Dog Feeding as per Stage and Lifestyle

Nutrition, last updated 13th, Jun 2017, U K Atheya


The digestibility of most common ingredients is based on the digestibility of egg white, which is used as bench mark. The other protein ingredients are then compared to egg white, for their digestibility.

This table is to indicate that if maize is fed then only 54 % will be digested whereas, the egg whit will be completely digested. Meaning there by that 46 % of the maize will be excreted, the excreta will be more.


Approximate Digestibility List

Egg White 1.00
Muscle (chicken, beef And goat) 0.92
Cheese 0.89
Fish                                                                    0.75
Soybean 0.75
Rice 0.72
Oats 0.66
Yeast 0.63
Wheat 0.60
Corn 0.54



As a rule following is the calorie requirement of dogs.


Puppies                   200 Calories/kg/day

Adults                     120 Calories/kg/day

Geriatric (Old)        60 Calories/kg/day


These figures are for less active dogs, environment, pregnancy, and lactation will certainly increase the demand. Pregnant bitches requires just 10 % extra calories. Whereas, lactating bitches depending on number of pups and stage of lactation, needs 100 to 200 % more calories of their body weight requirement.

An example of home made dog food is given below.


Chicken                   75 g

Liver                        25 g

Rice                         140 g

Bone meal               10 g

Salt Iodised             pinchs

Refined oil               2 g 


Cook rice and then add chicken and liver and other ingredients and cook on mild heat for 10 minutes. Serve at body temperature.  This feed contains about 800 calories and is enough to feed 10 to 12 Kg mordantly active dog. The dry matter basis energy of this feed will be 17%, 31% and 53% from protein, fat and carbohydrate respectively. In this home made food liver supplement for iron and Vit B complex, salt provides iodine and calcium and phosphorus are from bone meal. These are rough estimates of 10 to 12 kg, non active dogs, this can be increased or decreased with weight of the dog. However, for small, medium and large breeds at different ages and life style the diet will differ. Accordingly a good commercial feed as recommended, by manufacturer, be given. It is not practically possible to make home diet for a large breed whelped bitch. However, small breed whelp bitch can be kept on home made feed .

Vegetables can be added to dog feed. Cooked potatoes and raw or boiled cabbage, carrots are valuable. Fruits if  dog likes, can be given. But citrus are of no use, as dogs can synthesise their own vitamin C. The old dogs (dogs over ten years of age) require less energy and be given feed according to veterinarians advise  In old dogs vitamin supplementation and addition of pro biotic in feeds will be necessary.


In hot climate, during summers, when environmental temperature is  above the body temperature . Dogs do not eat. So, they should be given food during night; when it is cool.


Excellent advice sir.
I have been feeding my two GSDs a diet of Eggs (cooked), chicken, bonemeal, rice and Dal with potatoes and seasonal vegetables thrown in. It really gives excellent results and good growth.
I feed them twice a day and each dog gets upto 4 eggs a day.Calcium and vitamin suppliments are added.
I had been told that milk should not be given beyond puppy stage because dogs cannotot digest milk once they are grown up.

By: Parakram | 16 May 2008

I agree, milk should not be given to dogs, reason being dogs do not have lactase enzyme to break down lactose

By: Admin | 16 May 2008

Rajesh Raghupathy
This is a very good blog for planning the what should be fed to puppies. Is providing raw egg good for puppies?

By: Rajesh Raghupathy | 24 Dec 2010

@Rajesh I think Raw eggs a have Vit A deficiency factor. It is always advised to cook them and then give

By: Rana Atheya | 24 Dec 2010

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