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5 Tips on How Much Wet Food to Feed a Dog?

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When it comes to feeding your dog, there’s a fine balance between overfeeding, underfeeding, and reaching the perfect balance. If you feed your dog too much, they will wind up gaining weight. However, underfeeding your dog also has detrimental effects over time. If you’ve been wondering, “How much wet food should I feed my dog?” We have the answers you’re looking for.

How Much Wet Food to Feed a Dog Per Day?

1-Weigh Your Dog

One of the first things you need to know when determining how much wet food to feed your dog is how much your dog weighs. You don’t have to go to the vet to figure out how much your doggo weighs. All you have to do is:

  • Weigh yourself on a bathroom scale. Note your weight
  • Then, get down and pick up your dog (if it’s safe to do so).
  • Step back onto the scale.
  • Subtract your weight from the total weight shown on the scale.

For bigger dogs, put two bathroom scales together and instruct your dog to “sit” on the scales.

2-Calculate the correct portion size for your dog

Your dog’s food will have feeding instructions. However, these can be a bit vague, as most manufacturers will make suggestions based on a weight scale. For example, they may recommend feeding 150 grams for a dog that weighs 15 to 20 kilograms. 

However, if your dog weighs at the top end of the scale, 20 kilograms, you may want to feed them a smidge more if they’re more active and have a low body condition score. 

If you feed your dog twice per day, you will want to divide their portion in half. 

3-Determine If You Want to Feed Your Dog a Mix of Wet and Dry Food

If you feed your dog a mix of wet and dry food, you will need to calculate how much wet versus how much dry food to feed your doggo. This is a bit more tricky than just feeding straight wet food, but the benefits of mixing the two often make the math worth it. 

Here’s how to do it:

  • Read the feeding instructions on the dry food. Run the calculator in Step 2.
  • Review the feeding portion you calculated for your wet food.
  • Decide on what ratio of wet to dry food you want your dog to have. Most owners choose a ¼-wet to ¾-dry food mix or half-and-half.
  • For a 50-50 mix of wet and dry food, divide each number in Step 1 and 2 in half. 

For a 25-wet/75-dry mix, divide your wet food portion by 4 and the dry food portion by 4 then multiply is by 3.

  • Divide your results in Step 4 by the number of portions you feed your dog daily.

4. Keep Your Dog Hydrated

Even though wet dog food has a higher moisture content than kibble, you still want to be sure your dog has enough water to drink. This will ensure they can make the most of the nutrition you provide them and help them stay healthy. Dogs need 4.5 ounces of water for every 4.5 kilograms of their weight every day [1].

One of the best ways to encourage your dog to drink more water is to place a water bowl by their food dish or add some water to their food.

Dogs that are more active need even more water. Active dogs need about 5.5 ounces of water for every 4.5 kilograms.

5. Adjust Your Dog’s Portion According to Age, Activity Level & Climate

While most dogs are fine having the same amount of food every day, working dogs need more calories when they’re expending excess energy. You always want to pay attention to your working dog’s body score condition, and increase their portion if you notice they’re dropping too much weight.

Once your dog reaches about seven years old, their metabolism will begin to slow down. They also tend to be a bit more sedentary. Around this time, you will want to reevaluate your dog’s caloric needs and reduce their portion.

If you live in a cold climate, you also want to reduce your dog’s calories during winter if they’re spending less time outdoors running around [2]. However, outdoor dogs need to increase their caloric intake by nearly double when the temperatures get below freezing.