One would think that since humans eat three times a day, naturally, so should dogs. We trainers often hear things like, “But he acts like he is starving!’ or “But I feel so guilty only feeding him two times a day, won’t he be starving?” While that may be the case, it doesn’t mean he needs to eat or is nutrient deficient, and you don’t need to feel that way. Skipping lunch is healthier for your dog!
Most Veterinary Nutritionists, and our Certified Professional Dog Trainers, recommend that a healthy dog over six months of age should only be fed two times a day. So, if you’ve got a young puppy, absolutely feed them lunch, but if your dog is older, it’s best to skip lunch due to the lower caloric need of adult dogs. There are only a few instances in which a lunch would be required for a full-grown dog. Certain medical conditions such as diabetes, medications that must be taken with food, or even a weight loss or weight gain regimen (that has been dictated by a vet or qualified nutritionist) are all examples of reasons an adult dog may need lunch!
Why we don’t serve lunch at Bark U to our Boarding and Daycare Dogs
This is for multiple reasons, the first of which being that dogs who go out to play right after eating have a much higher risk of regurgitation or more serious health issues like bloat or obesity. Secondly, we find that the meal will often be ignored by the dog, who’s more focused on getting back outside to play than they are interested in eating, which results in a huge amount of waste. Plus, it wastes valuable, healthy playtime!
We will happily serve lunch to adult dogs with documentation from a veterinarian and guests under six months of age. If you have an adult dog and you’d like to give them a special treat that is mentally stimulating at daycare or during boarding, we will almost always recommend setting them up with a marrow bone, stuffed Kong, or chicken mousse lick mat, all of which can be added to any reservation with us. These types of “snacks” will keep a dog entertained longer, stimulating their mind, all without running the same risks as a full lunch in an adult’s belly! If you aren’t sure what would be best for your dog, we always recommend asking your veterinarian, but we are also happy to offer advice on what we feel would be the best option for your pet!
If you’re interested in having your dog enroll in Bark U – Register here and request a temperament assessment. To learn more about our other services, visit us online or call us at 215-486-2200 today!