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Thread: How Much to Feed

  1. #1
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    Default How Much to Feed

    Is there an easy way to work out how much I should feed my dog? I don't know what breed(s) he is but we know he is a medium-large fellow. Now that my diet has settled with his system we are in a routine of this:-

    Breaky handful of chicken necks, drink of lactose free milk (not measured).

    Dinner 400g raw chicken mince (properly weighed out), 1-2cups of dog kibble(not measured, just tip the bag), plus any left over veges or tidbits from our dinner goes into his bowl. Once week he gets a raw egg, once a week he gets a small tin of sardines in oil.

    Bedtime he gets 2 milk arrowroot bikkies (a bribe to make him go to bed), and also broken bikkie bits as treats for training.

    Plus he gets handouts here and there during the day.

    He does not snatch his food, he eats very sensibly and never leaves any behind.

    He has put on just over 4kg in the 4 weeks I've had him (unless his foster mum did not weigh him correctly and could be out with figures).

    I have now replaced his milkarrowroot biscuit treats with proper dog branded liver treats. But am I still feeding him too much? I want to do more exercise with Asher but he isn't a playing dog and won't run with us except when he's on lead, won't chase balls, won't do anything a young dog should be doing. I walk him everyday, gradually building up the distance (I need it too...lol), but I guess if he keeps on putting on the weight would you cut him back? I am just not sure with dogs how it works. I am actively attending training to try and get him to be more active. I don't want to starve him but just not sure. My german shepherd ate so much but never put on weight. Was in nice condition but sometimes would lose it very quick so I'd have to increase his food. He always played though. Even right to the day he died he'd chase the hose, balls, play tug-o-war and at night he'd chase shining lights across the lawn. He would never stop. But Asher strikes me as the type that will put it on very quickly. I throw a ball he stands there and watches it, turns around goes back inside. Once I caught him on camera playing in the backyard with the kids but that has been a one-of so far.
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  2. #2
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    Hi MyDog,

    I honestly believe the best way to figure out if you are feeding enough or not enough is to look at your dog.
    Does he look a correct weight? Can you feel his ribs when you run your hands over them, but not actually see them through his coat?
    Secondly, look at how much your dog eats per meal. Does it seem like he wants more, or does he leave a bit each time in his bowl? This will also help you to gauge it, perhaps.

  3. #3
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    Just the last few days Asher has been leaving a bit of his food in his bowl. Last night I actually had to hand feed him to get him to eat it all. He doesn't seem ill but is there such thing as spoiling them with too much "people food". His appetite is fine for tidbits when I am preparing meals for us, and he sits near the table staring for crumbs to fall his way - whether its dinner, kids eating chips, biscuits or absolutely anything like that, he eagerly takes. Even cleans the lids of yohgurt containers. I know he shouldn't have sweetened yoghurt, but he only gets the lids - surely that little bit couldn't do any harm. He just doesn't seem interested in anything that goes in his bowl. I gave him a nice big turkey drumstick for dinner tonight and had to shut him outside just so he would go and eat it, otherwise he would have left it. He wanted to stay inside with me, and he knows wet foods like that aren't allowed inside. I was away all day today so perhaps he may suffer some separation anxiety when I am not here. My kids were home, but he goes bollistic when I get home.

    He doesn't like dry dog kibble. I have mixed just a few through his chicken mince each night but if he can separate it from his meat, he will leave the bikkies all the time. So what is a substitute for the dog kibble? I've read in a book that raw diet is a great diet for dogs, including raw vegetables mixed through their meat. I can do that, thats easy. I would even chop it fine so he can't really detect it but if he doesn't get dob kibble, would I be depriving him of anything important in his diet?
    Last edited by mydogau; 03-14-2010 at 05:02 PM.
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  4. #4
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    It sounds like Asher is getting a lot of tidbits and handouts during the day - believe it or not all those tidbits add up! They may not fill him up, but the sugar levels will add weight on.

