Guide to feeding your dog

There are so many dog foods on the market, and it’s often very difficult to find your way through the vast selection, especially as sound advice is sometimes hard to come by. We think it’s important to give you clear, objective information to help you choose the dog food you want for your pet, based on your criteria, budget and quality requirements.

What is physiological dog food?

Physiological dog food is intended for animals in good health. It is given on a daily basis when the animal is not suffering from any particular illness. You can keep your dog in good health by giving it a balanced physiological diet adapted to the different phases of its life. A poor diet reduces the body’s resistance to infection, promotes obesity and digestive and skin disorders, and disrupts puppy growth.

What type of food should I choose for my dog?

There are several ways to feed your dog:

Either with industrial food, croquettes or pâtés.
Some owners prefer a homemade diet, feeding their dog fresh ingredients such as meat mixed with rice, pasta, vegetables, etc.

NB: The BARF diet was developed by an Australian vet and consists mainly of bones and raw food. The rest is made up of supplements added sporadically and in small quantities, such as yoghurt, fruit, vegetables, eggs, etc.

So what should you choose? To help you see things more clearly, we’ve decided to outline the main advantages and disadvantages of each of these 2 diets.

The advantages and disadvantages of the home ration

The first thing to remember about the home ration is that it should never be confused with table scraps. These are meals specifically composed and prepared for your dog.

The benefits

  • Customised to the needs of each individual
  • The freshness of the products helps to maintain the dog’s appetite
  • Greater scope for variation
  • No preservatives or artificial flavourings


  • Greater consumption due to faster digestion
  • A risk of obstructions due to the introduction of bones, which can cause foreign bodies and injuries (to be avoided in dogs that have not been accustomed to them since a young age)
  • A risk of contamination (bacteria, mould, worms, etc.), although less so if the food is cooked, as the cold chain is important! Poorly defrosted meat can cause damage
  • A risk of imbalance and obesity
  • Not all dogs find raw meat appetising
  • The transition to industrial food will be more complicated if your dog has specific needs.

The advantages and disadvantages of industrial food

The advantages

  • More practical in terms of organisation
  • Saves time
  • Promotes good oral and dental health
  • Specific ranges for different physiological stages of the animal (e.g. age, breed, lactating female, etc.)
  • The assurance of a complete and balanced ration in every mouthful
  • No sorting
  • Safer storage


  • Less customisation for the animal
  • Less freshness
  • Presence of preservatives and artificial flavourings
  • Fewer possibilities for variation
  • Less time occupied

How do you choose your dog’s food?

How do you choose what to feed your dog? Depending on your dog’s lifestyle, its breed and therefore its size, its age, its tendency to become overweight, its physiology (whether it’s a whole dog or not) and its coat, its diet may vary to meet its specific needs at the time.

Obviously, a Yorkshire will not have the same needs as a German Shepherd, just as a city dog will not have the same diet as a very active rural dog that spends its life outdoors.

A pregnant or nursing dog will have specific dietary requirements, because it’s important for foetuses to have everything they need in utero, or for new-born puppies to be able to benefit from quality milk that is favourable to their growth and development.

Similarly, an older dog will need vitamins, trace elements and even chondroprotectors in its diet to protect its joints. Aging dogs reduce their physical activity and therefore need less energy. Discover all our dog food for older dogs.

Protido Caloric Ratio: what is it?

First and foremost, dogs are carnivores. Its natural diet is based on meat and the few fruits and vegetables contained in the stomachs of its prey. Although they have evolved slightly since their wild days, dogs are still not designed to eat a diet in which meat is not the main ingredient over the long term.

To cover your dog’s nutritional needs, it’s essential to know the protein-calorie ratio (PCR) of the kibble. This assesses the protein concentration of a food in relation to the calories it provides. These ratios, established over several decades by dog nutrition specialists, depend on the animal’s ideal weight and factors that reduce energy requirements, such as a sedentary lifestyle, neutering or belonging to a breed with a reduced metabolism. A CPR of 55 is commonly accepted for small-breed dogs, and a CPR of over 65 for large-breed dogs.

If the CPR is too low, there may be consequences such as weight loss or muscle wasting. Conversely, if the ratio is too high, the dog will inevitably gain weight. This is particularly true of Labradors, which tend to be overweight.

Today, there is a debate about grain-free versus traditional kibbles. Starch is essential for the practical production of the kibble (to give it its texture). So it’s important to remember that there may be « cereal-free » kibbles on the market, but there can’t be kibbles without starch.

