Many owners dont know how much food their dog really needs. This means that many dogs are overfed which can cause weight gain and lead to other health issues.
Good feeding habits for your puppy
Feeding your puppy can feel stressful, especially if you’re facing problems such as them refusing to eat or eating too quickly. Here are some good habits to establish straightaway to help your puppy build positive associations with feeding times and get the nutrients they need.
To avoid overfeeding your puppy, check the dietary guidelines on the food packaging and measure each portion carefully. Remember the stated amounts apply for the whole day, not per meal.
Dogs have different nutritional needs from humans and whats good for us can cause serious stomach upsets or other illnesses in dogs. Giving your puppy scraps or hand feeding can also cause bad behavior.
A treat must always form no more than 10% of your puppys overall daily food allowance to avoid overfeeding. Limit how many you give and always offer them at the right time for the right reason.
What is the correct portion size for my dog?
A healthy weight is maintained by achieving the right balance between energy intake and energy output. So the correct portion size for your dog can be different from any other dog, even if it is the same breed. The starting point is to follow the feeding guide given by the food you have selected with your veterinarian which is most relevant to your dog. However, a number of factors may also need to be taken into consideration when determining the portion size, recommended feeding quantities for cats are often just guidelines.
First, consider the size of your dog. A small breed such as a Chihuahua will require a very different amount of calories from a St.Bernard. Try to choose a product which is designed for your breed or size of dog. Next, think about their activity levels; are they a working dog or do they spend most time indoors with short walks during the day? If you have any concerns about what quantities to feed your dog, please contact your local veterinarian for specific advice.
Your dogs portion size plays a big part in maintaining a healthy lifestyle. No matter how much they exercise, if a dogs portion is too large, they will still be prone to putting on weight. Keep in mind, recommended feeding quantities for dogs are often just guidelines. The amount of food your dog requires may change throughout their life. For example, if your dog gains weight, you may wish to alter their daily calorie intake or diet to counter this. As your dog grows older and becomes less active, then their food portions may shrink with their reduced energy requirements. Its important to consult your veterinarian if you are ever unsure about your dogs portion size.
If your dog seems to be asking you for food all the time, it doesn’t necessarily mean that they are hungry. This apparent taste for tidbits may actually be a habit, a sign of boredom or attention seeking. Giving in to begging can reinforce this behavior. That being said, if your dog continues to show food seeking behavior, this could also be a sign of illness. Parasites such as worms, for example, can cause symptoms of increased appetite, constant hunger, sometimes combined with weight loss. If signs of begging or consistent hunger persist, its important to consult your veterinarian to rule out any underlying issues.
Limit activity before and after feeding
To prevent stomach upsets, try to avoid your puppy jumping about for an hour or two after eating. And don’t feed them right after they’ve been very active.
Distractions can divert your puppy from their food, so keep their feeding area quiet. Watch them while theyre eating to check theyre safe, but dont fuss over them – it can cause protective behavior.
If your puppy eats their food too fast, try a slow-feed bowl or feeding puzzle.
How much should I feed my Royal Canin?
Is Royal Canin feeding guide per day or per meal?
How much food should I feed my dog chart?