When Should I Feed My Dog Dry Food? How Much Should You Feed?

When should I feed my dog dry food? As pet owners, we all know that timing matters because it affects your dog’s health.

Different things, such as how old your dog is or how active they are, can help you decide the best times to feed them.

This article will help you understand when to give your dog dry food, so you can ensure they eat well and stay happy.

Why Should I Feed My Dog Dry Food?

when should i feed my dog dry food

Feeding your dog dry food has some great benefits, and one big plus is that it helps to keep your dog’s teeth healthy.

When they chew the dry kibble, it cleans their teeth when they eat, preventing potential dental problems.

Dry food is also convenient because you can leave it for your dog to eat later.

If your pooch doesn’t finish their meal right away, you don’t have to worry about it spoiling quickly. Just close the bag and store it in a cool, dry spot.

Another good thing is that you can easily give your dog the right amount of food. You can adjust the portion based on how big your dog is.

It’s like giving them the perfect-sized meal every time.

Moreover, you can also use pieces of dry kibble as treats, which is helpful for training or playing games with your dog.

When Should I Feed My Dog Dry Food?

You should start feeding your puppy dry food when they are around 6 to 12 weeks old.

For larger breeds, you can introduce dry food at 9-10 weeks and 12-13 weeks for smaller breeds.

Time To Feed A Dog Dry Food

Dry food can support a dog’s growth and development.

For large breeds, you can start feeding them dry food at around 9 to 10 weeks of age, while small breeds can begin eating dry food at about 12 to 13 weeks old.

It’s important to choose the right formula to meet their specific needs. As your dog grows, you can adjust their feeding schedule.

It’s best to remember that smaller and more frequent meals are suitable for puppies, while adult dogs can transition to fewer meals per day.

Always monitor your dog’s body condition and adjust feeding amounts as needed to ensure they maintain a healthy weight.

How Much Dry Food Should You Give Your Dogs?

The amount of dry food to give your dogs depends on their weight:

  • If your dog is small, between 3 and 12 pounds, give them around 1/3 to 1 cup of dry food.
  • Give medium-sized dogs weighing 13 to 20 pounds about 1 to 1/3 cups.
  • If your dog is medium-large, between 21 and 35 pounds, give them 1-1/3 to 2 cups.
  • Bigger dogs, weighing 26 to 50 pounds, might need 2 to 2-2/3 cups.
  • Larger dogs in the 51- to 75-pound range could eat 2-2/3 to 3-1/3 cups.
  • If your dog is even bigger, between 76 and 100 pounds, it might need 3-1/3 to 4-1/4 cups.
  • Really giant dogs, 100 pounds or more, should eat 4-1/4 cups, plus an extra 1/4 cup for every extra 10 pounds when they weigh over 100 pounds.

How Often Should I Feed My Dog Dry Food?

You can give your dog food once or twice each day. Aiming for two meals, spaced 8 to 12 hours apart, is a good idea.

Suppose you go with this schedule; make sure to divide the suggested amount from the food bag between these two meals.

If you don’t split the amount, your dog might end up eating too much.

For puppies, it’s similar to how human babies eat. They need several small meals a day, using special puppy food. Most puppies eat their meals quickly.

To prevent them from becoming picky eaters, offer food at regular times and in regular portions. Try not to leave the food out for longer than 10 to 20 minutes.

How To Choose The Best Dry Food For Your Dogs?

Breed Size

When picking the right dry food for your furry friend, think about how big they are and what stage of life they’re in.

Dogs come in different sizes, including small, medium, and large. Just like how kids need different foods as they grow up, dogs have stages too.

  • Puppies and growth stage: If your dog is still a puppy and growing, they require special food to help them develop strong bones and muscles. Look for food that says it’s good for puppies or “growth.”
  • All life stages: Some foods are made for dogs of all ages, which is suitable if you have dogs of different ages at home. They can provide what each dog needs at any stage of life.
  • Adult maintenance: For grown-up dogs, you want food that helps them stay healthy and active. Therefore, you can look for “adult maintenance” on the label.

AAFCO Recommendation

You’ll notice some dog food has a special label that says it meets AAFCO standards, which means the food has the right mix of nutrients for your dog.

The label ensures a well-balanced meal for your dogs.

Nutritional Guidance

Consulting a certified veterinary nutritionist is a good choice. These experts know all about doggy nutrition and can ensure the food is just right for your furry friend.

How To Improve Your Dog Dry Food Diet? 

When should dogs start eating dry food

Mix Wet And Dry Food

If you’re transitioning your dog food from wet to dry, gradually mix the two types over several weeks.

Start with a 1:1 ratio of wet to dry food, then reduce the wet food protein over time until your dog eats only dry food.

