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- How Much & How Often to Feed

How Much to Feed

  •     Keep the bag.  The bag is your only link to the manufacturer's food source and processing info.
    Always begin feeding a new product based on manufacturer’s instructions on the bag.  Feed to the dog's desired/target weight, not to present weight.
  • If, after a few months, the dog's weight changes, adjust mealtime food quantity to obtain desired weight.

Dog’s Weight
  • Like people, each dog has an ‘ideal weight range.’  You should be able to easily feel her ribs as you lightly run your fingertips along her side.  Generally, slightly thinner is healthier (like us). 
  • See Fit or Fat for more information.

Feeding Overweight Dogs
  • Overfeeding is one of the cruelest animal abuses humans commit. 
  • Feed overweight dogs less of a high quality, high protein (30+), and meat-based kibble - plus occasional raw food. 
  • Avoid ‘lite’ or ‘prescription’ kibble (check the ingredients and you'll understand why). 
  • Exercise: You and the dog. 
  • See Fit or Fat for more information.

Senior Dogs

  • Avoid Senior and Prescription kibble.  One look at the ingredients and you'll understand why.
  • Feed high protein (>30%), low carbohydrate kibble—especially for dogs with cancer.  Protein should be meat-based. Avoid heavily plant-based proteins (e.g., rice, corn, potato, wheat).
  • Try feeding a real food meal once or twice a week when you can devote a few more minutes to mealtime.



How Often to Feed

Feed once or twice per day. 
  • First, determine total daily food quantity (see: How Much to Feed). 
  • For twice daily feeding, divide the total into a.m. and p.m. amounts.
  • Finally, pick up and save or discard food not consumed in 15-20 minutes. Grazing (leaving food out all day) leads to fat dogs.

Variety
  • Alternating between two kibbles from different manufacturers that work well for your dog helps avoid excess or missing ingredients or supplements that may cause problems for your animal. 
  • Switch weekly; don’t feed the same kibble 365 days a year.
  • Consider feeding freeze-dried, dehydrated, or preparing a real food meal once or twice a week in place of kibble. 
  • See: Real Food for more information.

Watch for Changes


NOTE: Poop from kibble-fed dog will be double the volume of poop from a raw-fed dog.

    
With any new food, watch for subtle changes in your dog's skin, coat, appetite, energy level, mood, itchiness, discharges or odors, body weight, and especially poop size and consistency (quality food and properly functioning  digestive system produces smaller, formed, brown, firm poop).  If negative changes occur, try a different food.  If the change persists, consult a canine healthcare person.

Supplements

    Nutritional supplements provide enzymes and nutrients destroyed during kibble manufacturing.   Be smart—read the supplement ingredient list watching for Avoid and Filler ingredients.
    For more info, search supplements here.