How long should a 25 lb bag of dog food last?

Quick Answer

A 25 lb bag of dog food should last an average sized dog about 6 weeks, or around 1.5 months. However, exactly how long a bag lasts depends on several factors like your dog’s size, age, activity level, and the calories per cup in the particular dog food. For a more accurate estimate, you’ll need to know how much your dog eats per day and calculate based on that.

How to Estimate How Long a Bag Will Last

To estimate how long a 25 lb bag of dog food will last your dog:

  1. Check the dog food label for the calorie content per cup or per kg.
  2. Figure out approximately how many calories your dog needs per day based on their weight, age, and activity level.
  3. Divide the total calories in the bag by the number of calories your dog needs per day.

This will give you a rough estimate for the number of days the food should last.

For example, let’s say you have a 50 lb adult dog who needs around 1000 calories per day to maintain their weight. You purchase a 25 lb bag of dog food that contains 3500 calories per kg.

There are 11.34 kg in 25 lbs.

3500 calories x 11.34 kg = 39,690 total calories in the bag

39,690 calories / 1000 calories per day = ~39 days

So in this example, the 25 lb bag would last around 39 days for this particular dog.

Factors That Determine How Long a Bag Will Last

Several things affect how quickly your dog will go through a 25 lb bag of food, including:

Your Dog’s Size and Weight

Larger, heavier dogs need more calories per day, so they will go through food faster. Small dogs can make a bag last much longer.

Your Dog’s Age

Puppies and adolescent dogs need more calories per pound of body weight to fuel growth, so they may eat more than adult dogs. Senior dogs tend to eat less than younger adults.

Your Dog’s Activity Level

Active or working dogs who get a lot of exercise will burn more calories, requiring more food. Less active pets need fewer calories to maintain their energy needs.

Whether Your Dog is Spayed/Neutered

Intact dogs have higher calorie needs than those who are spayed or neutered. So neutered pets may make a bag last a bit longer.

Your Dog’s Metabolism

Some dogs just have a faster metabolism than others, meaning they burn calories more quickly. These pups need more food than comparably sized dogs with slower metabolisms.

The Calorie Content of the Food

Higher calorie foods designed for active or working dogs will be eaten in smaller quantities than lower calorie “lite” foods. So higher calorie foods may last longer by volume.

Amount Being Fed

If you are overfeeding your dog based on their needs, they will go through food more quickly. Feeding the appropriate amount makes bags last longer.

Number of Dogs Eating from the Bag

For multi-dog households, having 2 or more dogs eating from one bag means it will empty faster than if feeding just one dog.

Typical Calorie Needs for Dogs

Here are some general guidelines for average calorie needs based on dog size. This can help estimate how much they may eat per day.

Dog Weight Calories per Day (for Adult Dogs)
5 lbs 200-350
10 lbs 275-400
20 lbs 325-550
30 lbs 375-700
40 lbs 450-850
50 lbs 500-1000
60 lbs 550-1100
70 lbs 600-1200
80 lbs 700-1300
90 lbs 750-1400
100 lbs 800-1500
120 lbs 900-1800

These are general recommendations – your specific dog’s needs may vary based on activity, metabolism, and other factors. Check with your vet for a more personalized calorie requirement.

Puppies need approximately twice as many calories per pound as adult dogs of equivalent size. Senior dogs need 20-30% fewer calories than adult dogs to maintain a healthy weight.

Estimating Servings Per Day

To estimate how many servings your dog will need per day from a bag of food:

  1. Check the feeding guidelines on the dog food package.
  2. Multiply your dog’s target weight by the recommended daily servings for their weight range.
  3. Adjust as needed based on your dog’s age, activity level, etc.

For example, let’s say you have a 60 lb adult dog. The feeding guidelines recommend 3.5-4.5 cups per day for dogs 51-90 lbs. You multiply 60 x 4 cups (the mid-point recommendation) = 240 cups per day.

If the bag contains around 330 cups total, you can estimate it will last around 330/240 = ~1.4 days or 6 1/2 weeks.

This is just a rough estimate; you may need to adjust up or down depending on your individual dog and if you notice weight gain/loss over time. Monitor their body condition and amount of exercise and adjust food as needed.

Tips for Making a Bag Last Longer

If your dog is going through food too quickly, here are some tips to help a bag last longer:

  • Check that you are feeding the recommended amount based on your dog’s unique needs, not just going by package guidelines.
  • Consider switching to a food with a lower calorie content if your dog is less active.
  • Divide the daily food into multiple smaller meals instead of one large meal.
  • Use food dispensing toys to make mealtime last longer.
  • Substitute some kibble with lower calorie veggies like green beans or carrots.
  • Monitor treats and avoid over-treating.
  • Make sure everyone in the household is following the same feeding guidelines.
  • Store dog food properly in a cool, dry place to maintain freshness and quality longer.
  • Shop for dog food at warehouse stores to get large bags at lower unit prices.
  • Choose foods designed for your dog’s age (puppy, adult, senior) to provide the right nutrition.

With a few simple adjustments like these, you may be able to stretch out the time between buying new bags of dog food. But always be sure to feed at least the minimum amount needed to maintain your dog’s health and nutrition.

