We Are Listening...
Say something like...
"Show me 4health dog food..."

You will be taken automatically to your search results.

Please enable your microphone

Your speech was not recognized

Click the microphone in the search bar to try again, or start typing your search term.

We are Searching now...

Your results will display momentarily!

My TSC Store:
Nearby Stores:
My Tractor Supply store

There are no items in the cart. Start shopping to add items to your cart. There are no items in the cart. Start shopping to add items to your cart. Log in to your TSC Account to see items added to cart previously or from a different device. Log In

 Subtotal:
See price at checkout

    Tractor Supply Company

    Find it in App Store

    How Much Food Should I Feed My Dog?

    Authored by Tractor Supply Company

    You may have noticed a great number of options to consider when purchasing food for your dog. In fact, there are more than one hundred different types of dog food on the market—along with an overwhelming amount of information concerning the ingredients, nutritional value, and preferred feeding methods of each one. Which option actually represents the best choice for you and your pet?

    You want to provide a balanced diet for your dog, but it is important to remember that the amount you feed your dog is just as important as what you feed them. Underfeeding may lead to insufficient nutrition for your pet while overfeeding can lead to musculoskeletal problems and conditions such as congestive heart failure, skin disorders, cancer, and obesity. It can even shorten your pet’s life.

    There are several concepts to keep in mind when it comes to helping your furry best friend to remain happy, healthy, and very well fed.

    Your dog’s age, gender, breed, physical activity, and weight all play a part in the choice of their food and in determining when and how to feed them. To make sure that your pet is receiving the best in both food and portioning, start in your store’s dog food aisle!

    In addition to information about the ingredients, most dog foods include feeding recommendations as part of their packaging. Look for a table or chart that identifies suggested daily feeding amounts according to a dog’s size, type and weight. The chart may also include information pertaining to dogs who are pregnant or nursing, and it may offer specific details about how to correctly and precisely measure portions of food.

    Remember that the information in these tables will be recommendations only and, as such, represent a starting point for the best feeding practice. Your dog may require more or less food than indicated. So carefully monitor your dog’s food and its effect on their physical health and behavior. Be prepared to make adjustments as needed. And be sure to consult your veterinary team with any questions or concerns.


    Keep in mind that nutritional needs vary according to the age of a dog. As your puppy matures, they will require fewer feedings throughout the course of a day. As a newborn, however, they will need several small meals each day, to help in the dietary transition from mother’s milk to solid food.

    The size of the meal is an important consideration, as smaller meals will aid in your dog’s digestion and help to maintain high energy levels. This is of particular concern when your puppy is at this critical stage of development.

    When your puppy is six to twelve weeks old, they will require three small meals per day. Feed a small-breed puppy four to six times per day, a medium-breed puppy three times per day, and a large-breed puppy three to four times per day.

    When your puppy reaches three to six months, reduce the number of feedings from four to three per day. From six to twelve months, feed twice per day. After the first year, feed one half portion per day.

    After the first year, feed one half portion twice per day.

    For a puppy, a “portion” can be considered three-quarters of an adult dog-food allocation. A large-breed puppy usually needs only one-fourth of the adult-food equivalent each day. This might take the form of two meals per day, provided solid food is offered. When feeding wet dog food to your puppy, keep in mind that they may require twice the amount of food per pound as your adult dog would need.

    Adult dogs

    There are three main options for feeding: semi moist food, kibble, and canned food.

    • Kibble (dry food) may be the most economical option for feeding. It is convenient, as it can be served right from the bag. This allows for accuracy in measurement and portion control. And it allows for “grazing,” if your dog chooses. If you select kibble for your pet, be sure to verify that the nutritional content is complete.
    • Canned food is often considered to be appealing to dogs. Canned food typically has a high-water content. If you choose to feed canned food, be aware of any claims regarding the ingredients. If the nutritional notice indicates a particularly high percentage of meat, note that this may not be the best choice for your pet.
    • Semi Moist food often resembles ground meat. It is available in one-serving packets, making it easy and efficient for feeding. Each packet contains approximately 60–65 percent water and may often contain more sugar and salt than other types of food. Semi moist food may incorporate artificial colors or preservatives. Consider these factors before introducing semi moist food into your pet’s diet.

    Portion sizes

    An adult dog will require around 2 percent to 4 percent of their body weight per day in nourishment. One-third of this should be made up of commercial pet food. Properly prepared dog food is a great choice for you to feed your dog. Purchase food that is thoroughly processed to ensure that it is wholesome and nutritious.

    To ensure that you are providing the right amount of food leading to a balanced diet, incorporating the essential water, fatty acids, proteins, and vitamins and minerals. Regularly check the quality of your dog’s food, and verify that it meets the nutritional requirements as outlined by the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO).


    Protein is an important ingredient in your pet’s food. It is a source of energy and helps to build muscles, bones, and joints. Ensure that your dog’s diet includes protein at a level of 3 percent or less and fat and sodium at the level of 2 percent or less.

