We love our pets and want always to be certain we are doing the very best we can for them.  As such, we want to know that we are feeding them properly.  They rely on us to supply them with food, and they have precious little say about whether or not the food we give them is acceptable or not.  They also have relatively little say about when they get fed.  It’s important to make sure we are feeding them the correct foods at the correct time.  It’s a very simple formula, but one of which we need to be mindful.  

In addition to feeding our dogs human grade dog food, we can also schedule their feedings to more adequately meet their needs.  

When Should Puppies Eat?

Our favorite little furry friends are full of energy and it seems like they are constantly at their food dish craving more.  So often should we be feeding these little tail waggers?  The answer is about three times a day.  A puppy will eat more frequently than dogs over four months of age.  Their stomachs are tiny and can only hold a small amount of food at a time, therefore they need to tank up a bit more frequently.  

Puppies can be fed in the morning between 6:00 a.m. and 7: a.m., midday, and once before bedtime, between 7:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m.  It’s best to keep their feeding intervals around eight hours.  Anything sooner than that can encourage overeating, and anything longer can cause them to go hungry.  

When Should Older Dogs Eat?

Dogs over the age of four months can usually withstand eating twice daily.  If you have a smaller breed, or if your veterinarian has instructed you to do so, you may need to increase or decrease your dog’s feedings, however the standard rule for a dog over four months and in good health is twice daily feedings.  

The interval of time between feedings should never be longer than twelve hours.  Not only can your pup become very hungry after twelve hours, it can create a sense of distrust that they will not be fed on time.  Try to feed your dog morning and evening, with about eight to twelve hours in between feedings. 

What About Treats?

Every dog loves a good treat and we love to give them out, but be careful your dog isn’t getting the majority of their nutrition from dog biscuits instead of their kibble.  Most dog biscuits (although they are tasty to your pet) are really devoid of nutritional value.  It’s basically junk food for your dog.  As such, it’s important to make sure we only give dog treats once or twice a day, or as your veterinarian recommends. 

Additionally, you can always substitute a healthier treat like bits of cheese or raw carrots for standard dog biscuits.  Your dog will still love the flavor, and will actually get some nutritional needs met from these options. 

What is the Best Food to Feed My Dog?

Look for human grade dog food.  That’s right-human grade.  Many dog food manufacturers use cheap, feed-grade animal scraps (like carcasses) to produce their dog food.  These types of dog food are also usually processed so much and at such a hot temperature that the kibble that remains has relatively low nutritional value for your pet.  

Instead, opt for human grade dog food.  This food has been approved by the FDA as fit for human consumption and therefore contains no strange ingredients or scrap parts.  Additionally, the processing of a human grade dog food is relatively low and contains safe, natural preservatives, so you can be sure your dog is getting all the vitamins and nutrients she needs.  

Feeding your dog at specific times is a good way to help train them and create good eating habits.  Supplement your dog’s feeding with sporadic treats throughout the day.