Medium-sized dogs are the most common kind of dogs, with a lot of breeds falling into the “medium-sized” dog category. They will need dog food that is made especially for medium-sized dogs to maintain a balance of nutrients and minerals that will keep them healthy.
How Much Food Does My Dog Need?
In general, an active, adult, medium-sized dog weighing about 30 lbs (13.6 kg) will need approximately 950 calories per day, divided into two meals per day. This number of calories is a very broad rule of thumb for medium-sized dogs because they’re such a varied group of breeds.
A dog’s calorie intake per day must take into account their activity level. A good example would be to compare a terrier with a bulldog: both are medium-sized dog breeds, and they may have the same weight, but a terrier is generally more active than a bulldog and will burn more energy throughout the day; therefore, a terrier should be eating more food than a bulldog.
Also important to note is the dog’s age. A puppy will have different nutrient requirements as they undergo an accelerated growth phase in the first 1-2 years of life, they can be switched over to adult dog food once they reach 80% of their expected adult size. A senior dog will also have different food requirements, because of their activity level and other health-related dietary concerns.
This guide for feeding medium-sized dogs is intended for adult dogs only. DOGPWND will be creating separate articles for the best feeding practices for puppies and senior dogs, and we will update this article with links to those articles once they’re available.
What Kind Of Food Does My Dog Need?
Protein & fat are the two food groups most important in a dog’s diet. Good-quality protein will help your dog to build lean muscle and, if taken in an adequate amount, will help prevent obesity. Fat (the good kind) will protect his liver, help his overall growth and serve as his energy reservoir throughout the day. The optimal protein content in dry dog food is 22-30% (5.5-8% in wet dog food). As for fat, the optimal content in dry dog food is 10-20% (3-5% in wet dog food).
A good rule of thumb is to avoid the cheaper options for dog food, as these will most probably have lower-quality protein. The type of protein you’re looking for, the ones that will be best for your dog’s nutrition, is animal protein, most commonly chicken, beef or duck proteins. This should be stated clearly on the food label, and it should be the first ingredient listed. Also, there should be no “by-product” listed next to it, i.e. “chicken by-product” or “beef by-product.”
If the first product listed on the food label is a grain, such as corn or wheat, you should avoid this type of dog food. Grains are commonly used as an extender in cheaper dog food options. An “extender” is exactly what it sounds like – an ingredient used to increase the mass of the dog food. This means that your dog will need a higher amount of this type of dog food to get the right number of calories, but also at the expense of quality nutrients/proteins.
The food label should also list the source of fat. A good source of fat would be chicken fat or fish oil, these will contain fatty nutrients such as omega-3 fatty acids and Docosahexaenoic Acid (DHA). These fatty nutrients are essential to keep your dog’s skin and coat healthy, as well as aid in brain and eye development, among many other things.
In addition, your dog will need carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals in smaller amounts to complete his diet. While no specific type of carbohydrate is recommended for dogs, some vets recommend grain-free diets because of their potential for allergies. Any high-quality, commercial type of dog food will have all of these nutrients densely packed into the food bits, along with other supplements that will prevent problems common in older dogs.
Other Tips For Feeding
Establish a feeding routine for your dog. He should be fed at roughly the same time every day. If you feed him twice a day, and usually do so at 8am and 6pm, try to make this a regular habit. This will help him establish his own pooping routine. It will help you as well, you’ll spot any irregularities in the routine quicker – such as your dog skipping a meal or not pooping for 1-2 days.
Stick to the same brand and amount of food, unless your veterinarian advises you on a change. Dogs’ digestive systems are quite sensitive and aren’t able to handle change quite so well, possibly resulting in bloating or diarrhea. If you do change his food, do so gradually by mixing in the new with the old and transitioning out the old over time.
Don’t overfeed your dog. If your dog isn’t finishing his food, you may be giving him too much. A good tip is to check his poop, it should be firm and brown. If his poop is firm, but gets softer and light brown towards the end, this is a good sign of overfeeding.
Always have clean water available. Clean his bowls and change the water at least once a day.
Leave your dog alone while he is eating. Your dog is born with the instinct to protect his food, even from you, and he might display some signs of aggression if you try to take away his food. This is completely normal.
Top 4 Recommended Dog Food For Medium Dogs
- top 1: Acana Wild Prairie Grain-Free Dry Dog Food With Chicken; 60% meat or fish, the first five ingredients are deboned chicken, chicken meal, green peas, turkey meal and chicken liver oil. $2.64/lb
- top 2: Victor Yukon River Salmon & Sweet Potato, Grain-Free, Dry Dog Food; 76% of the protein comes from fish, and all Yukon dog food products are locally-sourced and are free of corn, wheat, soy, gluten, grain, or any artificial coloring or preservatives; $2.19/lb
- top 3: Merrick’s Grain-Free Real Buffalo & Sweet Potato Recipe; 70% quality proteins from deboned buffalo & chicken meal, fats from Salmon meal, 30% carbohydrates from sweet potatoes, grainn-free; $2.46/lb
- top 4: Fromm Adult Gold Dog Food; first 3 ingredients are duck, chicken meal and chicken, with salmon oil, with GRAINS; $2.22/lb