How Often Should I Be Feeding My Dog? (21 Expert Tips)

You’re not alone in asking how often should I be feeding my dog? Most experts have reached the opinion that it’s best to feed your dog twice per day. The benefits of feeding a dog more than one meal per day are the reduced strain on their stomach as well as the advantage of breaking up their day to include two super-exciting feeding events.

how often should I feed my dog

So, there are both health and behavioural advantages to feeding a dog twice per day.

If you’re currently weighing up the question of how often to feed your dog, you need to factor essential issues such as their age, weight, activity levels and breed.

Generally speaking, puppies need frequent feeding, senior dogs benefit from smaller, more regular meals and adult dogs thrive on specific feeding routines.

What the experts say on how often you should be feeding your dog

Most experts recommend feeding your dog twice a day — once in the morning and once in the evening — though puppies under five months of age should be fed three to four times a day, or as directed by your veterinarian.

While most dogs will dig in the moment you place the bowl on the floor, you may find that your adopted dog is a finicky eater, at least at first.

After all, he’s been thrust into a new home with new people, and he may be too nervous to eat. If this is the case, you will need to teach him to eat on a schedule.

Leave the bowl on the floor for ten minutes and then pick it up, regardless of whether he has eaten. (If your dog is a slow eater, this period can be extended to twenty minutes, but only if he is still eating during that time and hasn’t gone off in search of other entertainment.).

At the next scheduled feeding time, put the bowl back down, again for only ten minutes. Pretty soon your dog will learn that he needs to eat when the food is offered.   Having regularly-scheduled feeding times not only establishes a routine, it also allows you to monitor your dog’s health.

[Read this guide in full]

Expert Tips on How Often To Feed Your Dog

How often should I feed my small dog?

  • Naturally, smaller dogs need less food than larger ones, but what exactly is the perfect number? First, it’s important to have an accurate handle on how much your dog weighs and whether their body size is considered small, medium, or large.

How often should I feed my puppy?

  • Young pups and senior dogs have very different needs – puppies need food for their growing bodies while adult dogs’ diets should be focused on maintaining their health.

Does free feeding dogs lead to weight gain?

  • For dogs that always have access to their food, there is a better chance of them eating more than they need, which can lead to problems as they get older, such as excessive weight gain or health issues like heart disease or diabetes.
  • For dogs who love to scarf down their food, the PetSafe Healthy Pet Simply Feed Programmable Pet Feeder has a slow release function, which dispense each meal over a 15-minute period.
  • Some people want to feed their dogs once per day, but small dogs can usually only take in a small amount of food in one sitting.
  • Puppies have small stomachs and unique nutritional needs that make it necessary to feed them a small amount of food more often than you’d feed an adult dog.

Feed regularity and the importance of routine dog feeding times

  • Since dogs enjoy routine, it’s important to keep track of the times you feed your dog and become diligent about keeping the same feeding times.
  • A healthy feeding schedule and diet will ensure your pup is getting all of the proper nutrients they need from their food.
  • Be sure to decrease the amount of food you are giving him at each meal to compensate for one extra meal if you are switching from one meal per day to two.

Bonus tips on dog feeding frequency

  • A regular feeding schedule helps with house training puppies, as well as adult rescue dogs who have not been taught household manners.
  • Since puppies are growing rapidly, they need more food than adult dogs.
  • It is also not ideal to feed your dog cat food as, since it is designed for cats, it doesn’t have the right balance of vitamins and minerals for dogs.
  • Dogs that gulp their food down too quickly tend to take in large amounts of air whilst eating which can cause stomach and digestive system upset.
  • To determine how much food to feed your dog, you should start by knowing your dog’s estimated adult weight.
  • How should I determine what to feed my dog? Choose high-quality food as poor quality foods produce more waste, can cause digestive problems and often end up being more expensive (because to satisfy your dog you will need to feed him comparatively more).
  • Does the amount to be fed in the feeding guidelines pertain to each meal or the daily amount? How accurate are the feeding guidelines on my dog food label? The manufacturers’ recommended feeding guidelines are rarely accurate and should only be used as a rough starting point.
  • Not all dogs can or need to eat the amount recommended by the food manufacturers.
  • Too little food each day can cause them to be deficient in vital nutrients that help keep dogs healthy.
  • Even though puppies grow quickly, it’s important to keep caloric intake and food amount consistent from four to twelve months of age.
  • If you are using a commercial dog food, feed your dog the amount printed on the bag that fits with their ideal weight, age and lifestyle.
  • “For dogs who have accidents in the house, or who fluctuate in weight , a stricter dog feeding schedule may be ideal,”

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Expert Sources on How Often To Feed Your Dog

Dog Feeding Time: How Much and How Often? WebMD
Feeding Your Dog: How Often Should Dogs Eat And How Much? American Kennel Club
How Often Should You Feed Your Dog? Petfinder
How Often Should I Feed My Dog? – Pet Life Today Pet Life Today
10 FAQ’s about dog feeding guidelines | Dry Dog Food | Dog Food |
MedicAnimal.com
MedicAnimal
How Often Should You Feed A Dog? Pet Central by Chewy
How Much To Feed Your Dog | Prudent Pet Insurance Prudent Pet Insurance
Feeding Times and Frequency for Your Dog | VCA Animal Hospital vca_corporate
How Often Should You Feed Your Dog? – Dogtopia Dogtopia
How Often Should I Feed My Dog? | Purina Purina