For all new members, please check out the thread New to the Forum? What to do and forum guidelines.
Food. How many times a day?


    How many times a day do you feed? Or do you just leave the whola amount of food for the day available during the whole day?

    I've been reading and most of what I found, advises to feed a pup younger than 12weeks 4 times a day, from 12 weeks to 6 months 3 times a day, and then on 2 times a day. This for big dogs like Akitas,  but it actually makes sense to me to do it for pretty much every dog.

    The two timeas a day thing isn't a problem, I'm worrying about te 3 and 4 times a day period, cause most of the time, we won't be home at regular interval to feed that often. I'm considering buying one of those timed feeding plates. Any thought son these?


  • That is what I do and am planning to do with the puppy.
  • The timed thingy, you mean? Do they like it? I'm slightly worried about the lack of me or Nat associated with food. I know it's not the only time we'll spend bathing them with cuddles and attention and playing, but still, of course i would prefer to feed tem myself. I have to get a winning lottery ticket...
  • BradA1878BradA1878
    Posts: 2242

    We feed out puppies (Loa and Kona) three times a day, we feed Hilo and Ahi two times a day and the Shibas are feed once a day.

    We have come to this plan due to the fact that the Shibas will stop eating if feed to ofter, well Maui will - Kaia will always eat but she it a bit plump so she is on a diet. Hilo is still a puppy but will not eat three times a day if we try so we just feed him twice a day. Ahi has always liked food, so we feed her twice, but really she could eat once and be fine - a lot of the times she will skip breakfast. The puppies are fed three times because they are puppies - we would feed Koan more often but he wouldn't eat that much. These breeds seem to do a good job of maintaining there preferred weight.

    When we had a puppy and we both worked full-time Jen and I would take turns driving home to feed the puppy at lunch time - so the puppy eat three times a day.

  • We feed twice.  We used to feed once a day but when Chad is gone I get home so late and felt horrible making them wait all day.  I have no idea how I will be able to do 3x when we get a puppy.  I dont get any breaks....We will have to stick to 2x.

  • Not the times plating thing, the times a day thing. I actually have to be with them the whole time they eat because Moto eats faster than Piglet and will then try to steal her food and that is never pretty.

    I will do three times a day with the pup. I am having my sister come live with us for a couple months so that will make it easier to do the midday meal.

    Ugh, no kids for me, I have dogs.

    *sidenote*I did a wedding today. they asked if I had kids since I have been married for over 8 years. I answered "No, I am not a breeder. I leave that up to the pros." The bride actually did a spit take. I got champagne on me. 

  • hondruhondru
    Posts: 529
    I feed mine once a day.  When Tojo was a puppy, his breeder told us to feed him twice a day, so that's what we did until we switched to once when he was an adult.  Now, I read that almost everyone says puppies should be fed 3-4 times a day and I've read a few people say it's cruel to make a dog only eat once a day.  I don't quite get it, though.  It seems to me that dogs shouldn't need to eat very often because in nature, they would gorge themselves occassionally but not actually eat very often.  Does anyone have any scientific information on this?
    -Heidi, with Rakka (shikoku) and Sosuke (kai ken)
  • brandon_wbrandon_w
    Posts: 3433

    Nemo eats twice per day.  He would eat 30 times a day if I kept putting food down.  


  • Lucy eats twice a day. I have read on a number of Shiba sites (sorry, I'm not going to look up the references again) that puppy Shibas should be fed three times a day and adults twice a day.

    In general, I have heard that feeding twice a day is part of getting them on a good potty schedule. I don't know how valid that reason is though.

  • RomiRomi
    Posts: 2722

    Jessica - thats hilarious! 

    Heidi - All the dogs i've ever had, I was always told to feed puppies 2 times a day and adults once a day also.  The breeder I got Portia from told me 2 times a day until she was 2 years old and then I can switch to once a day or keep the same schedule.  Ninja's breeder told me the same.

    So now im feeding them once in the morning and once at night. 

