Common Questions About Feeding Dogs
Common Questions About Feeding Dogs

Common Questions About Feeding Dogs


Giving your dog the right nutrients and a complete, balanced diet does not have to be a head-scratcher. All you need to know is what can a dog eat, how much to feed your dog or puppy, how to feed dogs, how many times to feed a dog, how to handle treats and supplements, etc. And this article tries to answer commonly asked questions on dog feeding. 



  1. How do I decide what to feed my dog? 

When deciding which dog food is right for your pet, consider these three factors: 

  • Your dog’s life stage (Whether your dog is a puppy, an adult, or a senior)
  • Lifestyle (How active your dog is)
  • Condition (Overall health and body weight of your dog)  


  1. How many times should I feed a dog? 

Puppies should be fed three times a day from weaning (3 to 6 weeks) to 4 months of age. After 4 months, they should be fed twice a day. Most dogs should continue to be fed twice a day throughout their life, although some pets do well with one feeding.


  1.  How much should I feed my dog?

The answer to this question depends on your dog’s age, size, and activity level. Feeding guidelines, which list the daily-recommended portion, are included on all IAMS™ packages. Start feeding your dog with this amount and adjust according to its needs. Remember to divide the portion accordingly if you feed more than once a day.


  1. How much should I feed a puppy? 

The amount of food you need to feed your puppy depends on 3 main factors — breed, weight, and age. However, you can look at this puppy feeding table that we recommend for puppies: 



Adult target weight (kg)

Recommended daily feeding (g/day)
    <3 months 3-6 months 6-9 months 9-12 months 12-18 months

Toy breed

1-3 15-72 32-83 37-83


  3-5 33-106 72-121 83-121    

Small breed

5-8 48-151 106-172 111-172 111-170

Transition to IAMS™ Proactive Health™ Adult Dog Food 

  8-10 69-178 151-204 170-204 170-201  

Medium breed

10-20 82-299 178-343 201-343 201-339  
  20-25 137-346 299-404 339-404 339-404  

Large breed

25-40 136-492 346-575 404-575 396-575 396-563
  40-50 191-509 493-675 575-681 563-681 553-676


This diet contains 390 kilocalories of metabolizable energy (ME) per 100 gms. Remember to have clean, fresh water available for your dog always.


  1. When should I switch puppy to adult dog food diet? 

You should not change your puppy’s food to adult abruptly. Giving your pet time to acclimatise to the new taste of adult food is very important. Also, if you suddenly switch your pup’s food, it can cause digestive problems. Go through this schedule that will help you understand how much to feed your dog and transition your dog’s diet from puppy food to adult food:

  1. Day 1 – Add 75% puppy food and mix 25% adult food in your dog’s plate.
  2. Day 2 – Add both foods in equal quantities i.e., 50% puppy food and 50% adult food.
  3. Day 3 – Increase the quantity of adult food to 75% and bring down the quantity of puppy food to 25%.
  4. Day 4 – Fully transition to adult dog food.  


If you are wondering how much to feed your puppy by weight and age, check out the weight and age-wise breakdown on when to transition your puppy’s diet to adult food: 

Weight range

Age to begin transition

Small breeds that weigh < 9.07 kgs

9 and 12 months of age

Medium breeds that weigh between 9.07 and 22.6 kgs

12 to 14months of age

Large breeds that weigh more than 22.6 kgs

12 to 24 months of age


  1. When should I switch my dog to senior food? 

While transitioning from adult dog food to senior dog food, it is important to factor in your dog’s weight. Look at this weight table to know when to transition your dog’s food from adult to senior: 

Weight range

Age to begin transition

More than 40.8 kgs

5 years

23.1 to 40.8 kgs

6 years

9.5 to 23.1 kgs

7 years

Up to 9.07 kgs

7 years



  1. What is the best way to introduce a new diet to my dog? 

When changing your dog’s food diet, it’s important to slowly introduce new food. Start by offering your dog’s daily portion in a ratio of 25% new food to 75% current food. During the next three days, gradually increase the amount of new food and decrease the amount of the old food.


  1. What to feed my dog if they are overweight? 

If your dog has gained unhealthy weight, make sure to cut down on fats along with increasing regular exercise. We recommend you browse through IAMS™ products and choose dog foods that are low on fat. How much food to feed your dog if they are overweight, is another major concern. You can consult your vet to understand the right amount of food your furry friend needs for each meal.


  1. What should I feed my pregnant or nursing dog?

It’s important to understand that your dog’s nutritional needs change during pregnancy and ensure you feed her nutrition-rich food. For pregnant dogs, we recommend IAMS™ Puppy food as it’s full of proteins that can help your pregnant dog during the gestation period and improve the quality of milk to nourish her puppies post-delivery. 


  1. Is it necessary to feed both wet and dry food? 

Wet food is an excellent treat that can be fed alone or mixed with dry food. Although IAMS wet dog foods are nutritionally complete and balanced, it is not necessary to offer wet food at every feeding. Our dry foods are formulated with high-quality protein sources such as chicken and contain all the essential nutrients pets need. The crunchy texture of dry food also promotes healthy teeth and gums, and aids in overall good oral hygiene. In addition, some of our dry dog foods contain a dental enhancement to help block tartar buildup on teeth during and after meals. 


  1. Will my dog be bored eating the same food all the time? 

No. Unlike humans, dogs have fewer taste receptors. Hence, they won’t feel the urge to eat something different every day. In fact, if you find something that suits your dog’s overall health and preferences, stick to that food.


