Having a regular and balanced feeding schedule for your puppy is part of being a great pet owner. You’ll watch your puppy grow into a strong and disciplined adult dog if you train them to stick to the right foods and feeding schedules.
The younger the puppy is, the more frequent their meals should be. However, as they grow older, their digestive systems develop to accommodate more food at a time, at more distant intervals. Always remember that each dog is an individual. Observe your pup’s feeding habits and needs so that you know when to make meal frequency transitions.
When is the Right Time to Make the Switch?
Puppies can easily adjust to two meals a day from the usual three meals from six months of life. Your pup’s growth and development are slowed at this age, and they do not need as much food as they did when they were younger.
However, this does not mean that they can transit to adult dog food; keep feeding your puppy with puppy food until your veterinary advises you to move to adult dog food which could be up to 12 months old. Ensure that you keep your vet involved every time you make dietary changes for your pup so that you meet their individual nutritional requirements.
If your dog is one of the smaller breeds, you might have to wait until they are seven or nine months old to transition from three meals to two a day. They need less time to grow and have different nutritional requirements. Your vet will come in handy in advising you on when is the best time to transition from three to two meals for your puppy.
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Why do you need to switch to feeding your puppy two meals a day?
From 0 to 6 months old, your puppy is rapidly growing. To accommodate the rapid growth, your puppy needs to eat a lot more frequently. Puppies are also a lot more active compared to adult dogs, this means they burn more calories and need more food to refuel.
Past the 6 months age mark, most dog breeds’ growth slows down as the puppy has developed fully physically at this point. The level of activity also slows down. As a result, the puppy doesn’t burn as many calories. If you don’t adjust their meals at this point, you risk making your dog overweight or obese.
While two meals a day works for most dogs, it’s also good to observe your dog’s feeding habits and adopt what works best for them. If you are unsure, you should consult a vet.
As your puppy grows older, their nutritional needs change. To meet their daily nutritional needs, you have to keep changing their meal plans, time, and frequency. For most pups, six months is the ideal time to switch from three to two meals.
However, smaller breeds may take longer depending on their growth curves. Consult your veterinarian to know the most appropriate time to switch your pup from three to two meals.