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    Dog Food: Does Serving Size Really Matter

    Just as there are dogs of all shapes and sizes, there are varying dog food portions. Determining how much food you should feed your dog can seem tricky, but it doesn't have to be. Consider these tips to help figure out how much food your dog really needs.

    Every dog is different — A tiny Chihuahua is not going to require the same daily caloric intake as a large Labrador retriever. Besides size and weight, your dog's age, health and activity level are also factors in determining how much your dog should eat. A high-energy, working dog may require more food than one of the same breed and size who is inactive or older.

    Measure it out — The best way to make sure your dog is eating the right amount of food is by measuring out portions. Keep a measuring cup that's used specifically for your dog's food in the bag or food container so you won't forget. Check the feeding instructions on the dog food bag to determine the correct portion size. Portion and weight ranges can be rather wide, so check with your veterinarian if you're not sure exactly where your dog falls in the range.

    Getting too much? — One of the easiest ways to determine if you are overfeeding your dog is by checking his body condition. You don't have to get your dog on a scale every day, simply use a visual test. Run your hands across your dog's backbone and ribs to make sure that you can feel them. Examine your dog from the side and overhead. He should have an hourglass figure and his abdomen should be tucked up behind his rib cage.

    Nibble navigation — If your dog is overweight, first determine your dog's ideal weight. Your veterinarian can help come up with an accurate number. Once you have a goal weight, try minimizing his food portions so that they are equivalent with the appropriate weight range. Your veterinarian can also help with a weight loss plan and a feeding recommendation for your pet.

    Treats are extra — Your pup loves treats and you probably love treating him, but it is important to factor those yummy bites into his total food intake. When feeding treats, be sure to adjust dog food portions to make up for the extra calories. Treats should be given in moderation and, as a general rule of thumb, shouldn't exceed more than 10 percent of your dog's daily caloric intake.

    Slow down, Fido! — Despite carefully measuring out your dog's food, if your pup is a fast eater, he may be gulping it down and still seem hungry afterward. Fast eating can lead to overeating and digestive issues. To help slow him down, parcel out your dog's portion slowly into his bowl as he eats or consider using a puzzle feeder.

    Enjoy this article? Learn more at Purina.com

    Article provided by Purina

    Dollar General is not responsible for the content above and disclaims all liability therefrom. Dollar General does not sponsor, recommend or endorse any third party, product, service, or information provided on this site. All content provided herein is for educational purposes only. It is provided “as is” and as such, the accuracy of same is not warranted in any way. Such content is intended to supplement, not substitute for, the diagnosis, treatment and advice of a veterinarian. Such content does not cover all possible side effects of any new or different dietary program or skin/coat program for your pet. Consult your veterinarian for guidance before changing or undertaking a new diet or grooming plan.

    If your pet has dietary restrictions and/or allergies, always read the ingredient list carefully for all food or grooming products prior to using. Neither Triad Digital Media, LLC nor Dollar General make any representations as to the accuracy or efficacy of the information provided nor do they assume any responsibility for errors, omissions or contrary interpretation of the subject matter herein. Special written permission is required to reproduce in any manner, in whole or in part.

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