Feeding guidelines for your dog
Some owners find it difficult to know how much food the correct amount for their dog is. However, it is essential that they are fed the correct amount to ensure optimal weight and health to prevent any problems in later life. A few extra bits of kibble and treats might not seem like a lot but they can contribute massively to weight gain. Weight gain can impact all aspects of a dog's life. It is important they are an ideal weight to prevent mobility issues as they get older.
See below on what to do and what no to do when feeding your dog.
How much should we feed them?
Please ensure you're feeding your dog the correct amount by measuring each meal on a set of scales. On the back of every Bestvenn dog food bag, there is a feeding guideline which can also be found on the product page online. These guidelines are specific for each food are created using the ingredients and nutrients for each flavour. Each guideline will show how much your dog should roughly eat depending on its weight and size.
Dogs love food, and in particular treats! It's important to make sure you don't feed them too many. If you find that your dog isn't finishing all of their own meal, it is usually because they are being overfed in other areas such as treats. Treats should never make up more than 10% of their overall food allowance. If you are guilty of feeding them more than this, it's definitely time to cutback. This can cause weight gain or put them off their own food, which is essential for a healthy diet. Make sure you are being honest with yourself and your dog about how much you are feeding them, overfeeding can be cruel and distressing for them from the weight that they gain.
Don't forget our guidelines are approximated so this will depend on your dogs activity level, age and metabolism.
When and how often should we feed them?
The number of times a day you should feed your dog depend on their age. Usually, a puppy would be fed 4-5 smaller meals a day. This is because it is more difficult for them to regulate blood sugar levels as their stomachs are smaller. As they grow, the number of meals would drop down to 3 at around 3 months and down to a further 2 at 6 months. This would then stay at 2 meals a day, morning and evening, for their puppy and adult life. However, it does depend on the dog, some may prefer to split their total food allowance into 3 and have a 3rd meal in the middle of the day. This would be preferable for a larger, more active dog.
It is also worth noting that smaller dogs tend to be more fussy as they require less food. This means they may only want to eat once a day which is completely fine. Some owners can often confuse this with them disliking their food, when in fact they are actually full.
Make sure you are listening to your dog about how much they need and want.
Transitioning from another food
Switching your dog's food quickly can cause tummy upset. Any time you decide to change their food, you should transition gradually in order to give your dog's digestive system time to adjust to the change. Follow our steps on how to transition properly:
- Start by replacing 25% of their existing food with the new food for the first two-three days.
- Then, reduce by 50% for another two-three days.
- Finally, replace by another 75% for two-three days before fully transitioning.
Overweight and underweight dogs
Dogs who are overweight or underweight should be fed the amount for their target weight and not for their current weight. For example if they weighed 13kg but should be 11kg you should feed them the amount for an 11kg dog. It is important to use a weighing scales for feeding rather than a measuring cup or just guessing for these particular cases.
The no go list
We know that dogs are opportunists and will capture any moment they can to hoover up food that is accidentally dropped. However, some foods are particularly dangerous and extra precaution should be taken when you are handling with them. The main foods are:
- Onions, garlic and chives
- Artificial sweeteners
- Grapes and raisins
If consumed, act immediately and take them to the local vets. If you are worried about any other foods, consolidate your vet.