How often should you feed your dog?
The amount you should give him will depend on the type of food you choose. There are guidelines that give an idea of how much and how often you should feed your dog, taking his weight and size into account. You’ll find this information on the label on the pack.
You also need to bear in mind how active your dog is on a daily basis. Remember that you can space out his meals, feeding him several times during the day.
So how many meals should you give him?
How many times a day does a dog eat? In order to answer this question, there are certain things that you need to take into account. Here you’ll find some advice and guidelines on what you need to bear in mind:
- Activity level.
- Food related behaviour problems.
How much food you give your furry friend, and how often you feed him will vary depending on age, as he’ll have different nutritional and energy needs when he’s a puppy, when he reaches adulthood, and when he’s a senior dog.
From the first month of their lives onwards until they’re weaned you can start to introduce kibble, although not as the main food source. At this stage it’s a question of getting him to try the kibble, and to start to get used to new flavours and textures.
Between 2 and 3 months of age, you can split the corresponding daily amount into 4 portions, one every six hours, throughout the day. When your dog is six months old, you can move on to feeding him twice a day, once in the morning and once in the evening.
You can either feed a large meal, or two smaller ones each day (the total amount of food should be the same). If your dog leaves some food in his dish, then try feeding him twice daily. If on the other hand if he gets nervous with only one meal a day, then give him two - one in the morning and one in the evening.
From a certain age onwards (7 or 8, depending on breed) dogs are thought to need less energy, and therefore fewer calories. You can feed once or twice a day, or if necessary even more often, as your dog may need to take medication with his food at some point, particularly if he’s 10 or over.
If your dog is very active, he’ll need more food and more calories. If this is the case, then it’s a good idea to give him two meals a day. On the other hand, if he leads a more sedentary life or isn’t so energetic, you’ll need to make adjustments to allow for this. To avoid stomach cramps, never feed your dog before any kind of vigorous physical exercise.
There are certain disorders that affect dogs that oblige us to be stricter with their diets, and with how much food we give them. If your dog has a tendency to put on weight, you can give him smaller meals distributed throughout the day so that he doesn’t get anxious and start obsessing about food. If your dog is pregnant, bear in mind that he’ll need up to twice as many calories as usual.
As you can see, specific circumstances and your dog’s age determine how much food you should give him. Work out how much to give her each mealtime by using a measure, rather than doing it by eye. It’s important to see how well the food suits him and to observe his activity level to make sure that you're getting it right.
Ultimately each individual dog has his particular needs, and no doubt he’ll let you know it! Keep an eye on how he reacts, and you’ll see if you need to either increase, or decrease, the amount you’re feeding him.