Does your dog gobble down his food the second it hits the bowl? Does he seem to be a finicky eater? Different dogs have different dietary needs, and feeding schedules may vary from breed to breed. We just want our beloved canine friends to be as healthy as they can possibly be. So, how can you tell if your dog’s eating habits are normal?
A Dog’s Dietary Needs
Dogs need to eat a healthy, balanced diet, just like us. Some people prefer to feed their dogs a raw food diet — certain large canine breeds, particularly. Some like to make a balanced diet of homemade meals for their beloved pets. However, most dogs do well with a high quality dry food diet, unless they cannot chew it due to dental problems — then canned or pureed food may be the only option. Since my dog has allergies, I feed her a special holistic food made for dogs with allergies. Does your pet have special needs? Consult a veterinarian for dietary recommendations.
Determining a Feeding Schedule
Some dog breeds should eat several small meals per day, while others can go as long as 24 to 36 hours between feeding times. Typically, twice a day is sufficient. Does your small dog suffer from hypoglycemia? You may need to feed your pet up to three small meals per day. Certain larger working breed dogs may only be able to eat one large meal every 24 hours. Just be sure to feed your dog at the same time(s) every day and to always keep fresh drinking water available.
Is Your Dog a Finicky Eater?
My dog used to gobble down her food when she was a growing puppy — sometimes, she ate much too quickly. Now, she is not interested in her food unless she is really hungry. She would eat only people-food if she could. However, it is never a good idea to accommodate your dog’s eating preferences because this will only encourage her habits. She will eat when she is hungry. If you mix human food or treats with her dry food just for the sake of getting her to eat, she will expect you to do it every time.
Finicky eating could also be due to deeper health issues, such as periodontal disease or a type of disorder. If your pet suddenly stops eating for no apparent reason, always visit with a veterinarian to determine the cause.
Basic Feeding Guide: Puppies and Adult Dogs
Your Dog’s Feeding Schedule
**Note: This article is meant to be used for informational purposes only, and it is not intended to replace professional veterinary advice. Please consult with your pet’s veterinarian if you notice odd behavior or strange eating habits.