Whether you are an excited dog owner who just purchased a Golden Retriever or an experienced dog owner who wants to ensure that his pet stays healthy, determining how often your dog should eat can be tricky.  Do you feed them thrice daily like humans? Oh, it might be too much. What about two times daily? That may be insufficient given the amount of energy these dogs expend. So how often do you feed your dog?


You see, first off, you must note that your dog’s diet and nutrition are intertwined with his health. Thus, determining how often your dog should eat, including their meal portion size, is something all dog owners need to figure out. And how do you do this? Well, lucky for you, that is where this article comes in handy.


Below, we have provided you with valuable details regarding how often you should feed your dog. This information will provide you with enough insights on how much puppies and adult dogs should eat, the best type of feeding schedule, and other beneficial tips that would ensure that your dog is well-fed.


Ready? Let’s begin!

 

Don't underfeed or overfeed your dogs

In humans, underfeeding can result in malnutrition, while overfeeding can result in weight gain and fat accretion. The same applies to dogs. If your dog is underfed, he could suffer from emaciation, rickets, and fur loss.

Underfed dogs are usually prone to infections and diseases as a result of their repressed immune system. On the other hand, overfeeding in dogs will eventually result in obesity and several other related health conditions, especially degenerative joint disease and cancer.

So, what is the moral story here? It is Simple!

Always quell the urge to overfeed your dog, in the name of showering him with love. Neither should you deprive your dog of food, in the name of trying not to overfeed him. Instead, ensure you draft a feeding schedule that will ensure that you give your dog exactly the right amount of food he needs.

 

Take veterinarian advice

Vet advice dog owners to feed their dogs at least twice daily. This doesn’t apply to dogs suffering from one medical issue or the other. Such dogs may require personalized feeding schedules or restrictions on what they take in.

Ensure you contact your vet and talk to him about your dog's eating habits to ensure that you are meeting their nutritional and healthcare needs. Once you get a recommendation from your vet, you can then proceed to a pet store and purchase the appropriate meal for your furry friend. However, you should note that breed plays an important role when deciding how often to feed your dog.

Of course, as expected, large dog breeds like English Mastiff, Great Dane, and Boerboel will require more feedings and calories each day than their counterparts.  Age is also another crucial factor. The more your dog ages, the more calories they'll need to sustain themselves.

 

Be Cautious with Puppies

Puppies are tiny, almost like the size of our palm, so it makes sense to feed them less, right? No! Doing so will hinder the growth and development of your pup.

Since these little dogs are growing fast, they need more food than even adult dogs. So always remember that your pup's nutrition is paramount for developing a base for future growth, including bone and organ development.

That said, how often should a puppy eat?

You see, puppies require small, constant feedings. After a few months of their birth, they will require small meals of food the entire day as they move from their mother's milk to solid meals. Beginning from four months, puppies can start eating about three times daily. Afterward, they will rapidly move on to twice-a-day feedings.

Feeding your puppies three or four times daily boasts several benefits. Aside from the nutritional benefits, sticking to this schedule makes it easier for puppies to digest and helps maintain their energy levels.

 

Observing Dog health

Don't fall for those adorable “feed-me” looks that often compel you to overfeed your dog. An adult dog needs two meals a day. However, if you catch your dog rummaging the house for something to eat or begging, it makes sense to include an occasional healthy treat in his diet.

Always ensure that you aren’t overfeeding your dog, as doing so comes with several disadvantages. Also, don’t rely solely on food labels as they can be deceiving.

What about generic feeding charts?

Sometimes, these charts may exaggerate how much to feed your furry friend or adopt dated information.

To figure out how much to feed your adult dog, start by determining your dog's estimated weight. A typical large dog breed will weigh between 50 to 150 pounds, while smaller breeds will weigh less, around 20 pounds. After determining your dog's weight, you should have an insight regarding the calories he needs each day.

 

Make a feeding schedule

The best time to feed your dog depends on your feeding schedule. However, before you conclude, it makes sense to consider your dog's age and activity level.

If you own an energetic dog, such as a Siberian husky, cocker spaniel, or a Bernese mountain dog, you may want to resist the urge to feed your dog after exercising. While this may sound illogical or like something every reasonable dog owner wouldn’t do, you must note that feeding your dog right after an energy-draining activity is bad health-wise. Why? Because it can result in a life-threatening condition commonly regarded as bloat, especially in large breed dogs.

 

Conclusion

If you are still skeptical about how often you should feed your furry friends, don't hesitate to contact your veterinarian. They are experts who know your dog pretty much and can tell you how much he should eat and when he should eat. Their assessment is often based on your dog's age, health, activity level, etc.

Furthermore, your vet may also provide you with a bit of a bonus. This bonus could include tips on how to enhance your dog's eating habits. For instance, if your dog eats like a glutton, they may provide you with tips on how to help slow his pace.