When, how often, and how much food should end up in the dog bowl determine a few basic rules of dog nutrition that you can use as a guide.
How a dog should be fed can depend on various factors such as body size or daily performance. Some principles are in turn transferable to any dog. The following basic dog nutrition rules will help you feed your dog properly.
Plan fixed meals
Always feed your dog at the same time to allow his digestive tract to adjust to the meal. The fixed feeding times also have an educational purpose: If you stick to them consistently and don’t give the dog anything in between, it will soon give up begging or won’t start at all.
Never leave the food bowl out all-day
Wet food should never be served directly from the refrigerator, as it could still be too cold for the dog’s stomach. It is better to wait for a little before feeding the food from the fridge.
After about half an hour you should put the food bowl away, regardless of whether the dog has eaten everything or not. With this measure, you achieve two things: the food cannot spoil in the bowl and your dog is trained to eat his food right away.
Body size matters
A normal-sized family dog should be fed once a day at the same time. For extremely small dogs or particularly large dogs, feeding twice a day is more digestible.
Small dogs should be fed twice because they use a lot of energy for their size. Very large dogs should be fed smaller but more frequent meals because their digestive tracts are relatively short and very sensitive. A dangerous torsion of the stomach can thus be prevented.
Daily requirement depends on performance
Multiple meals a day may also be appropriate for dogs that need to perform exceptionally well, such as sled dogs. It can be useful to add easily digestible carbohydrates to the feed ration of these dogs.
Pregnant and lactating dog
Also pregnant from the second half of the pregnancy and that suckle puppies should be fed more often than once a day. When the dog is pregnant, the puppies take up so much space in the stomach that the dog’s stomach doesn’t fit as much food as she needs.
A nursing dog needs a lot of energy to produce milk for the puppies. Ideally, discuss the best way to feed your pregnant or lactating dog with your veterinarian.