How Often Should I Feed My Dog?

How Often Should I Feed My Dog?

Barbara Mary Hanly

From wet food to dry kibble, your dog’s food makes up 90% of the nutritional intake they receive each day. Correctly timing and portioning their food ensures they receive all the goodness they deserve whilst maintaining a happy and healthy body.

Whether you have a brand-new pup or a senior soul living in your home, it is vital to stick to feeding times and amounts to avoid issues like behavioural changes and even increased weight gain. No matter what furry friend you care for, here’s everything you need to know about how much to feed your dog and how often.

What factors affect a dog’s feeding schedule?

Just like us humans, there are multiple factors that can change your dog’s feeding habits. From age to breed, size and activity needs, there is no one size fits all approach to feeding your dog. Understanding your dog’s dietary needs is the key to ensuring their doggy dinners are pawfect for them – just as they need them to be.

We know all the importance of maintaining a healthy diet as we grow therefore your dog’s dietary needs may increase during their first few months of development and then slowly ease as they enter adulthood and reduce further in their senior years.

Your dog’s size is a massive factor in their feeding habits. Smaller dogs will require less feeding and less often whereas larger and more active breeds will need feeding more and potentially more regularly depending on their activity. You should always consult your vet when making any changes to your dog’s diet or if you notice any changes in your dog’s eating or drinking habits.  

Top Tip! Increased or decreased eating habits (that are unusual for your dog) can be indicators of health issues from thyroid problems and diabetes, so it is always best to check with a vet if your dog is eating more or less than normal.

How much should a puppy eat and how often?

During the first few months of your puppy’s life, food is a massive factor in development. Having a nutritional and balanced diet ensures your puppy gets all the support they need to maintain healthy joint, muscle, brain, and digestive functions.

As mentioned before, your dog’s dietary need is dependent on breed. Smaller dogs will require less feeding and larger dogs a little more (even in their puppy stages).

How much food should I give?

Generally, as a rule, once puppies have been weaned off their mother’s milk (around 6-8 weeks) they can be fed either wet or dry kibble – we would recommend dry kibble for puppies as dry food can provide dental support and maintain oral health. It is advised to feed your puppy three regular meals a day up to the age of 6 months. As puppies then reach maturity – feeding twice a day will suffice.

How often should I feed my puppy?

When it comes to feeding quantities 20g of food per kg of weight per day is ideal for your puppy. For example, if your puppy weighs 5kg then 100g of food per day then split between 3 meals. Wondering how many treats to give your pup? Treats should take up no more than 10% of your dog’s diet. 

Ensure your pup is fed healthy, low-calorie treats during periods of training, where treats are more frequent to aid in rewards of your pup’s good behaviour. Our peanut butter and banana healthy bites are the pawfect treat for your growing up without any worry of excessive calories.

How much should adult dogs eat and how often?

When your puppy enters adulthood between the ages of 6 months and 1 year – their feeding requirements will change, and you may notice you may have to reduce the amount of food they consume from their puppy years.

The breed of your dog you own may have some impact on the feeding schedule and amounts you feed your dog. Toy breeds like Pomeranians and dachshunds will require less feeding and less often due to their size but larger or working dogs may require feeding more regularly.

How often should I feed my dog?

Feeding your dog twice a day, preferably in the morning and evening, is the best way to manage your dog’s daily nutrition. This is also a great way of managing your dog’s nutrition if they are left at home whilst you are out at work. Leaving a bowl of food in the morning when you leave for work and then replacing it when you return in the evening is a good way of developing a strong routine reducing the likelihood your dog will be hungry when you are out.

For those with working dogs, like spaniels and collies, may find splitting your dog’s food into smaller meals keeps hunger at bay when they have been active through the day.

How much should I feed my dog?

Upon reaching adulthood, your dog’s food should be reduced to around 15g per kilogram of weight. This will help reduce the likelihood of unwanted weight gain, development of diabetes or any other weight-related issues.

Regulate treats to ensure your dog isn’t having too many added calories. Want a low-fat treat your dog will enjoy? Try Soopa’s healthy bites range – all-natural and plant-based low-calorie treats for all your adult dog’s dietary needs. Choose from a range of fantastic flavours to maintain a healthy coat and fur, support digestion and keep teeth and breath looking and smelling as fresh as ever.

Top Tip! To avoid your dog wolfing down their food rapidly, invest in a slow feeder bowl. This is an excellent way of slowing your dog’s eating habits down reducing the likelihood of them eating food too fast and requesting more almost instantaneously. They work as their structure contains ridges that your dog has to work around to grasp their food. Unlike regular bowls, your dog must work a little extra to get to their food. You can find slow feeder bowls both online and within many pet retail shops and really can make a difference to your dog’s eating habits.

How much should senior dogs eat and how often?

Finally, we couldn’t ignore the dietary TLC our senior dogs need. Less active and needing a little more nutritional support than in their adult years, feeding your senior dog should be done to help reduce the likelihood of weight gain and obesity – common in dogs in their senior years.

Wondering when your dog enters their senior life? Well, senior years can be categorised by breed in the following:

  • Small breeds – Classed as senior at 11-12 years of age
  • Medium breeds – Classed as senior at 10 years of age
  • Large breeds – Classed as senior at 7 years of age

How often should I feed my senior dog?

We all know that when we get older, we are far less active than in our younger years. Requiring less strenuous walks and exercise than they once did, caring for our senior dogs really comes down to diet. It is vital that their food is regulated as our senior dogs are increasingly prone to weight-related issues like obesity and diabetes.

It is recommended to feed your senior dog no more than twice a day but more so one meal a day to manage their weight effectively. However, as no dog is the same, you may find your dog wanting smaller portions but more regularly throughout the day. As long as you don’t exceed your dog’s daily food limit, then it is more than advisable to portion your pooches plates to give them something little and often.

How much food should I feed my senior dog?

Keep your senior dog’s daily amount the same as they had in adulthood and reduce the frequency of their meals. It is vital to always discuss dietary recommendations with your local vet and even check the labelling on your dog’s food to see how much is suggested. Try and purchase a food with added glucosamine, low-in fat and great for dental support as these are the main health issues dog face as they enter their seniority.

Feeding your Dog

The most important factor to remember when feeding your dog is balance. Ensure that their daily dinners are nutritionally dense, packed with incredible ingredients and that you manage your dog’s eating habits by sticking to a regular routine. Although research suggests that dogs aren’t aware of time, feeding your dog in irregular periods can lead to behavioural problems and create added stress for both you and your dog.  Feed the same amount at the same time every day and your dog will develop a healthy and wholesome relationship with their food.

Worries about the number of treats your dog eats. No fear, Soopa are here. With our range of healthy bites suitable for puppies, adults and senior dogs, our low-calorie and easily digestible treats are the perfect addition to your dog’s food giving them a nutritionally dense diet, keeping them healthy and happy for as long as pawsible!

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