google.com, pub-1355929376209830, DIRECT, f08c47fec0942fa0How many times a day should you feed your dog? - Puppy Small
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How many times a day should you feed your dog?

Why dogs should eat one to two healthy meals a day

If your dogs could talk and you asked how often they should be fed, the answer would probably be, “Eight times a day and one treat every 10 to 15 minutes!”

Many dogs have insatiable appetites, but in the wild, wild canines can go for several days without eating. Therefore, it is common to fast your dog once a day and once a week. Some people ask me whether it is better to feed in the evening or in the morning. I usually recommend doing it when it suits you. However, if your dog tends to pant and overheat at night, feeding in the morning may be better because digestion increases heat production.

If you can’t resist Fido’s sad puppy eyes and you don’t like feeding once a day, feeding twice a day is fine. Ideally, your dog should eat no more than twice a day, with the exception of puppies under four to five months of age. They are usually fed three times a day.

If your dog is fed more than twice a day and is otherwise healthy, he may be a victim of ‘monkey love’.

I first heard this expression from my father. When my sister and I were little children, our sweet, caring grandmother did everything she could to make her grandchildren happy. She was definitely our favorite because every time we stayed with her, the basis of our diet consisted of sweets, chocolate, soda and a gumbo called Pedro.

I remember my sister refusing to eat vegetables because she knew if she didn’t, she would end up with chewy fruit toffee called Si-Si and Pedro instead. My preferences were slightly different. I was addicted to chocolate and artificially colored soft drinks in PVC bags that were inflated like pillows and you put a straw in a small port to drink it. Yes, that was the time when we didn’t know any better.

So, getting back to monkey love. If you offer your loved one anything other than healthy food to please him or her or to make him or her love you, that is monkey love. Sounds familiar? Join the club. Succumbing to monkey love is very human. My goal is to ensure that monkeys do not come to your home too often.

Recently I visited my friends and family in the Czech Republic, where I learned that fighting monkey love can sometimes be a losing battle.

When I was a college student, I visited our old family friend, Aunt Alena, a great supporter of mine and a great cook. One of her most common sayings was: “Eat, eat, you look so skinny, just have one more dumpling!”

This time I came to visit with my previous dog, Skai. Immediately after we arrived I decided to take a quick shower and left Skai in the kitchen with Alena. When I came back clean and refreshed to join them, I stopped around a corner and heard Alena say, ‘Poor little Skai, daddy didn’t feed you, did he? Here’s a piece of ham and a little bit of cheese and how about a sandwich? She talked. “That means Dad wouldn’t give you any of this. Would you like another piece?” At that moment, I couldn’t help but laugh as I entered the kitchen. ‘Do you mean daddy? Am I a mean father?” I laughed. I think even dogs deserve to have special days with aunts and grandmas.

Keep in mind that if your dog’s body structure resembles a small bedside table with four legs, this could cause problems. Maybe remind yourself of monkey love and don’t forget to keep an eye on your family and friends.

© Dr. Peter Dobias, DVM

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