How Much and How Often Should You Feed Your Dog?

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How Much and How Often Should You Feed Your Dog

Every new dog parent usually asks this question: How many times should I feed my dog in a day? If you are in this situation, then this article is for you. You are going to learn the factors that determine the feeding times of your dog. Without further ado, let’s jump in.

What is the average number of times you should feed your dog?

Most experts recommend that a dog should be fed twice a day: once in the morning and once in the evening. Puppies under 5 months may need to be fed at least four times a day because they are growing rapidly. You should consult a veterinarian to help determine the number of times you should feed your puppy.

While most dogs will begin eating immediately when you place the bowl of food in front of them, adopted dogs may be nervous to eat at first. You should train him by leaving the bowl of food in front of him for 10 minutes, then come back and take it away regardless of whether he has eaten or not. With time, he will fit into your schedule and dig into the bowl the moment you provide food.

What affects the number of times your dog should eat in a day?

There are many factors that determine how much a dog should consume every day. Adequate nutrition ensures your dog has proper growth and bone development. Here the factors to consider when preparing a feeding schedule for your pooch:

1. Breed

Large breed dogs need more feedings and calories per day compared to small and medium-breed dogs. This is because large breed dogs have metabolism needs that require a huge amount of energy to address.   

2. Age

Puppies should be fed as frequently as four times a day while adult-dogs need only two meals a day. Puppies need more food because they are growing rapidly. The feedings ensure that they achieve proper bone and organ development.

3. Size

This is pretty easy! Huge sized dogs need to consume more food in one sitting compared to small-sized dogs. Small-sized dogs prefer taking multiple meals at different times of the day in small quantities. 

Energy level 

Breeds that are highly active need to eat as many as three times a day to help regain their energy. Puppies are also usually active because they are trying to survey their environment. This is why the veterinarian recommends more feeding times in puppies to maintain their energy levels.

How Much and How Often Should You Feed Your Dog

How much should puppies eat?

Because puppies are growing rapidly, they need more food compared to adult dogs. Puppy food is important to ensure proper growth. What’s more, the calcium levels in your puppy’s diet should be adequate for bone development. If your puppy gets limited amounts of calcium, then he will be prone to orthopedic conditions such as the early onset of arthritis.

Unlike adult dogs, puppies need small and frequent feedings spread throughout the day. During the first four months of your puppy’s life, it should be fed at least four times a day. At this point, he is transitioning from his mother’s milk to solid food.

He should be fed throughout the day to keep his energy level consistent. Ensure that you don’t overfeed him or he may become obese as an adult. From the age of 4 to 12 months, reduce the number of meals to three. Keep the caloric intake consistent during this period. Puppies will need a smaller number of calories for growth as they age.  

How much should adult dogs consume?

Most adult dogs only need 2 meals per day —in the morning when you are also having breakfast and in the evening during dinner time. However, an occasional treat during the day is not bad!

To ensure you don’t overfeed your dog, determine the amount of food he should be consuming based on his weight. Food labels may be misleading while generic food charts may overcalculate how much your dog should consume.

Feeding tips

Here are some feeding tips to improve your dog’s nutrition:

  • Stick to one variety of high-quality dog food - Avoid introducing supplements into your dog’s feeding program unless instructed by a vet.
  • Avoid overfeeding your dog - While most manufacturers may recommend feeding your dog high amounts of food, he may not need to consume that much. If your dog produces firm and dark brown crinkly stools, then it is the right amount of food. However, if he produces a firm stool that is softer towards the end, then it is a sign of overfeeding.

Conclusion

The number of times you should be feeding your dog depends on his age, type of breed, and size. Puppies need to be fed more times in a day compared to adult dogs because they are growing rapidly. A puppy less than 4 months should be fed at least 4 times in a day. Between 4 and 12 months, you should reduce the frequency to 3 times a day. Adult dogs should be fed a maximum of 2 meals a day: morning and evening. 

Author: Vincent Otieno

Author: Vincent

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