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I have a little zwergpinscher and we are using dry food. There is a table to identify proper amount of food for day. It depends on weight of adult dog, but it's not obvious how to detect it. I thought that it means average weight for breed, which is 6kg for pinscher. But it seems that it is to much for my puppy. Should i interpret "weight of adult dog" as weight of MY dog? And change daily food amount depending on it?

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The food amount printed on packages of dog food is always a guideline based on average values. The actual food requirement of an individual dog depends on many different factors like:

  • The current body weight of your dog. For overweight dogs, assume the ideal weight instead of the current weight. (If you can feel the ribs while petting with slight pressure, your dog has an ideal weight. If it's just a smooth glide without feeling any ribs, he's too fat.)

  • How active your dog is. Physical activities like herding, hiking or agility require a lot of fuel, things like cuddling and slouching on the couch require almost no energy at all.

  • The seasons. Animals tend to eat more in late autum and winter, to build up a protective fat layer. During hot summers they usually eat less.

  • Your dogs age. Especially puppies need more food compared to their body weight until they're fully grown. You should also feed special puppy food because they require nutrients in a different composition than adult dogs.

First you should weigh your dog. Step on a body scale and weigh yourself, then carry your dog in your arms and weigh both of you. Dog weight = combined weight - your weight.

Give him the proposed amount of food for 2 - 3 days and see how he reacts.

  • If there's leftover food in the bowl 20 minutes after feeding, the amount of food is too much. You can either reduce the size of a meal or remove the leftovers from the bowl.

  • If your dog gains weight, you should either reduce the amount of food or increase the amount of physical activities like walks and play.

  • If your dog constantly begs at his bowl or gets inactive, sleepy or weak, he needs more food. (Begging at the table is a question of training and no indicator for the amount of food your dog needs.)

If you have a dog who stops eating when he's full, you can keep his body weight in the ideal easily. If you have a glutton who eats everything and always, you need to carefully monitor his body weight and the amount of food you give. There are special foods for puppies, very active, overweight and elderly dogs. They have different compositiins of nutrients and can help you provide your dog with the food best suited for him.

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