  1.  Is it all right to moisten dry food? 

Soaking dry food will ease up the initial job of the digestive enzymes. While water will not change its nutritional value, the food should be eaten relatively soon. Moreover, ensure that the leftover portion is discarded to avoid spoilage. We recommend providing your dog with IAMS™ dry food because it is beneficial to your dog’s dental health as well.


  1. Can dogs eat cat food?

No. Cats and dogs have different nutritional requirements. Moreover, cat foods are made with higher fat levels, which can be harmful to a dog. While it is okay for dogs and cats to sniff and lick some food from each other’s bowl, you shouldn’t let dogs eat cat food.


  1. How many biscuits can I feed my dog each day? 

We recommend feeding your dog approximately two to four small biscuits per cup of food. Keep in mind that when you add biscuits to your dog’s daily diet, this increases its daily calorie intake, so you should reduce the amount of food you feed. Check the calorie content of the biscuit since biscuits vary in size and formulation.


  1. Can I supplement my dog foods with vitamins, minerals, oils, etc.? 

Since IAMS™ dog foods are nutritionally complete and balanced, adding more vitamins, minerals or oils can disrupt the balance our dog food provides. The reason why you provide your dog with a high-quality product is that it has been developed to offer nourishment in proper ratios and ensure optimal nutrition. Hence, nothing needs to be added.


  1. Why does my dog need to eat protein? 

Protein is one of the essential elements that should be a part of your dog’s diet. Including protein in your dog’s diet will strengthen its muscles, ligaments, and cartilages. A protein-rich food also brings about a healthy shine to your dog’s coat! 


  1. Why should one maintain a feeding schedule for dogs?

It is important to maintain a feeding schedule for dogs so that they are conditioned to expect food at that time and avoid irregular snacking in between. 


  1. What are the things a dog cannot eat?  

You should never feed your dog home-baked goods, candy, gum, chocolate, limes, onion, and grapes. They can harm your dog’s digestive tract and cause infections as well. 


  1. Why should you feed IAMS™ dog food over homecooked food?

IAMS™ dog food is full of key nutrients that your dog needs for its healthy growth. The basic ingredients in our food include chicken, fish oil, beet pulp, wholesome grains, and natural prebiotic.


  1. How can I learn more about pet nutrition?

Follow our blogs to know more about pet nutrition and dog food diet. Feel free to contact us here in case of any queries.

  • Nutrition for Large- and Giant-Breed Adult Dogs
    Nutrition for Large- and Giant-Breed Adult Dogs
    Nutrition for Large- and Giant-Breed Adult Dogs

    Healthy joints and proper weight are especially important for dogs that grow to be more than 50 pounds. But not all large- and giant-breed adult dogs have the same nutritional needs. Is your dog getting proper exercise? Is she about to have puppies? Special conditions can dramatically affect your dog’s nutritional demands. Giving her a food specially formulated for her large size, life stage and activity level is the easiest way to make sure she’s getting the nutrients she needs.



    Choosing a Food for Overall Health

    To address the special needs of your large- or giant-breed dog, look for these features:

    • Less fat to help maintain an ideal body condition for less joint stress
    • Vitamin-rich fish oils for healthy skin, shiny coat and overall health
    • Essential vitamins and minerals to help support the immune system and help maintain good health
    • High-quality animal-based protein sources to help maintain muscle tone
    • A moderately fermentable fiber source, such as beet pulp, to maintain intestinal health, enhance your dog's ability to absorb nutrients, and reduce backyard cleanup
    • A carbohydrate blend to help sustain energy by maintaining normal blood sugar levels


    These components are key to good nutrition. Look for them in treats, wet dog food, or dry dog food, such as IAMS™ ProActive Health™ Adult Large Breed.



    Maintaining Healthy Joints and Cartilage

    Joint health is a big concern for owners of large- and giant-breed dogs. A large- or giant-breed formula that contains high-quality protein can help nourish healthy joints. Vitamins and minerals help promote the production of cartilage. Also, keeping your dog at a healthy weight will help minimize joint stress.



    Guarding Against Weight Gain

    Dogs with lower activity levels and dogs that have been neutered or spayed are all prone to weight gain. Controlling your dog’s weight is an important step toward protecting against the health effects of excess weight, such as diabetes or joint health problems. If you use a weight-management food, look for these characteristics:

    • A reduced fat level that still offers essential nutrients for skin and coat health
    • L-carnitine, a key nutrient that helps burn fat and maintain muscle mass during weight loss
    • Special carbohydrate blends that help maintain energy while managing weight
    • Vitamin-rich fish oils for overall health



    Providing Nutrition During Pregnancy

    Pregnant dogs have substantial nutrition requirements. Starting in the seventh week of her pregnancy, a mother dog will need to increase her energy intake up to 50% by the time she gives birth and increase it even more when she starts nursing her puppies. Because she may lose her appetite at times, it's important that she eats a nutrient-dense food. A complete, balanced puppy formula can give her the extra nutrients she needs. But avoid puppy food created for large and giant breeds; these formulas contain specially adjusted levels of energy and minerals that may not be sufficient for a pregnant or nursing dog.



    Switching to a Mature Diet

    Dogs who grow to be more than 50 pounds are considered mature or senior at age 5 or 6, which is earlier than small-breed dogs. So, it’s critical to make a proactive transition to a specially formulated mature diet, such as IAMS™ ProActive Health™ Mature Adult Large Breed, to help keep your dog healthy and active as she ages.

    Nutrition for Large and Giant Breed Adult Dogs
    Nutrition for Large and Giant Breed Adult Dogs