Belgian Malinois Feeding Guide (Everything You Should Know)

Josh Cassiel

Hello, pet parents! Welcome to my ultimate guide to feeding a Belgian Malinois.

In this guide, I will cover how much to feed a Belgian Malinois, how often to feed your Belgian Malinois, when to feed your Belgian Malinois, what foods to feed your Belgian Malinois, what foods to avoid feeding your Belgian Malinois, and other questions you may have about your Belgian Malinois’s nutrition.

You can read the article to the end or go through the table of contents below and jump to the section that answers the questions you have on your mind.

Belgian Malinois are dogs with exceptional energy, and they are best owned by experienced dog parents. Belgian Malinois are working dogs that excel in activities like tracking, detection (of bombs, drugs, and gases), and as therapy dogs.

Belgian Malinois have a reputation for being smart and obedient. They also have strong protective and territorial instincts. They are known to be excellent herding dogs. Even with their intense energy and instinct, with the right training, Malinois are social dogs and can make excellent family pets.

I created this ultimate guide to feeding your Belgian Malinois based on my personal experience working as a vet on every feeding question you may have in order to assist curious and new pet parents in solving their dog’s nutrition problem.

Let’s jump into the article.

Belgian Malinois Nutritional Requirements

Belgian Malinois feeding on food from the counter

Belgian Malinois are medium-sized dogs that require the proper nutrients in their specific amounts to grow healthy. Like other dog breeds, if some of these nutrients are present in excess amounts or less, it would end up endangering the overall health of your dog.

In their growing stage, your Belgian Malinois meal should primarily consist of 22.5% protein for puppies, 25% protein for adults, 8% fat for puppies, and 5% fat for adults; fiber, carbohydrates, multivitamins, and minerals.

Your Belgian Malinois’ protein source must be animal protein like chicken, turkey, lamb, and beef. Their fat source can be fish oil or vegetable oil, and their source of fiber is from wholesome, healthy vegetables like cabbage, carrots, sprouts, and broccoli. Your Belgian Malinois meals should include some vitamins and minerals for a strong immune system and bones.

Nutritional Requirements for a Belgian Malinois Puppy

The diet of a Belgian Malinois puppy and adolescent should consist of 22.5% protein, 8% fat, and 6% fiber. Belgian Malinois puppies are incredibly energetic, and their metabolism rate is high. They require protein for building healthy muscles and minerals for strong bones; carbohydrates for energy; and fats for maintaining healthy fur.

Nutritional Requirement for an Adult Belgian Malinois

The meal plan for mature and adult Belgian Malinois should consist of 25% protein, 25% carbohydrates, 5% fat, and 3% fiber. At this stage, Belgian Malinois are most active and will need protein and carbohydrates to keep their weight and energy level optimal. However, you should avoid overfeeding your pet at this stage, as Belgian Malinois are prone to obesity and will develop health complications.

Nutritional Requirement For Senior Belgian Malinois

At this stage of your dog’s life, it is less active than at other stages. At this age, your pet’s food should ideally contain 18% protein, 5% fat, and 3% fiber. Senior Belgian Malinois will need minerals and vitamins added to their food to keep their immune system and bones healthy.

Factors Affecting The Feeding of Your Belgian Malinois

There is a bowl of dog food on the table, a knife and fork are lying next to the Belgian Malinois, there is food from the bowl, paws are on the table.

Some factors will affect the diet of your Belgian Malinois, such as the size of the breed, its age, its activity level, and its underlying health conditions.

Let’s take a quick look at those factors before we jump into the quantity of food to feed your dog.

Size consideration

The average length of a Belgian Malinois male is 60–66 cm (24–26 inches), and for a female, it is 56–62 cm (22–24 inches) from the sole of its feet to its shoulder. The weight of a male Belgian Malinois is 25–30 kg (55–66 lbs), and for a female, it is 20–25 kg (44–55 lbs).

Male Belgian Malinois will consume more calories than their female counterpart as a result of their different sizes.

Age consideration

Belgian Malinois puppies are fed more because they are growing and their metabolism is high, which means puppies are always hungry.

Adults do not need to be fed more than two or three times per day. If they are fed more as a result of their slower metabolism, it can lead to stomach bloating and indigestion.

Senior Belgian Malinois are less active than their adult counterparts. This condition will make them require fewer calories than during their adult stage. Doing otherwise will result in obesity and other serious health problems down the road. 

Activity Level

Belgian Malinois are very active working dogs with sturdy and muscular frames. They must be fed a strict, quality diet to maintain this physical status.

