Responsible canine parents and owners are expected to take proper care of their dogs. One of the areas that require serious attention is feeding. It is not enough that your dog gets to eat at the right time. You also need to make sure your canine companion is fed with the right food and in the right measure.
Many canine owners do a good job getting the right food, feeding them at the right time but fail in terms of quantity. You need to offer your canine no more or less than is ideal. This will ensure that your canine is not underweight or overweight at the very least. For example, overfeeding can lead to obesity and diabetes.
There is a long list of health complications associated with overfeeding and the same applies to underfeeding. For more on this subject, you can read this.
In light of this, this article will discuss factors that determine how much you should feed your puppy. We advise that you follow through to the end in the best interest of our canine companions.
Yardsticks that Should Determine How Much Your Dog Should be Fed
The truth is that there is no one-size-fits-all approach to feeding your canine. There are determinants and some of them include the following:
There are a few hundred canine breeds in the world. Because of their peculiarities, they have meals that are best suited for them. For instance, some meals are specially formulated to meet the nutritional needs of large breed dogs as opposed to medium or small breeds. So, you need to take note of this when getting a dog food product.
Other than this, the right amount of food to be offered is also largely determined by the breed. For instance, the activity level of some of them is very high and this means they need more food than passive breeds. So, you need to consider the kind of breed that you have. This rule is especially important for canine owners that have more than one breed. They need to make sure the dogs are not underfed or overfed.
By activity level, we mean how many calories a dog burns averagely when playing, training, and doing other things that help release pent-up energy. This is important because the activity level determines how much or less the dog should eat.
As a general rule, dogs with high activity levels are supposed to eat more. This is so that they can get sufficient calories to replace what has been let off. On the other hand, those with low activity levels are better off taking less amount of food.
This point is very important and so you should pay serious attention to it. The dog’s life stage should largely determine how much food should be given.
For instance, puppies are in a very delicate stage of their life. At the initial stages, they should be allowed to feed exclusively on breast milk. This reason is that the secretion from the breast at this stage of their life is paramount.
After the required period for exclusively feeding on breast milk, the puppies should be gradually exposed to dry, wet, or homemade food. However, the meals offered to them should be specially formulated to meet their nutritional needs.
At this stage of their lives, their stomach cannot accommodate so much. However, the irony is that they need so much to grow well at this stage of their life. This is why they need to be fed often. They should be offered food at least:
- 4 times daily between 6 to 12 weeks
- 3 times daily between 3 to 6 months
- 2 times daily between 6 to 12 months
As they become adults, they are supposed to be fed twice a day. The truth is that there is so much more to feeding puppies. This is why a feeding chart for puppies is highly recommended by experts and experienced owners.
You should also be careful with treats. This is because some dogs have the tendency to abuse it and this can lead to obesity and other health complications.
Pet food products are different and should be seen in that light. Some products have more calories than others. So, for instance, it would be wrong to say, "give your dog half a cup of dry food". This is because the calories contained in half a cup differ from one brand to the other.
You may need to see the manufacturer’s instructions as a good product should have information about this. This is because they understand the many differences between their product and other products.
Dogs with certain health peculiarities should be given meals that help them get better. For instance, an adult dog with arthritis needs to be given meals that are high in omega-3 fatty acids.
While you might have to reduce the amount of food with other nutrients, you should offer more meals that have this essential nutrient. The whole point here is that the health peculiarities of your canine should determine what and how much food should be given.
Also, dogs that are going through weight management programs should have less than dogs of their kind would usually get. This is in a bid to get them in the right shape.
Some dogs are allergic to certain meals for several reasons. Meals with grains are one of the culprits here. This is the reason many canine owners opt for grain-free perfect products instead. For more on this subject, you can visit: https://www.pethealthnetwork.com/dog-health/dog-diet-nutrition/food-allergies-dogs
Well, the thing is that grains are rich in carbohydrates and some other nutrients. Such dogs will need to have more or less food to get the same nutrients from other sources.
Several factors determine how much food you should give to your canine. We have discussed 6 of them in this article. We strongly advise that you take them seriously in the best interest of your dog(s).