Why is proper feeding so important? Isn’t it enough to see how satisfied they are with the amount and kind of dog food we give them?
Dogs are generally more active compared to cats, and this makes them less prone to obesity. Unlike cats, they can be easily trained because they are more docile and submissive.
Their unparalleled sense of smell makes them perpetually curious and always chasing after things. Being active makes them hungrier and leads us to feed them more often.
We even give them simple treats when they successfully perform tricks. For them, food is a reward, food is happiness.
As owners, we sometimes fail to notice we are overfeeding them because in our perspective we are simply making them happy and giving them rewards.
How much and how often
Ideally, an adult dog should be fed twice a day, while a puppy must eat three or more times per day. An adult dog can be fed once in the morning and once in the evening, while a puppy can eat in the morning, noon, and evening.
The amount of food they need to consume would depend on their breed and their size.
But as a general rule, adults need 1/3 cup of dog food for every 10 pounds of body weight, while puppies that have weaned off their mother’s milk need ½ cup to 5/8 cup of puppy food per 5 pounds of body weight.
A pregnant or a nursing dog should be fed freely or as often as she likes so she could provide adequate nutrition to her puppies and so that her body could produce breastmilk.
Sporting dogs vs. Non-sporting dogs
A sporting dog requires more exercise and are typically more active compared to non-sporting dogs. Therefore, their bodies require more calorie intake.
However, the lifestyle of the dog should also be taken into consideration, because a dog who lacks exercise regardless of its breed could easily become overweight.
Giving them dog treats and small snacks are okay, as long as it is limited to only up to 10% of their daily diet. However, it’s still best to ask the vet’s opinion because the amount may vary depending on the dog’s breed, weight, and level of activity.
Giving them human foods as treats are also fine as long as the food won’t harm them, so please do some research first before giving them a bite of your snack.
Overfed or underfed
An overfed dog would eventually gain weight and become obese and be at risk for other health problems such as obesity, hip dysplasia, heart disease, and liver problems.
As obesity progresses, their movements and activities would become
limited as well. Also, keep in mind that these health risks increase as the dog gets older.
On the flip side, an underfed dog could become malnourished and may
become more susceptible to diseases and infections. Always remember to give everything in moderation and to stick to their usual feeding time.
Make sure that they are also eating a balanced diet and a good quality of dog food to ensure that they are getting their body’s nutritional requirement.
A proper diet coupled with regular exercise leads to optimal dog health and a longer life span.