We all love our dogs. There is a reason they are called man's best friend. But many times what we think is best for our dog is not really the best.
Many people have asked me what is the amount of dog food to feed a dog and how many times per day should they be fed.
Although this may seem basic, there are actually some things you should keep in mind when setting up a feeding schedule with your automatic dog feeder.
Helping Your Dog Be Healthier Using An Automatic Dog Feeder
Using an automatic dog feeder is not only convenient for you, but when used in the right way can have health benefits for your pooch. Many automatic dog feeders have timers that you can set to distribute the food at designated times and they have portion control so you can make sure your pet is getting the optimum amount of food they need for their size.
Some people use the "ad-lib" method of feeding dogs. They just let the dog eat whenever they like. This can lead to weight gain and house training problems. It can also lead to spoiled food, insects,
I highly recommend that you put your dog on a scheduled feeding regimen.
How Often Should I Feed My Dog?
The amount of times you should feed your dog depends on age of your dog. Here is a helpful chart that you can use to determine how often you should should feed your pet as they get older.
|0 - 8 Weeks||The puppy should still be feeding off of its mother's milk. Do not ween your puppy early. This may cause health issues later when your puppy is fighting off disease.|
|6 - 8 Weeks||You need to feed your puppy 3 - 4 times per day. These young friends have different nutritional needs than older dogs so make sure you are feeding them dog food that is designed specifically for puppies.|
|8 Weeks To 3 Months||Continue feeding your puppy specialized food but reduce the schedule to twice per day.|
|3 - 6 Months||Your puppy will start teething at this time. He may become finicky about eating and have an upset stomach. Continue with the twice daily feeding schedule. If an upset stomach lasts for more than 2 days, take him to a vet for a check up.|
|6 Months To 1 Year||Your puppy may look like an adult dog but he still has the nutritional needs of a puppy. Continue to feed him on a twice daily feeding schedule and continue to use dog food designed for puppies.|
|Over 1 Year||At this time you can gradually change the dog food from puppy food to adult dog food. Make this change gradually by mixing the adult dog food in with the puppy food at a 20% ratio per day until you have switched completely over to adult dog food.|
Your automatic dog feeder can help your dog get their food at the same time everyday regardless if you are home or not. It will help them stay regular in their bowel movements and make for a much happier dog.
How Much Should I Feed My Dog?
The amount you should feed your dog is based on their weight. As you would guess, bigger dogs need more food than smaller dogs. Here is another chart to help you figure out how much to feed your dog.
|Typical Breed Of Dog||Adult Weight||Amount Of Dry/Semi-Moist Food||Dry Mixed With Canned Food|
|Yorkies and Toy Poodles||Up to 10 lbs.||.25 to .75 cup||Same Total Amount|
|Scottish Terriers and Shelties||10 - 25 lbs.||.75 - 1 cup||Same Total Amount|
|Cocker Spaniels and Beagles||25 - 50 lbs.||1 - 2 cups||Same Total Amount|
|Collies and Labs||50 - 75 lbs.||2 - 2.5 cups||Same Total Amount|
|Great Danes and St. Bernards||Over 75 lbs.||2 - 4 cups||Same Total Amount|
Make sure you check with your manufacturer of your automatic dog feeder before using canned food. Some automatic dog food dispensers do not work well with food that is too moist.
Best Practices For Feeding Dogs
- Dogs do best with a regular feeding schedule. It also helps them and you in house training them.
- Dog's digestive systems do not take change well. Keep them on the same food if at all possible. Refrain from feeding them human food. This will prevent upset stomachs and diarrhea.
- Keep your dogs feeding dish or the dispenser to your automatic dog feeder clean.
- Don't overfeed your dog and keep an eye on their weight. Adjust your portions accordingly.
- Don't mix water with the dry food if you are using an automatic dog feeder. They are not waterproof and it may short circuit the electronics.
If you follow these guidelines, you will have a happy and healthy dog and your automatic dog feeder will not only be a convenience for you, but will be a tool to help you give your dog the proper care they need.