An understandable area of concern for dog owners is how often they should feed their dog. A dog that is overfed or underfed can have some nasty related healthy conditions, so it’s important to find the right balance for your pooch.
How often you feed your dog will be dictated by the following key factors.
- How old is your dog?
A growing puppy will require more protein in the diet, and as they’re growing their metabolic rate requires significantly higher food input that an adult dog of similar size. Feeding puppies three meals a day until they are aged between 8 and 10 weeks, reducing to twice-daily feeds until their rapid growth phase has passed which can be anything from 8 months of age for a small dog to two years for a large breed.
- How big is your dog?
Provided you are feeding a perfectly balanced diet that meets all your dog’s nutritional requirements, the only difference between feeding large and small breed dogs should be portion size. Adult dog dogs – particularly the large and giant breeds – can be maintained on one meal a day, while small breeds, which have a higher metabolic rate may require two feeds a day to met their energy requirements.
- What type of diet are you feeding your dog?
Your choice of dog diet – kibble vs canned food vs roll vs raw – influences how much you feed your dog because the moisture levels within these foods varies. Good quality pet foods will include feeding frequencies on their nutritional guides but use this information as a guide only because the age of your dog, the amount of exercise it gets, its metabolic rate will vary from dog to dog.
- Is your dog pregnant of lactating?
Gestating bitches require extra nutrition – up to twice their normal intake during pregnancy and up to three times the norm during lactation – to support the energy requirements of their growing puppies. This may mean they require three substantial meals a day.
If you are unsure, check with your local veterinarian.