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how many times a day should i feed my dog
A dog needs proper nutrition and dieting to live a healthy comfortable life, just like humans. However, we are often at a loss on how many times and how much food our dogs require. While some hold that the canine needs to eat as many times as possible, others are of the view that few meals are adequate. Concerning the amount of food a dog should consume, many often believe that dogs never get satisfied. There are many misconceptions about the feeding habits of dogs but one thing is for sure: every dog has its own unique feeding habits. The question on the mind of any dog owner is: How many times a day should I feed my dog? To answer this question, consider the following:
Puppies require more food than their older counterparts to sustain their growth. However, you need to realize that their bowels may not be strong enough to handle large amounts of food. You should feed your puppies three to four meals per day, and as they grow older, reduce the frequency and amount of the food. The danger in allowing your puppy too much food would be constipation and overweight issues. Too little food is just as undesirable because your puppy will become famished.
Once or twice per day is usually enough for most adult dogs. Again, note that this is far from being a rule. Dogs are comfortable having two meals per day but you need to have a close look at yours before adopting my feeding program. For large-chested dogs, avoid large meals as they may lead to bloating. Nothing can get on your nerves more than a bloated dog in the vicinity. On the other hand, a malnourished canine is an eye-sore so consider giving your dog enough meals.
Elderly canines are usually less active and therefore, require fewer calories. During this stage in your dog’s life, it would be quite appropriate to reduce the amount of food you make available for it or consider switching to diets that contain fewer calories. Very old dogs may present a challenge since they may have lost their sense of smell and taste and may refuse to eat. You can encourage it to eat by giving it many small meals every day. You may come across very old dogs but with a huge appetite. In this case, you have to find out the underlying factors behind such an abnormal behavior. The solution to such a problem is also to give the animal many small meals so it doesn’t feel starved and gobble far too much.
Weight of the dog
Dogs, just like humans, have different genetic makeups. Some dogs may easily become overweight even on a limited diet while others may consume huge quantities of food everyday but never gain an ounce. For the latter, allow them a free feeding regime because you never know how they would be affected by small amounts of food. Heavy dogs, on the contrary, may not need a lot of food and two small meals per day would be sufficient. Small breed dogs will require more than their heavier relatives.
Whenever your dogs show symptoms of illness, the first question you ought to ask yourself is; how much food you should give it?. A sick dog may lose interest in food but you shouldn’t let be. Try as much as possible to ensure it eats something during the day. Lack of sufficient meals may jeopardize the chances of the dog fully recovering from the illness. Dogs in perfect health should not present much of a problem. You simply provide them with two small meals per day and they will be fine.
The dog’s lifestyle
How many times you should feed your dog also depends on its lifestyle. If your dog is the hyperactive type and spends most of its time running after things, you may consider refilling its bowl from time to time. Such a dog requires more food to replenish its energy and ensure faster re-growth of its body tissues. Similarly, dogs taking part in sports also require more meals than their non-sporting counterparts. The situation may not be the same for a largely inactive dog that sleeps throughout the day.
Look at the label of the products you buy
The question ‘how many times a day should a dog eat‘ can also be answered by looking at dog food labels. You are feeding your dog on commercial food. It is important to look at the guidelines printed on the label on the packet. This information includes the weight of the dog and the corresponding amount of food to be given. For most dog foods, 50g are enough for a dog weighing not more than 3kg. However, you must be careful with the information on the labels since it may not necessarily work for your dog. You may have come across grossly overweight dogs whose owners followed the instructions on the label to the letter. It is good practice to scale those amounts down and increase them gradually depending on the impact on your dogs.
The dog food calculator
When handling dogs, it also helps to go scientific. Instead of guessing the amount of food good for your dog, get the dog food calculator and press a few buttons. Enter the dog’s weight and select its life stage and level of activity. Lastly, enter the calories per serving details. Use a measuring cup to serve accurate amounts as per the results on the dog food calculator. Keep in mind that this only works for adult breeds; you may create a special feeding program for younger dogs. You should also keep in mind that the results displayed on your dog food calculator are approximations and as such, you need to watch your dog closely for any signs of being overweight or underweight so that you can adjust the amounts accordingly. Be sure to check on the dog’s health condition before adopting the scientific formula.
In a nutshell, there are no rigid rules to govern just how much or how many times you should feed your dog. Each dog may require a different feeding program depending on its weight, health condition and lifestyle. By keeping these factors in mind, you no longer need to ask yourself: how much food should I feed my dog?
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“How many times and how much food should you feed your dog”
Last updated: November 3, 2016 at 22:55 pm