If your pet is on a raw pet food diet, you’ve made an important decision to benefit their overall health. You may notice, particularly early on, some important changes in your dog’s eating behaviour when on a raw diet compared to a kibble diet.
Some dogs are used to “grazing” on kibble throughout the day. We do not recommend this due to how a dog’s digestive system works. Below we take a look at when you should feed your dog and how often.
How often should I feed my adult dog?
When switching to raw food, you may notice that your pet is more motivated to finish their food in one sitting...that’s good! Unless your dog has a special medical requirement, we recommend that adult dogs are fed once per day. The empty canine stomach is like an accordion containing many folds. Within these folds are glands that assist with proper digestion. It is only when a dog has taken on a substantial meal that the stomach is stretched and the glands are exposed and activated. Feeding a dog more than once per day can lead to inadequate digestion and a constant feeling of hunger. Providing your pet with one substantial meal per day can leave them feeling more satisfied.
With years of feeding commercially formulated dry kibble it’s understandable how we have come to believing that adult dogs need to be fed multiple times per day. With kibble, the food expands in the dog’s stomach, causing digestion to be activated and also at times posing a risk for gastric torsion (bloat) due to the rate at which expansion can occur. Thus leading to smaller portions being recommended. With raw diets, the food does not grow once exposed to your pet’s digestive track and is therefore more naturally digestible and suitable.
When is the best time to feed my dog?
You can either vary your dog’s meal time or stick to a schedule. When house training a puppy or new dog it’s understandable to stick to a schedule; however, once trained you may want to consider fluctuating your meal times. If you consistently feed your pet at the same time everyday, he or she will become conditioned to eat at that time. Your dog will produce strong digestive juices based on the time of day rather than having a reaction to the meal being prepared. The digestive juices are very strong chemicals designed to break down organic tissue. If the food is late, dogs will rid themselves of the acid by vomiting, which is very unpleasant for your pet. If you choose to feed on a schedule, ensure you are consistent.
If you vary the feeding schedule, your pet will produce digestive juices based on seeing the food, rather than the time of day. Many pet owners find it more convenient not to have their dog on a feeding schedule.
If you’re curious about the impact of switching to a raw dog food diet for your pet or you have questions about their eating behaviour, contact us today. We know you’ll appreciate the benefits to your dog’s overall health, so we want to make sure they’re chowing down happily!