It’s hard to know what, how often and how much to feed your dog. Read on for answers to the most common feeding questions for dogs in general. The following pages have The Puppy Place’ answers to dog-specific feeding questions.
HOW MUCH SHOULD I FEED MY DOG?
Feeding guidelines vary depending on weight, age and activity level of your pet. Usually the dog food bag comes with a feeding guideline chart that tells how much to feed the dog according to his weight, height and age. Adult dog usually eats a meal every 12 hours but puppies need feeding more than three times a day. Whatever quantity is mentioned there, just divide it by 3 or four and then offer your dog. Refer to the product package label for general guidelines. It is really important to give the dog mentioned quantity as overfeeding and underfeeding can both result in health issues.
If your dog is on a weight gain/loss journey it is better to maintain a journal of his health. Give him the quantity less/more accordingly. Your veterinarian should be able to tell you how much quantity is to be given for either results. Get your dog checked every 3-4 weeks for any signs of weight gain/loss and compare it with your older readings. If your dog is generally having any health issues, it is better to keep in touch with its veterinarian. Also, keep a check on the activity level of your dog as the hyperactive dogs might need more feeding as compared to the lazy or inactive ones.
If your dogs are finicky about food, read our step by step ‘foolproof’ guideline on ‘how can I get my finicky dog to eat’ here.
DO PUPPIES EAT MORE THAN OLDER DOGS?
Yes. Compared to adults, young animals of any species have higher caloric needs and therefore should be fed foods higher in fat than older animals. Puppies might need feeding 3-4 times a day. During the first month the puppy doubles in weight and later on he will be gaining according to the weight chart of his breed. Every breed has a different weight and size chart. It is better to check the specific chart since you will have to keep a check on whether he’s gaining accordingly or not. For this reason it is improbable, though not impossible, to see an obese puppy. It is highly recommended to offer the puppy food to the puppy as the adult food can cause nutritional deficiencies. Follow the food chart on the dog food pack and adjust the quantity up and down according to his size and need.
During the first 6 months a puppy eats a lot of food. This may leave you concerned. Your puppy’s voracious appetite is almost certainly normal. Your veterinarian can confirm this with a routine “well pup” visit and a stool examination to rule out intestinal parasites as well as unlikely disorders of the gastrointestinal tract that may cause a ravenous appetite.
IS IT HEALTHY TO FEED MY DOG CANNED FOOD?
Yes. Canned dog foods are good for feeding everyday providing the product label states that it is 100% nutritionally complete and balanced. Canned food contains water so it help the dog stay hydrated while balancing his liquid intake. Canned food are more chewable and rich in flavor and scent. Dogs are more inclined towards eating the food that has a better scent and is flavorful. Canned dog foods are very palatable and enjoyable for your pet. Always be sure to have fresh water available whether you are feeding your dog canned or dry food. Canned food are also high in protein as they contain more meat this is why your dog would prefer this over the dry food.
Canned foods are also rich in nutrition and should be used if the dog is facing health issues/ nutritional deficiencies. It should be noted that the wet food has a really different quantity chart for feeding. Refer to the can for suitable quantity for your dog. Though canned foods can be healthy and high in nutritional value, you will experience spillage issues due to their high liquid content. It is advisable to get a raised bowl feeding station for the dogs. Pet Zone designer diner is just the perfect feeding station. This can save you a lot of effort and time in the long run. It’s easy to clean and above all its dishwasher safe! You can find it here.
DOES CANNED DOG FOOD NEED TO BE REFRIGERATED AFTER OPENING?
Yes. All canned dog foods should be refrigerated after opening. Canned dog food contains meat and, like human canned foods there’re no added synthetic preservatives this is why they should be kept covered and refrigerated. We recommend the opened product be used within three days.
WHAT IS THE PROPER WAY TO CHANGE MY DOG’S DIET?
Some dogs do not tolerate a sudden change in their diet. It can result in an upset stomach and behavioral issues. Do not start cold turkey, take time, small step at a time and keep an eye on his health. It is important to introduce any new dietary change gradually. We suggest that you try mixing a small portion of the new food with the food previously fed. The amount of new food should be gradually increased each day, until, at the end of five days, it is being fed the new food entirely. In this way, the transition is made gradually and can help reduce any intestinal upset.
If your dog doesn’t like the old food at all and wants the new food then mix new with old in a way that he is unable to differentiate or separate either of them.
Most of the dogs naturally enjoy mixing of food. They love to experience different flavours. In any case you should keep a close watch on his stomach. Also, whatever food you want to give check the ingredients first. Avoid any low nutritional food. If your dog is facing digestion issues, find the food that is specifically designed for such situation. It is advisable not to buy a huge stock of dog foods at once. Buy just one can/pack and when it is finished then buy another one. While buying food always check the reviews online, find out if it has any side effects, read its caloric instruction. Do some research on the ingredients it has and check if they will suit your dog, also if the ingredients have high nutritional value for your dog? In either case, it cannot be assumed that if a brand of dog food suits a few dogs and their owners are happy it wouldn’t mean that it will suit your dog too. You may need to experiment a little before settling on a specific brand/type.
IS IT OKAY FOR DOGS TO EAT CAT FOOD?
No. The nutritional requirements for cats and dogs are very different. The proper diet for a cat or dog must contain adequate levels of protein, fat, vitamins and minerals in the correct proportions. A deficiency, excess or imbalance of certain nutrients can cause a dog to become unhealthy.