Dry dog food is produced by dehydrating meat at high temperatures, which causes the meat to shrink, so 5 cans of wet food are equivalent to one bag of dry food or kibble.
Kibble will expand once it reaches the stomach and comes into contact with liquids. This means that one cup of kibble can be enough for one day, whereas a dog eating canned food may require 2-3 cans per day.
How much canned food should a dog eat daily?
Portion size is dependant primarily on the dog’s weight, but also their age, health status and how much daily activity they get.
A puppy under the age of 4 or 5 months should be eating 3 or 4 meals per day. Small breeds should be given approximately one-quarter of a can of wet food at each mealtime. Larger breeds may need a slightly larger portion.
Once a puppy reaches 6 months, portion sizes should be slowly increased until they reach 9 months and the mealtimes should be gradually reduced from 4 to 3.
Many owners choose to move their dog onto 2 meals per day once they reach 1 year old, but larger breeds digest food quicker and generally function better with 3 meals.
By one year, small breed dogs should be eating one-half to three-quarters of a can of wet food at mealtimes. Large breeds between one and two, depending on their weight.
It is also important to note that ill-health and pregnancy will alter feeding schedules and portion sizes.
How many cups of food should my dog eat?
If you are feeding dry kibble, you will be measuring your dog’s meals in cups.
Puppies should not be fed more than half a cup per meal, even for large breeds. Weight gain during puppyhood can put a strain on the joints and cause long-term physical deformities and digestive disorders.
At 6 months, half to three-quarters of a cup per day is generally enough for small and toy breeds. Medium and large breed puppies may require up to one cup per day.
Between 6 and 9 months your puppy will experience a growth spurt and will require increased nutrition. Small and toy breeds may increase their portion sizes by one-quarter of a cup, while larger breeds may need an additional half cup.
By one-year-old, most dogs will now be set onto their adult feeding schedule. Small and toy breeds should not typically require more than one cup per meal. Large breed dogs may require 2 or 3, depending on their weight and overall health.
If you are unsure of your dog’s ideal feeding schedule or portion size, it is best to seek veterinary advice or speak with a canine nutritionist.