Your adult Belgian Malinois should not be fed adult food as a puppy because their nutritional needs are different from adults. At this stage, they are more active and will require more energy-giving food. Seniors are less active and so will require minimal calories.

Health Consideration

Belgian Malinois are prone to certain health conditions, which should be taken into consideration in their diets if you wish to manage or prevent those issues.

Some health issues that affect your dog’s breed include hip and elbow dysplasia, cataracts, skin allergies, and epilepsy. 

Some of these health issues can be prevented or controlled by feeding your dog the right food and following strict guidelines when feeding them.

Your Belgian Malinois should not be fed low-quality food that does not contain the required nutrients vital for healthy living. This type of food can trigger some health problems which will you to spend that money for treatment.

Belgian Malinois Feeding Amount

Belgian Malinois puppies eating from bowl.

Your Belgian Malinois, just like any other dog breed, will require different amounts of food according to its stage of development. The amount of food required by a puppy will differ from that required by an adult according to their nutritional requirements.

On average, feed your puppy Belgian Malinois 0.5 to 1.5 cups of food that has 140 to 940 kcal per day; feed your adult Belgian Malinois 2.5 to 3.67 cups per day that has 610 to 1174 kcal per day, according to their activity level; and feed your senior Belgian Malinois 2.5 to 2.67 cups per day that has 610 to 880 kcal per day.

I will provide you with charts below to help you plan your dog’s meals from its puppy years to its senior years. However, this meal plan is not one-size-fits-all. It’s just a general guideline that should be followed based on your dog’s needs and recommendations from your vet or dog nutritionist.

How Much Should You Feed Your Belgian Malinois Puppy?

For your puppy and adolescent to grow into healthy adults, the meal should be high in protein and low in fat, which can be obtained from animal meat.

A Belgian Malinois puppy should be given 0.5 to 1.5 cups of food per day that contains 140–940 kcal of nutrients based on its age, weight, size, gender, and physical activity.

The feeding requirement of your puppy is given in detail in the charts below:

AgeDaily FoodQuantity (Cups)Kilocalories(Per day)ProteinFats
2 – 3 months0.5 – 0.75140 – 28022.5%8%
4 – 5 months0.75– 1.25360 – 61022.5%8%
6–9 months0.67 – 1.33440 – 88022.5%8%
10-12 months1.25-1.5540-94022.5%8%

Following the above guidelines will aid in bone development and muscle growth, as well as strengthen their immune system to combat common bacteria and viruses that can cause health complications.

 How Much Should You Feed An Adult Belgian Malinois?

The nutritional requirements of an adult Belgian Malinois are different from those of a puppy. The food of a mature Belgian Malinois should have a lower percentage of proteins and fats to prevent obesity. This is done by reducing the feeding frequency to two times per day.

A mature and adult Belgian Malinois puppy should be given 2.5 to 3.67 cups of food per day that contains 610 to 1174 kcal of nutrients based on its age, weight, size, gender, and physical activity.

The chart below will give you an understanding of the daily consumption needs of adult Belgian Malinois to help you with their meal plan.

AgeDaily Food Quantity(Cups)Kilocalories(Per day)ProteinFats
1 –6 years2.5 – 3.67610 – 117425%5%

How Much Should You Feed Your Senior Belgian Malinois?

Senior Belgian Malinois are generally less active than their younger counterparts due to fragile bones and joints. This means their meals will contain fewer calories, protein, and fat.

Geriatric Belgian Malinois are often plagued with health issues. Some of these issues can be alleviated by supplementing your senior dog’s diet with vitamins and minerals to help revive his or her weakened immune system and fragile bones.

Senior and geriatric Belgian Malinois puppies should be given 2.5–2.67 cups of food per day that contains 610–880 kcal of nutrients based on age, weight, size, gender, and health issues.

The table below gives you some details about the meal plan of an older Belgian Malinois.

However, you must still ensure they get the essential nutrients.

AgeDaily Food Quantity (Cups)Kilocalories (Per day)ProteinFats
7 years and above2.5 – 2.67610 – 88018%5%

You can continue giving your senior dog the same food you gave them as an adult, only in a lesser quantity as they don’t need as many calories as adult dogs. However, you should still consult your vet or pet nutritionist to be on the safe side.

Belgian Malinois Feeding Frequency

Teenage Boy and mature man preparing food on skewer on picnic while belgian malinois look over

Your Belgian Malinois’ meal frequency will vary the same as the feeding amounts, which are majorly dependent on its age. Below is a list of how often to feed your Belgian Malinois:

How Often Should You Feed Your Belgian Malinois Puppy?

