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How Much Canned Food Should You Feed a Dog Per Day?

How Much Canned Food Should You Feed a Dog Per Day?

Whether you are a rookie pet parent or a seasoned one, deciding how much food to give your pup can be confusing.

Since dogs can’t communicate with words, it is hard to tell whether they are underfed, appropriately fed, or overfed.

Most pet owners just wing it hoping they are giving their furry friends proper nutrition for their bodies.

If you are among the long list of pet parents who are confused about how much canned food to feed a dog per day, keep reading…we have discussed the topic in detail including how canned food compares with dry food. 

Why the Right Canned Food Matters

Like human beings, nutrition has a direct impact on the quality of life of a dog.

Too little food and your fur baby will experience deadly nutritional deficiencies.

Too much and he will develop a host of health issues including obesity, labored breathing, osteoarthritis, congestive heart failure, cancers, shortened years, skin disorders, and more.

Giving your pet the right amount of food will boost his optimal health and improve their quality of life.

So, How Much Canned Food Should You Feed Your Dog Per Day?

This really depends on a number of factors. There’s no one-size-fits-all answer for this question as dogs differ in size, appetites, health levels, and more.

Let’s go over the factors that affect the portion of canned food a pup should have.


First off, the age of your four-legged friend has a direct relationship with how much food he consumes on a daily basis.

The body requires specific nutrition as per the stage of the pet.

Typically, a growing puppy needs more food than an adult dog. This is because the latter has a slower metabolism than the former since growth has reached its peak.

Activity Level

Dogs differ in their activity levels and ultimately their daily caloric requirements.

For instance, a laid-back American bulldog might not need to eat much compared to a highly active whippet.

Even canines of the same breeds have varying activity levels.

A dog that runs around most of the day and plays intense sports like flyball and agility certainly needs more canned food especially during competition than the one that is low-energy.

Body Weight

Another factor to keep in mind when establishing how much canned food to feed a dog per day is his weight.

In human beings, people on a weight loss journey don’t eat the same way as their counterparts who are maintaining or gaining weight.

The same principle applies to your pup. If he is underweight, you will want to up his intake of canned food to help him pack on the pounds.

Overweight dogs, on the other hand, need a diet lower in calories to aid in fat burning.

In the same breath, if you have a dog with an ideal weight, feed him the right amounts specific to his needs.

You can track the weight of your dog by weighing him once or twice per month.

After a couple of weeks, you should be able to tell whether they are underweight, overweight, or ideal.


The size of your pup goes hand in hand with his breed.

The larger the canine, the more canned food he needs for survival.

It goes without saying that a Chihuahua eats a tiny fraction of what a Great Dane intakes in a single day.

Frequency Of The Meals

When it comes to how often you should feed your dog, pet parents have different schools of thought.

Some dog owners believe in feeding their pups once a day, others twice, three times, four times, countless times, and so on.

Frankly, different dog breeds require different eating schedules for optimal health.

Some breeds are susceptible to bloat including German shepherds and Great Danes.

If you have one such breed, it is prudent to feed him frequently rather than offering one huge meal.

Most adult dogs feed twice a day while puppies tend to have three meals.

To know the exact amount to give your pup, divide the daily calorie intake by the number of meals.

What Is The Right Amount of Canned Food To Feed My Dog?

To determine the exact amount of canned food to feed a dog, you need to make an appointment with your vet. They are the best-qualified professionals who can offer you the best advice.

However, if you don’t have that luxury, here’s a guide that will come in handy. (The guide is based on your pup’s bodyweight only).

  • 0-10 pounds: ¼ can or 1/3- 1 cup of food per day.
  • 11-25 pounds: ½ can or 1-2.1/4 cup of food per day.
  • 26-50 pounds: 1 can or 21/4 cup of food per day.
  • 51 – 75 pounds: 1.5 cans or 33/4 cup of food per day.
  • Over 75 pounds: 2 cans or 5-8 cups of food per day.

Additional Tips

While this guide is highly important when portioning out canned food for your dog, there are a few more tips you should keep in mind. These include the following:

A. Check The Can’s Feeding Guide

Dog food companies are required by the law to include important details on their food labels.

Most of them have feeding guides on all their products to guide pet parents to give the right portion.

Make a point of reading the guides; they are quite helpful.

B. Use an Online Calculator

Another awesome trick to use when establishing how much canned food your pup needs is a dog calorie calculator. There are hundreds of those on the internet.

After keying details of your dog, they will compute his daily calorie needs and display the number on the screen.

Compare two or more such calculators and determine the right portion size for him.

C. Talk to Your Vet

If you have further questions regarding your pup’s diet, the best place to get answers is at the vet. They have the knowledge and expertise to draw up a diet plan for virtually any dog.

How Much Canned Dog Food Equals Dry Food

When it comes to dog nutrition, you can choose to stick to canned, dry, or a mixture of both. The choice is entirely up to you.

Essentially, most parents are geared towards the dry side because they offer more in the way of caloric density compared to a canned diet. This is because dry foods don’t have water.

Those with huge dog breeds particularly find it easy to stick to a dry food diet as it doesn’t require a lot of volumes to be full.

On the opposite side of the spectrum, canned food is great because it is quality food. Wet food consists of more protein, it is easy to digest (because of being palatable), and reduces bloat.

To know the equivalent of canned food in dry food, you have to calculate the calories in the canned food first.

Once you have a figure, calculate the amount of dry food equivalent to the calories.

Here’s an example: If ¼ cups canned food = 400kcal, you will replace that with the amount of kibble that’s equal to 400k calories.

If you intend of jumping between both canned and dry food, don’t forget to offer plenty of water to avoid stomach upsets.

Final Thoughts

Canned food comes with a plethora of benefits for dogs.

It is no wonder most pet parents have put their pups on a wet food diet (or at least predominantly).

To know how much to give per day, consider the tips shared in this guide.

If not satisfied, bring your vet into the loop, you can’t go wrong with them.


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