    BTW, when did you guys switch your pups from puppy food to adult food?  I was always told at 1 year to switch to adult.


  • I switched at about 8 months.
  • To revive an old thread:
    Dakota is not showing any interest in her breakfast lately. I have been feeding her twice a day (she is one year old now) and she always was interested in her food. Now, she typically walks away from her morning meal or tries to "bury" it with her nose. I've tried everything: putting her kibble on the floor, mixing a little wet food in with it, putting her kibble in a plastic ball that she has to push around to make the food come out.. Nothing. She seems interested in dinner though. Wondering if many of you go the once a day route re: feeding... I do not like leaving her morning food down for her all day even though sometimes she does go to eat a bit here and there. Very much like a cat that grazes periodically. I'm not sure if there is anything "wrong" with that scenario, but think most say to remove the food if the dog hasn't eaten it in about 20 minutes?
    Just wondering if going to once a day would be any issue for her, etc. Thanks, as always!
  • RyuDragonRyuDragon
    Posts: 319
    As Ryu has reached the 1 year mark and beyond we noticed the same thing happening. He used to inhale his breakfast and dinner in minutes as a puppy. Now that he is older and possibly because all his exercise is in the evenings during the week he eats much slower and will sometimes leave his food sit for a while. We tried taking it away after 15 minutes but he seemed fine with missing a meal and his behavior didn't change. He regulates pretty well and we notice that especially after exercise he will eat all his food. We haven't had any problem with him moving to a "grazing" method of eating. I believe the intent of the 15 minute rule is designed for puppies who need to go to the bathroom a lot more and are working on potty training. Generally a puppy will need to go shortly after eating so if they are eating at random times throughout the day its difficult to get into a potty routine.
  • KyriannmKyriannm
    Posts: 34
    Azuki eats twice a day. Normally, after we finish our walks/runs. I notice he never finishes his food and always leaves a lot. If I try to feed him, he would turn his head. I guess that's his way of saying, I'm done eating!
  • kayla4554kayla4554
    Posts: 169
    I'm glad that Maya's eating habits are shared by other Shibas. She very rarely eats any of her breakfast so it will sit until dinner when she usually wolfs up both meals.

    kayla and maya <3
  • DebDeb
    Posts: 286
    My puppy was fed four times a day until he was about 12 weeks old, then three times a day until he was 6 months and then two times a day from then on. All three of my adults eat twice a day. The girl would eat as often as possible, she's a real foodie, both boys sometimes don't eat all of breakfast, but will usually finish it later after a romp. Supper is always popular with all three.
  • SayaSaya
    Posts: 6678
    Saya eats once a day she is fed raw though I don't think feeding once a day on kibble is good idea due to it expands once it gets into the stomach while as raw stays same shape it was eaten..

    I could be wrong though.

    Saya sometimes gets a yummy snack like either smelt, caned sardines, caned salmon, caned mackerel, egg, tiny bit of beef heart or tongue, or caned dog food..

    She gets treats throughout the day either kibble, cooked meat, dried anchovy, ziwipeak food, or string cheese depends on type of training.

    She is a pig in a way she doesn't refuse much food unless she is full or not hungry if she isn't hungry no amount of mixing things in will help not even her favorite coconut oil won't get her to eat it..

    She eats regularly though, but does get fast days or days she eats small meals due to eating big hard to eat meal day before like a pork shoulder roast, whole quail, or leg of lamb, depends how much she eats if she eats ton like 11oz or 16oz she gets a fast or if she just had 9oz she gets small meal like an egg or 3oz of meat or organ.

    She loves people food though she doesn't get it. Except on special times she'll get a half of plain hamburger from dogsnsuds she loves it. makes good recall treats.
    Nicole, 5year old Bella(Boxer), and 4year old Saya(Shiba inu)
  • JasonWJasonW
    Posts: 29
    Reviving this old thread that deserves a lot more attention!

