Ready for this?...
Your Dog Feeding Schedule... Raw or
Processed Food Makes a Difference!
“But that's not what all the other websites say about their dog feeding schedule!” Yep... you'll soon realize we're different than the rest of the pack!
Sure... we'll cover dog feeding guidelines like how much, how often, dog feeding times and feeding your puppies, etc...
...based on breed, age, health and activity level of your furry friend.
All this is centered around what you feed your pooch... processed or raw dog food. Likewise with proper food combining.
Mother Nature's been trying to show you this forever!
Our healthy, organic raw dog food...
It's raw and properly combined!
... compared to processed commercial dog food I bought just for this picture...
Sure looks like chocolate ice cream!
Nimble Doggy eats all she wants whenever she wants because I feed her
a raw meat dog food diet and other raw foods that are properly
Proper dog food combining for streamlined digestion
... but I'll also include some "cooked" treats occasionally (Nimble insists it's ok!).
Do we have you hooked? Good! If not... please don't hit that “Back” button yet! Instead... we hope you keep reading!
Our Dog Feeding Schedule is Based on Our Own Experiences
I've fed both of my dogs raw dog food for many years (except for the raw dog foods they sniffed out in the wild!)...
"Hey daddy... the coyotes beat me to it!"
Everything we write about happens daily in our doggie household (except when Nimble and I fast).
In addition... some information is gleaned from reliable sources which we read about from “been there and done that” authors. It's impossible for us (maybe!) to adopt every breed of dog, puppy, old dogs, nursing dogs, etc. Furthermore...
We've talked to many dog owners (and seen their dogs) who feed their dogs processed dog food (and raw as well). We've also shared our healthy dog food with them!
All of the dog feeding schedule information below applies to healthy dogs unless noted otherwise.
As you browse along below, please refer to our section "Tips" (after we publish it... this will be the link). This information supplements many of the sections below. Furthermore...
Don't miss out on proper food combining!... it'll make a difference when feeding your pet dog. Nimble and I are believers in this... can your dog digest her vittles without it rotting or fermenting in her stomach? To keep this from happening... here's an easy-to-read food combing chart. “Print it and pin it” on your 'frig door!
In addition... your dog needs to have a good supply of friendly bacteria in her digestive system. Probiotics are a good source. Has your dog taken antibiotics lately? If so... this drug kills these wonderful organisms!
And finally (this is a real biggie)... do you feed your dog a processed or raw dog diet? It makes a huge difference and most of our info below revolves around this. Please click this link (this will also become a link when we're finished publishing below).
“Remember... organic is best... arf!” Nimble Doggy. This plays a big role when it comes to when, how much and how often to feed your favorite pal!
Now that we've got that out of the way... let's get to the good stuff!
Dog Feeding Agenda for Active Dogs
We're talking about a good, hard romp... not a walk around the block!
- Knowing when is very important... “Should I feed before or after exercising?” Waiting awhile after feeding your dog before exercising is best. However... this doesn't always work out well with our schedules. Solution (you'll like this)...
Set the 'ole alarm 45 minutes earlier than when you get up for work (I've been doing this for years... pat on back!)...
… and work out with your doggy first thing in the morning. This way... you won't need to worry about waiting after eating before working out! And... you might not feel like exercising after work... especially if you have a physical job like mine.
- “How much should I feed?" I feed Nimble as much as she wants. She can't get fat on the raw stuff! Also remember... she's very active (we're not talking about a slow trot around the block).
She'll gobble it down asap... she won't pick at it. My other dog was the same way. If your dog works out hard... they're “earning” their food. Your dog's appetite will be off this planet... unlike an inactive dog!
Healthy dog foods digest faster and easier when they're really hungry and “empty!”
Your dog will eat more processed dog chow than raw nutritious dog food since it lacks the nutrient density of the raw, homemade stuff. As a result... more calories! You'll read more about this below (this is Nimble's idea to make sure you read everything!).
- How often should you feed your dog? Gosh... if you think your dog might be hungry... put her feed bag on! Feeding amount for dogs seems to be controversial... should you feed smaller meals more often or just one or two large meals?
We think smaller meals are best. Either way is probably fine...
The smaller meals throughout the day and one big meal late afternoon/evening works out best with our schedule.
Dogs are designed to inhale their food in the wild and their digestive systems are designed accordingly. This way they can gulp it down before another predator steals their meal! Don't be afraid to feed big meals less often...
“My daddy puts my healthy dog food out and lets me chow. If I don't eat right away or just 'pick at it'... he'll put it away. I'm glad I always gobble it up... arf!” Nimble Doggie.
