Am I Overfeeding/Underfeeding My Dog?

If your dogs are anything like mine they’re chomping at the bit come feeding time, they are pro-chow hounds no matter how much I feed them.  I’m always concerned about the amount I’m giving them — am I feeding too much/too little?

The condition of your dog tells you everything you need to know.

If you can see your dog’s ribs, hip bones and count every vertebra you’re underfeeding your dog by a lot!  Of course, be sure to rule out health concerns with your veterinarian if everything else is on track.

Most breeds should have a waste, a sort of indent if viewed from above, in the loin area in front of the hips.  Most breeds should also have a slight tuck up in the same area but if viewed from the side profile.  When petting the dog you should not feel their sharp backbone or protruding hip bones.  When feeling over their rib cage, should be a smooth, firm feeling.  You shouldn’t be able to feel every rib but you also shouldn’t feel a plush covering of fat either.

If overweight is a concern, there should be a thin layer of fat covering the hips, backbones & rib area, should be pleasant to the touch.  Not overly squishy, like when you poke you lose your finger in the rolls.


If your dog is scarfing down his food, he may very well still be hungry.  It is ideal to feed twice to three times a day, in small portions of his daily ration.  This helps the blood sugar stabilize and he’s not ravished at the dinner bell.  This can also help prevent bloat in breeds that are predispositioned.

You can always up his food intake a little at a time to help curb his hunger, you’ll be able to tell if you’re feeding too much as your dog will gain weight, if this occurs back it down or increase exercise to offset the extra caloric intake.

Also remember that treats = calories as well, so they’ll have to be factored into a healthy diet.

Some dogs are just quick eaters & always looking for a handout, I have one that he’d make himself sick if I let him.  These you just need to watch their weight to know for sure or supplement with lower calorie foods such as green beans, to help curb their appetite.

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