    My little boy, Kyubi, is approaching that pivotal 6 month mark in the coming weeks. I'm currently feeding him 3 times a day. Popular thinking suggests moving to 2 times a day feeding after 6 months old.

    Besides firming up a potty training schedule, is there actually any medical or health benefits to feeding an adult dog 2x vs 3x a day?

    From my understanding, larger and less infrequent meals may lead to increased pancreatic activity and thus, an enlarged pancreas. Comparisons are also made to wolves in the wild who do not eat regularly - however, wolves that undergo the stress and uncertainty of when their next meal would be, would surely die younger than a regularly fed wolf. Some evidence suggests that wolves in the wild only live up to 9yrs old on average vs. 20+yrs if cared for. Given that shibas are on the smaller side and metabolise faster than other breeds esp with their Shiba500 moments, should we really be reducing our feeding to twice a day from 3x? I would have thought 'grazing' 3x a day might be a more moderate way and less stressful on their digestive systems.

    Much like neutering too young can cause health and hormone deficiencies in later life, I'm also questioning the logic of the 6 month mark when/if moving from a 3x to 2x feeding schedule. Why do we all follow this timeline when our dogs are different shapes, sizes and have different lifestyles?

    Our shibas are not wolves foraging in the wild. While they share 98% of the same DNA with wolves, should we really be pushing them to the edge of their natural 'capabilities'? Should we even be seeing bile/hunger pukes AT ALL, if we are doing the right thing? Given that their stomachs are ph2-4 (lower end for raw feeders), in an ideal environment, should they be fasted or have such long meal-less intervals or else it could lead to ulcers?

    These questions and ideas might annoy some people who think I'm accusing them of inadvertently doing something unhealthy to their dogs. However, since everyone here is contributing for the love of their dogs and educating others, it would be good to challenge conventional thinking and not simply follow unsubstantiated rules of thumb i.e. 1x or 2x a day feeding after 6mths old. Are we inadvertently 'hurting' our pets just to suit our convenience and time schedules?

    Would love to hear anybody's scientific/substantiated thoughts.
  • LilikoiLilikoi
    Posts: 1272
    Welp I don't have like any scientific evidence or even any like logic that I'm applying to explain why 2 times a day might be reasonable comparatively. Or why it wouldn't.

    I think people are just trying to follow a prey model when feeding raw... So sometimes they incorporate a day of fasting, like a wolf in the wild might experience. Or one big meal a day, even.

    I also don't think it seems like you're coming across as accusatory or anything. I think it's good to question WHY instead of just following the majority. I just wanted to say that I actually fed twice a day from the very start... At 9 weeks, I was feeding raw twice a day, but with a chicken neck snack in between meals. I think he has hunger puked... twice ever. Once when he was a baby and after a somewhat early dinner, he puked the yellowy bile foam when we woke up kind of late the next morning. And once when my boyfriend was watching him while I was at school and he forgot to give him his breakfast. :(( He still usually has a snack in between meals though. On my longer school days, I'll give him something like a frozen kong with peanut butter, almond butter, or yogurt. Or he'll have a bully stick or a fish skin (like Honest Kitchen beams, which are his favorite), or a chicken foot.

    Anyway I'm interested to see more info about number of meals and possible side effects with feeding more or less times per day. I don't know if the results would be all that drastic or anything, but interesting to see if there are differences and what they are.
    Post edited by Lilikoi at 2017-02-08 20:39:20
  • I swapped to 2x a day because we do a lot of training, so in between meals they get a stream of treats. If there was a third meal in the day they wouldn't have as much food motivation for learning. That's our reasoning for 2x (or a fast, or 1x depends on the day). They've never had upset stomach / hunger vomiting / etc.. as a result of the feeding schedule.
  • sunyatasunyata
    Posts: 8589
    @JasonW - I think this really boils down to "know thy dog".

    While the conventional wisdom is to feed twice per day, I really think this is just an average and what "works" for most dogs (and their people - feeding twice per day is pretty darn convenient). Are their health benefits to feeding twice per day? Three times per day? Maybe, I really think it depends on the dog.

