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How often to feed dogs?

(March 9, 2010)

It is important for the dog’s nutritional well-being that owners know how often to feed their dogs. Your dog’s feeding schedule helps promote digestive health and encourages good behavior. You must provide a balanced diet to your dog to prevent various health conditions. It is important that your dog gets the right amount of protein and calcium, and the proper amount of calories. Your dogs need to eat 2% of its body weight in food. For example, if your dog weighs 20 pounds, you must feed 6.4 oz. (a little over 3/4 of a cup) of food per meal.

The factors that determine amount and frequency of food you need to feed your dog are sex, age, activity level, medical history, and other dietary factors. Here are some general guidelines that will help you to decide how often you should be feeding your dog.

•    You must always check the guidelines on the label of dog food on the amount that you should be feeding your dog.

•    If your dog is highly active, pregnant, or nursing puppies, it will have higher requirements than any other dog.

•    Puppies must be fed more frequently than older dogs. On average, a puppy should be fed about three times a day till he/she is 5 to 6 months old. Space your puppy’s meals on an hour-basis, this will prevent digestive irregularities.

•    You must feed you puppy with puppy food for the first year, and then switch to adult food. It is recommended that you seek your veterinarian’s advice to ensure that the adult food you switch to is still a balanced diet with the primary ingredient being meat.

•    You must gradually decrease the meals to two times a day, but the amounts must be larger to fulfill the nutritional requirement of your dog.

•    During winter, indoor dogs must be fed with less food because they’re less active, while outdoor dogs must be fed with more food because staying warm burns calories.

•    You must feed your dog twice daily (morning/evening schedule). Alternatively, feed your dog following each of your three family meals.

•    Let your vet recommend a diet regime for your pet after a thorough examination.

•    Avoid free-feeding as it tends to make a dog a picky eater over time; it can also make a dog overweight.

•    Provide a constant supply of fresh water to your dog, even in between meals, as water helps to prevent urinary tract problems.

Submitted by A on March 9, 2010 at 11:45


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