    Firstly, are you happy with how Asher looks physically now (see DA's comments)? If so, then you know how much he weighs and you have a starting point. Weigh him every week or two. From that you'll work out if he's getting too much, not enough or the right amount.
    The chicken necks are fine - but how many is a handful? Look at changing to giving him a chicken carcass (or half of one) instead that he can chew on, the necks I'd imagine would be inhaled! I'd cut out the puppy milk too, he doesn't need it.

    Offer him his dinner - kibble mixed with chicken mince, and some raw veg. If he doesn't eat it within 15 minutes remove it and no more food at all! Glad you've stopped the arrowroot biccies, you shouldn't have to bribe them to go to bed!

    Treats are just that - treats! It sounds like he's begging at the table, and that is not on. I've just had my dinner and not one of the dogs here has come bothering me, they know I won't give them anything. On the rare occasion that I do have anything left over it goes in their bowl. No more feeding Asher from the table! Make him go to his bed, or somewhere that you want him to be, and ignore him while you eat.

    I don't give my dogs treats as a daily thing, they don't expect them, so they don't bother me for them.

    To really know whether you are feeding him the right amount, you need to get tough - know EXACTLY what and how much he is eating. Even licking the yoghurt pots will affect him. Hot chips, etc is not good for him - when he knows he will get all these yummy bits n pieces why on earth would he want that awful kibble? Think about it, if you offered your kids lollies and chippies for dinner, or chops and vegies, what do you think they would choose?

    I know it's nice to give our dogs little tasty bits from time to time, but it should be a surprise for them, not an expectation.

    In My Home Dog Minding
    www.greyhoundrescue.com.au

  5. #5
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    DA & Greys - thank you very much for your educational replies. I am guilty of spoiling him [sighs with embarassment]. So I need to re-train both of us into better eating....lol....that sounds like bliss being able to have your dogs inside and not bothering anybody at the dinner table. Perhaps we can work on teaching Asher some manners, too.

    Thank you again. Will cut the daily treats and get him back on the right track. I have noticed that he loves cuddles just as much as the treats so few more cuddles will distract him. He is doing me the world of good, too. Everytime I get something for myself to eat he wants it too and I feel guilty to eat in front of him and not give him any. So I just don't bother with the snacking so we both don't get any...hehehe...
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  6. #6
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    Do NOT feed him by hand. You are only pandering to his whims and are engineering a real problem in getting him into a healthy eating routine in the future.

    He is a dog. He does not need all these tit-bits, treats and stuff he is getting. Give him two meals a day. And TWO only. What he doesn't eat after 15 minutes or so, take away. Feed him nothing until the next meal, and so on. he WILL learn that when you place his bowl down and give him the okay to eat, he either eats it all now or goes without to the next stipulated meal time. It might take a day, it might take two weeks, it is worth it in the end.
    Cheers, and best of luck to you.

  7. #7
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    Wow that seems like a lot of food to me.

    My OH fed puppies yesterday morning (breakfast), when I went to give them lunch they only picked at it. I didn't sit with them and make them eat it. After 15 minutes it was removed.

    The same meal was re-offered to them in the evening.

    Found out later that hubby had given them the same amount as if there was still 7 and not 4. So not surprising they were not hungry at lunch.

    Thats OK. They had plenty of energy and were playing etc.

  8. #8
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    Asher sounds like the laid back type of dog, a lot of large breeds are. They have to be you don't want terrier temperament in the body of a large breed.

  9. #9
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    mydogau

    How much does Asher weigh now?
    What brand and variety of kibble are you feeding?

    What DA said. Do this.
    http://www.dogforum.com.au/dog-healt...html#post75585

    You might want to read the kibble pack - it seems to me that 1 to 2 cups is usually the recommended feed if that's all you're feeding - for an entire (not desexed) dog. My vet recommends cutting the recommended kibble dose by 1/3 if the dog is desexed.

