4 Common Mistakes You Might Be Making When Feeding Your Dog

4 Common Mistakes You Might Be Making When Feeding Your Dog

Last update: 13 May, 2018

Out of a lack of knowledge, you could be making mistakes when feeding your dog. Don’t worry though, it’s nothing serious. Everything can be modified and improved to keep your furry friend happy. In this article, you will learn about the most common mistakes you could be making when feeding your dog. 

Feeding your dog: Common mistakes

To prevent health problems, bad habits, or obesity in your dog, you will have to modify how you feed him. The typical mistakes we make as owners are:

1. Leaving the food open

Feeding your dog.

With the excuse that “it’s just for the dog,” we don’t pay much attention to dog food storage. But just like with any food, bacteria will start to decompose it if it’s exposed to the air and humidity. This makes it more likely that he will get sick.

Close the bags of dog food very well, and if you give canned food to your dog, keep it in the fridge once opened. The container must be clean and sealed well.

2. Leaving leftovers in his food bowl

Sometimes dogs don’t finish everything that’s in their bowl, whether it’s because they don’t like something or because they’re full. If that happens, don’t leave it out, especially overnight, because it could attract the attention of mice or insects. In addition, it will start to decompose. And if he eats it the next day, he will be ingesting contaminated food.

The rule is simple: if three hours have gone by and your pet has not eaten everything, it’s likely that he won’t eat any more. Therefore, you have two options: throw it out or save it in the fridge for the next meal.

3. Not washing the bowl after meals

Again, we think that it’s not necessary because it’s just the dog’s dish. But it’s not good if it’s dirty from the previous meal. Even if it seems like it’s licked clean, it will have leftovers from the meal that will decompose later and be dangerous.

The residue could accumulate bacteria that will make the dog sick. So, when he finishes eating, wash his bowl like people’s plates: with soap and hot water.

4. Not looking at expiration dates

All food goes bad at some point, including dog food. If you give canned food to them, pay careful attention to the expiration date. If the dog eats something that has gone bad, he could have stomach pain, vomiting, diarrhea, etc. Dry food also has an expiration date.

Additional mistakes

Besides the four mistakes that above, there are other issues to take into account when feeding your dog.

A dog eating.
  • Don’t overfeed him. Ask the veterinarian for the appropriate amount according to his age, weight, and other conditions.
  • Don’t buy food in large amounts if you only have one dog. Since it’s usually exposed to humidity, sun, or dust, it gets contaminated easily.
  • Avoid buying cheaper brands of dog food to save yourself a bit of money. Many times they cause digestive problems and the veterinarian and medicine costs will be undo your cost savings.
  • Don’t forget to feed him daily. If he’s hungry, he could get aggressive, break into the garbage, and eat whatever he finds.
  • Don’t give him leftovers of your food like bones or animal fat because they are bad for his health.
  • Don’t give treats to him just because. He should only get them when he behaves well, as a reward.
  • Avoid giving too much “people food” because it’s usually high in carbohydrates and it’s likely he will gain weight.
  • Don’t feed your dog anything that the veterinarian prohibited. It’s bad for the animal’s health.
  • Avoid buying adult food for your puppy or vice versa. Each one is prepared with the dose of vitamins and proteins that is necessary for that certain age.

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

  • Bray, E. E., Zheng, Z., Tolbert, M. K., McCoy, B. M., Kaeberlein, M., Kerr, K. F., & Dog Aging Project Consortium. (2021). Once-daily feeding is associated with better cognitive function and health in companion dogs: Results from the Dog Aging Project. bioRxiv.
  • Schlesinger, D. P., & Joffe, D. J. (2011). Raw food diets in companion animals: a critical review. The Canadian Veterinary Journal, 52(1), 50.
  • Fredriksson-Ahomaa, M., Heikkilä, T., Pernu, N., Kovanen, S., Hielm-Björkman, A., & Kivistö, R. (2017). Raw meat-based diets in dogs and cats. Veterinary sciences, 4(3), 33.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.