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.
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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.
What About Dog Treats?
Giving your dog an occasional treat will not disrupt their meals as long as your careful to only give your dog 10% of your dog’s total daily calories in treats. If you are looking for delicious dog treats with CBD oil, you may want to consider Dope Dog offers various treats and oils.
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Best Methods for Measuring Dog Food Portions
Here are four methods for accurately measuring dog food portions to ensure your dog is getting the correct amount:
Using Kitchen Food Scale
Yes, this might be a little over the top, but it is the most accurate. You’ll be able to weigh exactly how much dog food your dog needs for precise food portions. While this method may be the least practical, you may want to consider it depending on your dog’s health and weight.
Measuring the Dog Food Once a Day
This method requires that you precisely measure out your dog’s total daily amount and storing it where it can be easily accessed throughout the day. Then you can eyeball meals when it is time to feed your dog. Just make sure they get everything in the storage container by the end of the day.
This method is also handy if you like to prep several meals for the week or have small children help feed the dog. By having a precise measurement in a single container, your kids will never overfeed your dog.
Buying a Perfectly Portioned Dry Food Measuring Cup
Simply buy the correct size dry food measuring cup for your dog’s meal. For example, if your dog requires 1 cup of food every day and eats twice a day, then you’ll want to buy a half-cup measuring cup. Then when you scoop the dog food, make sure to level it off before serving it to your dog.
Also, because measuring cups are not always the most accurate, you should read product reviews before buying to assess the cup’s portion accuracy.
Measuring Consistently with the Same Cup
One of the best ways to ensure your dog gets the correct portion of dog food is using the same measuring cup for all meals and making sure you level the food with the cup's rim in a consistent way. Consistency will work as long as you’re mindful when preparing your dog’s food.
Portion Control Will Reduce Risk of Obesity in Dogs
Whichever method you choose, remember that consistency is your best defense against obesity for your dog. When you consistently feed your dog the right portion of food for their weight and activity level, then you will improve your dog’s overall health and extend its lifespan.
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