Maybe you are expecting your first dog or your dog has problems with digestion – then you might ask yourself the following questions:
- When and how often should I feed my dog?
- How can I prevent vomiting and gastric torsion?
- Is feeding once a day enough?
- How much time should the dog rest after feeding?
In this article I will answer your questions about the optimal feeding time.
In general, dogs have different needs in terms of the optimal feeding time and we as dog owners should be aware of these needs.
In any case, you should know that dogs have relatively short digestive tracts. That means they’re better off eating small, frequent meals than gorging on huge portions.
The 5 tips on the best feeding time for dogs
1. Your daily routine ensures regularity
First and foremost, you should look at your daily schedule – when is the best time to feed the dog so that it can get used to fixed times. If the dog notices that there is food on a regular basis, it may not gorge as much and can eat the food in peace.
2. Smaller meals are easier to digest, 2-3 is optimal
Dogs tend to need smaller meals more frequently. Even if your wolf ancestors had to fill their stomachs after a successful hunt, that does not mean that this is good for your health and that it is good for you.
Puppies and very active dogs tend to need more meals than seniors who don’t exercise much.
3. The type of dog food affects digestion time
Dog food has a major influence on the optimal feeding time. Wet food is generally transported and digested faster than dry food due to the moisture it contains. Because this must first absorb water and then turn into a paste. In my consultations I therefore recommend wet food rather than dry food.
4. Consider treats and snacks
Most of the time we “forget” the treats and specialties (such as chewing bones, tooth cleaners, and so on) – which we have in between when we go for a walk or exercise. This too is food and should be taken into account as such. If you give a little more, a meal is quickly put together.
Incidentally, I no longer give treats as a reward, but that’s more part of education or training.
5. Rest period before activities and the walk
There are very different opinions as to whether the dog should be fed before or after the walk. More important than this discussion, however, is that he has some rest right after eating to take in the food.
You should also allow some time (30-60 minutes) before wild romping with other dogs or intensive training. Because while it hasn’t been proven yet, it’s thought to at least increase, if not actually cause, the risk of gastric torsion (due to the heavy weight of the stomach)
How to prevent health problems
By optimal dog feeding times with 2-3 meals per day you can prevent some health problems, for example:
- Vomiting (4-5 meals can also help in sensitive animals)
- Stomach torsion (often in large dogs aged 5-9 years, this is an absolute emergency – go to the vet immediately – more info: https://www.tierklinik-ismaning.de/magendrehung-beim-hund/)
The dog should eat 2-3 times a day and then ideally rest about 30-60 minutes before the next activity. This is good mainly for health reasons, as it prevents vomiting and the risk of stomach torsion. And if sometimes it doesn’t fit perfectly, your dog won’t be angry with you :-).
And if you haven’t found the right dog food yet, I’ll be happy to advise you on what’s best for your situation and your dog. Arrange a free appointment right here – in person or online – I look forward to showing you the way to optimal pet food.