Around this time of year, it’s not uncommon for us as owners to indulge a little more than we normally would. Colder weather may also make you wonder whether your dog is getting enough to eat, so we’re looking at how much you should feed your dog.
Sadly, there’s no magic number we can give you to tell you exactly how much food you should be giving your dog. Every dog will be different, even within the same species (for example, a Chihuahua will have very different sized meals to a Great Dane). So if you’re unsure, we’d always recommend giving your vet or vet nurse a call and asking for their advice.
If you know your dog’s weight (ask your vet or vet nurse for the best way to weigh your dog), all dog food will have feeding guides on the packaging or the manufacturer’s website. This guide will tell you how much of that particular food your dog needs for their weight, which you should feed in weighed out portions. So, you’ll need to know the actual weight of your dog first, so you can decide whether they are underweight, overweight or the correct weight. You can then alter the amount you feed your dog based on whether they need to lose weight, gain weight, or stay as they are.
We wouldn’t recommend giving your pet extra food over the Christmas period (or any other time of the year) unless they are underweight and your vet tells you to. Extra food can quickly lead to even the most active pets becoming podgy couch potatoes, which isn’t very nice for them and is super unhealthy.
If you want to give your dog an extra treat here and there over the holidays, remember to reduce the amount of food they have in their main meals to make up for the extra calories. Treats shouldn’t make up more than 10% of your dog’s daily food allowance. You might also want to consider whether your dog would prefer a new toy or some extra playtime instead of a food treat.
We’d generally recommend avoiding giving your dog an actual Christmas dinner. There are lots of things in our food that are really unhealthy and even dangerous for dogs. Have a look to see if your dog food manufacturer does a Christmas-themed flavour of your dog’s favourite food as a healthy alternative.