Lately, we have been asked a lot how many times a dog should eat daily. This question needs to be explained calmly and from different points of view.
You have to pay special attention to the question itself, because “how many times” is not the same as “how much.”
That is why we will first resolve the question regarding the recommended daily amount of intake for a dog, and then we will see how many times a day it should eat.
Taking this into account, the first thing is to try to know well the breed of your dog and its peculiarities, and second, to know your pet in particular, since no two dogs are alike.
If it is a puppy, do not be overwhelmed, you will get to know it little by little with the experience of living together, and we are sure that you will get to know what is best for it.
How much should your dog eat a day?
Recommended daily intake amount
The amount of food that a dog needs to eat per day depends mostly on its weight, age, and size. Other factors such as breed, lifestyle, and other peculiarities that occur throughout the life of your dog also influence pet, but above all, it depends on each dog as an individual being.
That is why we cannot give you some tables with the exact amounts that your dog should eat, but you must be the one with this guide, you get to know what to do.
Generally, sedentary, large, adult, and senior dogs require fewer calories than highly active dogs, puppies, young dogs, and small breed dogs.
Pregnant bitches are another specific group that also needs a higher calorie intake. On the other hand, keep in mind that if you give prizes and treats to your furry companion, you should give them less food later.
After the lactation period, a very important growth stage begins, in which they must be well fed. You can buy a special feed for them called Junior. This type of food contains nutrients, calcium, high energy inputs, and many proteins that help the defenses and develop your muscles and bones. To know the recommended amount, you should look at the instructions that each manufacturer has on their containers since each of them has their recipes with different amounts of calories. As the puppy grows, you will have to increase the amount of feed you feed them.
For these ages, you have the Adult range. This type of food is more focused on avoiding overweight and keeping the dog in good physical shape. Again, the amount of food you give your pet depends on the brand of feed you buy, read the instructions of each manufacturer carefully.
Elderly dogs have different needs than young or adult dogs. They need fewer calories a day because they no longer use as much energy. These so-called Senior feeds, in addition to preventing obesity, are low in fat and carbohydrates, take care of your digestive system and help to make smaller stools. As always, you must follow the instructions of the manufacturer of each product to give the right amount to your dog.
Eloise Lancaster says on her blog:
“The basic and general rule (which must then be adapted to each case), is that a dog should eat between 2% and 3% of its weight per day in dry feed. For example, if you have a chihuahua of 2 kilos, and the rule says that we give them 2.5% of the dog’s weight, we do the multiplication: 2000 grams x 0.025 = 50 grams of food for one dog per day. But this rule must be qualified by everything we said before. If it turns out that your dog is an active Chihuahua, and as we also said that small breeds in proportion eat a little more than large ones, I can decide to give my dog 60 or 65 grams of feed of 50. Remember that we are talking about amounts of food daily, so if you feed your dog twice a day, you have to divide the result of the calculation in two“.
Once you are clear about how much you have to give your pet, let’s see how many servings you can distribute.
How many times should my dog eat a day?
Once you know the number of calories that your furry friend needs daily, we could say that it is very easy to know how many times you should feed them throughout the day. You simply have to divide that amount of food into the portions you want, depending on the needs of your dog and your schedules.
It is known that after eating, dogs need calm and rest to avoid intestinal problems (in some very serious cases such as gastric torsion).
We are going to develop little peculiarities that each daily amount of food has for portions.
One serving a day
This is the best option if your dog works intensely during the day. You can give them something light in the morning and the most important food at night.
It will be the only possible option because you are away from home all day. The downside of feeding only once is that your pet will eat her plate with more anxiety.
Two servings a day
It is preferable to choose this alternative for dogs from six months of age. It is the most generalized and recommended recommendation. Canines that eat twice a day have a more stable behavior in terms of physical activity since their body has energy for longer and will also eat more calmly.
Three servings a day
This is a good choice for puppies from weaning to three months.
It is also the option that will best help your dog stay more active and lose weight, with which you will achieve better health.
Four servings a day
Some veterinarians recommend it for puppies from three to six months and for large and giant breed dogs (more prone to stomach twisting).
Like the previous option, with four servings a day, you will keep your pet healthier and more active, and it is the best choice if you want a dog in good physical shape.
Remember that when we talk about more servings per day, we do not mean more quantity, but it is the same quantity spread over more servings.
Something that many veterinarians and connoisseurs agree on is that you should not always have the feeder full so that the dog can eat what he wants, especially with dogs that are anxious about food, it is not advisable to do it if your dog is overweight and you want me to lose weight.
Regarding the type and quantity of food, we can say that it depends on the age and development of the dog. Try to buy quality feed adapted to each breed, age or intolerance, in case it suffers any.
Consult your vet or an experienced breeder if you can. They will advise you whether or not it is convenient to make a change in diet, according to the characteristics of each breed.
Keep in mind that all of the above is not an exact science that works with every dog. You must adapt what we say here as much as possible to the special characteristics of your companion.