Dog Feeding Schedule: How Many Times a Day Should I Feed my Dog?

how many times a day should a dog eat

how many times a day should a dog eat

A lot of people can relate to dogs who stick their noses in the pantry out of curiosity and wind up gorging on every snack. This definitely shouldn’t become a habit, but any dog owner knows that accidents love to happen.

Many pet parents are baffled by the same question: how many times a day should a dog eat? Sadly, the answer isn’t clear-cut since each dog is unique.

There are tons of factors that contribute to your dog’s nutritional needs. This article is going to be your one-stop guide for everything you need to know about feeding your furry friend.

How Many Times a Day Should a Dog Eat?

No matter how full a dog is, most will never say no to a second helping. Since your dog may happily eat themselves sick time and time again, you have to be in control of their portions. Knowing how much food to feed a dog can seem impossible.

First, you have to consider how big, active, and healthy your dog is. Smaller breeds require fewer calories to fuel them just like lazier dogs need to eat less than active dogs. If your dog is older or has any health conditions, that can also make a big difference in how much food they need.

Timing and portion sizes can make a big impact on your dog’s mood and health. Let’s delve deeper into feeding options that could best suit your dog.

Is Your Dog Trustworthy?

You might be blessed with a dog who listens to their stomach and eats only until they’re satisfied. If this sounds like your dog, then consider yourself lucky! Your job is much easier.

So, how often should you feed a dog that knows their limits? The answer is just once a day. If you know your dog won’t overeat, then try leaving their food out for the entire day. When your dog gets hungry, they’ll eat.

If they like to graze throughout the day to sustain their energy levels, then the food is there for them. Trying to get your dog on a feeding schedule when they’re not hungry could make them gain weight.

If you own more than one dog, this method might not work. Dogs can fight over their food and create an unhealthy balance. You can try this method and monitor your dogs when they go to their bowls to ensure that each dog is eating enough.

Dry dog food is better than wet food in this case to prevent spoilage or unpleasant odors.

how many times a day should a dog eat

Try Feeding Twice a Day

If you’re not among the lucky dog owners, then figuring out how often to feed a dog requires more work on your end. Keeping your pet on a strict feeding schedule might be the best option. There are a few different things to consider beforehand.

The first resource you should consult is this dog feeding chart. If you know your dog’s weight, then you can get a range for how many cups of food they should eat daily. Dogs who are less active can be fed on the lower end of the scale and dogs who are active can eat more.

It’s also crucial for you to read the labels on your dog food. While most brands generally offer the same amount of calories per cup, you want to make sure that your dog isn’t on any special diet food. The quality of your brand could impact how many cups they need each day.

If you’re unsure or want professional advice, your vet is always happy to give you their opinion. Since they know your dog’s needs, they can provide a reliable number.

Feeding your dog twice a day, or even three times a day can help prevent them from begging all the time. While some people are satisfied eating one big meal a day, most of us prefer eating multiple meals. The same deal applies to your dog.

Walking your dog within an hour after each meal can cut back on the number of accidents you find in the house.

What If I’m Not Home Enough?

If you work long hours or have a hectic schedule, getting home in time to feed your dog can be difficult. Most dogs thrive on schedules because they know when to anticipate their next meal. You shouldn’t have to sacrifice the joys of having a four-legged companion just because your schedule changes.

The good news is that there are tons of automatic feeders in the market nowadays, such as the popular PetSafe Healthy Pet Simply Feed Automatic Pet Feeder. All you have to do is fill the machine with the proper amount of food and set the timer. The feeder can release the food all at once or dispense it as many times as you want throughout the day.

Don’t be surprised if your dog starts to worship the automatic feeder, though. They may not understand why the food comes out at the times it does, but they will be overjoyed each time.

How Can I Tell If I’m Overfeeding My Dog?

As a responsible dog owner, you don’t want to wait until their weight becomes a noticeable problem before changing their diet. Here is a great visual guide that can help you assess your dog’s body shape.

Some signs that your dog is overeating include the following:

  • You can’t feel their ribs when your press firmly on their sides
  • Your dog has no definition and has a rounded shape
  • Your dog has a hard time bending to groom themselves
  • They pant a lot, even when they’re not exercising
  • They are no longer graceful and agile as they get up to walk around
  • Your dog has a tough time pooping
  • They can’t keep up with you on walks
  • Your dog is lethargic and not excited for walks

dog eating schedule

Want More Information to Chow Down on?

Canine Weekly is the ultimate resource for dog parents of large breeds. So come on over and sit…stay a while! You probably have a lot more questions than how many times a day should a dog eat.

If you want to know more about how we can help you through any dog dilemma, check out all the topics we cover.

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