Nimble likes to play “Tease” first... then she'll eat!
No matter how hungry she is... she's got'ta play this game!
Here's how it goes...
I act like I'm trying to steal her food... then she'll chase me down until I say “I'm sorry”... then she'll eat. This goes on and on until she's done... whew!
Hey pops... let's play tease before I chomp another meaty bone...
Grrr... let's get to it!
How often continued...
Worth repeating... even if your dog is very active... be careful when feeding your pet dog processed dog chow. Consult with your vet if you're not sure. A vet who has a nutritional background is best.
Nimble Doggy helped me find a really good vet... here's ours! They'll show you how to make sure your dog doesn't get fat on a commercial dog food diet. Your conventional vet can show you how to check your dog for too much fat.
Sometimes the dog food manufacturer will disclose this information. However... you need to make the final decision. Only you know your dog!
For those of you who don't want to go the homemade route...
...we're working on a list of different types of “ready-to-go” dog foods. It's a work in progress... keep checking back for more approvals as we keep adding to our best organic dog food list. I would feed these to Nimble if I couldn't feed her my homemade raw dog food recipes... We'll try them out before giving our stamp of approval!
You'll also read some good background information about every type of dog food. Each page is sort of an “extension” of the others. These pages will help you decide or assure yourself....
Our health food store has a big selection of doggy food, chews and treats...
Such a selection... where do you start?
- Just like how much... only you can determine how often to feed your dog. You'll need to monitor her weight and adjust accordingly with processed dog food. With us... frequency of meal times are pretty much the same every work day due to my work schedule. My days off are different.
I think amount and frequency are important. Once again...
Perhaps more smaller meals throughout the day might be healthier than gorging on one huge meal. I have no proof of this (Nimble won't tell me... ha!).
Wild dogs gorge... sometimes only once a day or even once in a few days. But... this is due to lack of availability. And as mentioned above... they're designed to “inhale” their food.
“My conventional vet thought I was too heavy. My daddy had to convince the doctor that it was muscle... not fat! Can you believe it?... arf!"
Do I look chubby? I hope not... arf!
Carnivore Inactive? Try this Dog Feeding Schedule...
We're talk'in about couch potatoes here... or the occasional “walk-around-the-block” dog. Are you feeding your dog processed dog food? If so... be careful. Those pounds might add up!
- When? Feed you pal if she's looking at you with those big, cute eyes (while pushing her food bowl towards you!). You won't need to worry about her up-chucking food when eating soon after after exercising... right?
Have you ever noticed how fast your body seems to digest food after a hard workout compared to eating “just to be eating?" And so it is with dogs...
- How much? Even though your doggie isn't exercising much... it's really hard to get fat when raw feeding dogs. As we've mentioned before (I hate to sound like a broken record!), the more a food is processed, the harder it is to digest. Likewise with improperly combined dog vittles...
This = weight gain. Throw in a few additives and other junk... bingo! The pounds (or ounces for little dogs) start to compound.
- How often? Feeding your dog 2-3 times during the day (or more) is probably best. Remember... her body will crave healthy dog food after exercising. Worth repeating... your dog (and us) digest food better when it's "earned.” Also...
Because smaller portions spread out over the day is healthier for your pal...
Nimble and I realize this isn't practical for all of us due to our differences in life-styles. Just do the best you can and have fun with it! A healthy lifestyle takes work... keep it as fun and simple as you can (Nimble is constantly reminding me of this).
What a furry, fun play partner!...
No matter how busy... there's always time for playtime!
Dog Feeding Routine for Ill Dogs
Did your doggy eat something that didn't agree with her? Is her tummy upset? Does she need one of our home remedies for dog diarrhea? These are examples of acute illnesses.
Here's our favorite “dog feeding schedule” in a case like this...
Put your dog's chow away and fast her for at least 24 hours. How simple and inexpensive can it get? “But I feel guilty eating in front of my dog!” Simple solution...
Fast right along with her! Here's more about fasting.
Nimble and I know at least half of you don't agree with us... that's ok. We wish you were right... we both love eating too much!
Dog food digestion takes more energy than any other bodily process. So... free up that energy to cleanse and repair. If you'd like to try home made natural remedies for dogs... please try this page for different types.
Here's one of our home made teas...
Organic green leaf homemade tea
Wild dogs fast. Have you ever noticed that when you're not feeling good your appetite disappears? Even mine goes away and I have one heck of an appetite! Know why?
