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Canine feeding: Getting it right

- Posted by in Pet Care
Canine feeding: Getting it right

There’s no denying the difficulty in not over-feeding a beloved dog, especially when they gaze up at you with those big puppy dog eyes and ask for ‘just one more treat.’

According to a recent study which looked at knowledge of nutrition amongst UK dog owners, roughly 90% admitted to not knowing how many calories their dog needed, while 11% of owners came clean about conscious over-feeding due to those aforementioned puppy dog eyes.

Realistically though, this 11% is likely to be much higher, as many of us will admit to giving the occasional treat or table scrap knowing it’s probably not the best idea or healthiest choice.

Interestingly, a number of owners were unable to identify a overweight dog from a healthy one, which goes to show why over half of all UK dogs are believed to be overweight.

When it comes to feeding, the most important thing you can do is read the feeding guideline supplied on the back of the food bag. This will tell you exactly how much you should be feeding for your dog’s weight.

Of course, this is just a guide, and sometimes there will be times when you need to adjust what you’re feeding. Your vet is always the best person to advise you.

Bear in mind the following things:

  • Additional treats given during the day should always be accounted for in the overall calorie allowance. Younger, more active dogs can get away with more unaccounted for treats than older, more sedentary animals, but you should still be mindful of what you are giving.
  • If you feed a mix of wet and dry food, make sure you are halving the recommended daily amount for both. If your dog weighs 15kg and the recommended daily amount of dry food is 200g or 2 pouches of wet food, make sure you are reducing this to 100g of dry kibble and 1 pouch of wet.
  • If you have multiple dogs in the household, make sure they are not helping themselves to each other’s dinner. Feeding them at the same time with their own individual bowls should prevent this happening (at least until the fastest eaters are finished, that is).
  • Avoid all table scraps and human foods, and make yourself aware of the potentially dangerous foods you need to steer clear of.
  • If you feed a raw diet, make sure you have done your research into the correct feeding amounts and ensure you are meeting all your dog’s nutritional requirements with the right balance of the different food groups.
  • If you believe you are feeding the correct amount of food and yet your dog is still gaining or losing weight, consult your vet at your earliest opportunity.

For more advice, feel free to get in touch by either commenting below or emailing me directly: [email protected].

Written by: Hannah Dyball


5th Feb 2018

I have found that the advice on the dog food packaging varies for the same dog, i.e they will say 1-3 packs a day for a dog of a certain weight.. That is a big variation. Where they are more specific it seems to give very large amounts, which I have come to believe is to sell more dog food. For ages I tried to get my first poor pup to eat that much, and was worried when she ate very little of it. But with my second and third dogs I have made the judgements myself and generally find they need far less than we're told, and my dogs get a lot of exercise!

7th Feb 2018

The guidelines as you say Hannah are just that and should be only used as so.
For example my 6.5kg Jack X Chi is fed 140g per day. The food guideline says 3\4 to a whole tin! That would be 3 days worth of food for him!
He's a young, active dog, but after a lot of trial and fails we have him on a great diet that he is doing amazingly well on.
Lost of people that struggle with so called fussy eaters are normally not. Looking at the amount for the dog as an individual and their lifestyle is usually the place they can solve it.

7th Feb 2018

For what it is worth I follow this regime.
Two dogs. The main dry food feeds are weighed out to the gram. Following the rough guidelines on the feed bags. The dogs are weighed at the vets every month and it is recorded. Feed amounts are adjusted and recorded for that month. Exercise is around 2.5 hours per day minimum. Mixture of run, walk and ball work. Both are within their weight limits as determined by the vet. They will vary slightly with the seasons but the slight adjustments keep them honest. Yes, they get 'extras' - treats, wet food for variety and even crunchy veg, but even those are regular and those form part of the 'controlled' diet. It works and is not onerous when it becomes part of the daily habit. I am not a faddist. I started this regime to nurse a dog from 18kg up to its correct weight of 25kg, over an 18 month period. It worked and I stuck with it for both dogs.

12th Feb 2018
Customer Since: July 2010
From: Durham, United Kingdom

I don't think I've ever been guilty of over-feeing my dogs. They are fed only high quality all-in-one kibble, no table scraps apart from the odd well chopped bit of fish skin, which they love and I don't. The only treats they have are those specially formulated to be good for their teeth.

I don't think I'm particularly virtuous in being so strict. I think it's more because I've always struggled with my own weight and dislike of exercise, and tend to overcompensate by ensuring that my dogs' lives are exemplary in both respects, lol!

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