Feeding and Nutrition, The Feeding Schedule, When to Feed, How Much to Feed.

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Feeding and Nutrition
  » Nutrient Requirements
  » Types of Dog Food
  » Homemade diets
  » Dog Foods Classification
  » The Feeding Schedule

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The Feeding Schedule

Dogs do best when they eat regular meals at specific times every day because they're less likely to eat too much. Consistent meal times also help with potty training. Physiologically, dogs have the urge to go after they eat, so by scheduling meals and taking your dog out immediately afterward, you can accustom him to eliminating at certain times. Finally, dogs are creatures of habit. They like knowing that meals will appear at certain times every day.

When to Feed

Adult dogs do well on two meals a day, morning and evening. Puppies typically eat three or four meals a day. That's because they're growing, so they need more nutrients than adult dogs. Start off with light, frequent meals because your puppy's stomach is so small. At four months of age or younger, a puppy should be fed four times a day. From four to six months of age, you can reduce the feedings to three, and after six months, you can start feeding twice a day, depending on your schedule.

How Much to Feed

If you don't know the puppy's prior feeding schedule, you will have to figure out how much to feed her. Start by following the directions on the dog food label and increasing or decreasing the amount as needed. Put down the recommended amount for your puppy's age and take it away after a period of time. If your puppy eats the food quickly and leaves nothing, you need to increase the amount. If there is leftover food, you may have to decrease the amount or feed smaller meals more frequently.

Daily Amounts for Dry and Canned Foods

Weight in Pounds Cups per Day of Dry Food Cans per Day of Canned
1-10 0.5-1 0.5-1
11-30 2-2.5 2
31-45 4 2.5
46-60 5-6 3-3.5
61-75 6-7 4-4.5
76-90 7-8 4.5-5
Over 100 8-9 5-6

All puppies can get obese if they eat too much, which can lead to health problems. Small breeds can also suffer low blood sugar levels. All dogs need to have a nutritionally balanced diet in order to stay their healthiest.