I'm frequently asked, "What do you feed your dogs?" It's an important question and it's one I'm always happy to discuss.
Eko and Penny think I should also discuss sharing my ice cream
But "How do you feed your dogs?" is an equally important question. Because I've learned it really doesn't matter what you feed your dog if you're not actively engaged in how you feed that food.
Over the years, the best way I've found to improve how my dogs are fed is to improve where the food goes before it gets to their mouths.
I'll begin with an admission. I used to feed Eko directly from the bag, using an old travel mug as a scoop
For a multitude of reasons, the way I first fed Eko was not ideal. Food could fall out of the bag, he could potentially get into the bag and my scoop was in no way a standardized size.
I (slightly) upgraded my food storage to a plastic bin, but I still had many of the same issues These days I have an airtight container and a scoop with clearly labeled measurements. The food is secure and I always know exactly how much food I'm portioning out for each pup
Speaking of portions, remember that dog food labels only offer guidelines/suggestions. Treat those numbers as a place to start, rather than the final word. Over time you will need to adjust those portions to your pup's unique size/shape/age/activity level/etc.
Once you figure out the right portion of food, you still need to put that food somewhere for your dog to eat.
Like nearly all dogs, Eko first ate from a simple bowl
Basic dog bowls are so ubiquitous I never considered there might be a better way for my dogs to eat. Thankfully, I've learned about a number of great products which help Eko and Penny enjoy their meals safely.
Slobowls, Kong Wobblers and other feeding-toys prevent my two vacuums from dangerously sucking down their food too quickly. Whether you have a speed eater or you're just looking to make mealtime more of a fun adventure for your pup, I highly recommend checking these options out
I take care of putting the right portions in the right places and the pups are happy to take care of the rest.
They're also happy to help a sibling finish their portion too
When it comes to feeding your dogs, "How" is as equally important as "What." But the most important question is always "Why?"
The answer we all share is that we want to have healthy and happy dogs. I used to have difficulty knowing exactly what "healthy" looked like, but I came across this chart which I think provides an easy to understand guideline.
Like food labels, the above notes are just a starting point. Your vet can help identify an ideal weight which factors in your pup's unique profile
Just like there's no single "best" dog food, there's no "best" way to feed your dog. From free-feeding to multiple smaller meals, there are a number of different ways to get your pup the nutrition they need. The important thing to remember is that it's a process, not just a single answer.
I'm putting together a video on this topic and I'd love your input. If you have any tips or suggestions about improving the "how" of feeding, be sure to pass them along. Thanks!