When starch is present in too large a quantity, the carbohydrate energy intake it generates leads to excessive digestive fatigue and over-regulation of the pancreas.

Some manufacturers have taken advantage of the « cereal-free » craze, exploiting the ambiguity between the terms « cereal » and « starch ». What’s interesting in a kibble is not so much that it’s grain-free, but that it’s low in starch to respect the dog’s carnivorous nature. In short, kibbles that are low in starch and rich in quality animal proteins will have a positive effect on your dog’s health, coat and digestion. If the kibble contains 50% starch, whether from potatoes or cereals, it’s just as unsuitable for a carnivore! However, the manufacturer is not obliged to indicate the amount of starch on the packet of kibble… so that’s where you can fall into the trap.

To sum up, the choice of dog food requires an individual, case-by-case approach!

Tinned food or dry food, what should you choose?

When it comes to feeding your dog the right food, there’s always the question of whether to choose dry food or tinned food. Each type of food has its advantages and disadvantages.
Advantages of dry dog food

Quality is essential

Dry dog food has many advantages, but the quality of the food must come first. If you choose cheap dog food, your dog won’t get all the nutrients he needs for good health. To give him everything he needs, you need to choose a good-quality Premium food…
Easy to measure out and store

Dog food is easy to measure out and store. Once the bag has been opened, it can be kept without spoiling and doesn’t smell bad. All you have to do is stick to the recommended doses, and your dog will find everything he needs in his meals. Dry food is therefore more hygienic. It’s also easier to store large quantities of food in a small space.

Dry food is easier to digest

Dry food is often easier to digest than wet food. You don’t have to feed very large quantities and the dog digests them more easily. Stools are less abundant and less odorous.

Good oral hygiene

Dry food promotes good oral hygiene for your dog. By chewing their kibbles every day, dogs « brush their teeth ». Eating dry food helps to limit tartar build-up.

Advantages of dog food (wet food)

An appetising meal

Dog food is an appetising meal for your dog. More often than not, they prefer to eat pâté rather than kibble. The tastes are varied, so your pet doesn’t always eat the same thing day after day.

Very moist food

Tins and sachets for dogs are very moist foods. This can be useful if your dog doesn’t drink enough. But as pâté contains a lot of moisture, your dog will need to eat more than solid food to get the same amount of nutrients. The high moisture content also helps to reduce the risk of urinary problems.

Easier to swallow

For older dogs or very young dogs, pâtés are easier to swallow. They are better suited to dogs that are difficult to feed or have a poor appetite.

Can the two types of food be alternated?

By alternating pâté and kibble, your dog will benefit from the advantages of each type of food while limiting the disadvantages. However, it’s best to give your dog mainly kibble to limit the build-up of dental plaque. In any case, make sure your dog always has fresh water available.

How many meals a day should I give my dog?

We recommend that you give your adult dog 2 meals a day (morning and evening). This allows him to meet his energy requirements in 2 meals, which is more balanced.

How much food should I give my dog?

If you give your dog kibbles, an indication of the daily dosage should be printed on the bag. There are tables on the back of the packets to help you adjust the daily dose according to age (growing or adult) and weight (generally, males are bigger than females). It is even advisable to give a little less than the table indicates to avoid overweight. A dog that is very active will need more energy than a dog that lives on the sofa. That’s why the portion size is adapted according to the dog’s age and habits.

Some owners give kibble AND pâté. In this case, you need to adjust the respective quantities to be fed… which isn’t always easy!

For home feeding, a « typical » ration will comprise :

  • 1/3 meat (10 to 15g per kilo) or cooked fish
  • 1/3 rice cooked for a very long time to provide energy. The daily amount should be adapted to your dog’s energy requirements.
  • 1/3 preferably cooked vegetables to aid transit
  • (NOT recommended: avocado, garlic, onion, chives, grapes and clusters of fruit, macadamia nuts and, to a lesser extent, apricots, peaches, plums and cherries).
  • 1 tablespoon rapeseed oil for essential fatty acids
  • As well as a vitamin and mineral supplement

How much water should a dog drink every day?

A dog should consume around 50 to 75 ml of water per kg of body weight per day.

If your dog eats a dry food, he should drink this amount.
If he eats a wet physiological food (home-made food or pâtés), he will drink less water because his food already contains a lot of water.

What is the shelf life of dog food?

The shelf life of dog food should normally be stated on the packaging, in the same way as for our own food.