Signs Your Dog’s Food is Running Low

Some signs that your dog’s food supply is getting low and will soon need to be replenished:

  • The bag feels very light when you lift it
  • You can hear or see only a small amount of kibble rattling around inside
  • The bag is flat or shapeless instead of full
  • You have to dig and shake the bag to get the remaining food to the top
  • Your dog seems very interested in investigating an almost empty bag
  • You’ve fed approximately the expected number of servings from that bag

Pay attention to these signs that a refill is nearing so you don’t run out completely. You want to have your next bag purchased or delivered before you open the last serving. Running out can disrupt your dog’s routine which can cause stomach upset. Plan ahead to ensure you transition foods gradually.

Transitioning Between Bags of Food

When getting ready to open a new bag of your dog’s regular food, follow these tips:

  • Take about 10 days to fully switch from the old bag to the new one.
  • Gradually increase the ratio of new to old food over this period.
  • This gives your dog’s digestive system time to adjust to any subtle differences.
  • An abrupt 100% switch can cause stomach upset, diarrhea, or vomiting.
  • Mixing the old and new food also helps use up leftovers rather than having to discard a small amount.

If you are fully changing food brands or formulas, take 2-4 weeks to gradually mix in more and more of the new food. This slower transition helps avoid digestive disturbances. Monitor stool quality and watch for any issues.

Storing Leftover Dog Food Properly

To extend the shelf life of any dry dog food remaining after opening the bag:

  • Scoop out the leftover amount and place it in an airtight container.
  • Use a plastic, metal or glass storage container with a tight fitting lid.
  • Metal cans or sturdy plastic buckets work well.
  • Keep storage container in a cool, dry place.
  • Avoid temperature extremes or moisture which can cause early spoilage.
  • Use up fully within 2-3 weeks for best quality and to avoid bug infestations.
  • To extend storage time to 30-60 days, place entire container in freezer.

Properly stored, dry kibble can last 2-6 months past the bag’s expiration date before starting to lose flavor and nutrient content. Cans of wet food will keep for several days in the fridge after opening.

Is it Safe to Feed Expired Dog Food?

Dry dog foods typically have a shelf life of:

  • Unopened bag: Within 6 months to 1 year of the date of manufacture.
  • After opening: Up to 6 weeks or per expiration date.

You can generally continue to safely feed expired dry food within these guidelines, though nutritional value and taste may start to degrade:

  • 2-3 months past sell by date: Quality decline, but safe for most dogs.
  • 4-6 months past date: Increased risk of oxidation and nutrient loss.
  • Over 6 months: Higher risk of rancidity, mold, bacteria – discard.

Look for changes in texture, appearance, odor, and your dog’s appetite when feeding expired foods. Discontinue use if any digestion issues arise. Also discard immediately if you see mold, moisture, or bugs.

For canned wet foods, do not use anything past the expiration date or if the can is dented, swelling, or leaking. These are signs of spoilage and possible bacterial contamination.

How to Afford Expensive Dog Foods on a Budget

Some high quality dog foods can be pricey. Here are some tips for affording premium brands on a budget:

  • Choose formulas specifically for your dog’s age and activity level – “all life stages” are typically overkill nutrition.
  • Buy larger bag sizes which usually cost less per pound.
  • Shop at farm supply or warehouse stores for bulk discounts.
  • Look for and use coupons from pet food companies.
  • Consider ordering online for autoship deals and cashback rewards.
  • Find similar quality at a lower price point by comparing feeds using Dog Food Advisor or Whole Dog Journal.
  • Rotate between a few different proteins or brands to add variety.
  • Supplement with some affordable canned food for variety.
  • Split costs and buy in bulk with another dog owner.

With savvy shopping, you can find quality nutrition even if you’re on a tight budget. Just be sure to transition foods slowly to avoid GI upset.

Homemade Whole Food Diet Option

If you want to avoid the costs of commercial dog foods altogether, a homemade whole food diet is an alternative. Benefits can include:

  • Control over quality ingredients
  • Ability to customize recipes
  • Potential for health benefits
  • Dog enjoyment of variety and home cooking
  • Cost savings from making your own dog food

However, this option requires dedication to properly formulation and preparation to ensure complete and balanced nutrition. It’s recommended you consult with a canine nutritionist.

Common homemade recipes include some ratio of:

  • Animal protein (chicken, beef, fish, eggs)
  • Starchy vegetables (sweet potatoes, peas, carrots)
  • Leafy greens and produce
  • Whole grains (brown rice, oats, quinoa)
  • Healthy fats (flaxseed, coconut oil)
  • Yogurt
  • Supplements (calcium, multivitamin)

Home cooked meals take more work but can be a money saver. Just be sure to learn how to create balanced recipes and properly store and handle raw ingredients.


How long a 25 lb bag of dog food will last depends on several factors such as your dog’s size, age, activity level, and calorie needs, as well as the specific calorie content of the food. On average, for a medium sized adult dog eating a typical kibble, you can expect a 25 lb bag to last roughly 6 weeks or so.

Pay attention to your dog’s individual food requirements and closely follow feeding guidelines based on their weight. Monitor their condition and make adjustments if they gain or lose weight. Safely transition between foods by mixing old and new bags over about 10 days. Store any leftovers in an airtight container for 2-3 weeks maximum.

With proper planning, budgeting, storage, and transitioning, you can make a large bag of dog food last a reasonable duration while providing your best friend with consistent nutrition.

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