•         During the weaning process or at 8 weeks old and below, feed them four times a day at equally spaced intervals.

•         8 weeks to 3 months old: feed them four times a day at equally spaced intervals.

•         4 months to 12 months old: gradually transition to feeding them three times a day with equally spaced time intervals.

AgeOptimal Feeding Times
2 – 5 months7:00 a.m., 12:00 p.m., 5:00 p.m., and 10:00 p.m.
6 – 12 months8:00 a.m., 2:00 p.m., 8:00 p.m.
1 year and above8:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m.

How Often Should You Feed Your Adult Belgian Malinois?

You should feed your adult Belgian Malinois two times a day, with 12 hours of spacing between meals. One in the morning and one in the evening is ideal.

How Often Should You Feed Your Senior Belgian Malinois?

You should feed your senior Belgian Malinois two times a day except given a specific schedule by a vet.

Belgian Malinois Feeding Schedule

•             Belgian Malinois puppies should be free-fed or fed in the morning, afternoon, evening, and night due to a faster metabolism in comparison to their adult colleagues

•         Adolescent Belgian Malinois should be fed in the morning, afternoon, and evening to help them transition properly into an adult.

•         Adult and senior Belgian Malinois should also be fed in the morning and the evening unless stated differently by your vet or pet nutritionist.

As a general rule, you should feed your Belgian Malinois a few hours before going to bed in the evening, so they have enough time to digest the food before going to sleep.

In total, we shouldn’t spoil our companions with treats as they may grow too attached to them. Treats should be primarily used as a reward when training your Belgian Malinois.

AgeOptimal Feeding Times
2 – 5 months old6:00 am, 11:00 am, 4:00 pm, and 9:00 pm 
6 – 12 months7:00 am, 12:00 pm, 5:00 pm
1 – 6 years7:00 am, 7:00 pm
7 years and above7:00 am or 7:00 pm if fed once a day;
7:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m. if fed twice a day.

The Kind Of Food To Feed Your Belgian Malinois

The food you feed your Belgian Malinois should specifically cater to medium breeds and contain the required nutrients necessary for a strong and healthy dog.

The kind of food to feed your Belgian Malinois includes dry dog food, wet dog food, a home-cooked diet, and biologically appropriate raw food. This will ensure your dog eats a balanced diet.

Let me touch on these few points to help you understand what to feed your dog:

                Dry Food: Dry dog or kibble is a portion of commercial pet food made by grinding and mixing up ingredients like meats, grains, and nutritional additives, which are then shaped into little kernels and cooked at high temperatures to remove the water content. Dry dog contains more carbs, less fat, less water, and sometimes less protein, and is often recommended by vets due to its lower cost, dental health benefits, convenience, weight loss support, and playtime perks.

                Wet Food: Wet dog food, or canned food, is made by mixing up and cooking the ingredients before adding or extracting varying amounts of water. Unlike dry dog food, wet dog food contains more water, fewer carbs, more fat, and often more protein. They are recommended by veterinarians due to their high water content, taste, ease of eating, and high nutritional profile.

Belgian malinois catches food thrown by owner

                Home-Cooked Diet:  Home-cooked diets are a great option for pet parents who are not into commercial dog food and want to go the extra length to prepare a meal for their furry companion. Feeding your dog a home-cooked meal gives you control over its nutrition and can put your mind at ease knowing that you are always providing the best care for your dog.

                BARF Diet: Biologically Appropriate Raw Food is a diet that includes raw meat, raw eggs, crushed animal bones, fruits, vegetables, probiotics, and other natural ingredients. BARF diets are used as a substitute for processed foods with preservatives. However, consult your vet before feeding your pet a raw diet to avoid health complications from harmful substances.

The Kind of Food To Avoid Feeding Your Belgian Malinois

We should take caution before giving whatever food we’re eating to our Belgian Malinois. They have large appetites, which makes it tempting to hand them whatever we find ourselves eating.

There are certain human foods, fruits, and vegetables to avoid feeding your Belgian Malinois because these foods contain toxins that are harmful to your pet that could lead you to frequent trips to the vet.

Human food to avoid feeding your Belgian Malinois includes chocolates, coffee, gums, peanut butter, candies, cooked bones, etc.

The Fruits and vegetables to avoid feeding your Belgian Malinois include grapes, avocado, garlic, onions, etc.

You should always check the ingredients on the food label to see if these ingredients are present in the food. Or you can simply consult a vet or pet nutritionist to check the ingredients with them.

