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How much and how often?


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#1 ~*Regina*~

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Posted 22 February 2012 - 11:48 AM

I bring Willow to agility classes 1-2 times a week and the teacher said I should really watch her weight since she seems to be growning the wrong way now <_< . The last vet visit was a week or so ago and she weighed 36lbs. I feed her Innova Large Bites 1 3/4 of a cup divided into 2 feedings everyday. I have now cut her down to 1 1/2 cups after the comment from the teacher. I am so confused on how much to feed now, how much would you recommend?
Also is it ok to feed once a day or should I keep her on the schedule of twice a day?
Thank you!
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#2 2 Devils

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Posted 22 February 2012 - 12:27 PM

How much you feed her depends on the dog. I like to be able to easily feel ribs on my dogs.

My border collie who stands about 21" gets almost 2 cups a day split into 2 feedings and is really thin
My youngest acd who is taller than the bc gets the same amount split into 2 feedings
My eldest acd only gets about 1 cup a day into 2 feedings - she is 18 1/2" at the withers
My borderjack gets 1 cup split into 2 feedinds and stands 15" give or take
Won't discuss the toy poodle :)

On really active days I may give a little extra or if there are a couple days of not doing much I may cutback on the food some.

As you can see I have dogs getting the same amounts for some but are not the same size. A dog's metabolism is their own so you have to figure out what is the right amount for your dog. If the dog is putting on weight then you need to cutback on the food amount or cut back on treats. In general if you are doing a lot of training with treats you need to cut back the food amount.
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#3 simba

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Posted 22 February 2012 - 12:30 PM

I bring Willow to agility classes 1-2 times a week and the teacher said I should really watch her weight since she seems to be growning the wrong way now <_< . The last vet visit was a week or so ago and she weighed 36lbs. I feed her Innova Large Bites 1 3/4 of a cup divided into 2 feedings everyday. I have now cut her down to 1 1/2 cups after the comment from the teacher. I am so confused on how much to feed now, how much would you recommend?
Also is it ok to feed once a day or should I keep her on the schedule of twice a day?
Thank you!


Body condition's more important than weight, strictly speaking. Here's a good guide: http://www.pet-slimmers.com/shape.htm
Pictures here: http://www.purina.co...ycondition.aspx

You might find it easier to weigh the food, since it means you can measure more accurately.
Exactly how much to feed is difficult because it varies hugely on the dog. I've seen hugely active 30-40lb dogs getting more than a 60lb dog. There are Jack Russels who seem to be bottomless pits.

Rule of thumb I've heard for a high-ideal weight range pet is decrease the food by 10% and wait two weeks, see how much if any is lost or gained. If you want her to lose weight, 1-2% weight loss per week is the max safe amount.

Feeding once a day has been connected withan increased risk of bloat, possibly because the dog eats faster. Not sure how much of an increase it is though (whether you really need to worry, like).

#4 gcv-border

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Posted 22 February 2012 - 12:37 PM

Be prepared for many opinions - which may reflect the individual body types and exercise regimens of different dogs, and also the personal biases of their owners. I would say choose what makes sense to you and works for your dog.

FWIW, owners of agility dogs generally like to keep their dogs on the lean side. You should be able to easily feel their ribs. My dog is 4 years old, 21 1/4 inches at the shoulder and usually about 40-41 lbs. I can feel his ribs. My rehab vet, who treats quite a few expert agility dogs has told me that another owner would want to keep a dog of his size around 38-39 lbs.

I feed about 1/2 cup of grain-free kibble plus ~1/4 cup of Honest Kitchen twice a day. One thing I feel strongly about is a twice a day feeding, JMO.

Before you do anything drastic, wait and see how your food decrease affects Willow's weight and attitude. That slight change may be just what the doctor ordered. :)

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#5 juliepoudrier

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Posted 22 February 2012 - 02:02 PM

I used to be a once-a-day feeder until old, infirm, picky, etc. dogs made it necessary to go to twice a day (some are still fed just once a day). I think there's also an argument for not feeding so often. Most predators gorge when they can and then might go without for a while. Of course our dogs aren't having to catch and kill their own food, so we adjust their eating schedules to what suits us, but I think if one's approach is sensible, whatever works best for your lifestyle will be fine for your dog.

As for amounts, as others have said, it's best to adjust slightly and see what happens. Most of my dogs, who range in age from 6 months to 15 1/2 years and in size from ~30 lbs up to maybe 42-43 lbs get ~1.5-2 cups of food a day. That's adjusted up or down depending on what the dog looks like. Phoebe gets a bit less because the phenobarb she's one has made her a bit chubbier than I'd like (and she's probably the most active of my dogs). Ranger, who is rather ribby, gets 3 cups. For years, I couldn't get Lark to eat more than a cup or slightly more a day, but as she's aged, she's actually (finally!) gotten less picky and has a better appetite. Because she's not fat, I started feeding her a bit more.

For the dogs who are fed twice a day, if I give them RMBs in the afternoon, then they don't get dinner. (The bones count as dinner, since I'm using sheep bones that they can ingest entirely.)

Anyway, it's really about the individual dog.

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#6 SecretBC

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Posted 22 February 2012 - 03:22 PM

"Pet people" think I starve my dogs, FWIW. :rolleyes:

Secret is @ 23.5" (honestly I stopped measuring her because I didn't want to know anymore) and at her last weigh-in was 46.2 lbs. That's about as thin as she should probably be (her highest was 49.5 -- 47.5 is probably ideal). Secret gets 1 cup of food 2x/day. She is incredibly active.

