How often should I feed my dog?

April 13, 2012

Draw a bone or a food dish filled with kibble on a piece of paper and give it to a dog. The dog will eat the paper with relish! Of course this is a joke but dogs are really voracious eaters. Human’s best friends would not only eat anything dogs would not know when to stop eating. Overfeeding can result to obesity. Obesity as we know can cause a number of health concerns. It is therefore the responsibility of dog owner to ensure that the pet is provided with the right kind and the right amount of food. The deal is to make the pet eat what it should and not what it wants to eat. This can be a tall order given the way dog owners pamper their pets. Most dog owners cannot say no to the pet thus even if the pet is already provided with its own food, the pet will still have a portion of the family’s dinner.

Maintaining the good health of the pet not only depends on providing nutritious food. The right amount of food ingested is vital to the health of the pet as well. So what will you feed your dog and how often should you fill the kibble bowl? The amount of food the dog needs depends on a lot of factors one of which is the age of the dog. Is your pet a puppy or an adult dog? Is your pet a stay at home dog or a working breed? While puppies are with the mother dog they can feed anytime. The pup simply has to lick the mother dog and the teats (and the milk) will be made readily available. Did you know that puppies nurse every 2 to 3 hours? When the pups are weaned this kind of feeding must be continued at least during the first few weeks. The puppies have to have more feeding times. Puppies are in a growth mode. Nutrients must be constantly provided to ensure the growth and the health of the puppy. Puppies under three months in age have to be feed four times every day. At 3 to 5 months of age, the puppy’s daily ration must be divided into 3 feedings. Puppies have smaller stomachs that cannot hold enough food if feeding will be made twice a day. It’s OK if the puppy can’t consume all the food in the dish. After a few days, the pup will finally understand that it has to consume the food as nothing is forthcoming until the next feeding time.

Feeding adult dogs would be a lot easier. You only have to accustom the dog to a feeding schedule. Adult dogs are commonly feed twice a day. This feeding arrangement is ideal for dog owners that are gone all day. The food dish will be filled in the morning before the family leaves for work and again in the evening when the family arrives home from work. If somebody is left at home the dog can have three meals like the human family. This feeding program is more ideal as it will enhance the dog’s digestive regularity. However, this would mean that the daily ration will have to be divided into three portions instead of two. Dogs are pack oriented. These animals look up to the leader of the pack. In the wild, dogs lower in rank will feed after the alpha male has eaten. Feeding an adult dog three times will reinforce the owner’s status as being the alpha male. But this can only be done of the dog is fed after the human family has eaten. No matter how often you feed the dog, it is necessary to ensure that clean drinking water is provided at all times.

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