Feeding Your Dog – The Basics
How to feed your dog. What should and shouldn’t you be feeding your dog?
Dog breeds are so varied that their food needs can be just as different. But what are the basics about feeding your dog? Here is a definitive list of what you SHOULD be feeding them versus things you should be careful of.
Pros – Wet food contains plenty of water. It’s basically in the name! This is a big plus for your dog – making sure your dog gets enough water in the day is very important. Giving them wet food is a good tool to help, especially if you have a dog who is reluctant to drinking regularly. Wet food also smells stronger than dry. This can be a real aid f you have an unwell dog or one who has issues with food. The smell will likely tempt them to eat more than dry food.
Cons – The aforementioned smell. Great to tempt a sick pup but can be unpleasant in your home. It is also quite a bit messier than dry food, which might put you off. And if you’re thinking technically, wet food doesn’t last as long dry food. So there’s that! But also dogs who are fed a purely wet food diet tend to be prone to more dental hygiene issues.
Pros – Dry food is very good to leave out for dogs who are slower eaters or prefer to graze. Dry food is generally better for your dogs dental health. Dry food can be stored better, lasts longer, and can be used as treats. If you’re worried about your dog getting enough water you can pour a little over the dry food. Though, you should be making sure your dog has access to plenty of fresh drinking water.
Cons – Because it’s dry (it’s in the name!) there isn’t any moisture in it. This can be a bit of an issue if you have an older or unwell dog, or it’s a hot time of year. As stated above, dogs need to have access to fresh water at all times and dry food can add to their thirst. Because of it’s lack of odour, it might be less appealing to some dogs.
How Much Should You Feed Your Dog?
This is not going to be a straight answer. If you’re not new to dogs, you’ll know that their needs are can be pretty breed specific. How much you need to feed your dog depends on their size, breed, and nutritional needs.
The amount you feed your dog also depend on the quality of the food. Higher quality commercial foods tend to have more nutritional value, so you don’t need to feed your dog as much. Most high-quality complete foods will have a recommendation on how much to feed your dog. This is good! But only good as a starting point.
There is a big variety with dogs, more variety in breeds than any other animal so take guidance from your vet, nutritionist, or the shelter you got your dog from on how much food to give your dog. Health, age, and size are the variants you need to know about when it comes to feeding your dog.
How Often Should You Feed Your Dog?
This is very similar to before when talking about how much food to give them. How often also varies. But here is a quick guide. Young puppies have smaller stomachs so should be given 4 small meals a day. As they get older, say at around 4 months old, they can be dropped down to 3 meals. At 6 months this can go down again to 2 meals and as they mature to full-grown dogs (12-18 months old) you can decide whether you want to feed them once or twice a day.
But that is just a basic guide, get more info from your vets etc.
Treating your dog is a real joy, they enjoy it, and we enjoy making them happy! But treats should only be that – an occasional treat. As tempting as it is to give your pooch scraps from the table, human food isn’t the best thing to use as a treat for your dog. Overall, treats should amount to no more than 10% of your dog’s daily calories. If you’re training your dog using treats, use smaller, less calorific treats.