I wish I had £1 for every time a dog owner asked how much they should feed their dog.
This is not something I have ever had trouble with but I can imagine what a lot of owners struggle with when dealing with another species – the dog!
The problem as I see it that far too many dogs are simply too fat.
That is why I always ask on the web site when people are requesting a sample “Can you feel your dog’s ribs?” and about its eating habits “does it leave some for later?”
These two questions might seem straight forward enough but either one gives me an understanding about the dogs eating habits and how the owner approaches the issue.
If you cannot feel the ribs then your dog is overweight and you need to address that problem for the good of your dogs health.
If your dog does leave some for later it means your dog is being presented with too much food.
Suggested approaches to feeding your dog the right amount.
- The “Recommended Feeding Amounts” on dog food are a guide only and nothing more. They are however a good starting point as to how much to feed. Start by using the recommended amount if you feed your dog once a day. If you feed twice per day, divide the amount in half and present that amount to your dog. If after 5 minutes, your dog has left food in the bowl, lift the bowl, measure the amount left and deduct it from the amount presented.Example: placed 100g of food down but dog left 20g = ate 80g.At the next meal present less than what it ate – In the above example present 75g rather than 80g. Keep adjusting the amounts till you dog eat all that is presented and is looking for a little more.
- While it may seem obvious from the above example but it is better stated than simply assumed – use a set of small scales to weigh out the food. Small kitchen scales are readily available and inexpensive. A few kibbles or a teaspoonful of food can make a big difference to a small dog.
- Add up the extra’s – The treats can make an enormous difference to your dogs diet. If you use a King for example, you should take the amount of food that is provided into consideration in terms of the daily quantity you feed your dog.
- Calories are a very poor measurement of food in terms of intake. A food with a high calorific value might simply be loaded with sugar or fat rather than quality.
- Adding table scraps – No problems but it should be the right foods. Give your dog leafy green vegetables and include carrots, green beans and broccoli.
Studies have shown that thin dogs live longer and their health and mobility stays good later in life – keep your dog lean!