“A dog is the only thing on earth that loves you more than he loves himself”- Josh Billings
Dogs are our loving companions. They are our beloved pals who look out for us and cheer us when we feel low or down. These selfless creatures are an important part of our family and as pet parents, we should return the favour and ensure they are in good spirits and great health.
An important part of their daily routine is their feeding time. A well-planned meal for dog feeding can be extremely beneficial to both you and your pet! First, you will learn to control their portion size; second, they will be able to eat food that has been freshly unwrapped or freshly prepared in the kitchen. Third, if your pet refuses to eat on time, you know there is something wrong with them, such as an illness or an injury.
In this blog, let’s learn more about the right feeding time and schedule and also about the right kind of foods that will aid in pet healthcare.
What to feed your pet?
In a perfect scenario, all dog food would be created equal. Instead, dog parents are confronted with a dizzying array of options, each claiming to be the best dog food on the market. It can be difficult to sift through all of these options to find a dog food brand that is healthy, affordable, and appealing to your pet.
Dogs are not strict carnivores. For some pets, meat makes up for the majority of their meal but they can sustain very well from nutrients that are derived from a vegetarian diet such as cheese, fruits and vegetables.
The best dog food will contain the best quality ingredients and will go easy on your pet’s digestive system. It should ideally not contain any harmful preservatives and chemicals and should be processed in as natural a manner as possible.
Especially when choosing dog treats and dog chews, a pet parent should be mindful of their choices. You might be tempted to buy rawhide treats that your dog seems to love so much, but do you know that rawhide chews are made from leather industry scraps? The majority of hides are taken directly from slaughterhouse kill floors and placed in high-salt brines to slow decay. Therefore, choosing treats that are human grade, vegetarian and rich in essential nutrients like high grade protein and calcium becomes the order of the day.
Dog Feeding Portion Schedule by Age
Puppies aged 6 - 12 weeks: A diet specially formulated to meet the nutritional needs of normal development, should be fed to growing puppies. Adult food depletes your puppy of essential nutrients, therefore choose healthy dog treats and meals that are age appropriate.
Four feedings per day are usually sufficient to meet nutritional needs. Large breeds should start eating unmoistened dry food at 9 or 10 weeks, and small breeds at 12 or 13 weeks. Three to four feedings a day will aid in easy digestion and will also keep up your puppy’s energy levels.
Follow a simple rule of thumb when it comes to the question, “how much can I feed my puppy in a day?”. You should ideally feed 20g per kg of your pup’s body weight. Suppose your puppy weighs 6 kgs, you can feed 6 kgs X 20 g, which adds up to 120 g of dog food in a day. You can divide this into equal portions (30 g X 4) throughout the day. Along with the weight of the food, you will also have to calculate how many calories your dog may need in a day.
You can use this formula derived by the Association for Pet Obesity and Prevention.
to calculate a dog's caloric needs per day.
Calorie requirements for dogs per day = (Dog's weight in kgs x 30) + 70
For example, a 26 kgs dog would require the following calculation:
(26 x 30) + 70 = 850 calories per day required.
You can follow the nutritional requirement chart that mentions how much nutrients your dog needs per day.
Table 1: Nutrient Requirements per day for dogs
Veg foods that contain these nutrients
Table 2: Foods that contain essential nutrients for dogs
Based on the above calculations, you can create your own personal diet chart and ensure that all these nutrients are included in your pet’s food on a daily basis.
You can serve a combination of wet and dry food during different meal times and treat them with good qual.
It is advisable to follow this rule, and ensure that you not overfeed your puppy, since overweight puppies will eventually grow into overweight adults.
You can also provide them with healthy puppy treats in between meals, especially when you are training them to obey rules. However, do remember to avoid meat treats that contain harsh preservatives and artificial ingredients.
Puppies aged 3-6 months: At this point, you can reduce your pup’s feedings from 4 to 3 per day. During this time, your little pup will start to lose his/her pudginess and chubbiness and will acquire a leaner body type. You can continue the same portion size if you feel that there is still a long way to lose their pudginess. However, before you take that decision, it is best to consult your pup’s veterinarian for more accurate feeding advice.
6-12 months: This is when you should ideally switch to two bigger portions a day depending on their weight and according to the rule of thumb mentioned earlier. You can switch from puppy to adult food once you have consulted your vet and done a thorough physical examination to ensure your pup has reached all the developmental milestones on time and is ready to switch to adult maintenance food.
Once puppies turn a year old, it is time to settle them into a schedule of two equal portions of meals a day for the rest of their lives.
Dog Feeding Time Schedule
Puppy Feeding Time Schedule: (4 Portions a day)
Breakfast: 7.00 a.m.
Mid Day Meal: 12.00 p.m.
Evening Snack: 4.30 p.m.
Dinner: 8.00 p.m.
Adult Dog Feeding Time Schedule ( 2 portions a day / 12 hours apart)
Morning Meal: 8.00 a.m.
Evening Meal: 8.00 p.m.
(Ensure that your pup’s/ adult dog’s water bowl is filled with fresh water at all times)
Frequently Asked Questions
1. What time should I feed my dog in the morning?
Answer: You can feed your dog anytime between 7.00 a.m. to 9.00 a.m. in the mornings. If you have a young pup, you might want to stick to 7.00 a.m. to 7.30 a.m. so that you divide their portions equally 4 times a day.
2. Best Time to feed dog twice a day
Answer: Ideally, a 12 hour gap is the recommended time between one adult dog meal to another. Based on this rule, you can feed your dog and create a schedule.
3. What can I give my dog in between meals?
Answer: You can choose to give nutritious dog treats like dog chews and dog cookies. Ensure that you buy only good treats that are made with natural ingredients of the best quality.
4. When to feed healthy dog treats?
Answer: You can strategically feed healthy dog treats when you are teaching them new tricks, training them to obey commands or simply appreciating them for their good behaviour.
Tips to create a feeding schedule
Your dog’s feeding place should be the same everyday: Dogs are creatures of habit and it's best not to confuse them by keeping their food in different places. Choose a spot that is clean and ensure there are no major distractions that may disturb your pet while they eat. This is especially true if your pet is a fussy eater.
Read this blog if your dog is a fussy eater and learn more about common symptoms, tips and solutions if your dog may not be eating as well as he should be.
Follow the schedule strictly every day at the same time: It is best to follow a set schedule for their feeding. Ensure you give them food at the designated time everyday and get their body used to this schedule. Your dog will know when to expect his next meal and his body’s metabolism will get acclimated to the schedule.
Set the duration of their meal time: Don’t leave their food out for a long time and let your pet know that it has only a couple of minutes access to their food. This will give your dog an idea that it cannot loiter around his food and eats it whenever he wishes to. It's best to set the rules of eating at an early age too.
The best way to maintain their health is by feeding them healthy foods. Healthy food includes natural foods made with fresh fruits, vegetables and cheese that is rich in protein and calcium.
Dogsee’s Natural Treats can be a good choice for your dog’s health as it is made of natural ingredients like fruits, veggies and Himalayan cheese treats. These treats are also rich in vitamins, minerals, protein and calcium that are essential for the growth of your dog's bones and teeth.
These were some useful insights to help create a healthy eating time and schedule for your pet dog. Follow these rules and help your pet get accustomed to a feeding schedule that will keep them active and healthy.
Learn more about Dogsee’s treats, Dog Skin Care and Dog Nutrition on our Instagram Page and keep abreast of the latest trends concerning pet dogs and their wellness.