Among the many questions new and experienced dog owners face is an especially important one. How often should dogs eat? Diet and nutrition are crucial components to keeping your dog a healthy member of the family for years to come.
Though there’s no hard-and-fast rule to how often a dog should eat, twice a day is generally a good place to start. However, more important than feeding frequency is meal portion size. Portion size may vary based on breed, age, and health condition, and settling on the right amount can be tricky.
Dog meal delivery services can make it easy to serve your canine companion delicious, nutritious, and appropriately-portioned meals that even humans can eat. One of these services, Ollie, delivers fresh, human-grade dog food customized for your pup’s unique nutritional needs. Ollie works with vet nutritionists to formulate a perfect plan specifically for your dog based on weight, breed, and allergies. Plus they make it easy for us humans – all of Ollie’s recipes are pre-portioned and your pup will be set up with his/her’s own feeding schedule so you don’t have to worry about overfeeding or underfeeding.
What Affects How Often a Dog Should Eat?
Veterinarians recommend feeding a dog at least twice per day. Dogs with medical issues or dietary needs may require specialized feeding schedules or restrictions on what they eat. Talk to your veterinarian about your dog’s eating habits to make sure you’re meeting their nutritional needs and healthcare requirements.
Breed plays a large role when deciding how often to feed your dog. Common large breed dogs, for instance, will often require more feedings and more calories per day than medium and small breed dogs. Age is also another important consideration. The caloric requirements for a two-month-old Yorkshire Terrier varies greatly compared to a two-year-old Yorkie.
How Much Should Puppies Eat?
A fresh meal service like Ollie helps change your feeding approach as your dog changes ages from puppy to adult so you don’t have to worry about portions during different life stages.
Since puppies are growing rapidly, they need more food than adult dogs. Puppy nutrition is crucial for developing a foundation for future growth, as well as their bone and organ development. Puppies must have a specific amount of calcium in their diet, otherwise, they can develop metabolic bone disease or orthopedic conditions like early-onset arthritis. Toy-breed puppies, in particular, are prone to hypoglycemia.
Puppies need small, frequent feedings. For the first few months of a puppy’s life, they will need small meals of food throughout the day as they transition from their mother’s milk to solid food. Starting around four months, puppies can begin eating about three times a day, and after that, puppies will quickly graduate to twice-a-day feedings.
Feeding them three or four times per day makes it easier for puppies to digest and help keep energy levels consistent. However, it’s important to not overfeed them, since overweight puppies are more likely to become overweight adult dogs.
Toy-breed puppies will need 4 to 6 meals per day for the first three months of their lives. Medium-breed puppies will require three meals per day, and large-breed puppies typically need 3 to 4 meals per day. Though the breed is an important consideration, metabolism and energy levels can vary by up to 30 percent. Therefore, you’ll need to proportion meals accordingly.
Even though puppies grow quickly, it’s important to keep caloric intake and food amount consistent from four to twelve months of age. Puppies use fewer calories for growth as they become older. This comprehensive puppy feeding chart has vet-recommended guidelines on how much and how often to feed your puppy.
How Much Should Adult Dogs Eat?
Don’t let your dog trick you into more mealtimes with adorable puppy dog eyes. Most dogs only require two meals a day, but if you catch your dog begging, an occasional healthy treat can help.
The trick is to make sure you’re not feeding your dog more than is recommended. Food labels can be misleading or confusing. Generic feeding charts may over-calculate how much to feed a dog, or use outdated information.
To determine how much food to feed your dog, you should start by knowing your dog’s estimated adult weight. Most large breed dogs will weigh between 50 to 150 pounds, while small breeds weigh under 20 pounds. Knowing the weight of your dog’s same-sex parent can also be an excellent guide.
From there, you can use the estimated weight to determine how many calories dogs need per day.
What Sort of Feeding Schedule Works?
Free-feeding, or leaving food available to dogs at all times, is often not recommended by veterinarians. For multi-species or multiple-dog households, free-feeding makes it difficult to account for different diets and to track each dog’s intake. Additionally, free feeding can lead to obesity when dogs overeat.
Sticking to a schedule can help your canine companion avoid grazing, feel like part of the family, and can encourage good mealtime behavior. You should plan a feeding schedule by consulting with your veterinarian.
Feeding dogs a diet made with natural, real ingredients can do wonders for their overall well-being—it can promote heart health, increase energy level, make their coat shinier, their breath smell better, improve eyesight and even impact poop. With Ollie, all the prep work is done for you so you don’t have to worry about when, how much, or life stages when it comes to feeding. We’re providing 50% off to the AKC audience for their first trial box, delivered straight to your home.
- Ingredients: Ollie’s food is made only with whole, human-grade ingredients sourced from reputable farms and approved by vets. They never use fillers, by-products, artificial flavors, or preservatives in any of their recipes. Each recipe is cooked by hand at low temperatures in small batches in a USDA-regulated kitchen so you know your pup is getting the best.
- Easy Schedule: All of Ollie’s recipes are pre-portioned and stored in the freezer – plus you will receive a puptainer to keep your pup’s food fresh in case you feed your dog before your morning coffee. Ollie also takes care of us humans, Ollie is delivered directly to your door in as little as 2 days, on your schedule.
- Health Benefits: The proof is in the results. Ollie dogs have reported shinier coats, decreased allergies, improved appetite, and more.
Try your first Ollie trial box for a limited time at 50% off.
AKC is a participant in affiliate advertising programs designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to akc.org. If you purchase a product through this article, we may receive a portion of the sale.