How Many Times a Day Should I Feed My Dog

How many times a day should I feed my dog

Dear Hindy,

My husband and I just adopted our first dog, but we’re confused about how often to feed Stella. I’ve been asking people and some tell me once a day, some say twice, and I’ve even been told to leave food in a big bowl so Stella can eat when she wants. What’s the right answer! Thank you, Zoe

How Many Times a Day Should I Feed my Dog

Dear Zoe,

First let me congratulate you on rescuing and saving Stella’s life!!

 There are so many reasons why I don’t like free feeding, (leaving food out all day) and they include –

  • It makes house training hard
  • I like the idea of a routine and consistency when it comes to meal and walk times
  • If a dog is prone to resource guarding, having food constantly out that he has to guard can be very stressful
  • Missed opportunity for training such as teaching him to “come” and “wait” or “stay”
  • Bugs!

To me once a day means loading up the bowl with your dog’s daily requirement, then expecting her to sit and eat the whole thing in one go. What if she doesn’t? Will she miss out on proper nutrition? If you leave it sitting there you’re free feeding!!

My preference? Twice a day unless a vet recommends otherwise. I like that my dog doesn’t have to eat so much in one sitting, and it gives him something to look forward to. I also appreciate the extra opportunity to get in some training. Twice a day works for us!

Good luck.  


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Hindy Pearson
I am a dog trainer and behaviour consultant, specialising in working with first time dog owners. Whether you're thinking of getting a dog and aren't sure if it's the right time, or you've been sharing your life with one for awhile but there are issues you can't resolve, I am here for you. No matter where in the world you live I can help.

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