Our body is telling us to stop eating! Same with dogs... for some reason we've been “programmed” to eat when we're sick to "keep our energy up.” What a bunch of nonsense!
“OK... so how come my dog's doctor hasn't told us this stuff?"
Because they'd go out of business if every pooch was healthy! I could
write a whole book about this but Nimble's nudging me... I ramble too
Nimble's giving me the eye...
Chronic illness dog feeding schedule
Diabetic dogs, doggies with kidney or heart disease, etc... these are examples of chronic illnesses. Your pal might be born with them. Or... many chronic illnesses rear their ugly heads after months or years of an unhealthy lifestyle.
If your furry pal is ill please discuss her dog feeding schedule with a vet who is trained in nutrition. A holistic canine doctor is our choice.
Different types of illnesses (diseases) may require different dog diets and feeding regimens. For example... if your dog has kidney disease you might feed renal diet dog treats.
Nimble and I want to throw in our two cents worth... we've seen dogs who were near the “end” due to an illness. Fasting and a new healthy lifestyle saved them. Now they're living a normal, healthy life!
Your Puppy's Dog Feeding Schedule...
Or better yet... from puppy to pre-adult. Your new family member is a eating machine! Make sure plenty of food is available... she'll need it! You or someone else must be available to constantly satisfy her nutritional demands.
We realize you can't duplicate a wild puppy's food or feeding routine. But...
Please ponder on our following example... then decide the proper dog feeding guidelines for your furry companion. At least it will guide you in the proper direction.
A newly born wild pup feeds only on mom's milk for the first month or so...
But not this kind of milk...
I bought this milk only to show you what NOT to feed your dog
Then... adult members of the pack feed the pup by regurgitating partially digested stomach contents. At this time the pup continues to nurse on mother's milk.
Our ground-up meaty bones look like the real thing...
Nimble also loves her meaty bones and organ meat ground-up
After a couple months or so... the pup is fed regurgitated stomach contents that are freshly eaten but not pre-digested. The pup occasionally takes a “sip” of mother's milk. And... the youngster begins to wonder outside the den while learning how to catch and snack on insects, mice and other tiny prey (“Yumm... arf!”).
Finally... the “mature” pup begins to join the pack on hunting expeditions and is weaned off mom's milk.
Mother Nature's amazing! I learned this by spending many nights reading documentation (instead of watching tv... ha!) written by biologists and others who spent months observing wolves in the Arctic. We trust their research.
Nimble and I spend lots of time in the outdoors studying coyotes (watching them, examining coyote poop and fresh/old kills, etc.).
I sure hope some day Nimble and I can do the same... we'll come back with stories and photos to share with you!...
… like this treasured moment...
On 10/20/18 Nimble and I watched a coyote “mousing” in a farmer's field. This is one of the few times I didn't bring our camera. Nimble was disappointed in me. We've never seen one doing this so close to the road!
'ya see it... now you don't!...
Nimble loves chasing mice!
is the best time to feed your little “crumb-snatcher?” Anytime she
wants to slurp up more of what mommy has to offer... your little fur
ball is growing like a weed! She needs the nutrition.
stay close to mom... not doing much for exercise during the early weeks
so you won't need to worry about eating right before exercising. As she
grows and becomes older... she'll exercise more and more (first playing
with other pups in the den).
Other factors... such as moving, new family additions, thunderstorms, etc., might effect the feeding schedule for your dog.
Check this out!...
If I cough... Nimble will quit eating... even her favorite food of all time... homemade dog liver treats! She'll leave her treats and hide on the hallway steps (just for a few minutes... then she's back at it).
Minimal (if any) exercise is required when your little companion is very, very young.
- How much
do you need to feed? Your newly born puppy will demand more nutrition
than a puppy who is “almost” an adult. Let her chow down! As she
grows and becomes older... nutritional demands will decrease so you'll
need to be aware of your dog's healthy weight.
If your dog exercises a bunch... she'll chow down almost like a growing puppy...
Nimble outplays most dogs on the beach... even after our workout!
enjoy reading below about feeding large breed puppies. Be careful...
your pup might grow too fast causing physical problems.
- “How frequently?”
By the time your pal is full grown... 2-3 meals a day is ideal (if it
works out with your dog's schedule... not yours!). It's not set in
stone... just our opinion. This contrasts to eating multiple times a
day during the early weeks in her new world.
Ok... so obviously we're not practicing what we preach... Nimble's not eating 3 small meals today!...
Nimble's gorging on meaty lamb bones
An Old Dog's Feeding Agenda...
