How often should I feed my dog

How Often And How Much Should I Feed My Dog? 

Twice a day is generally a good place to start. But it is a  question many of us think about - particularly as your favorite friend seems always to be hungry!

What Affects How Often a Dog Should Eat?

Three things affect how often a dog should eat

  1. Quantity of last meal
  2. How long since they have last eaten
  3. Protein Content of the food

Is it cruel to feed a dog once a day?

No, many dog owners feed their dog once a day - it depends on the quantity of food given to a degree. 

Is it OK to feed a dog once a day? 

Many people think that a once a day meal is good enough -  A normal dog's stomach will empty in six to eight hours

How Much Should Adult Dogs Eat?

The approximate amount a dog should eat is - 3 cups each day if they weigh 60 pounds. 4 cups if they are around 80 pounds

Top 3 Dog Feeding Times for 2021

How Often and How Much?

1) Let Your Dog Decide Times - by that give you dog food first thing in the morning - be aware to the time it takes the dog to digest the food - around six hours and watch for signs that your dog is ready for the next meal. As you develop this dog feeding plan - minimise the amount of between meal treats your  dog has.

2) Control Portions - Work out how many calories or kilojoules your dog should eat a day and if you are going to feed say twice a day do not exceed that amount - remember to keep back 10% for treats

3) Watch the Clock

How Many Dog Treats Is My Dog Allowed?

The answer is 10% of your dogs daily food intake.

When Should I Give My Dog Treats?

The best time to give dog treats is In between meals - Choose a treat that your dog will enjoy. 

Why Are Dogs Always Hungry

Most dog experts subscribe to the biology of dogs - in that in the wild - if food is presented you eat it as there is no guarantee when or where the next food is coming.

So in summary most dogs are obsessed with food.  Funnily, If a dog has no appetite is is much more difficult to dela with.

Why Feeding Your Dog Once a Day Creates Problems

It is not uncommon for many dogs to be feed once a day. For people who work long hours it may be a necessity - plus it is convenient. Also you will find many references to wild canines like wolves feasting and then fasting. Dogs and wolves are different.  However our advice is dogs should actually have the chance to eat at least twice a day.

What is the Best Time to Feed a Dog?

Most dog owners (and myself included) feel the best time to feed your dog is early in the morning before you go to work - say around 7 am. Then the second feeding is around 6 pm in the evening. The logic behind this is that it typically takes a dog 6 hours to digest the food eaten.

How Much Should Dogs Eat Based on Weight

How much should I feed my dog?

Toy Dogs (under 10 pounds)

Toy breeds should consume the following amount less than half a cup - (see our table below).

Good examples of toy breeds: Pomeranian, and Yorkshire Terriers. Generally to be classified as a toy dog breeds weigh in at 10 pounds or less

Small Dogs (under 10 pounds)

Small breeds should consume the  1-1.5 cups per day- see our table below.
What is/How Much a small dog's weight? - 10 - 20 pounds.

Examples would be Boston Terriers, Dachshunds, and Pugs

Medium Dogs (30-50 pounds)

Medium breeds should consume 1.5-3 cups per day - see our table below.
Some good examples of medium dog breeds are Australian Shepherd, Bull Terrier, and Collie.

Large Dogs (60-100+ pounds)

Large breeds should consume 3-4.5 cups per day - see our table below.
Great examples of big or large breeds are German Shepherds, Golden Retrievers, and Bernese Mountain Dogs are all considered large breeds.

How can I stop my dog from rushing his food at mealtimes?

How do I get my dog to slow down when eating is an age old question - dogs seem to swallow food whole and how do I stop that.
The best way is to work out a system that makes it physically impossible for your dog to gulp down their dinner.
Using a little ingenuity (there are also some super products designed to do just that!) significantly decreasing the speed your dog eats is relatively easy.

Follow these steps

  • Feeding on stainless steel, non-tip dog dish.
    • Step 1 flip the dish upside-down and do the feeding from the bottom of the bowl. What you do is spread the dog's dinner or breakfast around the ring which surrounds the center of the bowl. Now rather than just gulping down the food as the dog wants they will have to go around the bowl to reach into the more narrow space and eat not gulp the food.
    • Sometimes the bowl moves a little - but that is fine it just slows the dog down which is the goal here.
  • The same principle can be applied by putting a large object, like a clean big rock or any other large object that the dog can not easily move, in the center of your dog’s food bowl. Now not being able to move now they must eat around that. Make sure it is too large to be swallowed or moved - a big rock I find works best to stop my dog woofing all his food in 20 seconds and looking at me like it was not enough and he wants more!! - oh they are so good at that.
  • Use a slow-feed dog dish. There are lots of dog feeding dishes designed especially to slow down fast eating canines.
  • Serve all meals in a puzzle feeder or treat dispenser. How Puzzle feeders work is they create a problem to solve for your dog in order to access their food. Some examples are for your dog to flip open doors or maybe move blocks, or a combination of these puzzles. 

So if you follow the steps above you can Make scarfing down food impossible for your dog.

Can I feed my dog 3 times a day

You Can but - most long term dog owners and vets say two meals a day, breakfast and dinner is best for your dog. 

Regular times of routine meal time is also very important!

So Should I feed my dog twice or three times a day? Two Times with some treats is better.

How many times a day should I give my dog water?

Leave a fresh water supply out for your dogs - Your dogs water 1 ounce of water per pound of body weight each day. More maybe needed if the weather is hot,  or if they have recently exercised.

Should I leave water out for my dog?

Yes you should leave out water - just make sure it is fresh and replaced regularly - you want to avoid you dog becoming dehydrated.  Dogs of all ages should have continuous access to water.

Should I walk my dog before or after feeding

Don't take your dogs for a walk right before or after they eat.
Best practice is to wait at least 30 minutes after a walk to feed them. After you have fed them, wait at least an hour before walking them.

What happens if you overfeed a dog?

Canine Overfeeding can lead to serious health complications.

For example

  • heart disease
  • Diabetes
  • arthritis 

and even a reduced lifespan.

Dog owners should keep an eye out for signs that your dog is eating too much.

staff 2
Ann is a long time lover of all animals - she has helped save over 350 pets and find them new loving homes. Ann loves to write about all animals share her knowledge gained over a lifetime of pet love and care.