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How Much to Feed
- The best way to judge is by how skinny or plump your pup is; skinny is better than plump.
- Use rules of thumb (e.g., for pups under 6 months of age, feed 1 cup of dry food per 7-10 pounds per day) only as a rough starting point, and expect to adjust it based on weight gain and how the puppy looks
- Underfeed when in doubt rather than overfeed; you’ll never affect your puppy’s adult size by underfeeding while overfeeding can cause growth to occur too rapidly, increasing the chance for bone and joint trouble, like hip dysplasia.
This is absolutely the NUMBER ONE life long health concern for all dogs.
- How much you feed is even more critical than what you feed.
- Dogs are hardwired to look for food so don’t let them tell you how much to feed.
- Remember, always, that overweight dogs get sick sooner and die younger than dogs kept thin; controlled studies have shown this so please don’t shorten your dog’s life by feeding too much
- Create a feeding system that takes into account meals and treats so that overfeeding won’t occur; make sure everyone follows the feeding rules
- Give treats that are small or broken into small pieces (Cheerios make good treats because of their size) to minimize calories; dogs care more about getting a reward than its size so break that 2 inch dog bone into 10 individual rewards
What to Feed
We cannot offer simple answers but we do offer:
- Decide what you can afford, knowing that you won’t get what you don’t pay for.
- Understand that less expensive food features less expensive ingredients like guidelines; acknowledgment that old beliefs seem to defy common sense; and questions to help make you think more about what you feed your dog. Corn, wheat, soy, meat byproducts, grain byproducts (e.g., brewers rice, soybean mill run, corn gluten meal); also realize more expensive food doesn’t always omit these inexpensive ingredients; research the negative aspects of these ingredients - or you can believe what we tell you
- Learn to pay attention to package ingredient labels, not the marketing on the bag, because you cannot judge a book by its cover; unfortunately, even if you know the ingredients, you can’t be totally sure of their quality and wholesomeness
- Look into the foods we recommend.
- Provide variety; we wouldn’t think it’s healthy for us to eat the exact same thing our whole life, so why should it be okay for our dogs?
- Recognize that dry dog food is about convenience; despite what the packaging says, there’s nothing totally natural about pureeing, cooking and extruding ingredients into a dry nugget; consider feeding more than just dry food.
People Food Bad for Dogs?
Is it “bad” for us?
- Avoid feeding so much people food, especially meat, that it creates dietary imbalances or adds excess calories; limiting the volume of people food to less than a quarter of the diet should be fine
- Avoid potentially toxic foods (grapes, raisins), junk food, and overly fatty scraps (if it’s not that good for us, our dogs don’t need too much of it either)
- Avoid bones, especially cooked, which can become irritants, obstructions, and impactions in some dogs
- Encourage your dog to enjoy vegetables and fruits as treats; that piece of carrot, green pepper, or broccoli is a much better choice than a Pup-Peroni stick
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Manchester Veterinary Clinic, Inc - Veterinarians - Manchester - CT - Trusted Vets For Your Pets