When To Transition Your Belgian Malinois From Puppy Food To Adult Food

You should transition your Belgian Malinois puppy from puppy food to adult food when he’s around 10–12 months old.

Transitioning your adolescent Belgian Malinois from puppy food to adult food is an important stage in your dog’s development. Puppy food contains more calories and nutrients than adult food to meet the nutritional requirements at that stage of life.

Transitioning needs to be gradual by introducing adult feed bit by bit until you get to 100% adult feed.

However, feeding your adult puppy food will fill them with more protein and fat than their body requires and will lead to obesity due to the high fat content the body doesn’t need for optimum growth.

DayOld FoodNew Food
Day 1 – 275%25%
Day 3 – 450%50%
Day 5 – 625%75%
Day 7 – 80%100%

Why Your Belgian Malinois Is Not Eating

Your Belgian Malinois will not eat if it has one or a combination of the factors listed below:

Illness, dental problems, teething, medication, constipation, time of day, spoiled food, dehydration, and stress

Belgian Malinois are not picky eaters. Therefore, it might be a sign of some underlying illness that needs to be treated by the vet. Sometimes it can be something as mild as stress, which can resolve itself after some time, but if your dog is not drinking water or eating, then you need to see the vet immediately. 

Why Your Belgian Malinois Is Always Hungry

Belgian Malinois, like other medium-sized dog breeds, are big feeders, but acting hungry all the time could stem from issues that are not physical, like stress, learned behaviors, and a lack of training. Some medical issues can cause this scenario. Cushing’s disease, as well as a lack of adequate amounts of appropriate nutrition in your dog’s feed, could be the cause.

Excessive exercise will make your dog’s body burn calories faster, thus making them hungry after such exercises. Worms could be another reason your dog is always hungry.

Frequently Asked Questions on Feeding a Belgian Malinois

Do Belgian Malinois eat a lot?

Yes, Belgian Malinois can eat a lot, but this should not be encouraged as they are prone to obesity, and being overweight can cause a host of health issues in your dog. This is why proper feeding and a schedule need to be in place to train your dog.

Can Belgian Malinois become vegetarians?

The Belgian Malinois breed can live on a vegetarian diet as long as this diet consists of all the essential nutrients required by the Belgian Malinois to thrive and grow optimally.
If you are taking your dog on a vegan diet, then ensure that meals contain micronutrients that may not be present in a vegan diet.
You should consult your vet or pet nutritionist while planning your vegan meals to ensure your Belgian Malinois does not encounter any health complications.

Can Belgian Malinois eat bones?

Belgian Malinois can be fed raw, not cooked, bones, as this will encourage healthy bones and teeth and, as a bonus, contain a lot of micronutrients that may not be in their food.
However, you ensure that bones fed to your dog are disposed of after two to three days to prevent infection. Some guidelines concerning this have been stipulated by the American Kennel Club.

What human food can I feed my Belgian Malinois?

You can feed your Belgian Malinois different types of human foods, such as beef, chicken, pork, turkey, salmon, tuna, and eggs. They can also eat noodles, oatmeal, sweet potatoes, unsalted peanuts, parsnips, and other foods such as rice and pasta, yogurt, cheese, and peanut butter.

What fruits and vegetables can I feed my Belgian Malinois?

Belgian Malinois can eat many types of fruits, such as strawberries, apples, bananas, raspberries, peaches, mango, pears, blueberries, plums, melon, pineapple, oranges, and kiwi fruit. They can also eat vegetables such as pumpkin, carrots, peas, corn, cauliflower, spinach, cabbage, broccoli, and more.

Should you give your Belgian Malinois supplements?

Your Belgian Malinois does not require supplements if you feed them a commercial diet that meets their nutritional needs. However, you may need to feed them supplements if you feed them home-cooked meals as recommended by your vet or dog nutritionist.

Final Thoughts

Belgian Malinois are effective working dogs used for different roles in society. They are also highly intelligent and adept at training. 

They have a lot of common traits with German shepherds. They are best handled by experienced dog owners and can make an excellent companion if socialized early.

Options such as dry, wet, raw, and homemade diets are all great for them. You can free-feed your Belgian Malinois as a puppy, but you have to draw up a strict plan as they go on. It is also essential to know what foods are healthy and should be avoided, as some are toxic.

However, if you desire more information on how to take care of your Belgian Malinois, you should contact the nearest vet for information on essential nutrients, and you can also see a pet nutritionist for a regimen schedule for your pet.

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