A dog or cat requires more care and attention than it initially appears. Different breeds of dogs have distinct eating habits; these preferences typically depend on the dog’s age, training, or environment. Some dogs only want to eat once daily, whereas others can eat all day.
How a pet dog is fed affects its happiness, health, and overall well-being. Once you’ve selected the ideal dog food, you must choose the appropriate feeding technique. Choosing the best feeding strategy for your dog can be difficult depending on your particular schedule as a pet parent or your dog’s eating preferences.
So, what is the greatest way to feed dogs, you ask? There are primarily three approaches, each of which has advantages and disadvantages. Excellent tips on picking your dog’s ideal feeding approach are provided in the following paragraphs.
Free Feeding Method
Do you have a hectic schedule and are not usually home with your dog? If so, this might be the ideal pet-feeding option for your lifestyle and way of life, or you might want a cat. I’m kind of joking.
By filling your dog’s food bowl, you can give them free access anytime they are hungry. Since dry dog foods do not degrade as quickly as wet dog foods, this strategy works best with dry foods. In this scenario, your dog can eat when you’re not home, and you can always refill the bowl whenever you want to according to your routine.
If your dog enjoys playing, invest in a firm rubber toy that you can stuff with dog food; they will have fun trying to eat it. For my cute dog, I bought different greyhound toys.
When you fill a bowl and leave it out for your pet to eat from whenever she wants, that is known as a free-feeding method. Free feeding has many benefits, including not worrying about getting home in time for meals, which can be problematic for those with extremely hectic schedules.
Additionally, it seems evident that pets would choose to have access to food at all times if given the choice. Since they could eat the same dish all day, it could also meet the needs of several pets.
Be mindful since as tempting as it may seem to set it and forget it, this approach brings severe threats to the health of your pet. First, only dry kibble varieties are available for your dog to eat. This is because wet food may go bad quickly, posing a significant health risk to your pet.
You must give a side bowl with plenty of clean water. A dog who eats many kibbles all at once and then drinks much water stands a high risk of developing stomach bloat. When water is added to a large kibble, it expands as it rehydrates. Inside the dog’s stomach, it can grow up to two or three times its original size.
Their stomach can expand like a water balloon and twist in their belly, resulting in a fatal, extremely painful, life-threatening condition requiring surgery.
They will gradually suffer an agonizing death if you are not there before you find them. Rushing them to an emergency veterinarian who will perform surgery will be your only option to try to save their life before it is too late.
Another drawback is that in households with numerous pets, one animal may hoard and dominate over the bowl, preventing other pets from having a turn. Additionally, the animal may gain more weight due to overeating. Some cat and dog breeds are particularly famous for eating above their point of fullness.
Timetabled, Measured Portion Feeding Method
The scheduled feeding approach works well and is healthy since it restricts your dog’s food at each meal. This approach is better if you follow a regular schedule and can arrive home each day in time for your dog’s food.
As the name implies, this strategy involves feeding your dog at regular and predictable periods, similar to how people eat breakfast, lunch, and dinner. To avoid prolonged spells of hunger for little dogs or to avoid overfeeding, this method typically calls for two or possibly three meals per day.
After enough time, you can put food in the bowl and leave it, letting the dog finish it. Usually, ten to twenty minutes will do. Alternatively, you can measure a bit of food for your pet dogs to munch on at each meal and then leave them to do so at their own pace.
A regulated portion of food must be given to dogs on a prescription or weight-control diet. This method also works effectively for dogs who need to have their medication mixed with their meal.
Metered and scheduled feeding times might provide you the chance to watch and take care of your dog and make sure he is eating all of his food for other reasons, such as ailments that might make feeding time difficult, weight loss that needs to be gained back, Obesity that needs to be monitored or any other illnesses.
You can spend time with your pet and develop a stronger bond during this day by simply scheduling periodic meals.
A significant drawback is that you will have to feed your pet several times each day due to scheduled feeding. Taking care of pups, who even under normal circumstances require smaller and more frequent meals than adult dogs, might be particularly difficult in this respect.
Meal Feeding Method
The main difference between this technique and the planned feeding method is that your pets eat at the same time as you do. As a result, the number of meals can fluctuate from two to three. Dinner or breakfast are both suitable times.
The habit of begging at the dinner table, something that you may have experienced as a pet owner, can be reduced with the aid of this strategy.
Ask your veterinarian if you’re unsure which strategy will work best for you and your pet. You might need to consider factors like age and breed, or you might want to consider making arrangements for a visitor to help with the scheduled feedings. There are automatic bowls that may be programmed to feed your dog periodically throughout the day.
Regardless of the feeding method you choose, make sure always to provide clean water, as well as by all means, avoid using plastic bowls that could release toxins into your dog’s food and water. The most suitable bowls are made of food-grade ceramic, steel, or glass.
As dogs grow older or become ill, you may need to consider switching your approach. Keep in mind your dog’s long-term health while making a decision rather than just your convenience.