One of the most common questions asked in the field of dog care concerns feeding, and more specifically the amount and frequency of feeding. The answers to these questions depend on a variety of factors such as the age of the dog, activity level, type of food and the health of the animal.
In a dog’s life, we focus on how many times a day a dog should eat, which takes all these factors into consideration.
In general, the frequency at which a dog should eat is more important when it is a puppy; it decreases as it grows until it is eight weeks old, puppies should be fed with their mother’s milk, so we should not adopt them before they are weaned; separating them prematurely from their mother. and siblings can interfere with socialization and lead to future behaviour problems as early as the third or fourth week.
We can start introducing small amounts of solid food so that the puppies can get used to it, it is as well not to breastfeed them if the puppy needs to be given dry food as best it can be softened with a little water.
After six weeks of life, we can give the dog solid food about four times a day, allowing him to continue to feed on his mother’s milk. Most often, victory continues when the mother refuses to feed her puppies when they are two to three months old. The puppies must either be weaned or be in a weaning period requiring solid food about 4 to 5 times a day.
The final number of servings will depend on the breed of each dog since small toy dogs will need much less than large or giant dogs when the puppies are between 3 and 6 months old, they are already used to solid food and we can reduce the daily rations to 3 times a day as their development slows down after 6 months and up to their first year of life. Ideally two servings a day is ideal, it is essential that the changes in the dog’s feeding schedule be made gradually.
Their digestive system needs to get used to it gradually, that’s why we need to offer more daily rations and reduce them over time. Not all breeds reach adulthood at the same time, in general, a dog is considered adult between one and one and a half years old, there are some very large breeds that can take between 2 and 3 years.
In any case, once the dog reaches adulthood, the portion should be reduced to once or twice a day. the final decision will depend on the needs of our individual dog, some will prefer to eat all at once, others will divide it in two sessions. if you want to change the dog’s diet, it is important to do so gradually as well.
We should offer a mixture of old and new by gradually removing the old food until only the new one is left. once the dog reaches an advanced age, we will need to set the frequency of meals according to the dog’s health condition and special needs. older dogs are more likely to suffer from health problems, many of which require medication or prevent them from moving with the previous agility; visits to the veterinarian are even more important at this time and can best indicate the dog’s feeding schedule according to his clinical picture.
Some dogs may also prefer to eat smaller, more frequent portions to reduce their health condition, not all dogs need a schedule. some are able to ration the food themselves so that we can leave their bowl with food for most of the day meal schedules are most recommended for dogs with a tendency to overeat, if we don’t control the portions for them, they may develop obesity or other health problems in addition, we must use these schedules when we offer our dog a homemade diet because food can spoil if left outdoors and not kept in the refrigerator.
In short, the most important thing we need to do is to identify our dog’s needs and respond to them as best we can.