How Often Should I Feed My Dog?

A schedule helps you stay on track and plan for your day. But did you know a feeding schedule can do the same for your dog? It’s true. Knowing how often to feed a dog and adding it to your routine can benefit you both. But before starting, you’ll need to answer the question, “How often should I feed my dog.” Keep reading to find answers to questions owners frequently ask.

What are factors that impact how often to feed a dog?
There are a few things that can help you decide how often your dog should eat. One is the food you’re feeding your dog. By looking at the serving suggestions on the package and comparing it to your dog’s size and age, you’ll know about how much your dog should be eating. Then you’ll know how to divide that amount through a day. That goes a long way to determining how often your dog should eat.

How much should I feed my dog at each meal?
How much food you feed your dog at meals depends on a lot of factors:
• How often you plan to feed
• What food you’ve chosen
• Dog age
• Dog activity level
• Dog health needs
It’s important to make sure you aren’t overfeeding him. So, study the food’s feeding suggestions, measure food out and divide the total amount throughout the day. Feeding your dog a consistent amount at specific mealtimes can help prevent him from gaining weight.

How many meals should my dog eat?
After you know how much food your dog should eat, compare that with your weekly schedule. Are you home during the day, or just in the mornings and evenings? Can you bring your dog to work? Many people’s schedules determine how often to feed a dog. They only have time before and after work or school. Fortunately, that’s okay. Just feed your dog twice a day at set times. If your schedule is much more flexible, you may be able to create a routine that has three feedings.

What is a good mealtime resource for dog owners?
If you still aren’t certain about mealtimes, ask your veterinarian. A veterinarian not only knows how often you should feed a dog, but also knows your dog. That means she knows if your dog has other health issues that would impact meal frequency. Also, you can explain what kind of eater your dog is. For instance, if your dog eats so rapidly that it causes GI issues, your veterinarian may have tips on how to feed him differently, or she could suggest changes to your feeding routine.

What is the best time to feed a dog?
There’s no one-size-fits-all “best” time to feed your dog, but some times are better for meals than others. Eating a full meal right before doing a vigorous activity like running can be uncomfortable for you. It’s the same for your dog. Feed about 10 to 12 hours before exercise or afterwards with lots of water.

Does a dog feeding schedule really help?
Absolutely. A dog feeding schedule helps you and your dog. Feeding your dog the same amount at the same time every day can help keep his digestive system regular. If you know exactly when your dog eats and drinks, you’ll have a much better idea of when he’ll need to go outside. The predictability can also help your dog know when to expect you’ll be home, so he should have fewer accidents and bathroom issues, too.