… is different than that of a younger, active doggy. However... there are exceptions. My first little Toy Poodle... at age 16... was chowing down like she was 6 months old! But...
She was very healthy which enabled her to exercise with me like a youngster giving her a big appetite!
Because most old dogs are more inactive than youngsters... we'll focus on them.
- “When is the best time to feed my favorite companion?” Anytime during the day.
However... Your adult is probably set in her ways and used to the same routine. For instance... is she used to eating by herself? Suddenly a new family member is eating right next to her (stealing her food). This might be hard on her digestion!
Do you need a healthy, homemade dog indigestion remedy? You've come to the right place... please tap here.
- How much
chow does she need? You can let her eat all she wants if her healthy
dog food is homemade, raw and organic. Even though our yummy oatmeal
dog treats (click here) are homemade and healthy... I still consider them human food so treat your dog occasionally.
if you're interested in making dog treats... a list of Nimble's healthy
recipes. I steal 'em from her cookie jar when she's not looking!
- How often?
Your older dog's digestion doesn't work quite as well as it did when
she was a youngster. Don't you think a few smaller meals throughout the
day is better than one or two large, “heavy” meals? In addition...
processed stuff isn't your best quality dog food... it's hard to
digest. These vittles require probiotics and digestive enzymes to aid
digestion... make sure they're good quality. There's lot's of junk on
the market now-a-days
I'm mixing up some probiotics powder with Nimble's pureed veggies,
spirulina and dried seaweed...
I add pure, whole food supplements to Nimble's blended veggies
Is your pooch displaying signs of dog food intolerance symptoms? Please refer to this page.
Dog Feeding Schedule for Nursing Dogs
Make sure you feed mom really healthy dog food while she's nursing. This sets the stage for a healthy life for your new pups and a successful birth for mom! For starters... dog food quality is sooo important!...
Try this page to get you started in the right direction. And... organic human grade dog food must be exactly that... click here to make sure!
Are you really into making your own dog food? When it comes to making vittles for your lactating (nursing) mom... do your research if you're not going to feed her a simple wild mom's dog diet (raw homemade dog food). Consult with a reputable holistic vet first.
Just got home from shopping.... organic and free-range meat, organ meat and meaty bones...
Do I spoil my doggie? That's just fine... she's worth it!
… included with pureed veggies and fruit, organ meat, whole food supplements and nut or seed butters...
Homemade organic nut butters... yummm!
Please tap here... this page of the American Kennel Club (AKA) is very informative and a necessary read.
If raw feeding isn't your thing...
We've heard there's some nutritious and safe commercial dog foods that are formulated for a nursing dog. We've never used them. However...we'll do our research and give them a whirl (Nimble and our neighbors' dogs will be our official testers).
Then... we'll make a list for you if we find any. Please come back to this link to check on our progress.
- “How much do I feed mom?” All she wants to eat! There's big demands placed on her body while nursing. She need lots of vittles so she can supply her little crumb-snatchers with all the nutrition they need...
… while at the same time not depleting her own reserves. The more pups she's nursing... the more food she'll want and need. It's critical at this time to make sure her food is really nutritious... and make sure she's digesting it properly!
- “How frequently should I offer food?” Whenever she'll gulp it down. Go ahead and free-feed her if you'd like. Smaller meals (she's still eating all she wants) eaten less often is healthier.
- When is the best time? Anytime during the day. Mom probably won't leave her pups. Keep things normal around the household while she's lactating (nursing)... don't move to a new house, no new family additions, etc.
Tell mom not to give birth during the holidays when you're having lots of company... ha!
A Pregnant Dog's Feeding Routine
You need to make extra sure your canine mom receives proper nutrition ...
"Look at all the yummy food I get to eat this week... arf!"
… not just when she's pregnant... but from the time she became pregnant until her pups are weaned.
Again... please refer to the AKA about proper dog nutrition and care for Mrs. dog.
- How often does mom need healthy dog food? Feed her as often as she'll eat. Again... smaller meals less often are ideal (if it meets with your schedule). If not... 2-3 times a day. She might refuse food about 12 hours before giving birth.
- “How much does my dog need to eat”? By the time she's ready to whelp (give birth)... she'll be eating 15 to 25 percent more dog food according to the AKA (American Kennel Club).
- When's the best time to feed her? Anytime during the day. When she's exercising during the very early stages of pregnancy... please don't feed her right before a good romp. Just like mommy who's nursing... she needs a nice, private place to eat and rest without sudden changes to the lifestyle she's been so used to.
"Ahhh... nothing like a warm, quiet place to digest my food"...
Nothing but the birds and bees while Nimble digests her food!
