Jump to content
BC Boards
Lazhar

Daily calorie requirements for a Border Collie puppy (2 months)?

Recommended Posts

Hello everybody!

 

In 3 weeks, I will pickup my beautiful Nala, she will be 8 weeks old. I want to start feeding her homemade dog food (cooked or raw, haven't decided yet) as soon as possible.

 

What are the calorie requirements for a Border Collie of 2 to 4 months of age? All I find online is for adults, I will obviously check with the vet but I would like to have a starting point now so I can start thinking of what I'll need to buy, and in what quantities.

 

Many thanks!

 

L

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I can only answer this for raw feeding should you decide to go that way.

 

Most people recommend feeding raw fed puppies 2.5% of their ideal adult body weight daily as puppies. Since their caloric needs will diminish as they grow, you'll be feeding her pretty much the same amount of food all her life.

 

With any puppy, but especially with a border collie who's ideal adult body weight may be less predictable than a dog bred to an appearance standard, it's important to feel the puppy and and adjust based on her body condition (this would be true no matter what you feed her). Puppies should be lean and fit, not chubby. You should be able to feel her ribs and the spinal ridges easily without having to push.

 

Congratulation on your new pup. What an exciting time. Please be sure to post pictures when she arrives.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you GentleLake - so, to make sure I understand it well, if for example I judge my Border Collie puppy's ideal adult weight is roughly 16kg, that means I should feed my puppy roughly 400g a day, with a third of proteins, a third of good fats and a third of good carbs. Which would come down to:

  • Carbs: 133g * 4 = 532kcal
  • Proteins: 133g * 4 = 532kcal
  • Fats: 133g * 9 = 1197kcal
  • DAILY TOTAL = 2261kcal

Is that correct?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Pups grow at different rates and end up widely different sizes. Some tolerate a lot of food and their metabolism needs it, some will get the squats if overfed.

 

You can't feed pups (or any dog) by the rule book.

 

I'm a great believer in trial and error to suit the individual.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Mum - I get that, these are based on assumptions just to have a rough idea. Once the pup is home and vet-checked, things will get more serious and everything will be adjusted.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't think so. You are treating the 2.5 % as all dry matter and it is not in raw feeding as a large portion of the fed weight is actually water, which means that 100 grams fed does not equal 100 grams of protein, fat, and/or carbs. You can use a resource like www.mynutritiondata.self.com to calculate the nutrition in a very wide variety of food sources and I'm sure Gentle lake can refer you to resources that raw feeders use to calculate and develop their dogs' diets.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Another formula I found has to do with MER/RER.

  • Waltham Formula
    MER = 110 x (body weight in kilograms)0.75
    For a 5kg puppy... 110*5^0.75 = 367
  • Then, for a puppy the coefficient is 3%
    367 * 3 = 1100kcal per day

The results here are half of the results given above from GentleLake's suggestion.

 

This is quite confusing :/

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As I said, I think you misunderstood Gentle Lake's suggestions, interpreting the percentage fed as dry matter and not as "as fed" (wet weight) of raw food.

 

For instance, 100 grams of raw chicken thigh, meat only, provides 119 calories; 20 grams of protein, 4 grams of fat, and zero grams of carbohydrates; plus, of course, minerals and other components. Essentially, it is 75% water.

 

You would not be aiming to feed 400 grams a day of protein, fat, and carbs but 400 grams a day of "as fed" (wet weight) food, which would include (for example) about only 100 grams a day of actual protein, fat, and carbs (using the general estimate of 75% water in what you feed as raw meat, cooked veggies, and cooked carbs). Therefore, your total calorie count would approximate a much lower and realistic total than you estimated.

 

Plus you are not looking at 1/3 each of your dry matter as protein, fats, and carbs, but rather as 1/3 each of your caloric intake from each source, which means that you will be wanting to feed about 40% of the dry matter weight as protein, 40% as carbs, and 20% as fat. So if you are feeding about 100 grams of dry matter, you would be feeding about 400 grams of "as fed" (wet weight) food, composed of about 40 grams (180 calories) of protein, 40 grams (180 calories) of carbs, and 20 grams (180 calories) of fat.

