Because dogs come in all shapes and sizes, each one requires a unique diet to help maintain good health. Knowing how much food and what types of food are best for your dog are important aspects of pet care.

Many varieties of dog food have been formulated to meet the needs of your dog. While you may think you’re doing your dog a favor when you feed him your table scraps, you may actually be doing harm, as table food is often high in fat and not good for your pet.

The best advice is to stick to the basics. Find a formulated dog food that your pet likes, make sure it meets his nutritional requirements, and stick with it. Your veterinarian can recommend a brand of dog food, tell you whether your dog should go on a special diet, or tell you if your dog needs any supplements.

Dog Feeding Guidelines

When you’re feeding your dog, a few general guidelines will help you to establish a stable feeding routine:

  • Choose either free-choice feeding or feed at specific times of the day. Try to avoid switching between the two or your dog will become confused.
  • If your dog watches you eat, feed your dog after you eat. The leader of the pack always eats first: feeding your dog first may give him the idea that he’s the leader.
  • Clean the food bowl after every use.
  • Canned food is usually more expensive than dry food, so it isn’t usually the first choice for regular feeding. Try to use it as an occasional treat, or as a way to induce a dog with a little appetite.
  • Canned food should be eaten within 30 minutes of serving.
  • Treats should be used sparingly.
Treats: How Much is Too Much? Try adding up the calories and fat grams in the food you’re feeding your dog through treats and compare with them with those in his food. If the total of your daily handouts exceeds ten percent of what’s in his food, you’re overdoing it.

This section is divided into multiple articles, covering:

  • Special Dog Diets