Different Dog Feeding Schedule for Different Breeds?
Yep. For instance... a very large breed pup grows so fast you must be extremely careful how much and how often you feed her. Talk to your vet about this... it's not healthy and safe if she grows too fast!
In the wild... mother nature takes care of all this. But... because of our forced breeding practices over the centuries... our dogs suffer many maladies such as this (could be one of the reasons for dog food intolerance symptoms... check this out).
- Large breeds such as the Bullmastiff, Akita or Boxer are good examples. Some of the really large breeds like to snooze more than an average sized dog. Unfortunately... some of these dogs are prone to bloat (nothing to mess around with!), orthopedic disease and obesity. Here's more about dog bloat symptoms.
Again... feed your doggy smaller meals throughout the day... this will surely benefit your faithful companion.
- Small breeds like your Toy Poodle, Yorkie, Pomeranian and other small “crumb-snatchers” have a higher metabolism than larger breeds. They tend to eat more pound for pound... requiring more calories. “My daddy can't believe how much I eat at times... especially on days when we exercise extra hard. Arf!"... Nimble.
This is so true... I can't believe how much she can pack away! But... your dog is designed to gorge... trace this back to their ancestry. As we've mentioned above... when a wild dog finds their prey... they gorge really fast so a competitor can't steal their chow!
Nimble's plate was packed full...
“Daddy, I don't think I can eat another bite!”...
Pack'in away those meaty chicken bone meatballs!
- Some active breeds...
such as your Border Collie, Terrier, etc., sleep less than an average
breed. You'll swear they're running around even when “dozing!” Feeding
dogs such as these breeds at least three times a day since their
metabolisms are “full throttle” is recommended.
Different breeds may have different nutritional demands.
If you're not sure... talk with your holistic vet about any nutritional risks related to your dog's breed including health problems or age.
Tips for Your Dog Feeding Routine
- This one's a biggie! As we've mentioned above... if your dog is healthy, exercises, and eats all raw dog food... feed her all she wants (there are exceptions). She can't get fat.
The less she exercises and the more commercially processed dog food you feed her (especially if it's junk... most is unless it's homemade)... well... that's a different story! Be aware of unhealthy weight gain which sets the stage for dog diseases.
Your dog will eat more processed commercial dog food than raw food because she's trying to get enough nourishment since processed dog food lacks wholesome nutrition. This means more empty calories resulting in unhealthy weight gain. Our dogs don't need this!
- These factors (I'm sure you can think of more) might influence your dog's “private” chow time...
Are there other different dogs around during mealtime?
Did you just move?
How about lightning storms?
New member of the household?
Windy days really bug Nimble doggie (not while we're outside working out or doing whatever... just during dinner).
Cold, windy winter day at the beach...
Nimble has her nose to the wind...
- How long should you leave your dog's food out? If you put your furry friend's chow out and she doesn't eat it after ten minutes or so... just pick it up and put it away. No sense letting it go to waste.
Are there unusual “environmental” factors influencing her like we mentioned above? If so... fix whatever is annoying her (except the lightning storm and wind!).
P.S... Nimble likes to play “tease” first, then she'll eat. Here's how it goes...
I'll act like I'm trying to steal her raw meaty bones... then she chases me down until I say “I'm sorry!”... then she'll eat. This takes place before eating each meaty bone. No kidding!
I read this somewhere and it makes a really good point...
If you leave your dog's food out all day and she just picks at it, a few days might pass before you notice she's eating less. However... if your doggy normally gobbles her food down as soon as you feed her... you'll notice right off if she refuses her food.
This might be an indication something is wrong. Hmmm... something to think about!
You fed your dog right before exercising and now she's sick? Check out our page about your dog throwing up undigested food by clicking here. Or...
Deadly dog bloat symptoms might rear their ugly head... please be prepared! Here's more.
Can't wait to get back and finish this page for you!...
We're Work'in Hard on this Page...
Nimble and I are swamped with concrete work right now. However... we'll spend every waking moment working on this page... a little bit at a time.
We use all of our own photos and those of our visitors. And...
We like to use lots of 'em! This takes more time but it's worth it. They make reading fun and helps share our personal experiences as well as those of others.
Sorry about any grammar and typo stuff... we always save cleaning 'em up for last!
Scott & Nimble...
Our website is a work in progress! We'd love it (and so
would your dog) if you returned regularly to check out all our new
articles. We can't wait to expand on the topics above! Also, we'll
include our highly recommended products for you and your dog to
choose from... only those we have used or would use ourselves.
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