Healthy Yorkie

How much should I be feeding my dog as a puppy, an active adult dog, and as an older dog?

If you own a pet dog, it is your obligation to provide all of its needs ranging from emotional to nutritional requirements. Taking care of the nutritional needs of your dog is one of the most important responsibilities. There are many options available, so choosing the correct diet can be a daunting task. After deciding on what to feed your dog, you also have to determine how many times to feed it in a day, which is not easy. This is why the question asked most often among dog owners is, how much should I be feeding my puppy, active adult dog or older dog?

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Puppies

Yorkie puppy

Yorkie puppy (Photo credit: jmose77)

During the growth stage, puppies are very active and in the process of developing skills. Therefore, they need a diet that is designed to cater for their energy needs. A puppy that is under 3 months old should be fed at least 4 times every day. If it is between 3-5 months, it should be fed three times a day. The reason why puppies are fed frequently is so as to provide them with the right nutrients that will enable them to grow into strong and healthy adult dogs.  Puppies that are past five months old can be fed as adult dogs. However, you need to continue giving them the diet that is formulated for puppies. Continue doing this until your vet states otherwise.

Adult Dogs

Adult dogs have their own unique energy and nutritional needs that are different from those of young puppies. If an adult dog eats as frequently as puppies do, it will become overweight. So, you need to feed it with food that is formulated for adult dogs and ensure that you feed it the right number of times a day.  An adult dog should be fed 2 times a day. However, the vet might recommend that you feed it three times each day, depending on its condition. You should alternate wet and dry foods. For instance, you can give it dry food for breakfast and some canned food for dinner.  Or you can combine the two for each meal.

Mature Dogs

Gauging the maturity of your dog depends on the breed and size as larger dogs age faster.  An easy way to determin if you dog is considered older or mature, look at what their age expectancy is and divide that in half.  For yorkies, they have a life expectancy of 15 – 20 years old so they would be considered old at the age of 8 or 9.  Like humans, as dogs age they tend to slow down which means that their diet needs to be reflective of that.  Be aware of whether your dog is putting on some weight and this isn’t referring to winter pudge that can occur.  Look at the type of food that your older dog is eating and try to make sure that they are eating is appropriate for their age range.  Also remember that vegetables are a great treat for them as long as you avoid foods that aren’t safe for dogs.

Cute yorkie dogs

Cute yorkie dogs (Photo credit: http://www.petsadviser.com)

Both young and old dogs need a schedule. This enables them to retain order in their lives. Therefore, it is important that you stick to a daily feeding schedule. While formulating it, consider your own timetable. Take into account your work and all other activities that you partake in. This will ensure that none of them interferes with the dog’s feeding schedule.  Having a set feeding routine for your dog also allows it to have a regular bathroom pattern that you can use to your advantage. This reduces cases of bathroom “accidents” in the house enabling you to have peace of mind. After mastering the schedule you can take your dog outside for bathroom breaks at the appropriate times.  Hygiene is also another important factor you need to consider. Always keep the water and food dishes clean. Ensure that you feed the dog the same type of food every day so as to avoid digestive complications.

Interesting Fact:

Dogs have taste buds that can taste water and not all humans do!

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