How often should I feed my doodle is a very important question for doodle owners. Nothing that owners can control impacts the health of their doodles as much as how much and how often you feed your doodle. It is an important question that has a lot of considerations such as age, size, activity level and level of overall health.
We will take a look at all of these factors and how they impact your decision about your own doodle. You will be able to use this information to choose and set a reasonable feeding plan that you can schedule and stick to. ⏰
Benefits of Setting Doodle Meal Times
There are so many benefits to making a decision regarding your doodle’s meal time and frequency and sticking to it. Setting this meal time creates benefits for the doodle and the owner that we usually wouldn’t think about. 🦴 Creating a regular meal time helps condition your doodle to expect their food at that specific time. Setting this predictability for your doodle helps establish security and predictability for your doodle. Having this set feeding routine can help your doodle cope with any changes that happen during their lives including adding a new pet or a move to a new home. 🏡
Having a set eating routine is also a great way to help with identifying any medical issues with your doodle. Having a set meal time and meal quantity can show any issues with a lack of appetite due to a medical issue. 🩺
One additional benefit of regular doodle meal times is that it makes potty training so much easier. 🚽
How to Choose Doodle Meal Frequency
In choosing the doodle meal frequency we should probably take a look at the digestive system of the doodle. Once the doodle eats a meal it takes about 8 to 10 hours for that meal to travel though the doodle’s digestive system. We can use this information as we look at the different feeding options for the doodle. 🐾
- The free feeding option: Which is also called free choice feeding means that doodle owners leave food in the bowl and let the doodle decide when to eat. Free feeding can be an issue for multiple reasons which include doodle weight gain. It is also more difficult to identify medical issues for doodles throughout their lives. 🩺
- 1 meal per day: Feeding once per day can have negative side effects for your doodle. The doodle’s stomach can become hyperacidic which can lead to nausea and throwing up. 🤢
- 2 meals per day: Basically this means taking the doodles allotted calories for the day and splitting it into 2 different meals about 12 hours apart. This option works well for owners that work during the day and are away from home. 👍
- 3 meals per day: Feeding 3 times per day means taking the total amount of calories for the entire day and spreading it out over 3 different meals. This works really well for owners that work from home or are retired and are eating 3 times per day themselves. 👏
The feeding frequency of your doodle is largely based on figuring what works for the owner’s schedule and making the healthiest choice for your doodle. 🐕
One additional note about feeding, is about feeding using toys and bowls. These varied options of feeding your doodle really appeals to their high intelligence and it can keep them more mentally engaged and entertained. The second benefit to using one of these feeding toys or bowls is that it drastically slows down how fast the doodle can eat. Slowing the meal down can help prevent medical issues such as bloat and eating too fast. 🤮
Quick Note On Quantity
One quick note on quantity is that how much you feed your doodle is actually more important than how often you feed them. Ensuring that your doodle gets the right amount of calories per day can set them up to be a happy and healthy doodle. 😀
Feeding the correct amount can prevent your doodle from gaining too much weight or being underweight. Both over and under feeding can set your doodle up for many unnecessary medical issues.
Remember to take a good look at the food quantity recommendations on your doodle’s food. But keep in mind that the quantity recommended on the dog food bag is for the entire day. So take that quantity that you are planning on feeding your doodle and divide it by how many times you are going to feed your doodle per day. 👍
Doodle puppies have different meal frequency requirements than adult doodles. Doodle puppies grow so much faster than adult doodles, so they need more food. Doodle puppies are still developing organs and bones and they are more active at the puppy age. They need to be fed small meals at least every 6 to 8 hours for the first few months. At around 4 months old they can be fed 3 times per day. Then between 5 to 6 months they can be fed 2 times per day.
⚠️ Note: Toy doodles can have further feeding requirements, please read the toy doodle section if you have a toy doodle!! ⚠️
Toy doodles over 5 months old can be fed 2 times per day or 3 times per day depending what the doodle owner chooses. ⏰
Toy doodles under 5 months have very specific feeding requirements. Toy doodles can have an issue with hypoglycemia which means that their blood sugar (glucose) drops too low. Glucose is the main source of energy for the body and the only source of energy for the brain, providing proper brain function. If there is no more stored glucose for the body to use, the brain can become damaged beyond repair. Toy doodles are more susceptible to hypoglycemia because they have more brain mass to body weight compared to other doodles. 🧠
Toy doodles can become hypoglycemic if they are not fed often enough to keep up with their energy output levels. Toy doodles need to be fed 4 to 6 meals per day for the first few months of life.
There are additional factors that can accelerate the toy doodle puppy becoming hypoglycemic. Some of these factors include stress, cold, ❄️ malnutrition and any kind of intestinal parasites.
If your toy doodles needs even more extra calories to not become hypoglycemic an extra caloric supplement can be provided by your veterinarian. 🧑⚕️
Some considerations for larger doodles include; larger doodles need more calories per day than small or medium sized doodles.
When a large doodle has to eat more calories it can cause possible medical issues. These calories need to be spread out into multiple meals to prevent overfeeding in one sitting. Overfeeding due to only feeding 1 large meal can lead to the likelihood of your doodle having bloat or GDV. 🛑
GDV stands for Gastric Dilatation and Volvulus. What this means is that the doodle’s stomach fills with gas, “bloat”. Once this happens the gas filled stomach can twist upon itself. This means that both the entrance and the exit of the stomach become blocked. This medical issue is very serious and can lead to emergency surgery and even death. 🏥
Larger doodles with deep chests are the most susceptible to bloat and GDV. Doodles that are 100 pounds or higher have about a 20% higher risk of bloat over their lifetime. ‼️
It is not recommended to allow doodles to exercise shortly after a large meal. Also drinking large amounts of water with a meal can further increase the risk. Bloat and GDV most commonly happen within 2 to 3 hours of a large meal.
Any owners of large doodles need to be aware of the possible risks and choose their doodle’s meal time accordingly. Feeding your doodle 2 or 3 meals per day instead of 1 large meal is highly recommended. 👍
Very Active Doodles!
Some doodles are more active than others. For those doodles that are super active, like athletes or very active service dogs, 🐕🦺 may require more calories to sustain a healthy weight.
If your doodle requires more calories than the average doodle the meals need to be spread out throughout the day. Ensure that the meals are spread out evenly to avoid the overfeeding risks involved in only feeding 1 large meal. Doodles need to not be overfed in one sitting to avoid intestinal issues and bloat. 🤢
Very active doodles can be fed up to 4 different times per day, if need be to spread out the required calories. Do not feed your over active doodle within 2 to 3 hours of strenuous activity. 🤮
One note in regards to senior doodles (7 years or over) is that they may require less calories. Some older doodles are less active in their older years. Taking a look at how much you are feeding your doodle as they get older is something to keep in mind. Not decreasing your doodles’ food as they get older could lead to weight gain. This extra weight gain can increase medical issues for a geriatric doodles. Keep an eye on how active your older doodle is and if they may need to be fed a little bit less. Also, have a discussion with your veterinarian as your doodle gets into their golden years. 🧑⚕️
Doodles With Medical Issues 🩺
Some doodles may have special medical needs that require them to have a different meal schedule. If your doodle has any medical issues please consult your veterinarian. 🥼
Hopefully this has helped you solve your question about how often you should feed your doodle. Choosing a meal plan that fits with your schedule and is healthy for your doodle is very important. Once you have made your decision, sticking to that feeding routine should be pretty easy once you and your doodle make it a habit. I’m sure that your doodle will have no problem reminding you that it is time to feed them. 😉
If you want more information of characteristics for doodle hybrids take a look here.