At the Ranch we base our portions on what each individual dog requires to reach or maintain their target weight. Some of our crew, like Bumi and Spicy, have high flying metabolisms which burn through calories no problem. While others... Chip we're looking at you... naturally carry a bit more weight and require a something a little different to stay healthy.
Healthy weight weens: for our average dog, who is of a healthy weight we feed them 1 cup of prepared kibble once a day with treats of raw meats and veggies a few times a week. Sometimes we feed them all of the days kibble in one sitting, sometimes we break it up over two. Mainly we try not to feed them at a regular feeding time each day so that their bodies are more flexible if a meal is missed or late. Many dogs on a strict schedule will get sick if they don't eat at the exact time they're used to. This random schedule helps us avoid that.
Puppies are fed much like our adults, the exception being that we feed them as much or as little as they want. Start with 1 cup once a day and if your pup quickly cleans their bowl and still seems hungry, simply offer them a little more.
Underweight weens: If one of our dogs is underweight we will mix in canned pumpkin and little baked cubes of sweet potato. These two veggies are known for helping add weight when that's needed. In cases like these we double up on the amount of kibble we offer the dogs. 2 cups per day until the seem to be back up to a healthy weight. We do the same for pregnant and nursing moms so they get the extra nourishment.
Overweight weens: Just like with humans it's important to avoid carbs and sugar. So we use a kibble that is high in protein 30%+ ideally. This limits the amount of starchy filler in the food. Too much fiber is another potential contributor to weight gain. Omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA from fish oil are healthy fats that you can add to your overweight dogs food to help them feel full and nourished. Use 1 to 1.5 mg combined EPA and DHA per pound of body weight daily for healthy dogs. (SOURCE) In some cases we will reduce the amount of kibble as well, but we also want to help them feel satisfied too.
When, how much, and what kinds of foods we use with our crew isn't fixed. We adjust as their needs change so that we are always working toward that ideal weight for each of them.