You may want to know the answer to one question that does matter. How many times should dogs eat a day? If you are a beginner, this is the most essential question. If you are an experienced dog owner, you may want to know the details and specifics. Today, we are going to answer all of the facts when it comes to puppies, dogs, and the number of meals they need per day.
Your Dog Can Decide
Let’s begin with an interesting option. How many times should dogs eat a day? Some people use interesting and simple techniques. They will leave the food for a dog always available so a dog will decide when and how much he wants to eat. This is not as bad as you may think. Healthy dogs can enjoy this form of feeding and they will probably be fine.
There are some issues with this method. First of all, your dog will likely end up overweight in time. All dogs love to eat so they will eat more than they need. Unless your dog runs around the backyard the whole day, this is not an appealing method. Secondly, you will leave the food exposed so it will tract other animals. If you really care about your dog, you will use proper meals at specific time frames.
Number of Meals For Puppies
Believe it or not, puppies need more meals per day than adult dogs. They are growing fast and they need food to power the growth. The diet is extremely important in this scenario. If you make a mistake here and provide him food that doesn’t contain a lot of calcium, they can end up with bone issues. Some puppies can even develop arthritis! Toy breed puppies are even more prone to issues such as hypoglycemia.
In general, toy breed puppies (these are very small puppies and will be small dogs) need between 4 and 6 meals per day. Medium sized breed puppies need less than 3 meals daily. Puppies that will grow and become large dogs need 3-4 meals per day. This applies to all puppies up to 3 months of age. As they grow, they will need fewer meals per day. Keep in mind that energy and metabolism levels do vary and they can vary significantly, up by 30% so you may want to do proper research for the breed you have.
Puppies need regular meals every single day. This will help them with the transition from mother’s milk and it can help them with energy levels and development. As they grow, they will need fewer calories per day and therefore fewer meals.
Number of Meals For Adult Dogs
All adult dogs need 2 meals per day. You will space these 8-12 hours apart. You also need to calculate the amount of food he needs per meal. Always remember that the weight of a dog and its gender will determine this. If you see that your pet needs more food, you can increase the meal size or give him a treat that is healthy.
Some dogs will not eat the whole bowl of food at once. They will just graze the food and leave. For those, you will need to calculate how much food they need per day and offer them that amount a few times per day. In this case scenario, we can see that allowing them to eat when they want and how much they want is not a bad idea if you don’t have the time to offer him food every couple of hours.
Senior dogs usually need 2 meals per day as well. Some of them will eat less because they are less active and they sleep more. If your pet has certain medical conditions, you will want to discuss them with your vet and make him a proper diet plan.
Adult dogs may need more food in specific situations. For example, if your pet is pregnant or nursing, she will need more food to eat. When the temperature is low he will also need more food. He uses food to stay warm and generate more heat. Dogs who are recovering from surgery or some medical procedure need more food as well. The same thing applies when a dog is recovering from an infection. Dogs who are extremely active during the day will need more food which is obvious.
Be Careful With The Treats
Many dog owners will calculate the amount of food their dogs need but forget about the treats. Even worse, they will use treats that are high in calories so you can end up with an obese dog!
Treats can only make up 5-10% of the dog’s diet and no more. Always use healthy treats, especially when you are training your pet. This will help you and your dog. He will get more nutrients, and healthy ones and he will not gain weight. Dogs can gain weight sooner than you may believe, hence it is important to prevent this as much as you can.
The best treats are fruits or vegetables. These are interesting to dogs, can be delicious and they don’t have a lot of calories. In general, your dog can eat more treats of this kind without any issues. Just be careful which fruits or vegetables you use. Some are not healthy or have certain issues when it comes to dogs.
Many dog owners want and like to make treats for their dogs. This does work well and it has a lot of perks.
The Final Word
The bottom line is simple. How many times should dogs eat a day? Puppies need up to 6 meals per day, depending on their breed. Adult dogs need 2 meals per day. You need to provide precise meals and create some sort of expectation. This will bond you with the dog more and make a meal more appealing to your pet. Allowing your pet to eat when he wants and how much he wants is not the best choice.