How Much to Feed a Giant Schnauzer (Feeding Chart & Guide)

Two Giant Schnauzer puppies eating together

Feeding a Giant Schnauzer isn’t just about filling a bowl; it’s about understanding their unique needs and size. 

This large and robust breed has specific dietary needs that differ from smaller schnauzers like Miniature and Standard Schnauzers.

In this article, we’ll explore how much to feed these gentle giants. We’ll provide practical tips and straightforward guidelines to take the guesswork out of mealtime.

What Factors Impact How Much to Feed a Giant Schnauzer

Dog food in white background

When it comes to feeding a Giant Schnauzer, it’s important to recognize that their larger size and dynamic personality demand a specialized diet. Different factors play a crucial role in determining how much food is best for them. 

Here’s a breakdown of the essential aspects to consider for your Giant Schnauzer’s nutrition:

  • Age: A Giant Schnauzer’s dietary requirements vary with age. Protein-rich and nutrient-dense food is crucial for puppies undergoing rapid growth. Adult Giant Schnauzers require a balanced diet with slightly fewer calories, while seniors may need a diet lower in calories but higher in specific nutrients to support their aging bodies.
  • Weight: Regularly check your dog’s weight and adjust their food portions as needed. An underweight dog may require more food or a higher-calorie diet, whereas an overweight dog might benefit from a calorie-restricted diet.
  • Activity Level: Given their high energy levels, active Giant Schnauzers involved in activities like agility or herding may need more calories. However, those with a less active lifestyle might need fewer calories to prevent weight gain.
  • Health Status: Health issues such as allergies, digestive problems, or metabolic disorders can affect your Giant Schnauzer’s diet. It’s important to consult with your veterinarian for any dietary adjustments in response to health changes.
  • Specific Dietary Needs: The breed’s dense and wiry coat may benefit from food that supports skin and coat health. This might require adjusting their overall food intake to include these special supplements.

All in all, the amount of food to feed a Giant Schnauzer depends on many factors. As an owner, it’s your responsibility to cater to these needs and make adjustments as necessary.

How Much to Feed Your Giant Schnauzer

Measuring dry dog food using a cup

As explored in the previous section, understanding the right amount of food for a Giant Schnauzer involves considering several factors, with age being a primary one. 

This section will outline the recommended food portions for Giant Schnauzers at different life stages, assuming your dog is healthy, has an average activity level, and is spayed or neutered at the appropriate age.

Giant Schnauzer Puppy Feeding Chart (2 to 12 months)

Newborn Giant Schnauzer puppies rely entirely on their mother’s milk for the first two weeks, which is crucial for their early development. 

At around three weeks, the weaning process begins, transitioning them from mother’s milk to liquid and eventually solid food.

During this growth phase, high-calorie food is recommended to match the breed’s high energy levels. A balanced diet rich in proteins and fats is essential for optimal muscle and bone development.

Here’s a feeding chart for your Giant Schnauzer puppy:

AgeDaily Feeding Amount (Cups)Caloric Intake (Per day)
2 – 3 months2 ¼ – 3 ½999 – 1,521
4 – 5 months3 ¼ – 3 ¾1,422 – 1,704
6 – 7 months4 ½ – 4 ¾1,972 – 2,100
8 – 10 months 4 ¾ – 52,184 – 2,268
11 – 12 months5 ¼2,268 – 2,310
*Use a standard 8-oz measuring cup 

Keep in mind that the quality of food is as important as quantity. Opt for premium-quality kibble that provides balanced nutrition for your growing Giant Schnauzer. And don’t forget about providing plenty of water for hydration.

Adult Giant Schnauzer Feeding Chart (1 to 5 years)

Giant Schnauzers typically reach adulthood within their first year and achieve their full size by 18 months. At this stage, their diet should shift to adult dog food or a balanced raw diet.

Below is the recommended daily feeding guide for an adult Giant Schnauzer:

AgeDaily Feeding Amount (Cups)Caloric Intake (Per day)
1 – 5 years4 ½ – 4 ¾1,848 – 1,946
*Use a standard 8-oz measuring cup 

When selecting kibble, it’s important to carefully read labels to avoid ingredients that could be harmful or unnecessary for your Giant Schnauzer’s health.

In addition to their regular diet, supplements like glucosamine for joint health, and omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids for skin and coat health, can be beneficial. 

However, always consult with a licensed veterinarian before introducing any new supplements to your dog’s diet to ensure their safety and appropriateness.

Senior Giant Schnauzer Feeding Chart (6 years and above)

As Giant Schnauzers enter their senior years, their dietary needs become more specific. It’s crucial for owners to choose the right food that caters to an aging dog’s health requirements.

It’s highly recommended to consult with a veterinarian to check for any underlying health conditions and to determine the most suitable diet for your senior Giant Schnauzer.

Below is a feeding chart that outlines the recommended daily food portions for a senior Giant Schnauzer:

AgeDaily Feeding Amount (Cups)Caloric Intake (Per day)
6 years and above3 ¾ – 41,478 – 1,557
*Use a standard 8-oz measuring cup 

During this stage, it’s important for owners to be particularly vigilant about their Giant Schnauzer’s dietary needs. Tailoring the diet to ensure optimal health and care for your senior dog is key.

Monitoring the weight and physical condition of your Giant Schnauzer is also essential. As they age, maintaining an ideal weight becomes increasingly important to minimize the risk of health problems common in older dogs, such as arthritis and heart disease. 

How Often Should You Feed Your Giant Schnauzer?

