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Dog feeding, what do I need to know?

Tuesday, 13 December 2022

To have a healthy dog, good nutrition is very important. But what is good nutrition? And how often and at what time do you feed a dog? And what is the best way? In this article, you will read everything you need to know about feeding a dog. Enjoy your meal, four-legged friend!

The importance of healthy food
For any dog, food is important. Whether you have a big, small, old or young dog, they all crave a healthy and tasty meal. For a puppy, the right food is the basis for further growth and development, and for a senior dog, food means maintaining vitality. Nutrition affects your dog's teeth, coat, organs, bones and stools. Nowadays, almost all dogs are fed dog food from the supermarket or pet shop. In this food, your dog's nutritional needs are fine-tuned so that only these kibble will suffice. In this respect, feeding a dog is very simple.

Dry food or tinned food?Many owners doubt which is the best option: dry food or tinned food. In fact, specialists always prefer dry food. Dry food is better than tinned food in several areas, for the following reasons:
  • It is cheaper
  • The dog's weight almost always remains stable
  • Chunks are good for the teeth
  • Dosing is easier

How often do you feed your dog?
Dogs are fed several times a day, depending on their age. Give your dog the recommended amount of food per meal. This amount can be found on the dog food packaging. The vet can also often give advice on dog food, for example during the first puppy check-up. In general, a growing dog needs 25 grams of food per kilogram of body weight. An adult dog needs 10 grams of food per kilogram of body weight. The chart below shows exactly how often you can feed your dog per day. But it is also simply stated on the back of the bag.

Puppy: up to 12 weeks
4 meals per day
Puppy: 3 to 8 months
3 meals a day
Adult large:
2 meals a day
Adult dog small
1 or 2 meals a day

Which food to feed my dog with?
Basically, the brands of dog food are all vetted and should all suit your loubas' diet. Of course, your vet can also advise on a particular brand. Of course, the vet also knows your dog well. There are also some basic needs of your dog that you can always look out for when buying dog food. Good dog food contains, among other things:
  • A high omega-3 fatty acid content
  • A balanced protein and vitamin content
  • A complete composition of the nutrients needed each day
  • High-quality raw materials
  • Easily digestible kibble
  • A good taste so your dog will enjoy eating it

What time to feed your dog?
The times you feed a dog don't matter very much, but make sure you offer structure in meal times. It is easiest to give your dog food at the same time as you or right after you. That way, your dog will always have a fixed eating pattern. This makes him less likely to develop stress. Also, your dog may develop food envy if he is fed irregularly. This is because dogs never know when the next meal will arrive. As a result, they start protecting their food, sometimes with dire consequences. Therefore, feeding a dog according to a fixed pattern is the best way.

Feed a dog before or after taking it for a walk?
The best time to feed a dog is after walking. If you give a dog food before letting out, there is a chance that he will suffer from stitches during the walk. Of course, this is not nice for your dog. That is why it is best to feed your dog half an hour after letting out. It is also the case that dogs see their food as a reward. If you feed your dog after letting him out, his hunting instinct will also be stimulated a little. It associates its food with prey that it has just 'caught' outside!

What to avoid
Feeding your dog seems so simple, yet there are things you should keep in mind as an owner. Many mistakes are made when it comes to feeding your dog. This is not so culpable because most owners simply do not have the knowledge. So what exactly are we talking about?

  • An open pack
    Little attention is paid to how dog food is stored. But just like our own food, dog food is also susceptible to the wrong bacteria. If these bacteria get a chance to nestle in your dog's food, your dog is more likely to get sick in the long run. Therefore, always seal the packaging properly. Keep opened tins in a plastic bag in the fridge.
  • Food leftovers
    Not all dogs eat their entire meal in one sitting. Some dogs do not find the food very appetising, others are simply full. If your dog also leaves chunks in his food bowl, empty it when your dog has finished eating. Open food attracts bacteria and pests, which can make your dog very sick if he eats it later. If your dog has not eaten everything within three hours, it is likely that he will not continue eating after this. Then throw away the food or keep it covered in the (refrigerated) cupboard.
  • Unwashed manger
    Feeding a dog is one thing, washing his 'plate' is just as important. Caked-on food residue can also attract bacteria. So when your dog has finished eating, wash the bowl under the tap with soap and water. That way, your friend will have a clean next meal too!
  • Best before
    You may not give it much thought, but dog food can also spoil. Tinned food in particular spoils quickly after being opened. So always pay attention to the instructions on the packaging and check the quality for yourself before feeding it to your dog.
  • Ah, that one leftover
    Many owners succumb to the pressure of cute doggy eyes begging for a small piece of food. This is of course meant sweetly, but dogs cannot digest everything properly. Therefore, always pay close attention to what you feed your dog. You can read all about it in our article on 'what can dogs eat'.

Source: www.petplan.nl