Our four-legged friends are important to us, and as full members of the family we want them to feel just as good as we do. In addition to sufficient exercise, lots of stroking and contact with other dogs, the right nutrition for dogs is of course also part of a healthy and happy four-legged friend - starting with the "when?" and "how often?" of feeding:
How often should I feed my dog?
As the first important point of dog nutrition, many owners ask themselves when and how often they need to feed their dog. Normally adult dogs are fed once or twice a day. In most cases it is sufficient if you feed your dog once a day, although we are expressly talking about adult dogs at this point - the right puppy nutrition deviates from these tips due to their special needs. However, there are some dogs and situations when it is better to feed your dog twice a day:
- Sick dogs: In some situations, however, dogs should be fed twice a day, for example when they are sick. In these cases, you should rather feed smaller portions twice so as not to overtax the dog's digestion. Of course, pay attention to the specifications of the veterinarian when it comes to the amount and frequency!
- Fast-eating dogs: If your dog always eats his food in the shortest possible time, you should also give him food twice a day. This way, his stomach will not be overloaded and will have more time to digest the food.
- Dogs that don't eat up: Less common than the fast-eating dogs that gobble up their entire food in a matter of seconds are dogs that never eat up their portions. First you should have the behavior clarified by a veterinarian. If there are no health reasons, it is advisable to split the food and give the dog smaller portions of food twice a day. In this way, the dog gets its necessary calorie intake without subsequent pain - and in the best case scenario you have to throw away less food.
- Small dogs: Small dog breeds in particular should also be fed twice a day. In proportion, small dogs have stomachs that are too small for their daily energy intake. It is therefore advisable to feed them twice, in order to provide your darlings with sufficient energy on the one hand and not to overwhelm the digestive organs on the other.
- With a lot of physical activity: Dogs that are physically very active have a higher energy requirement, just like people. In order for them to stay fit, they must be supplied with sufficient energy in the form of food. So that you don't overwhelm your dog's gastrointestinal tract, it is advisable to feed it twice a day.
- Pregnant and lactating dogs: If your dog is pregnant, she should be fed twice a day. On the one hand because it needs a little more food than usual due to the higher energy requirement. This also applies to dogs who are nursing their offspring - feeding the little ones requires strength, which you should give the dog in the form of an additional portion of food. On the other hand, when the dog is pregnant, the unborn puppies press on the dog's stomach, so she can eat less food at a time.
When should I feed my dog?
The exact time of feeding is of secondary importance for dogs. So you can adapt the feeding time to your everyday life without a guilty conscience. Figure out what time you will be up and home in the morning and get your dog used to this feeding time. It is advisable that you feed the dog after the walk! In contrast to us, when dogs go for a walk after eating, they are more excited during feeding due to the anticipation of going for a walk and are therefore more likely to wolf down the food. Feeding them in the morning can quickly lead to stomach problems. In addition, most dogs move a lot more than we do on a classic walk - young dogs in particular play and romp a lot. Too much moving with a full stomach can lead to stomach problems.
Feed dogs regularly
When feeding dogs, well-known rituals in the form of fixed feeding times have proven their worth, just as they do with humans. If you feed your dog once a day, this should happen in the morning. This is how you provide your four-legged friend with enough energy for the day. Make sure that with two feedings a day, these are not too far apart. The second portion should be in the early evening hours. This gives the dog another little boost of energy so it doesn't have to go to its basket with a growling stomach. At the same time, his stomach has enough time to digest the ingested meal before going to sleep. In addition, fixed times and rituals have the same effect for dogs as they do for us: They give them security and also certainty about the next meal which keeps them from begging.