Luke, my 8 year old Lab/Shepherd gets 1.5 cups of food 2x/day. He maintains a weight of about 77-78 pounds these days. Again, he's about as thin as we consider "healthy." I'm very insistent on keeping him very thin because agility is very hard on his big body.

Kaiser is 16.7 pounds and is in his happy weight range -- he gets just under 1/2 cup per meal. I did have to cut him back because he blew all the way up to 18 pounds when he got neutered, although the training treats he was receiving around that time didn't help, either.

I always struggle with what to feed the foster puppies. They draw the short stick when they get pegged to come to "Karissa's Anti-Fat Farm". :lol: I tend to start on the low end and up it if they start looking skinny. My current foster puppy (@ 13 weeks) is getting the same amount as Secret at the moment! She constantly acts like she's starving and she is nicely thin, as puppies should be (she had a giant belly on her when she arrived). With puppies, too, I always figure a good measure is, "If their poo is soft or loose, you are feeding too much."

Kaiser is the only one who gets treats in training (the other two use toys) --- so if we do a lot of training one day, I do try to cut back his meals a little bit to account for it.

If your dog is fat, the simple answer is, "Feed less, run more."
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#7 border_collie_crazy

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Posted 27 February 2012 - 10:05 AM

depends on the dog..Happy(BC) is 21", 31 lbs extremly thin and eats about 4 cups a day, vet says she is underweight. Misty(BC) is 18" tall, 31lbs very thin and eats 3 cups a day. Electra(Toller) is 34lbs lbs, 17" tall, ideal "pet" weight and eats 2 cups a day. Rusty(JRT X) is 15lbs, thin, 15" tall and eats 1 cup a day, Gem(ACD X) is ideal pet weight, 35lbs 19.5" tall and eats 3 cups a day. you will have to go by feel and the dog itself lol

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#8 arf2184

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Posted 29 February 2012 - 03:34 PM

I like to keep my dogs pretty slim...Bear because its easier on his joints and Meg...well she rarely stops moving so keeping her slim is only an issue in the winter when we're forced to spend a lot of time inside.

My sister (who lives in another state) and a few of my friends always tell me my dogs are too skinny. I tell them they are just used to seeing fat dogs.

My vet says most of the dogs she sees are overweight and likes that I keep my 'kids' thin.

My agility trainer is always telling my classmates that they should work on getting their dogs a little thinner. She says for agility, thin and muscular is better. Carrying extra weight over the jumps (and landing with it on the other side) is not good for the dogs.

My dogs have their main meal at night. They eat mostly raw. They do snack during the day though on fruit/vegetable pulp from the juicer and bits of whatever I'm eating, plus treats when we train.

I would just experiment a little and see what works best for your dog. Also take into account her activity level and other factors. You may have to adjust every once in a while.

My dogs' needed intake varies with the seasons. They are more active in the summer, spend more time out in the cold in the fall, are lazy in the house when its really cold in the winter, and can't wait to get outside and lose those lazy winter pounds come spring.

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#9 ChantalB

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Posted 01 March 2012 - 06:15 PM

I like to keep my dogs pretty slim...Bear because its easier on his joints and Meg...well she rarely stops moving so keeping her slim is only an issue in the winter when we're forced to spend a lot of time inside.

My sister (who lives in another state) and a few of my friends always tell me my dogs are too skinny. I tell them they are just used to seeing fat dogs.

My vet says most of the dogs she sees are overweight and likes that I keep my 'kids' thin.

My agility trainer is always telling my classmates that they should work on getting their dogs a little thinner. She says for agility, thin and muscular is better. Carrying extra weight over the jumps (and landing with it on the other side) is not good for the dogs.

My dogs have their main meal at night. They eat mostly raw. They do snack during the day though on fruit/vegetable pulp from the juicer and bits of whatever I'm eating, plus treats when we train.

I would just experiment a little and see what works best for your dog. Also take into account her activity level and other factors. You may have to adjust every once in a while.

My dogs' needed intake varies with the seasons. They are more active in the summer, spend more time out in the cold in the fall, are lazy in the house when its really cold in the winter, and can't wait to get outside and lose those lazy winter pounds come spring.


This! Everything said here is perfect. :) And it describes my views on dog weight and public perception to the t. Also exactly how I feed my guy, haha you took all the words right out of my mouth! :P

#10 bcnewe2

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Posted 02 March 2012 - 08:54 AM

I feed all the same food but some get more than others. I feed 2x's per day. I adjust on the look of the dog. Sometimes one will be chubbing up so that one gets cut back. Anywhere from 1 1/2 cup to 2 cups per day depending. I look for a nice tuck in their tummies (like I'd like to see on myself) and I feel for ribs. Not sticky out ribs but ones that I can feel easily.

A few days ago I looked at Dew (my youngest and most active) and thought she was Jazz (my older bigger senior) obviously she has been cut back.
I have one picky eater, Raven, she will skip meals if I don't goad her into eating. I cut her back to about 3/4 cup each feeding, thinking that if she was a bit hungrier she might eat more reg. Didn't work. She just skips some meals. She gets her food for about 15 minutes usually she eats as the others are finishing theirs. If she doesn't eat it within the 15 minutes it's put up till next meal.
I like to keep an extra pound or 2 on Mick, he sometimes gets to feeling punk and will drop weight very easily.

I've always fed 2x's per day. Just feels right to me.

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#11 Woffie

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Posted 02 March 2012 - 12:22 PM

It really does depend on the dog. We feed our 2 BC's 1 1/4 cup of Canedae all life stage twice a day. The older one is overweight and the younger one I think is too skinny. I can't get her to eat anymore food, also sometimes she skips meals. She just refuses to eat sometimes.
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