    Note that essential fatty and amino acids in the diet might be contained in sources such as meat, chicken necks, fish oil, or even toys, such as Kongs. Also, note that red meat can contain cholesterol and phosphorus.

    If you choose a beef- or pork-based diet for your dog, select one that is specifically made in accordance with their nutritional needs. In combination with the natural diet supplied, this will much more readily ensure the correct balance of healthful ingredients.

    Regardless of the type of diet selected, you will need to monitor your pet’s diet carefully, ensuring that he or she receives the right amount of protein—enough but not too much.

    Natural/organic options

    Natural or organic ingredients include meat, fish, poultry, vegetables, tonic water, and algae. If you choose an organic diet, note the option for raw meat as an alternative to canned food.

    In fact, you may want to concentrate on a natural diet and avoid feeding too many treats and handouts that may or may not be beneficial for your dog. One feeding option is to choose a commercial dog food and offer it to your pet as an occasional treat.

    Raw vegetables and fruits are also key elements in your dog’s diet, as these contain calcium, phosphorus, and iron. Consider presenting the raw fruits and vegetables as a form of “smoothie” if this is appealing to your pet. The important thing to remember is that the nutrients present in these foods represent an important element in a dog’s diet.

    Raw food

    Unless your dog is an obligate carnivore, or a dog who consumes only meat, it is not necessary to feed raw meaty bones or kibble. But this does not mean that raw feeding is bad for your dog. Raw food is full of nutrients and vitamins that can help build and maintain health.

    Exercise caution if you are considering a raw feeder or kibble. These may not contain the necessary enzymes for your particular dog and, therefore, may not be good for them. Consult with your veterinary team, and maintain any guidelines they recommend.

    If you wish to introduce a biologically appropriate raw food—or bones and raw food (BARF) diet—keep in mind that your pet will receive a higher percentage of protein than other types of diets typically provide. Understand that there are risks associated with a raw food diet. Your pet may not be able to receive all necessary nutrients through a diet like this. At the same time, he or she might consume more protein than appropriate.

    To be sure that raw meat and bones meet protein and fat requirement, consult with your veterinary team. They will be happy to provide important recommendations on which foods to feed and which to avoid.

    Keep in mind that you can switch your pet’s food as you see changes in their weight and as they grow older. Knowing the correct time to switch dog food helps you to support your pet in maintaining excellent health.

    Dry food

    While the ideal amount of food varies from one dog to another, an average daily portion of dry dog food is about 900 kcal per day. Quite often, dog owners mix wet and dry food. Note that one 3 oz. can is approximately the equivalent of 1/4 cup of dry food, and one 10 oz. container can replace about 3/4 to 1 cup of dry dog food.

    If you choose to feed a batch of dry food along with 150 kg of wet food, cut back the number of calories per day by about 1.5 percent.

    However, note that your dog may be able to receive all the necessary nutrients from dry food alone. Be sure to select food that is high in nutritional content, meeting the specific needs of your dog.

    If you choose an animal-based dry food, keep in mind that monitoring your dog’s weight is important. Avoid feeding too much, as this can lead to excessive weight gain and other accompanying health issues.

    Remember to monitor the feeding schedule as well, and consider changing foods periodically. Consult with your veterinary team to be sure your pet continues to receive a healthy balance of foods, particularly when changes are made to their diet and schedule.

    Monitoring your dog’s schedule

    A feeding chart will help you to remember how much to give your pet each day. If you find that your dog becomes overweight, or if they are under eating or misbehaving, consider implementing some dietary changes. Keep in mind that your dog’s lifestyle will impact how much you feed them. Therefore, if your dog is less active than a “typical” dog, you should consider feeding them less than the recommended amount. In the same way, a dog who is more active may need more than the recommendation suggests.

    A calorie calculator may help in determining the proper number for feeding. You might also want to use a body condition scoring system to more accurately gauge the correct amount to feed.

    See nutritional charts such as those from the AAFCO. These will provide information about recommended nutritional goals.

    Changes in your dog

    Your healthy dog will enjoy a happy and active lifestyle as well as a discernibly fit appearance. In fact, you might be able to identify a healthy dog by their physical appearance. They might have a relatively narrow abdomen and a chest that is relatively close to the ground. You might also be able to feel, but not see, a healthy dog’s ribs. Be aware of any changes in your dog’s physique, as these may signal issues of health or the need for changes to their diet.

    Be very careful about feeding a dog who suddenly stops eating or exhibits unusual behavior, such as excessive or inappropriate barking or peculiar responses to routine commands.

    Health and happiness

    When issues of health, behavior, or feeding arise, know that you are not alone. The veterinary team at Tractor Supply is there to help when you are facing the important decisions that will impact the health and happiness of your pet.

    As a pet owner, you know that nothing compares to the love and companionship you enjoy with your furry best friend. Making good dietary choices and monitoring his or her health will help to ensure that your friend lives a long and happy life.