How to Feed Cairn Terriers

Cairns can easily become overweight.

Cairns can easily become overweight.

Feeding your little Toto is easy. He needs a small amount of quality food to keep him healthy and happy. He is prone to some food allergies, though, so choosing a quality food requires label reading to make sure he gets a good kibble.

Choose a high quality kibble for your pooch. Cairns are prone to food allergens such as corn, wheat and soy. Look for a quality food that has meat listed as the first three ingredients. Avoid foods with synthetic preservatives such as BHA and BHT. Kibble helps control tartar and plaque buildup on your pup's large teeth.

Feed your adult Cairn terrier twice a day. He should eat between 1/2 and 2/3 cup for the whole day. Avoid feeding him once a day. Cairns can become nauseated and vomit from an empty stomach. Measure the food so he doesn't overeat. Do not free feed your cairn because he can gain weight easily.

Place the kibble in a stainless steel dish. There are no chemicals in the composition of stainless steel. Stainless steel cleans easily and you can run it through the dishwasher. Clean his food dish daily.

Provide your terrier with fresh water all day long. Avoid tap water. Use filtered water or bottled water that is free of contaminants. Use a stainless steel dish for the water and wash it daily.

Check your pup's weight weekly. You can weigh him or feel for his ribs. Another way to see if his weight is appropriate is to take average-sized adult hands and span his waist area. You should be able to touch thumbs.

Give your Cairn terrier treats sparingly. He can have a couple of dog biscuits each day. Too many treats will increase his weight.

Items you will need

  • High quality dog food
  • Stainless steel dishes
  • Dog biscuits


  • You may want to add raw meat to your dog's diet. Choose flesh, organs and raw ground bone. Give him one heaping tablespoon with either his morning or evening meal mixed into the kibble. Cut back on the kibble, if you include the raw meat.


  • Cairns may beg for human food. Don't give in. There is salt in most human food, and it's too easy to overfeed your dog.

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About the Author

Pauline Gill is a retired teacher with more than 25 years of experience teaching English to high school students. She holds a bachelor's degree in language arts and a Master of Education degree. Gill is also an award-winning fiction author.

Photo Credits

  • chien terrier image by Danielle Bonardelle from Fotolia.com