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Have you ever thought, “How often should I feed my dog?” Dogs thrive on routine and, though they do not keep track of time like we do, their circadian rhythm, or internal clock, makes it possible for them to tell when it’s close to the time for a routine task. Whether you’ve just adopted a dog (congrats!) or are wondering about how much to truly feed your pup, we bet you’ve thought, “How many times a day should a dog eat?” at some point. We’ve compiled a dog feeding schedule for adult dogs, puppies, senior dogs, active breeds and sedentary breeds, configured around each dog’s play, activity, sleep and water schedules.
Remember: Any dog feeding schedule is just a suggestion. The best way to plan a dog feeding schedule is to consult with a vet, who can configure a dog feeding schedule that’s customized to your dog’s needs.
Sample Dog Feeding Schedule for an Average Day with an Adult Dog
What is a good sample dog feeding schedule? Photography ©Chalabala | Thinkstock.
Food: A dog feeding schedule for most adult dogs should include time to eat twice a day. This keeps their metabolism stable and aids in digestion. You’ll find they quickly catch on to when feeding time is. A sample dog feeding schedule for adult dogs would be:
7:00 a.m. – Breakfast
6:00 p.m. – Dinner
Water: The next step after establishing a good dog feeding schedule is a having a schedule for offering fresh water to your dog. In general, it is best to leave a fresh bowl of water out for your dog every morning and every evening. Dogs should always have clean water after any activity. If you’re working on housetraining or have a dog who overdrinks, you can schedule the amount and times you provide it. But watch your dog carefully and, if he seems to be thirsty, increase the amount. A sample schedule for monitoring water would be:
7:00 a.m. – Clean and fill bowl half-way.
Noon – Rinse out and refill half-way.
6:00 p.m. – Rinse and fill half-way.
Bedtime – Clean and fill bowl about 1/4 of the way.
Sleep: An average dog sleeps about 14 hours a day. Unlike humans, they sleep for shorter times more frequently. A dog’s REM cycle is more active than a human’s and may explain the phenomenon of “chasing in their sleep.” If your dog sleeps more than 16 hours a day, it is wise to check for any illness. By scheduling his activities throughout the day, you will naturally create a good