    Look at it this way: the more often food is available for the dog, the less likely it is for the dog to get excited (or motivated) about food. This can be seen a lot in animals that are free-fed. They are often not food motivated and training can be a lot more difficult if they do not have any other type of drive. So feeding more often can be beneficial if you have a dog that is overly obsessed with food. Feeding less often can be beneficial if you have a dog that is less motivated by food. Doing so can potentially increase food drive and motivation.

    Some dogs would rather only have one meal a day, some do really well with two meals, and a few need at least three meals a day to thrive. As long as they are getting their appropriate nutritional needs and are healthy, do what works for you and your dog.
    Bella 2Mountains 2Nola 2
    Casey, with Bella and Nola, hanging out in the mountains of Virginia.
    I Wander, I Ride
  • JasonWJasonW
    Posts: 29
    @sunyata and @spacedogs - good point about availability of food. I suppose my paranoia about inducing hunger pukes (@Lilikoi - I feel your pain!) has tilted me towards 'lining his stomach' more often rather than not.

    I now give Kyubi (coming up to 6 months old), about 500g/17.6oz of homemade prey model raw everyday, divided over 3 meals. Since last week, he started being a bit meh about breakfast (previously kibble at breakfasts only), and it started to make me wonder whether it was time to switch him over to 2 meals per day. I just gave him a dose of Advantix flea meds the night before so I wasn't sure if that made him nauseous; or if he was just signalling his preference for raw and not Acana kibble (he used to love Orijen but I switched to Acana because I could never get a solid stool from Orijen).

    The pup never fails to keep me guessing!! ARGH!

    Here's what one of his prey model raw meals look like:


    Beef Tenders, Chicken Breast, Pork Kidney, Chicken Liver, Beef Blood, Quail Eggs & Choy Sum
    (P.S. Note to self - never feed TWO quails eggs, one is fine for a's too rich and gave him a bit of the runs for the next few poos!)
  • JuniJuni
    Posts: 1269
    I prefer to feed Juni twice a day because she is one of those dogs who has some issues going with an empty stomach too long. And if she only eats once a day she only manages to eat half her ration that day. But it's difficult some days because she doesn't like to eat too early in the morning.

    Sometimes when she has been to doggy daycare all day and we have had a long walk home she still wants to play when we arrive home. Playing to her is activity games and searching for hidden treats and similar. It finally dawned on me that she does it because she is hungry. Not because she is feeling playful. Poor girl.

    So now she gets an early dinner those evenings so she can relax with a full belly.
  • JasonWJasonW
    Posts: 29
    I think Kyubi is similar to Juni. Definitely not an early morning Shiba - he needs a while to 'wake up' before he has his brekkies. LOL.

    I took him out to a friend's place last night to socialise with two other dogs (he absolutely loved it and terrorised them to the point of fatigue...for the other two LOL) till abt midnight last night. When he came back, he was completely zonked out till 9.30am today and wanted to continue sleeping in my bed till 11.30am! Only then was he chirpy enough to heartily chomp on his brunch (but he still left some remainder)! I skipped his lunch today but gave him the small breakfast leftover and a lamb rib to chew on which he did happily. I guess it's his way of telling me that twice a day might be good enough for him. 'Know thy dog' - Amen @sunyata LOL.
  • JasonWJasonW
    Posts: 29
    So....the little guy is starting to worry me....he didn't want to eat any breakfast again at around 10am today. Took a sniff and lick at it then sauntered off. He ate his dinner and lunch willingly yesterday and he got a lightly meaty lamb rib bone (abt 10cm long, and he chewed it thoroughly over 30 mins) in the afternoon. He also hasn't poo'd for the whole of yesterday and today (it's noon now). He woke up at 5am today to wretch and out came a hard white cartiligenous-looking object, but harder than cartilage - still debating if it was the lamb rib. I don't think he consumed anything foreign either - not sure what it could be from.

