How Many Times A Day Should I Feed My Dog?

Are you planning on bringing home a new pooch? If the answer’s yes, then there are also probably a million questions running through your mind right now. Questions like should you get a basket or kennel? What lead should you get? Best dog names? What you should feed them, how much you should feed them and… how often?

While we can’t tell you the best name for your pooch, read on to learn more about what your dog feeding routine should be, from the people over at PD Insurance.

How many times a day should I feed my dog if they’re a puppy?

Puppies younger than four months old should eat four meals a day. This should be reduced to three meals when the pup is six months old. It’s important to introduce them to a diet that will provide the nutrition for healthy growth and bone development.

Speak with your vet about the right kind of nutrition for your dog’s breed, health and age, as well as the right amount. You may even want to ask them for brand recommendations and signs to watch out for if you’re over or under-feeding them.

How many times a day should I feed my dog if they’re older?

Dogs of 12 months or older should be fed one to two meals daily. Again, ensure it’s the right amount for their breed and age, as well as their size and activity level.

For example, some smaller breed pooches are known to burn energy much faster than larger breed dogs, so should be fed two to three meals a day. The key is to feed them little yet often!

Other must-knows about dog feeding

It’s also recommended that you put a feeding schedule and routine in place. This will help you stay on track and better plan your day around your pooch’s feeding requirements. Check in with your vet about the best-fit specifics for your pet.

It’s important you get this right. As overfeeding and/or feeding your dog the wrong things can be a quick path to health issues such as diabetes.

→Related article: What Foods Can Dogs Not Eat?

What is a dog feeding schedule?

Don’t worry, there’s no need to get out the different colour pens, or to think up an elaborate planning system. A dog feeding schedule is a simple timetable that you stick to ensure you feed your pooch at the same time (or close to it) every day.

Keeping meal times to the same (or similar) time every day helps keep your pooch’s digestive system regular, and makes his trips to the toilet more predictable. A schedule will also prevent your doggy from having accidents inside the house, as he’ll grow accustomed to the schedule.

What is the best time to feed a dog?

Before setting a daily feeding time you should consider factors like your own schedule and whether the times fit in with that.

Also, consider how meals fit in with your dog’s activity timeframes. Just like in humans, it’s not advisable for dogs to eat right before or after exercising. This can result in a life-threatening condition called bloat, especially in large-breed dogs.

→Related article: How Much Exercise Do Dogs Need?

Dog feeding tips for your pooch

Here’s a list of dog-feeding tips you may find useful:

  • A balanced diet of quality dog food is recommended for your canine
  • Be vigilant of feeding them too much. Pet food manufacturers’ recommendations may not suit all dogs. Now that you have a better idea of how many times a day should a dog eat, watch out for overfeeding
  • Don’t change your dog’s diet abruptly. Amend your pooch’s diet gradually over a period of 7-10 days
  • Try not to feed your dog before travelling. Your pooch may end up with carsickness if you feed them too close to the time you set off on a road trip
  • Use a raised bowl for medium- to large-breed dogs. This prevents them from swallowing air while they eat.
  • Taking your dog’s bowl away while it’s eating, to prevent overeating, will cause anxiety and aggressive behaviour. Instead, serve them the right amount of food at each time slot in your feeding schedule and you won’t need to.

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author andrew broadley

About the reviewer of this page

This report was reviewed by Canstar Content Producer, Andrew Broadley. Andrew is an experienced writer with a wide range of industry experience. Starting out, he cut his teeth working as a writer for print and online magazines, and he has worked in both journalism and editorial roles. His content has covered lifestyle and culture, marketing and, more recently, finance for Canstar.

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