    And if you're feeding lots of other stuff, you could half the kibble again.

    It's generally not a good idea to let your dog eat anything from the table while you're eating. If kids spill stuff, it's better if you pick it up and put it in the "dog scraps for later" bowl than let him associate kids eating with him eating. Otherwise he will work up to snatching food from your kids or try it on with any visiting kids and this can be dangerous. Incorporate the "dog scraps for later" into his regular meals - and cut back on the quantities accordingly. I wouldn't feed Frosty anything very fatty like hot chips or the fatty bits off the roast or lamb chops. Not unless she was emaciated and I wanted to put weight on her fast.

    I sometimes let Frosty lick yogurt lids or containers but only at my invitation. And I always hold the lids and supervise the containers so she can't eat them too (she will if I let her). She wouldn't get more than one a week.

    If he doesn't seem too interested in what's in his bowl - he's had more than enough food for the time being, pack up that food, and serve it up at the next meal time (like DA said).

    Meantime it might be an idea to weigh everything you give him and keep a diary of eating and exercise so you get an idea of how much he needs.

    Putting on 1kg a week seems excessive for an adult dog - even one that was underweight. It's excessive for a 65kg human.

    I can't feed my dog things like turkey drumsticks because she makes splinters out of bones (even raw ones) and they come back to haunt us at both ends most unpleasant. I've also heard of dogs with pieced guts from things like that. But if the dog chews his food properly - he should be ok. One turkey drumstick (raw only) would count as a complete meal or maybe just a bit too much, maybe two complete meals - for Frosty (weighs 23kg and does 2 hours a day exercise and run a lot heeler).

    Can you still feel his ribs? Does he still have a waist line? Then he's not overweight yet. But if he keeps putting on 1kg a week he soon will be.

    I only give Frosty treats when she's working for me - ie we're practicing obedience training or similar.

    If he's looking at you like he's still hungry - try giving him a piece of carrot. If he won't eat it, you know he's had enough. But follow the plan DA outlined. Maybe feed the raw/mince in the morning, and a half serve of kibble (as recommended on the packet - half of the lower end of the range) at night and if he doesn't eat it, he's had enough food for the day.

    If you're looking at the Fridge like you're still hungry - try a piece of carrot. The ultimate guilt free munchie. Ie it takes more energy to eat the carrot than you get from the carrot (I think) but you get some vitamins and water.

    And you might want to do a site search for Cleasanta's stuff on Barf diet - so you can figure out how to feed raw and get all the right nutrients into your dog. There's quite a few threads in the nutrition section of the forum.

  10. #10
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    I did that tonight. I offered him his mince, mixed with kibble and about 6 chicken necks. He ate the necks and a couple mouthfuls of his mince then walked away. I left it there 10 minutes later he hadn't gone back to it so I have put it away for tomorrow. And today and yesterday he has not had a single handout at all. Earlier this arvo I offered him another turkey drumstick but he didn't even take it spoilt rotten dog. So I am really taking in your advice to get his appetite back on track, properly. He use to enjoy getting his dinner, now he's barely interested And he isn't sick, just playing my soft touch to become fussy which I am back-pedalling on real fast lol

    That is a great idea about the journal. I don't even own a set of bathroom scales. Will go get a cheap set on payday so I can start that journal. Yes I can feel his ribs so will work on maintaining his weight where it is.


    His activity levels have been very low since his arrival. He has always been keen for a walk but play? Very rare we can hype him up to want to play. Won't fetch toys, won't play tog-o-war, scared of squeaky toys and not a hope in hell playing with water, with him. But today I took him to the beach. We ran for a short distance, walked through the water, spent a good hour wandering. This afternoon I was outside gardening and Asher just decided to pick up a stick to play with. I took it off him and threw it and he actually chased after it. So we are starting to bring his puppyness out, slowly but surely. So then we can get more exercise happening.

    Thank you all, for your wonderful time. I enjoy your advice, and this site, very well.
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