When Should I Feed My Pets?

When Should I Feed My Pets?

It doesn’t take long to discover that the Internet is filled with conflicting advice about when to feed your pets. 

Some experts say that you should only feed them once daily. Others recommend at least two servings, while a few suggest keeping the dish full is your best option. 

If you’re feeling confused by all of the different advice, you’re not alone. Your pet’s feeding times and frequency should always be on a schedule that supports their health. That’s why a conversation with your local vet is your first and best choice to establish a feeding schedule.

Points to Consider When Feeding Pets

1. Most pets require a routine.

When you have a regular feeding schedule at home, it helps teach your pet the importance of a routine. If you feed them once in the morning and the second time in the evening, you might find it easier to manage house training and limit unwanted behaviors. It is a methodology that reduces anxiety through predictability.

2. Dogs have a simple stomach anatomy. 

Some animals have complicated digestive systems that require a specialized approach to the feeding process. When you have a dog as a companion, you can adopt a simplified routine. Once their stomach gets filled with food, it empties a few hours later as the resources moved to the small intestine. After some time passes, hormones stimulate the animal’s brain to let them know that they are hungry again. 

3. A break in their feeding routine can indicate illness.

When you have an established feeding routine at home, unexpected changes can indicate that your pet is feeling under the weather. Although leaving some food behind might represent not getting outside to play, any changes that last for more than a couple of days should be evaluated by your veterinarian.

4. Animals should not get to eat everything they want. 

The approach that allows pets to eat whatever they want is called “ad libitum.” it essentially means “free choice.” Your companions would always have a full bowl a food because you keep replacing it whenever it gets empty. Despite the success stories that you can find online for this methodology, it will increase the risk of juvenile obesity, encourage binge eating behavior, and potentially lead to orthopedic problems.

5. What about grazing behaviors?

With some pets (not usually cats), grazing behaviors are part of the daily routine. Some dogs regulate their food intake remarkably well, but it should still be an expectation that mealtimes are the priority for filling up a dish. You can put in an entire day’s worth of rations in the morning and let them handle their eating needs throughout the day. This approach is not typically useful when you have multiple animals sharing your home. 

As you get to know your pet, you will see when the best feeding times are for their physical needs. When you can turn that information into a routine, you’ll find that each day can be a happy one at home. 

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