To properly feed a dog, it is not enough to prepare balanced meals. It is essential to feed your companion at the right frequency. To do this, you have to take your age, needs and temperament into account. At what time of the day to feed your dog? Here are our answers and our advice!
Very young dogs, like infants, are fed breast milk on a very regular basis. Moreover, a puppy naturally breastfed by its mother can suck up to 20 in a day (24 hours). As the weeks go by, the feedings become less frequent. The puppy begins to wean between 3 and 5 weeks. This weaning ends around 8 weeks. However, it is best to wait 10 weeks before offering a small dog for adoption.
It can happen that a puppy is separated from its mother very early, when breastfeeding is still in progress. In this case, you have no choice but to bottle feed your dog. The frequency then depends on the age of your dog. Here are some benchmarks.
- If your dog is less than a week old, give him 7 to 8 bottles a day, or one every 3 to 4 hours.
- If your dog is between 1 and 2 weeks old, plan 6 bottles a day.
- If your dog is between 2 and 3 weeks old, plan for 5 bottles a day.
- If your dog is between 3 and 4 weeks old, plan for 4 bottles a day.
Once your dog is a month old, 3 meals a day are sufficient. Food diversification can begin.
How to prepare a dog’s bottle
The choice of dog’s milk is very easy, just follow the recommendations of the veterinarian. The amount to give depends on the dog’s week age and size. All information is available on the packaging. Know that once again, your veterinarian can help you and especially inform you.
Choose a bottle intended for the dog. They are available from the veterinarian and are also chosen according to the size and age of the dog. To give it, two solutions are available to you. Either leave the little dog in his basket and give him the bottle, or you take the little dog in your hand. The duration of the feed is 15 to 20 minutes. Arm yourself with patience!
How often to feed a weaned puppy?
A dog in the weaning phase will eat 3 to 4 meals a day. It is important not to go too quickly to 2 meals a day. Indeed, a puppy has important needs because it is growing. But since he still has a small stomach, it must be preserved!
Once your puppy is weaned, and therefore no longer drinks milk, it is necessary to go to 3 meals a day. If possible, give croquettes or mash morning, noon and evening. This rhythm must be respected until the dog is 6 months old.
It should be noted that if you have a sedentary dog, it is possible to reduce the amount. However, the frequency of 3 meals per day must be respected. It ensures the proper functioning of the digestive system.
How often to feed an adult dog?
Once an adult, that is to say over 6 months old, a dog can eat between 1 and 3 meals a day. The frequency should be adapted to the needs of each animal. Here is how to make the right choice and especially how to choose the right time of the day.
One meal a day
One meal a day is a rhythm that can be adopted with small dogs and medium dogs. On the other hand, if you choose to give only one meal per day, you can give it in the morning. Warning ! If you have a large dog, just one meal a day is not enough. You need two!
Two meals a day
Two meals a day is the rhythm favored by a majority of masters. It is also the healthiest for the dog. The optimal distribution is one serving in the morning and another at the end of the day. It is highly recommended to plan two meals a day if you have a large dog, if your pet has digestive problems and if you have a relatively active dog.
Three meals a day
Finally, it is possible to favor three meals a day. This rhythm is recommended for dogs with digestive problems or older dogs who tire quickly. Dogs that have moderate to intense physical activity should be fed 3 times a day. Of course, we will favor meal times similar to ours, namely morning, noon and evening.
Is it possible to leave kibble available to my dog?
It is often recommended that a cat be left with a bowl of dry food. The feline eats them at its own pace and regulates itself. Warning ! Whether or not you have a cat, you should know that this practice is not suitable for dogs who finish their kibble too quickly. Even if your dog has not finished his bowl, it should be removed after 20 minutes. A dog should only have water available throughout the day.
If you have a cat, make sure your dog does not have access to his kibble. He would take care of finishing them quickly …
A few more tips!
Feeding your dog well means giving him balanced meals. These may consist of:
- dry food, such as dry food, the formula of which will be adapted to the needs of the animal;
- wet food, such as mash,
- homemade food as long as each meal is well balanced.
Remember to provide appropriate bowls for your dog. They must of course be cleaned after each meal.
If you are leaving, you can feed your dog upon departure. You should know that dogs need calm when they are eating. In a noisy environment, they feel vulnerable and eat faster, which can lead to digestive problems. Last point, you should not feed your dog before and after physical exertion. Wait about 2 hours before offering a serving to your pet.
If you have any doubts about how often and what pace to use, you can discuss this with your veterinarian. It is also important to monitor the weight of your dog to see if rebalancing is to be expected.