How Much Food Should I Feed My Dog?

Feeding the right amount of food to your dog is an important part of your dog’s overall health. The question is though, how much food should I feed my dog? There are plenty of ways to figure this out, but first there are factors to consider based on what breed your dog is and maybe even what dietary needs or restrictions they may have.

A sheepdog eats out of a dog bowl next to a bag of Ultimates dog food

Factors To Consider

When figuring how much food to feed your dog, consider the following factors:

Type Of Food

Whether you want to feed dry kibble or wet canned food, there are different feeding amounts with each type of food. If you have a large breed of dog you may only need to give them 5 cups a day of dry kibble, but with wet canned food you may have to give 4-5 cans per day. Complete and balanced recipes should technically be all of the nutrition needed for your dog so make sure that the foods you are feeding cover this.  

Certain recipes contain higher amounts of protein and fat ratios. Being aware of these numbers can help you determine what is best for your dog. If your dog’s activity levels are strong maybe a higher protein/fat content is the better choice. If your dog is more sedentary then a lower protein/fat ratio would be better. Different types of protein sources also play a factor when considering the amount of food to feed your dog. Beef is a more fatty protein while salmon and lamb tend to be more lean proteins.

Size, Age & Breed of Dog

As most know, puppies are full of energy and really like to eat! With that in mind, it is best to feed small meals multiple times a day. Feed your puppy a formulated food specifically for puppies or all life stages. Some of these include Ultimates Puppy, Ultimates Large Breed Puppy, Ultimates Sensitive Skin & Stomach recipes, or Ultimates Bayside Select.

Most small breed dogs also contain a lot of energy therefore they need extra calories to meet those needs. Also consider a smaller size kibble such as Ultimates Whitefish Meal & Rice when feeding your small dog.

Large breed dogs require more food as they grow and feeding the amount suggested can help them maintain a healthy weight. Looking for foods that contain added glucosamine and chondroitin, such as Ultimates Large Breed Adult, will help support joint health in large dogs.

Senior dogs tend to gain weight with age as they are less physically active. Finding foods that are lower calories, or simply cutting back on the amount of food you feed, can help with this issue.  

Feeding Guidelines

On the back of most pet food packaging is a feeding guide. This helps you determine how much to feed per day based on your dog’s weight and age. These feeding charts are specific to each recipe and can change whether it is for adult dogs, puppies, or all life stages. For example, a 52 lb. adult or mature dog would need 3 ¼ – 3 ¾ cups per day. This can be split up equally into 2 meals a day at different feeding times, or you can feed the amount all at once. Adjust your dog’s feeding schedule to best fit you and your dog’s lifestyle. The below image shows an example of the Ultimates Lamb Meal & Rice recipe’s feeding chart.

Ultimates Lamb Meal & Rice feeding chart

There will also be a feeding guidelines statement on the back of the packaging that will read something like this, “Good health begins with proper feeding. Ultimates can help maintain your dog’s health when combined with exercise, veterinary care, & controlling intake of other food & treats. Use this chart as a guide, adjusting as necessary to maintain optimal weight. Portions will vary according to age, breed, temperament & environment. When introducing Ultimates, mix increasing amounts of Ultimates with decreasing amounts of the current food over a 7 to 10 day period. Offer clean, fresh water at all times. See your veterinarian regularly.” Be sure to follow these instructions carefully.


According to the American Kennel Club, treats should not make up more than 10% of your dog’s every day diet. This means that if your dog eats 400 calories a day in food then they should only eat 40 calories worth of dog treats per day. Most treats also have a feeding chart so if you are unsure just follow that.

Measuring your dog’s food is simple, it just takes a little bit of attention and figuring out what routine is best for your dog. As with everything, all feeding guidelines are meant to serve as a starting point. Always consult your vet when determining how much food to feed your dog.