The pet dog has the same nutritional needs as any other dog. The only difference is the reduced number of calories it uses because of the type of life a dog leads as a household pet. This affects the amount of dog food needed each day.
The house dog living exclusively indoors is probably one of the least active animals in the world. More inactive, even, than its owner.
Exclusively indoor dogs
Usually a house dog spent most of its time sleeping. Its greatest effort, in many instances, consists of a 10-foot walk from the back door three times a day for eliminations, and a 10-foot walk from the family room couch to its food bowl in the kitchen. As a consequence, the house dog is the most overfed. And as a result, it suffers from the greatest overweight problems of all the house-pets.
Maybe your dog spends most of its daylight activities outdoors, but comes in at night. It has a higher energy need than the pet that is kept indoors constantly. Not only does it get more exercise, but it requires extra energy to maintain its body temperature during cooler weather outdoors.
Even with such additional requirements, it is not uncommon to find indoor/outdoor pets that are fed too much. And most often, they are borderline overweight.
Exclusively outdoor dogs
The dog that stays outdoors all of the time is the pet least likely to develop obesity. As an outdoor dog, it enjoys the same or more exercise as the indoors/outdoors dog. In addition, outdoor dogs have a considerably increased need for energy to maintain body heat.
This need for extra energy for body heat becomes especially high at night and in colder weather. In fact, there are occasional instances where outdoor dogs, when improperly fed, begin to appear just like the undernourished farm hounds of a past era of dog feeding.
Determining the amount of dog food needed
The quantity of food an indoor house dog needs is determined by the same things that determine the amount of food any other dog eat. They are its optimum body weight and the caloric density of the food it eats. You can calculate the amount of food needed in the same manner as for other dogs as follows.
Determine the number of calories a dog needs daily to maintain its optimum weight. Then divide that number by the number of calories in a pound of food you are feeding. The results will be the quantity of food you should feed, measured in pounds.