If you have a pawed family member in your house, then you probably struggle with this question regularly: How often should I feed my dog?
For both new and experienced dog owners, it is a huge matter of concern about how much they should feed their dogs for its better growth and development.
There are a lot of factors that determine the portion of meals that should be given to the dog.
In this article, we will address those factors that will help you get a clearer image:
Make a good start with “Twice a Day.”
There is no specific rule that prompts how many times a dog should be fed, but feeding twice a day is an excellent place to begin with.
Though, the size of the portion is more significant than the frequency of meals fed.
The Affecting Factors
As mentioned earlier, a lot of factors affect the portion size of dogs. These factors include breed, age, size, and energy level of the dog.
Veterinarians advise that a dog should at least be fed two times a day. But, some other factors, like medical problems or dietary needs, may need special attention while feeding and could restrict some types of food.
- Breed: There are breed-specific dog foods available in the market.
But, according to veterinarians, any commercial dog food will fulfill the physical requirements of your canine companion.
For example, a dog of an active breed will require more food than the dog of a less active breed even though they have the same weight.
- Age: Age of the dog also plays a significant role in determining the size of the portion. Young puppies proliferate.
Their bones elongate very fast. For that, it requires more nutrients than an adult dog, which means their meals will be more significant.
Their meals should be rich in calcium that helps it strengthens the bones.
- Energy Level: their energy level is also one of the factors that help one decide how much you should feed your dog.
There are dog foods available according to the level of energy of the dog in the market.
Mark what the energy level of your dog is and choose a good dog food for them.
Active dogs with more considerable energy should be fed more than those of lower energy level.
How Much Should Puppies Eat?
Puppies grow at a high pace and hence require more food than adult dogs.
The initial growth is very significant for laying a foundation for future growth and development of the dog.
The initial days of dogs require proper care. The diet of puppies must involve the right amount of calcium in it.
Bones tend to increase when they are young, which leads to a demand for calcium in the body.
They are not bound to eat twice a day. Just like a human baby, a puppy needs to eat in several but small frequent feedings.
This helps them to slowly transition from mother’s milk to solid food.
Puppies tend to increase, but it is necessary to keep a check on calorie intake and make it consistent from four to twelve months of age.
It is essential as excessive calories could make your little friend overweight, which will lead to an overweight dog in the future.
How Much Should Adult Dogs Eat?
Getting meals twice a day is enough for most of the dogs. But, if your pet lures you with their adorable puppy eyes into feeding more, then giving away a small, healthy treat would be appropriate.
It is recommended not to feed your dog more than required. The label on commercial dog foods could be misleading.
First, get to know about your dog’s weight according to its breed. Then, refer to a veterinarian-approved chart that depicts how many calories your dog needs.
Types of Feeding Methods and Which to Use
There are two methods: Free-feeding and Scheduled-feeding.
- Free Feeding Method: In free-feeding, food is left to the dog all the time. They are exposed to cooking all the time, and they eat according to their needs.
Veterinarians do not encourage this kind of feeding among dogs.
This hears like a good idea for a multiple-dog home, but on the other hand, it does not give you an idea of which dog ate how much.
This could lead to obesity or nutritional deficiency among dogs.
- Scheduled Feeding Method: Scheduled-feeding, on the other hand, is a highly recommended practice.
It does not make your pet lazy and lights a flame of excitement for meal-time. This encourages good meal-time behavior.
This will make your pawed friend feel like they are a part of the family because you make them eat on time as you do.
Plus, a dog who eats on time will poop on time, too, which is an essential thing for dog owners of urban areas.
Consult your veterinarian and plan out a feeding schedule for your dog.
Best Time to Feed your Dog?
It depends upon your schedule as you are going to feed them, but you should also keep in mind factors like your dog’s age and its amount of activity.
It should not be given any large meals before its play-time.
This can lead the dog to bloat the body, which turns out to be a life-threatening health condition.
Ask Your Veterinarian
If you are still confused about the quantity and type of food that you should feed your dog, then consult a veterinarian without any hesitation.
They have a more precisely calculated estimate on how much you should feed your dog.
They can determine by the age, weight, breed, etc. of your dog and give you a more precise answer.
Checking out for the best
You can also discuss any other eating habits like delayed eating or selective eating of your dog.
The veterinarian could provide you with tips to overcome such eating habits. He/she is aware of such behavioral issues among pets and knows how to overcome such problems by making small changes.