But it goes without saying that an opened bag of kibble should be sealed tightly once the ration has been taken out, so that the air doesn’t spoil the nutrients (particularly the fats, which can go rancid) and the appetising aromas remain intact. It should be kept in a dry place, away from heat. Choose the size of your bag according to the size of your pet and its appetite. There are also kibble boxes for dogs, so you can store your solid food efficiently for as long as possible.

A tin of pâté that has been opened and not completely used should be kept in the fridge, protected by a lid or transparent film. We advise you not to keep it open after 48 hours.

How do you read the label on a bag of dog food?

To select « good » kibbles, you need to read the information on the label and choose compositions with the most precise and detailed ingredients possible (animal and/or vegetable origin). Preference should be given to foods that contain as much protein and as little carbohydrate as possible, and those whose protein comes from good quality animal sources.

HOW DO YOU KNOW HOW TO READ A DOG FOOD LABEL? Compare foods using the information on the packaging: in addition to the ration table, there are 5 compulsory items of information that must appear on industrial food packaging:
List of ingredients (in descending order)

In this list, the ingredients are listed in descending order according to their quantity in the product BEFORE cooking. It is therefore easy to understand that this list does not directly reflect the proportion of a particular ingredient in the finished product.

Example: Let’s imagine that a croquette contains two ingredients:

200 grams of fresh meat, which contains 80% water: after cooking, around 60 grams of meat will remain.
120 grams of meat by-products containing 20% water: after cooking, around 110 grams of meat by-products will remain.

In the end, in this example, the label will indicate the meat before the meat derivatives, which is reassuring for the consumer who thinks that the food he is giving is rich in meat, but in the finished product, the proportion of meat derivatives will be higher. What’s more, this list of ingredients can sometimes be misleading for consumers, as some names are ambiguous: for example, between 2 commas you may find « meat and animal by-products ». This will count as just one ingredient, but there may only be 3% meat and 97% by-products! These little tricks are important to know if you want to better understand what’s in our animals’ food: the name of the product is perfectly regulated, which is something we are often unaware of: The composition of the food and the protein-calorie ratio.

Industrialists define the quantity to be fed as a function of the animal’s energy requirements; this does not reflect the nutritional quality of the energy supplied:

The average analysis of the feed and the various nutrients (in %)
Vitamin content (per kilo)
Type of food: complete food or complementary food
Instructions for use: for puppies, for older dogs, etc.

Quick guide to choosing the right kibbles for your dog at the right price:

High protein content
Lower ash content of around 8% (humidity is around 10%)
Vitamin and mineral supplementation
Limited quantity of cereals: not the leading ingredient in percentage terms
Suitable for sterilised dogs if necessary (or any other type of need or pathology)
Have a detailed list (which proteins, which source of starch, which fruit and vegetables?)

Focus on puppy food

How do you choose your puppy’s food?

Focus on puppy food

A well-balanced diet, both in terms of quantity and quality, is essential for your puppy’s harmonious growth. Good skeletal and muscular development depends largely on protein (meat), mineral (calcium and phosphorus) and vitamin intake.

You can read our dedicated guide on how to food your puppy here.

Not all breeds grow in the same way. Small-breed dogs (Yorkies, Chihuahuas, etc.) have a relatively high birth weight compared with their adult weight, and meeting their dietary requirements is rarely a problem. Conversely, large-breed puppies (German Shepherds, Labradors, Setters, etc.) have a very low birth weight and can be prone to malnutrition and nutritional deficiencies. Some giant breed dogs (Great Dane, etc.) do not finish growing until they are around 18 months old.

Many Premium kibble brands offer a puppy food adapted to the size of the adult dog: Mini, Medium, Maxi and Giant.

In addition to the size of the kibble (obviously larger for large-breed puppies), the composition varies according to the specific needs of the puppy’s breed.

How many meals a day should I give my puppy?

A dog’s stomach reaches its final size and development from 7 months onwards. That’s why the number of meals a puppy should be given varies according to his age:

From 4 to 6 weeks (at weaning time) and up to 3 months, the daily ration is divided into 4 or 5 meals.
From 3 to 5 months, the puppy is fed 3 meals a day.
From 6 or 7 months, 2 meals a day are recommended.

How much water should a puppy drink every day?

Puppies drink more than adult dogs because they need water to maintain their bodies as they are PLUS as they grow. The younger he is, the more he drinks – around twice as much as an adult at 3 months old. They will consume between 100 and 200 ml of water per kg of weight. From 2/3 of the way through their growth (between 5 and 8 months depending on the breed), puppies drink a quantity of water almost comparable to that of adults. Find all our water bowls for dogs and puppies in our online shop.

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