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Just for Kids: Feeding Your Dog

By: Virginia Wells

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Feeding your dog the right way is very important to keep him healthy. Dogs love to eat, so you have to make sure that what you feed him is the best for your pet. Your veterinarian can help you decide what type and how much food to feed him.

What Kind of Food

There are three kinds of food you can feed your dog:

  • Dry food. Dry food costs the least and comes in the form of small chunks or nuggets often called kibble. It is usually made up of all the nutrients your dog needs. Dry food tastes good and helps keep your dog's teeth clean. You can feed it dry, or you can moisten it with water or broth for variety. Dogs like their food crunchy, though, so don't moisten it too much.

  • Canned food. Canned foods are usually meat products and added grains, vitamins and minerals to keep your dog healthy. It tastes good and it is easy to store, but it is the most expensive.

  • Semi-moist food. Semi-moist food comes in packets and is very convenient. It tastes good and is easy to store, and it costs more than dry food but not as much as canned.

    How Much Food

    How much food you give your dog depends on how big he is, how old he is, and how active he is. Read the package directions or ask your veterinarian to know how much to feed.

    When To Feed

    When you feed your dog depends on how old he is. Young puppies need food to help them grow big and strong, so they need to be fed often. As they grow older, they can be fed less often.

    If he is supposed to be fed one cup of food per day, divide that into the number of feedings he will get. That would mean he'd get 1/4 cup of food four times a day. If the pup does not eat at one of the feedings, don't add more food later. Each feeding should contain 1/4 cup of food even if he doesn't eat it. It may take your pup several tries to understand that he needs to eat the food when it is offered.

    Dogs like to eat at the same time every day. Feed him while you and your family are having dinner. He will feel like a member of the family and won't beg or create problems during the family meal.

    This is how often you should feed your dog:

  • When your puppy is very young, less than 8 to 10 weeks old, feed him three or four times a day.
  • When he is 2 to 6 months old, feed him three times a day.
  • When he's 6 months to 1 year old, feed him twice a day.
  • After that, feed him once a day in the morning.

    How To Feed

    Give your dog his own bowls for food and water. Doggie bowls are made so that they won't tip over or slide on the floor while he's eating. Your dog might be messy when he eats, so a nice big bowl with high sides is best.

    Once your dog is older and you start teaching him manners, you can have him sit and stay until you place the food on the floor or in his eating place. That way he won't jump on you or spill the food.

    Whenever you feed your dog, make sure you stay away from him until he is finished eating. Dogs don't like to share, and he might snap or growl.

    What Else?

    Make sure your dog has plenty of water. His bowl should be filled all the times. Your dog likes water, especially when it is hot outside or after he has been playing with you.

    You can also give your pet a treat once in a while. Treats are like candy to your dog, so don't give too many. One or two a day is enough. Make sure they are treats made especially for dogs. Don't give him "people" food because it might not be healthy.

    Feeding your dog the proper food will keep him healthy and help him to stay strong.

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