How many meals should I feed my dog ?? per day?
The dog becomes strong and healthy with sufficient and well-balanced food. How much feed a dog needs per day depends on many different factors. For example, the nutritional need of a dog depends on, among other things, the breed, the size, the level of activity and health, but also the stage of life in which it is located. An active dog consumes more energy than a dog that prefers to sleep in his basket and a big dog needs a lot more nutrition than a small dog. The situation may also require an adjustment in the diet. A dog needs more and adapted nutrition during pregnancy, illness, heavy work or when practicing intensive sports activities.
Number of meals per day
The first weeks
During the first 5 to 6 weeks of life, a puppy will only drink breast milk. In the first few days, breast milk contains a lot of substances that are healthy for the newborn pups and help to strengthen the immune system. This milk is also called colostrum. After a few days the breast milk will change composition. In the first weeks, a puppy sometimes 6 to 8 times a day with his mother to the nipple. As the puppy gets older, this will gradually decrease. From 6 weeks onwards, a puppy will slowly eat independently and switch to soft porridge and later on solid feed.
From 6 weeks to 9 months
In the age of 6 to 15 weeks a puppy grows incredibly hard. In this puppy, about 5 meals a day will be needed during this period. These meals are small and spread throughout the day. From 3 weeks of age, 3 meals per day are sufficient.
From 9 months
If a dog is 9 months old, you can switch to 2 meals a day, in the morning and in the evening. In some cases, such as with a very sensitive intestinal tract, it may be wise not to switch to 2 daily meals, but to continue feeding the dog 3 times a day.
The right amount of food
Overweight and obesity are a big problem among dogs. About 4 out of 10 dogs in the Netherlands are too fat. To prevent overweight, it is important to serve the dog with a carefully weighed amount of food. The amount of food must be tailored to the nutritional needs of the dog. Often there is a handy overview on the packaging of the feed, with the daily amount of the feed in question.
It is important to ensure that a dog does not eat too much and grows slim. A dog that is too heavy for its size from an early age, often laying the foundation for getting fat at a later age.
Special food for every stage of life
A special type of feed is available for each stage of life. A puppy needs other nutrients than an adult or an older dog. It is therefore wise to choose a feed that fits the life stage of the dog.
Feed for puppies
Pup food is balanced and contains a large amount of nutrients that are geared to the pup’s energetic life. It is easily digested and the nutrients can therefore easily be absorbed by the pup’s body. Pup feed contains many vitamins and minerals, healthy acid and a large amount of calcium and phosphorus, which ensures good growth and strong bones and teeth.
Feed for adult dogs
Feed for the adult dog, Adult food, contains an energy content that is tailored to the nutritional needs of the adult dog. Adult feed ensures that an adult dog stays at a healthy weight. It contains a range of proteins, vitamins and minerals to keep the dog healthy and strengthen the immune system.
Feed for older dogs
The feed for older dogs often has a lower fat and a reduced energy content, in order to limit the risk of overweight. It contains fewer proteins and the sodium and phosphorus levels are reduced, reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease and kidney problems. An increased fiber content ensures good digestion. Often some good food acids are added to the diet, which increase resistance and keep the muscles and joints healthy.