There are certain guidelines that you should follow when determining the right amount of food to feed your dog, although as a pet owner you probably have your own views on the matter. The amount of food that your dog receives regularly depends on such factors as his size, his age and overall health.
Unless you own a puppy that has become separated from his mother before reaching the age of two months, a puppy younger than that should ideally be fed by their mother. A good rule of thumb for a puppy younger than eight weeks is to feed him about five percent of his body weight each day, if you have to feed him yourself. However, you should also keep in mind that the dog’s size affects the amount you should feed him, so this should be used as a guide only.
You should never overfeed a puppy or a grown dog, despite the fact that it’s normal for a dog to have a slight rounded belly. Giving your dog too much food or feeding him too often can lead to various health issues, such as issues affecting the digestive system, or potentially dangerous obesity. A much safer approach is simply to feed him the appropriate amounts of food at mealtimes.
Stomach aches, diarrhea and even moodiness can result from overfeeding your dog, as a dog’s digestive system can’t handle too much food without having some sort of adverse reaction. Of course, it is all too easy for a dog’s owner to become upset and worried over their dog’s health or appearance, and overfeeding a dog affects the owner almost as much as it does the dog. Dogs are very similar to humans in that they can eventually have all sorts of health issues if they eat too much on a regular basis, including diabetes and various heart related issues.
Smaller amounts of food throughout the day are recommended for your dog, as he gets older, and this allows your pet to safely play as well as remain as healthy and as happy as possible. Dogs also need less food as they age, as their level of activity decreases, just like ours does as we get older. Two or three larger servings of food each day are typically ideal for most grown dogs, rather than multiple feedings throughout the course of a day. Again, there are several factors which should determine how much food you give an older dog, and how often you feed him, such as your dog’s breed and how healthy he is. You should make a point of discussing your dog’s diet with your vet, and getting answers to the important questions of how often and how much you should be feeding him.