    I'm wondering if it's because he consumed too much bone? He's still behaving like his normal self and when I carry him or press around his belly area, he doesn't seem to be showing any distress - so hopefully, no obstruction?

    Has anyone else's shiba experienced this lack of appetite at breakfast especially when they are at the tail-end of their growth phase? Also, he seems to be sleeping in much later recently - he seems quite content to laze around in bed till noon time....has anyone else experienced this?
    Post edited by JasonW at 2017-02-13 04:06:15
  • JasonWJasonW
    Posts: 29
    Update: He finally pooped! :)>-
  • Mochi920Mochi920
    Posts: 357
    It's stressful and worrying, waiting and waiting for at least one successful poop especially if it's days. I think Shibas are very picky about where they want to do their business haha if they can't find the spot then they won't poo.
  • ZenkiZenki
    Posts: 396
    the first few weeks I had Zenki, poop times were very worrisome and frustrating times. it think his record was 26hrs in between poops. but he eventually settled down into a rhythm. I'm not sure if it's the change of location that bothered him or that I was weaning him off the breeder's chow to the food of my choosing. In any case, he has settled into a twice a day pooper.

    @JasonW, I feed twice a day. In the morning and evening but I've noticed that he eats more at night. so I've started portioning his daily chow into 40/60% portions. Zenki is 5 months old. He mostly sleeps. At least that's what it seems because he's sleeping everytime I check my puppy cam while I'm at work. ;))
    Black, Tan and Awesome
    Instagram: @ShibaZenki

    “Don't accept your dog's admiration as conclusive evidence that you are wonderful.”
    – Ann Landers

  • Rhyz is sometimes an every day pooper and sometimes an every other day pooper. Longest he's gone is 4 days post knee surgery. Laika will occasionally go every other day but she's much more regular than Rhyzik as a once a day pooper.

    Also both of ours go to bed with us fairly late (between midnight-3am). They'll settle and calmly play/chew or rest beforehand, go out for a pee right before bed, and then sleep solidly until at least 9am most mornings but stay resting in bed with us until 10am-noon if we don't get up right away. The only exceptions there are if Rhyz is hungry, he'll make sure we know he's waiting for his breakfast by doing the one-man marching band routine across the bed/our heads/daddy's balls.

  • JasonWJasonW
    Posts: 29 funny ....@spacedogs and @Zenki - I can see the parallels now.

    I think Kyubi is very much like Zenki in terms of eating and sleeping quantities. In the last few days he has signalled that he doesn't need so much food in the morning and is happier to chow down at night. Breakfast has now become more like brunch. I suspect it might be because our exercise times for Zenki and Kyubi are skewed towards the evenings. I see I'm not the only obsessed pawrent who invested in a puppy cam! Hehehe - sometimes I speak to him through the cam and he would tilt his head to one side, staring into the camera, wondering how the heck....? Lol.

    My lifestyle timing is very much like @spacedogs'. Both my wife and I are avid gamers so from 10pm-12.30am, we would be sitting at our desktops. When Kyubi sees us at our desks, his Pavlovian response is to settle into his favourite spot on the sofa and have an evening nap. He also likes to be brushed to sleep...sometimes I take as long as 25 mins to get out all the undercoat knots out of his fur and he is happily in zzzz land. Then the final chance for a pee at 12.30/1am. What really surprises me is how long he can hold his pee in overnight and into the next morning -a good 13hrs at least! I tried to get him to pee at 10am this morning but he just walked back into the house, up the stairs and crawled back into bed again. :-S When he finally pees around noon, it is like the Hoover Dam just let loose!
    LOL @spacedogs....I hear ya about the one-man marching band. My balls have been spared thus far but Kyubi likes to have a little nibble at my ears and step on my hair - his version of a scalp massage....argh!

    Great to know my shiba is not alone in his eating and sleeping habits!

Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

In this Discussion

Who's Online (0)