Giving Your Dog the Right Portion of Food to Make It Healthy
If you have been a dog owner for any length of time, then you are probably aware that many dogs will continue to eat far beyond what is needed for their ability to remain healthy. This is especially true of larger sized dogs that seem to have a bottomless pit for a stomach. If given the opportunity to continue to eat they will just do so. You might be wondering “how much should i feed my dog”?
Obviously, eating too much is not good for your dog. It can not only lead to obesity, which is as bad for a dog as it is for humans, but it can also lead to digestive issues, including vomiting and intestinal blockages. This makes feeding your dog the proper amount important.
How much should I feed my dog, what is the right amount?
This begs the question of how much should I feed my dog? You want to feed the dog the right amount to sustain its well-being, but you do not want to overfeed. So how does one determine what is the proper amount?
It starts with the age and size of your dog. Within the first eight weeks after birth you should feed the dog nothing. This is the responsibility of the mother, and your intervention to feed the dog may actually cause more issues that benefits. This is why it is best to simply butt out.
Once the puppy is closing in on eight weeks you can begin feeding the puppy. Many people question how many times a day should I feed my dog, and that is a good question. For puppies in this age range it is a good idea to just give a small handful about three or four times a day at most. This will help to wean the dog off of the mother’s milk and onto real food. Make sure it is puppy food however. It may not be a bad idea to keep a dog feeding chart so you can monitor how well the puppy is eating.
After about 10 weeks then you should go to just twice a day with the puppy food. Give between half a cup and a cup each time, depending upon the size of the dog.
This should go on until about six months. Over the next few months you are going to start to see some drastic changes in your dog. First of all, your dog is going to increase in size to reach near its final height by the time it is about one years old. It may add more weight after this point, but you will probably not see it get much longer.
You will also find that the adult teeth will start to come in. this may mean that the dog will find it hard to chew and may actually lose some weight. Do not be alarmed however. This is natural, and may mean that you need to adjust the kind of food you are giving the dog. If you find that dog cannot chew solid, dry food then it may be time to turn to turned to canned food for a time, or to add canned food to the diet to help the teething process. Because of the concern that the dog may lose weight, it may not be a bad idea to have a dog feeding chart during the teething period.
You can still stick to two times a day to feed your dog, or give just once a day. The amount can increase to as much as two cups per feeding, but it should not be much more unless you have a really large dog like a St. Bernard.
When They Reach Adult Stage
Once your dog has reached the adult stage you can start making some changes to the dog’s feeding habits. You may want to not only know how much should I feed my dog but you may also want to have answered how many times a day should I feed my dog? You can still be twice a day if you so desire, or you can even go to one time if you so desire.
As a caution to feeding once a day let’s make something perfectly clear. Let’s say prior to the one year mark you were feeding the dog a cup of food twice a day. This does not mean that if you decide to switch to once a day that you need to feed the dog two cups at that time. In fact, it is a bad idea to do so. The dog’s digestive tract may not be able to handle that much food right away like that and may induce the dog to become sick and throw up. Simply add maybe fifty percent at most to the meal and see how the dog handles that. If you find that your dog is acting like he or she is starving later then you can start to increase the meal size a little at a time until you reach the two cups or whatever is double.
You should also move to an adult dog food by this point. Your pet will have different nutritional needs than a puppy and so adult food is so much better for him or her. You want to make sure that the food is a balanced diet, and so it should contain meat, rice or oats, and some kind of vegetable. This is very good for a dog. In fact, you can even include such things as vegetables, rice and cheese to the dog’s food to add more nutrients and vitamins.
Wanting to know how much should I feed my dog is an important question if you want to maintain the health of your pet. This should hopefully give you a clear picture of what you need to do now so you can better attend to your animal. If you find that there are complications anywhere along the way it is a good idea to consult your vet to see if your pet needs to be brought in. It seems that feeding a dog should be super easy, and for the most part it is, but if you come across any problems don’t hesitate to call.