How Often Should You Feed Your Dog?

This question pops up all the time and there are several different things that will determine the correct answer for your dog.  Let’s talk about those things so that you can determine what is best for your pet.

One of the first things to consider is or we dealing with a puppy or an adult dog?  An eight-week-old puppy should probably be eating three times per day.  When that puppy gets to 4 to 6 months of age, then twice a day is usually adequate.

The breed of your dog is also an important thing to consider.  Larger breed dogs do fine with a single daily feed.  However it seems that smaller dogs do best with two smaller meals per day.

Another question I hear quite often is whether free feeding is a good ideaMy answer is NO, it is not a good idea to free feed your dog especially with a young pup that you are trying to house train.  You see every time your dog eats it will probably have a bowel movement and if your dog is eating all day long that means he’s having bowel movements all day and not helping the house training process.

On the other hand if you feed your dog twice a day for example he should have two bowel movements and you’re able to control the time it has those bowel movements by when you feed your dog.

Ideally it will always help if you’re able to have a consistent schedule for your dog.  For example if you’re going to feed twice a day ideally it should be around the same time each day and the same goes if you’re feeding only once a day.

Another thing you should consider while we are talking about feeding is the quality of the food that you are feeding.

You should always feed a quality food that has at least 27% protein.  Keep in mind that just because a dog food has 27% protein does not mean that it’s a quality dog food.  There is what we consider good protein and also what we consider bad protein.  For example chicken and beef are good proteins, but chicken beaks’ chicken claws, and cow hoofs are protein as well.  However the chicken beaks, chicken claws and cow hoofs are not good protein and simply pass through your dog’s body without providing any nutrition.

If you will come up with a sensible feeding schedule combined with a quality dog food you’ll find that you will have a happy dog that will flourish and do well.

Mark Mansfield

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