Most people have heard by now, they need to feed their adult dog twice a day. Puppies can’t go as long in between meals, so they need fed three times a day. What most people don’t know is why it matters when they feed their dog. Here’s a couple of reasons your should control your dog’s food.

1. Get A Healthier, Happier Dog

First, most vets agree, only feeding once a day is not the best choice for the dog physically. There are other important reasons for multiple feedings, though, such as training and satisfaction. Gone should be the days when dry food sits in a bowl all day and the dog “grazes” never hungry or full. Dogs feel best when they can have the satisfaction of being full after getting hungry. One cannot exist without the other.

2. More Effective Training

Also, if your dog has access to food all day, they are less motivated to pay attention to your guidance or learn behaviors you want to teach by using treats as a reward. When training dogs using food as a motivator, they will obviously be more focused and eager if slightly hungry. Right before dinnertime is the best time to teach tricks.

3. It’s a Must for Potty Training

Having regular feeding times is a must for house training with puppies or adult dogs. Eating meals at one sitting allows a regular schedule for potty times to develop. You will know when they need to go. Most importantly, you can time food and potty schedules to guarantee your dog won’t have the stress of “holding it” when you are gone or he is in his crate. When house training, the same holds true for water. Always make sure your dog gets enough water in a 24 hour period, but there is nothing wrong with you controlling when he drinks it. You are setting yourself, and your doggie family member, up for house training failure if they eat food and drink water constantly. You will be running all over cleaning up accidents all day – which usually ends up resulting in a frustrated parent and a confused dog.

Here’s How to Feed Your Dog Properly

For adult dogs, I like to take the proper amount of dry food per day (ask your vet for recommended amount) and divide it up into two feedings – one for morning and one for afternoon/evening. I put that amount into the bowl and add just a tablespoon or so of soft food, which I mix all over the dry food. Adding this small amount of wet food entices picky eaters to gobble it up at one sitting. Not to mention, I feel it adds much satisfaction to dog’s lives. It’s an easy, inexpensive way to make them happy.

Give them ten minutes to eat it, then pick up the bowl, whether it’s all gone or not. Do the same with the water if you are house training. After a few repetitions over a couple of days, and your dog will be cleaning his plate (bowl) when you set it down. Then, you will have time to put your dog outside after eating and then another time before you crate him or leave the house. Work out a system that meets your schedule. Remember, hungry – full…hungry – full, and you will have a satisfied dog and be a happy parent.

Ingredients are Important

As a society, our understanding of what makes a great dog life has been increasing…as well as the desire to have our best friends with us for as long as possible.  While we know they can’t live forever, proper nutrition can add years to their lifespan and also make those golden years as healthy as possible. This quest for longevity, along with a rapid increase in allergies, has prompted some dog food companies to go the extra mile and create foods that help, not hinder a dog’s health.  If you are still looking for the perfect food to feed your dog, this article can help guide you to the best fit for your canine companion.  I’m not spouting medical advice here – you need to consult your vet for that – but I can tell you as a dog behaviorist and parent, I’m convinced a diet consisting of limited, whole food ingredients is the best chance for all you desire.  A happy, healthy, long life; well lived and shared, with your beloved, dog family member.