Measure Dog Food Portions: The Ultimate Guide

Obesity in dogs can range between 34% – 44% of dogs depending on location. Obesity is a common medical condition for dogs and one that is entirely preventable by the owners. Often dogs become obese because their owners mistakenly give their dogs a larger portion of dog food than needed.

A recent study conducted by veterinary researchers claims that portion control for your dog is essential to a healthy lifespan. It also states that owners need to measure their dog’s food accurately to prevent obesity. We’ll explain everything you need to know about portion control and how to measure dog food to prevent obesity.

The Best Dog Food Measuring Cup

This same study had 100 dog owners use one of three common dog food measuring cups that owners use to measure dry dog food:

  • A 1 cup plastic measuring cup for dry ingredients
  • A 2 cup liquid measuring cup
  • A dog-specific 2 cup dry dog food measuring scoop

The study showed that owners were wildly inaccurate with measuring, but the owners who used the 2 cup liquid measuring cup were the most inaccurate. Owners that used a standard dry ingredient 1 cup measuring cup were the most accurate.

But even with the 1 cup measuring cup, many owners often overfilled the cup, giving their dog a larger portion than needed. So while you are better off using a single-cup measuring cup, you need to also pay additional care to how full you fill the cup.

dog eating food

What Portion Size Does Your Dog Need

Feeding your dog the correct portion of dog food is critical to your dog’s health and weight. Several factors affect the size of your dog’s meal portion, such as:

  • Number of Meals
  • Type of Food
  • Your Dog’s Body Weight
  • Your Dog’s Activity Level and Metabolic Rate
  • Amount of Exercise Your Dog Gets Every Day
  • The Age of Your Dog
  • Pregnant and Nursing Dogs

To determine the best portion size for your dog, you should talk to your veterinarian. They’ll be able to assess how much food they will need each day more accurately. As a general rule, here are total daily amounts your dog should eat based on your dog’s weight:

  • 3 lb toy dog: 1/3 cup
  • 6 lb toy dog: ½ cup
  • 10 lb small dog: ¾ cup
  • 15 lb small dog: 1 cup
  • 20 lb small dog: 1 1/3 cup
  • 30 lb medium dog: 1 ¾ cups
  • 40 lb medium dog: 2 ¼ cups
  • 50 lb medium dog: 2 2/3 cups
  • 60 lb large dog: 3 cups
  • 70 lb large dog: 3 ½ cups
  • 80 lb large dog: 3 3/4 cups
  • 90 lb large dog: 4 1/4 cups
  • 100 lb large dog: 4 1/2 cups

Most dogs eat two meals a day. So their portions should be half of the daily amount. Puppies need to eat 2-3 times more than adult dogs. And pregnant and nursing dogs also need more food.

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