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Moving from 3 to 2 meals a day - why and when

Discussion in 'Dog Chat' started by DustyD, Oct 21, 2019.


  1. DustyD

    DustyD PetForums Newbie

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    Hi All,

    We have a 7 month old Westipoo called Dusty who is doing great on 3 meals a day, as per the feeding guidelines for his food. I understand we should be moving to 2 meals a day soon. Wondering what the rationale is for cutting out the third meal (as humans we eat 3 times a day) and when is the best age to do it, or can you continue to feed 3 times a day and just split the food allowance equally? Thanks for your help in advance.
     
  2. Jamesgoeswalkies

    Jamesgoeswalkies PetForums VIP

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    If it suits you and your dog to feed three times a day then there isn't a reason to change. Dogs, being natural scavengers, generally eat to whatever programme we feed them.

    The main reason that feeding is dropped from three meals to two at around the six or seven months of age is that all the fast 'puppy growing' is done and your dog is now growing and maturing at a slower rate and therefore doesn't need the continuous level of fuel a puppy does. Added to the fact that their stomachs are larger and more able to tolerate actual meals.

    I know a number of smaller dogs that are fed on three meals and one Lab I know still is as he has issues gaining weight. I think for me three meals would interfere with my dogs walking/exercise programme as you have to give time after each meal etc but if your dog is doing ok with this then this isn't an issue.

    J
     
  3. Happy Paws2

    Happy Paws2 PetForums VIP

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    I always feed 3 times a day, breakfast was a few biscuits and then his kibble dived into 2 meals one at 1pm and the other at 7pm.
     
    Mum2Heidi and lullabydream like this.
  4. Bugsys grandma

    Bugsys grandma PetForums VIP

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    Absolutely no reason why you shouldn't feed 3 times a day if that suits you.
    As JGW says though, you need to leave enough time after eating before walks.
     
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  5. Blitz

    Blitz PetForums VIP

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    Dogs are scavengers but in the wild they would have had a big gorge out when they had a kill and then not eaten again for a day or so. Adult dogs used to be fed once a day and a lot of people believed they needed a fast day too. Now it is more normal to feed 2 meals a day. I could not be bothered with 3 meals and I would not imagine it would suit many owners and a lot of dogs would not even want to eat 3 times a day. Most inconvenient to have a middle of the day meal if you are working or if you are out for the day whereas a morning and evening meal can always be fitted in. If you want to cut out the middle of the day meal just start increasing the size of the other two and cutting down the size of the middle one and then it will gradually just disappear. I have to say my dogs have always stopped wanting their midday meal well before 6 months so it has automatically disappeared.
     
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  6. Burrowzig

    Burrowzig PetForums VIP

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    My first dog had digestive issues so did better fed 3 times a day (sometimes 4) to keep her guts running on a more even keel. She's gone now, but I still feed 3 times a day to my others - a fairly big breakfast, another meal at about 6, and a light snack just before going to bed. It's a routine they seem to like.
     
  7. Mum2Heidi

    Mum2Heidi PetForums VIP

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    I would also feed what you and your dog are happy with.
    Heidi (Westie x JR) was having 2 meals a day from about a year old.
    Frequent feeds resolved tummy issues a few years ago and I’ve stuck with 4 meals since. She needs a reasonable and late supper to ward off empty tum sickness at night and obviously breakfast. Which leaves a long gap during the day. Its easier to feed 2 meals when I eat at 1 and 6 and it works well for her.
     
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  8. DustyD

    DustyD PetForums Newbie

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    Hi all,

    Thanks ever so much for all your responses today, really great advice.

    Have a good evening!

    Dusty D
     
    niamh123 likes this.
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