How Many Meals Should Your Dog Have?

It's not an exact science, but usually it is best to distribute the recommended daily amount of dog food in several smaller portions; never leave the bowl full, since he could devour it without control, and gain weight or upset his metabolism
How Many Meals Should Your Dog Have?

Last update: 09 April, 2018

You have finally decided! You are going to adopt a pet. It’s your first time and you are very excited, but suddenly you realize that you have many doubts and questions. One of the first and most important ones could be how many meals your dog should have. There are different opinions on the topic, but today we are going to give you the definitive answer.

The answer to how many meals your dog should have

Knowing how many meals your dog should have depends partially on his age. Puppies, for example, will need to eat more times a day, at least four. This is because they will eat less and will constantly need nutrients for their healthy and quick development.

Four times a day will decrease gradually as the dog grows. So, when the animal is between three and six months old, he can start having three meals a day; from six to fourteen months, the number goes down to two meals; and from fourteen months on, you can feed him once a day. This is only a generalization, since you could also feed an adult dog more times a day.

How many meals should your dog have? One?

This is a viable option if you cannot feed him more times a day because of your work, for example. It is also possible that your dog is small and has a delicate stomach, and so this is more than enough.

Dogs are adaptable animals, so eating once a day will not be a problem for them. That said, make sure that the amount and quality of the food that you give him is ideal for your pet.

Are two meals better?

This is okay in an adult dog that does not have health problems. It is recommended that you feed him in the morning and in the afternoon. That way, the amount of energy will be distributed, and your animal will be active throughout the day.

However, this does not mean that you have to give him double the recommended amount, but that you will have to distribute it in two. This way of eating is not suitable for hyperactive or nervous dogs, since it will only encourage their activity and make your coexistence worse.

And if you decide to feed him three or four times a day?

Without a doubt, feeding your pet three or four times a day will be an ideal option if your dog is calm or he struggles to exercise, for example; also if he has to lose weight.

The same way with humans, the less time that passes between meals, the more your animal’s metabolism will accelerate. So this will be perfect for losing weight. Again, we remind you that the amount of food must be the same.

Your veterinarian will tell you how much food your dog should eat and you simply will have to distribute that amount in several meals. Scientists have shown that feeding a dog more times a day maintains a good level of energy and regulates his weight, and therefore, a good state of health.

What you should not do

Something that you should not do under any circumstance is leave the bowl full of food all the time so that your animal goes to it any time that he wants. This could make your animal eat more than necessary. You could think that he is hungry and fill the bowl up more times than necessary. Even if this does not happen, your animal’s metabolism will not work properly because there is no time between meals.

As you can see, there are several options to answer the question of how many meals your dog should have. In the end, you are the one who decides what is best for your circumstances.

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