The opinions of both experts and dog owners rarely concur when it comes to how often you should feed your dog. Many dog lovers insist once a day will suffice, others that twice a day is the most sensible option and some that the dog should be left to decide for itself depending on its particular needs. However, feeding your dog twice a day does potentially hold benefits that these other methods lack.
How frequently you feed your dog is strongly dependant on the dog's size and age. Puppies should have more feeding times per day than an adult dog as they are still developing and therefore require a steady supply of nutrients and fiber to keep their bodies developing swiftly and healthily. Adult dogs do not have the same requirements as they are already well developed. Feeding requirements may also differ depending on your dog's breed. Dobermans, for instance, have deep chests and are more likley to require smaller, regular intakes of food than other breeds.
Feeding your dog twice a day can help to keep your dog's temperament in a calm and subdued state. Just as humans can get agitated and restless if they haven't eaten for some time, the same is often true of dogs. Keeping your dog on a twice-daily feeding pattern may also benefit its health in the long term as regular feeding will provide insulin to your dog, helping its blood sugar levels stay balanced and its mind and body healthy.
If you feed your dog twice a day, you should try to feed it once in the morning and again in the evening. This will ensure it has a consistent level of fuel to sustain it throughout the day. Dogs thrive on routine and this will help promote regular digestion and in turn help you keep aware of when your dog will need to take a visit outside. You can also try feeding your dog to synchronize with family meal times, which can help the dog bond with your family.
Because the needs of each dog can differ substantially, you may opt to apply a "free-feeding" method rather than feeding your dog twice daily. Free-feeding involves leaving ample food in the dog's bowl and allowing it to take its fill when desired, ensuring the bowl is topped up when necessary. Free-feeding can help ensure your dog is never lacking in energy and sustenance, but can also be dangerous if the dog cannot find a healthy level of intake and instead indulges in over-eating.
If you choose to feed your dog twice daily, you should also ensure you keep it supplied with clean, healthy water. Drinking plenty of water will help with the dog's digestion and ensure it stays sufficiently hydrated to deal with the day's exertions. Avoid feeding your dog any scraps in between its two set meal times, as this will interrupt the regularity of a dog's eating pattern and leave it foraging for food when it should already have enough fuel to function.