 

I am *not* suggesting these proportions (1/3 of calories from each) as a feeding suggestion - just using your example of proportions as an example. There are many different types of raw feeding, and there are many who feed prepared foods successfully. There are a number of people on these boards who feed raw and would be happy to share information with you.

 

I feed a kibble-based diet with occasional, supplemental raw meat and some cooked veggies. I start out a pup with 3-4 small feedings a day (depending on my work schedule), monitor the pup's growth and progress, and increase or decrease as needed. I'd say that I feed about the same to a pup, or somewhat less, as I would to that same animal at his/her expected adult weight, but in more, smaller meals.

 

Best wishes!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Definitely makes more sense with the dry/wet consideration when talking about weight. Yes, so roughly around 800-1000 kcal a day for a 2 to 4 months old puppy. Now all formulas kind of converge towards the same rough figures.

 

Great :)

Thank you!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It really doesn't have to be as complicated as all that. But first I'm going to back up a bit.

 

There are different approaches to feeding raw, of course, and some do include vegetables. I guess a few include grains and starches (i.e. carbs), but to my mind that defeats the purpose of feeding raw, as they have to be cooked for the dog to be able to digest them. Plus, dogs have no nutritional requirement for carbohydrates. (You'll get some arguments from people on this list about that and, yes, dogs have evolved the genetic mutation that allow them to utilize starches, but in my opinion and in others' that's not an ipso facto argument that they require them or that they're even optimal nutrition for dogs.) I do feed a very small amount of vegetables on occasion, but not regularly and usually not starchy vegetables, unless it's a bit of my own leftovers.

 

I feed prey model raw, which is 10-15% edible bone, 75-80% muscle meat, 5% liver and 5% other organs (not including heart, which is fed as muscle). It's important to offer as much variety in protein sources (i.e from different animals) as possible to provide a range of nutrients, and red meat should dominate. I generally supplement with fish oil (because commercially raised meats tend to be too high in Omega 6 fatty acids) and some vit. E. And whole (meaning including the shell) raw eggs on occasion. Maybe a little kefir or yogurt once in a while

 

None of this has to be calculated precisely every day. It's a balance over time. Some days my dogs get more bone than they do on other days. Some days they get none at all. I tend to give small amounts of organ nearly every day, but some people don't and will feed a meal of just organs once a week or 10 days. As long as they're getting enough in a reasonable time period, it's fine. Just like your own diet, where I'm sure you get some nutrients one day and others on other days.

 

I have never once concerned myself about the number of calories my dogs get. I adjust the amount of fat in their diets (and the amount of food) so that their body conditions are good, their coats are shiny and their stools are firm. One of my dogs doesn't tolerate a lot of fat well, so she gets less. Another needs much more fat than any dogs I've ever fed before to maintain good skin and coat condition, so he gets more.

 

I must be doing OK by them as the vets always comment about how healthy they are and how infrequently I have to bring them in for anything other than routine exams. One is ~17 1/2 years old and the vet's always amazed at her perfect bloodwork and urinalysis. She has some age related arthritis and dementia, but otherwise she's great. Ditto on the ~10 year old who other than a small lipoma has no health issues whatsoever.

 

As far as determining amounts, using the basic guidelines above for the percentages of bone, meat and organs, if you have a puppy you'd expect to be about 15 kg as an adult, you'd start out feeding about 0.375 kg per day, divided into several meals at first for a puppy. You'd watch her to see how she's doing. If she's getting chubby, you cut back a little. If she's too lean, add some more. If her coat's looking a little dull or she doesn't seem to have enough energy, add some more fat. Really, it can be that simple.

 

If you can feed yourself and your family without turning it into a science project, you can feed your dog without it's being a major undertaking. Sure, it'll take some time to feel comfortable with it (mostly because we've gotten away from feeding dogs his way and the kibble manufacturers have done a good job convincing us that it's terribly complicated), but really, it's common sense, not rocket science. ;)

 

I can send you some links later on if you like that'll offer some more guidelines.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My opinion, based on cases I've seen, is that if you don't have many years experience balancing home made dog food, you should not try it on a puppy. Because they are growing so fast, they have very little tolerance for dietary imbalances. Several pups I know died as a result of serious nutritional deficiencies. Others had permanent skeletal deformities and were mentally never quite normal.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Gentle Lake makes very good points about raw feeding and about carbs. I am not a raw feeder but my kidney failure dog is on a home-made diet (raw meat, cooked egg white, cooked veggies, cooked carb source, and supplements) and I tend to revert to thinking about her diet (formulated to provide what she needs at her stage of life and disease) when I think "raw", even though it is only partially raw.