Add Warm Water

To make dry food softer and more palatable, add warm water to it. Mix 1/4 cup of warm water for every 1 cup of dry kibble.

Wet dry food provides additional hydration, so you can either serve it immediately as a “kibble soup” or let the water fully absorb to create a mash.

Remember, don’t leave softened food out for too long because it can spoil.

Use Low-Sodium Broth

Pour a small amount of low-sodium broth (chicken or beef) over the dry food to add flavor.

It’s best to add a spoonful of broth and avoid drowning the food in gravy. Moreover, you can make your broth or use store-bought low-sodium stock cubes.

Add Plain Yogurt 

Mix non-fat, no-sugar-added yogurt with dry kibble to promote a healthy gut.

Coat the kibble with a small dollop of yogurt, and make sure the yogurt is safe for dogs and contains no harmful ingredients.

Add Veggies Or Fruits

You can mix chopped vegetables such as carrots and green beans or fruits like apples and blueberries with your dog’s dry kibble.

The bulk of the meal should still be kibble, and make sure that any fruits or veggies used are safe and non-toxic for dogs.

Common Mistakes When Feeding A Dog Dry Foods

Leaving Food In The Open Air

Leaving dry dog food exposed to open air and humidity can lead to the formation of mold, bacteria, and spoilage.

These contaminants can pose a health risk to your dog if ingested.

Besides, moisture from the air can also affect the texture and taste of the food, making it less appealing.

To prevent this mistake, store dry dog food in sealed bags or airtight containers designed to maintain freshness.

It will help you preserve the food’s nutritional value and keep it safe for your pet to consume.


Overfeeding your dog with dry food is the shortest way to obesity, which is a significant health concern for dogs.

Excess weight can contribute to various health issues, such as joint issues, diabetes, and heart conditions. 

Thus, following the recommended feeding guidelines provided by your veterinarian based on your dog’s age, weight, and activity level is crucial. 

Moreover, avoid giving in to your dog’s begging or pleading for more food because this will end up with unintended weight gain.

It’s best to measure the appropriate portion sizes and stick to a consistent feeding schedule to maintain your dog’s ideal weight and overall health.

Do Not Clean The Bowl

Neglecting to clean your dog’s food bowl on a daily basis can result in the buildup of bacteria and residues.

It can create an unsanitary feeding environment that may give rise to digestive problems or other health problems.

Washing the bowl with hot water and a mild washing-up liquid can help remove any lingering contaminants and ensure a clean surface for your dog’s meals.

Besides, regular cleaning also helps prevent the growth of harmful microorganisms that can affect your dog’s well-being.


Should I feed my dog dry food all the time

Should I Feed My Dog Dry Food All The Time?

Feeding dogs only dry food can be healthy, but it’s important to ensure that the dry food you provide is high quality and meets your dog’s nutritional needs.

Many commercial dog foods in the market are formulated to provide a balanced diet and contain the essential nutrients dogs need for their overall health and well-being.

What Are The Top Dry Food For Dogs?

Hill’s Science Diet Puppy: This is recommended as a quality option for small-breed puppies.

It contains essential nutrients like calcium, phosphorus, and DHA for healthy bones, teeth, and brain development.

Royal Canin Small Breed Adult Dry Dog Food: This is suggested as a top choice for adult small breeds.

It is formulated with ingredients that dogs crave, such as chicken and chicken fat, and supports lean muscle maintenance.

Wellness Complete Large Breed Puppy: This is highlighted as a suitable dry dog food for large-breed puppies as it offers fewer calories to support controlled growth and incorporates glucosamine for joint health.

How To Store Dog Dry Food Properly?

Keep the dry food in a cool and dry place: You should store both dry dog food in a cool and dry location.

It is because high temperatures and humidity can accelerate the breakdown of nutrients and may foster dog’s dry food spoilage.

Store the food at an appropriate temperature: It’s best to store your dog’s dry food at a temperature under 80°F (27°C). Extreme heat can cause the food to deteriorate and lose its nutritional value.

Put the food in a safe place: If your dog can easily access their food, you should store it in a safe place that they cannot reach.

It helps prevent overeating, contamination, and potential dry dog food spoilage.


When should I feed my dog dry food? Starting between 6 to 12 weeks is generally ideal, but this varies based on the breed sizes.

Larger breeds at 9-10 weeks, and smaller breeds at around 12-13 weeks. This transition aligns with their digestive maturity.

Consulting your veterinarian ensures a well-timed shift to dry food.

Remember that early and appropriate dry diets contribute to your dog’s nutritional needs, fostering growth and its overall well-being.


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Hi I am Mitchell. Dog Growth is a blog about dog caring and training where I share my experiences to my community. Hope you enjoy it!

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