Not only does having an overweight or obese dog result in more veterinary expenses, but it can shorten your dog’s lifespan as well. Diet is an important key in controlling a dog’s weight and here, how often (and how much) a dog should eat will be discussed.
Puppy vs. Dog
Puppies and dogs have different nutritional needs, just as children and adults require differing amounts of food. When your dog is a puppy, he or she should have 3 – 4 small meals per day that are evenly spaced. This meal schedule helps the puppy maintain energy throughout the day while limiting stress on the dog’s digestive system. An adult dog, on the other hand, should ideally eat twice per day. In some instances, adult dogs that are prone to bloat should continue the puppy feeding schedule reduce the chances of developing this deadly disorder.
When feeding your dog, it is important to know the proper portion sizes for your pet. Checking the label on your dog’s food is a good first step. Next, keep track of your dog’s physical condition. Your pet should be fit and trim – not carrying extra weight. Pet owners should be able to feel their dog’s spine, and a noticeable “tuck up” should be visible at the dog’s waist. For some breeds, the last rib should also be visible. If you are ever in doubt about whether your dog should gain or lose weight, talk to your veterinarian.
Dogs do best with routine, which means that every aspect of their day – from meal time to potty time – should be kept constant. Keeping a regular routine also helps pet owners watch for warning signs that something is amiss, such as a skipped meal or more frequent potty breaks.
How to Keep Track of Eating Habits
How can you keep track of your dog’s eating habits? The Actijoy smart food and water bowl is one great option. With this tool, pet owners can track food and water intake, as well as when meals are consumed each day.
Ultimately, adult dogs should eat twice per day, with puppies requiring 3 – 4 small meals daily. Portion sizes should be determined based on your dog’s body condition and activity level and a routine should be followed. To track these habits and more, the use of a smart bowl is recommended.
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