 

And Liz P makes very good points about the necessity for proper nutrition which is even more essential in a young and growing animal.

 

So, I was not promoting "raw" over "commercial" or "home-cooked" or any other option - just trying to clarify the OP's misunderstanding of the numbers associated with raw feeding amounts. And, of course, understanding the nutrition within any food, diet, etc., is important to the health and well-being of the animal, and even more so for a puppy, as Liz P rightly points out.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If I didn't fully understand dietary requirements for a pup I would definitely feed a prepared diet suitable for puppies. You can get raw or dehydrated raw diets formulated for pups.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I strongly second feeding a commercial diet, raw or otherwise if you are new to this. I don't feed raw, but what I have done with my young pups is provide 3-4 small meals of kibble so they are able to take in enough nutrition.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I am new but once you figure out (with the vet) how much the puppy should be fed daily, it doesn't seem to be rocket science. I understand people focus a lot in the ratio fat/carbs/proteins et perhaps forget vitamins and minerals but with some great supplements (kelp, for example), I am convinced I can do it.

 

I will however seek the vet's advice on the diet to make sure it provides everything my girl needs. From what i read on labels and on online discussions, even the best industrial dog food is not ideal at all...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I feed dry food and am not experienced with raw feeding. I did though feed one of my dogs a home cooked diet due to health issues and was staggered by the number of supplements my 40lb border collie needed especially the amount of calcium. I worked with an animal nutrionist ( zoo nutrionist) to learn what I needed to feed him as the more I read the more befuddled I became. There is a vast amount of Info out there, just be sure the source is reliable as there are a lot of people peddling their opinions in the world of dog food and many of those opinions have no scientific research to back them up.

It is doable lots of people do feed raw, just check the info carefully.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

When it comes to calcium, the source makes a very big difference.

 

The molecular structure of most forms of bone meal has been so drastically altered by processing at high temperatures that the calcium is not very bioavailable. Raw bones haven't been changed in that way and will yield their calcium to digestion much more readily.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

When it comes to calcium, the source makes a very big difference.

 

The molecular structure of most forms of bone meal has been so drastically altered by processing at high temperatures that the calcium is not very bioavailable. Raw bones haven't been changed in that way and will yield their calcium to digestion much more readily.

Yet, I have read about the ratio calcium:phosphorous and dogs, puppies especially, should receive more calcium than phosphorous but meat provides a hell of a lot of phosphorous. So when home feeding your puppy, it seems like there definitely should be a calcium-only source (raw bones, eggshells, etc)

 

how do you do with your own dogs GentleLake in order to keep this calcium level up?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

10-15% bone, as in the guidelines posted earlier.

 

ETA: Some raw feeding methods use 50% or more RMBs (raw meaty bones), so somewhat more bone thna the basic prey model guidelines isn't going to hurt anything. I probably gave my pup a bit more than 15% bone when she was growing just to make sure I had the calcium well covered.

 

But knowing that there's such a wide variation in the amount of bone different people feed, it's apparent that having that calcium: phosphorus ratio doesn't have to be as exact as many people would have you believe.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There are boarded veterinary nutritionists who will formulate home made diets for your dogs. You give them health info, pay a fee and they send you diet info.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Gosh i offer my adult dog three cups of food a day. sometimes he eats it all sometimes he doesn't, usually he doesn't. He's a very lean dog. I could probably leave food out for him and he'd only eat what he needs to.

 

I offer his breakfast for 15 minutes and his dinner for fifteen minutes.

 

Haven't figured out yet how much my brand new pup needs yet. So i'm starting by offering 1/2 cup of food each meal(3 meals 15 minutes each) if he finishes it all each meal I might add a little more. if he doesn't finish each meal, Ill take some away. As long as he stays lean and has good energy I'm pretty lax about how much they eat... I'm also constantly using kibble and raw/freezedried food for treats.

 

I know there's some days I personally eat like a bird and others where i could eat a whole horse.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...

×
×
  • Create New...