determine portion weight.

  1. Weighing. After placing a certain amount of granules in a bowl, place it on the scale and record the result. Remove/add granules as needed. Don't forget to take into account the weight of the bowl.
  2. Using dispensers. You can purchase suitable measuring spoons or glasses and use them to measure the required portion weight.
  3. Determination by eye. It is acceptable if you have fed the animal several times and can imagine how large the portion given looks like.

Why is underfeeding bad?

If exceeding the norm threatens obesity, then what is wrong with underfeeding? A deficiency of nutrients that the dog does not receive from the daily diet will have a bad effect on the dog’s health - the animal’s bones and internal organs will suffer. This is especially true for pregnant and lactating bitches. Underfeeding is dangerous for a puppy or a bitch that has just given birth.

During the period of feeding puppies, the feeding rate is increased - in this case, the food can be left in the animal’s bowl without restricting it. Even if she eats 200% of her daily allowance, that's okay. Malnutrition threatens not only the deterioration of the health of the mother with a tail, but also of the puppies, since the quality of milk decreases.

Important: if during the feeding period the bitch cannot eat a lot of food, and she loses weight, it is worth consulting a specialist. It would be better to switch the animal to a higher-calorie type of dry food.

Water in the diet

Water should be present in the bowl at all times, and it should be clean, especially if the pet eats dry food.

  • With a natural diet, the cat requires less fluid, but still needs it.
  • You can determine whether your pet has enough fluid by looking at its fur and the frequency of urination.

If the coat is silky and shiny, and its owner is active and empties at least twice a day, then this means that the diet contains enough fluid.

Briefly about the main thing

  1. Super premium and holistic dry food is best suited for feeding a dog;
  2. Dry food is digested much faster than natural food - it is worth feeding the animal three times a day in small portions, dividing the daily intake by the number of feedings;
  3. The dog’s diet should be based on its age, weight, health status and other individual characteristics;
  4. You can combine dry granules and wet canned food;
  5. The manufacturer provides the recommended serving size, it is a guideline;
  6. Small and large breed dogs have different nutritional needs;
  7. The dog should always have clean, fresh water available.

How do you calculate the required portion of food for your pet? Which food was chosen: economy or super premium? What differences in serving size have you seen? Share your experience in the comments to the article, please. Your opinion is very important to us.

Measuring container

The easiest and most accurate way to determine how much 50 g of cat food will be visually is to use a measuring cup from a specific manufacturer. Typically, such containers are produced for several products at once, each of which has its own marking option. There are measuring cups for Acana and Orijen food: they are suitable for all product lines and help to strictly follow the dosage of feeding your pet.

Where can I get this useful device? As a rule, you can get it absolutely free at feed sales points. If you are making a purchase through an online store, check with the manager if you can add a measuring cup to your order.

( 2 ratings, average 5 out of 5 )
Did you like the article? Share with friends:
For any suggestions regarding the site: [email protected]
Для любых предложений по сайту: [email protected]