The feeding routine for a Giant Schnauzer should be tailored to their age. Puppies require more frequent meals, while adult and senior dogs need fewer. Here’s how it breaks down:

  • Puppies (2 to 6 months): Feed them three to four times a day. Frequent meals support their rapid growth and development during these crucial early months.
  • Young Adults (7 to 12 months): Reduce feeding to two to three times a day as they approach full growth.
  • Adults (1 to 5 years): Continue with two to three meals a day. This maintains their energy levels and helps establish a healthy eating routine.
  • Seniors (6 years and above): One to two meals a day are sufficient, considering their slower metabolism and decreased activity levels.

Giant Schnauzers can be enthusiastic eaters, so it’s important to control their portion sizes and avoid free feeding, which can lead to overeating and weight issues. 

Establishing a consistent feeding schedule is key to managing their weight and keeping them healthy.

How to Transition Your Giant Schnauzer to a New Food

Transition dogs to a new food

Changing your Giant Schnauzer’s diet can happen for various reasons, such as changes in nutritional needs, food preferences, or to alleviate food boredom. Knowing how to switch foods properly is crucial to prevent digestive upset.

A gradual transition is key to allowing your dog’s digestive system to adjust. Typically, this process should span 5 to 7 days. Gradually mix in more of the new food with the old food over this period.

Here’s a step-by-step guide for transitioning your Giant Schnauzer to a new diet:

DayOld FoodNew Food
1 – 275%25% 
3 – 450%50%
5 – 625%75%
70%100%

During the transition:

  • Ensure your Giant Schnauzer stays well-hydrated.
  • Limit treats and avoid introducing other food types to focus on the new diet.
  • Monitor your dog for any adverse reactions, such as vomiting or diarrhea. While some digestive adjustment is normal, persistent or severe symptoms warrant a consultation with your veterinarian.

Careful observation during this time will help you gauge how well your Giant Schnauzer is adapting to the new food. If any complications arise, such as repeated digestive issues, consult your vet for advice. 

Tips on Feeding an Overweight Giant Schnauzer

If your Giant Schnauzer is carrying extra weight, it’s important to implement dietary and lifestyle changes for their health. 

Being overweight can lead to a range of health issues, including metabolic disorders, heart disease, back pain, breathing difficulties, and kidney problems.

To check if your dog is overweight, start by physically examining your dog. If you’re unable to easily feel their ribs, notice a lack of a defined waist, see a swinging stomach, or find fat pads on their hips, these are signs your dog might be overweight.

Here are some tips you can follow to manage an overweight Giant Schnauzer:

  • Monitor caloric intake: Overfeeding and unutilized calories are the main contributors to weight gain. Assess and possibly reduce the amount of food your Giant Schnauzer consumes daily.
  • Opt for natural foods: Add raw fruits and vegetables to their diet. Fiber-rich options like broccoli, cauliflower, celery, and green beans can bulk up meals and help your dog feel full with fewer calories.
  • Choose lean proteins: Choose low-calorie, lean protein sources such as turkey, chicken breast, whitefish, and lean ground beef. They provide essential proteins without the added fat.
  • Limit treats and snacks: Be mindful of the calorie content of treats. Use them sparingly, primarily during training, and opt for healthier, low-calorie alternatives.
  • Increase physical activity: Regular exercise is essential for weight loss. Activities can range from daily walks to more intense agility training, which not only helps in burning calories but also keeps your dog mentally and physically stimulated.

Always discuss your Giant Schnauzer’s weight with a veterinarian. They can offer a customized diet plan, suggest suitable exercises, and monitor any weight-related health concerns.

By maintaining a balanced diet, engaging in regular exercise, and having frequent vet check-ups, you can effectively manage your Giant Schnauzer’s weight and improve their overall health.

Frequently Asked Questions

Woman feeding Giant Schnauzer during training

How Do I Know If I’m Feeding My Giant Schnauzer Enough?

To ensure you’re feeding your Giant Schnauzer adequately, observe their energy levels and behavior. A well-fed Giant Schnauzer will have ample energy for play and daily activities without signs of lethargy. 

Additionally, their weight should remain stable within the breed’s standard range. A quick check is to feel their ribs; they should be palpable with a thin layer of fat, indicating a balanced diet.

Why Is My Giant Schnauzer Not Eating?

Giant Schnauzers love to eat. If you notice a change in their appetite, it could be due to several reasons. Check for any changes in their food, like spoilage or funny smells. Dogs are likely to avoid food if it has a terrible smell.

Another reason is that your dog may be suffering from an illness that makes them eat little to no food at all. If your dog is taking any medication or has had recent vaccinations, it could also make them lose their appetite.

Emotional factors like stress, anxiety, or depression could also manifest in loss of appetite in Giant Schnauzers.

Can I Feed My Giant Schnauzer With Human Food?

Feeding your Giant Schnauzer human food is not recommended. Many ingredients found in our food can be harmful or even toxic to dogs. 

For instance, foods like chocolate, grapes, onions, and garlic can pose serious health risks to your pet. For the best nutritional results, it’s recommended to feed your Giant Schnauzer with dog-safe foods only.

Do Giant Schnauzers Eat a Lot?

Yes, Giant Schnauzers have robust appetites and tend to eat a lot, which could lead to bloat or digestion problems if left uncontrolled. 

Owners can use slow-feeder bowls, which provide mental stimulation while slowing down their dog’s eating habits.

Can Giant Schnauzers Eat Bones?

Large, solid raw bones that are easy to trim but difficult to break down and ingest are suitable for Giant Schnauzers. It provides healthy nutrients and provides entertainment for your dog.

Bones that are too thin, small, and brittle, whether cooked or raw, are dangerous for your Giant Schnauzer, as they can get stuck in their throat or block and obstruct your dog’s intestines.

Read this article to know more about which bones you can and cannot give your Giant Schnauzer.


Do you have any questions or suggestions about feeding a Giant Schnauzer? Let us know your thoughts about this feeding guide by leaving a comment below!

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