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    PeterDobias.com / Blog / Supplements & Diet

    How much food to feed your dog

    By Dr. Peter Dobias, DVM

    Dr. Peter Dobias, DVM has 30 years of experience as a veterinarian. His love of dogs and passion for natural healing and nutrition led him to writing, teaching and helping people create health naturally, without drugs, chemicals and processed food.

    Is your dog its ideal weight?

    One of the most common questions that we get is about how much food to feed your dog. Some of you are worried (especially the Italians ;-) that your dog will be too skinny or on the other side of the spectrum – looking like a night table because he or she ate too much. 

    One of the leading causes of obesity in dogs is dry, processed food because it is not species appropriate and a large number of calories are packed into a small volume of kibbles. Dogs like to eat until they feel full and their calorie intake is often too high. This is why so many dogs fed processed food look like four-legged night tables and are far from their optimal weight, whereas their natural raw or cooked diet fed counterparts often look lean and healthy.

    Recently, one of my readers, Francesca, asked me on Facebook what her dog’s RER –  resting energy requirement was. Then I thought: “I never count my RER and keep myself in good shape. Nature never intended dogs to calculate their RER." I recalled the boring course in nutrition at the veterinary college where we used to calculate RER for cows while, in reality, all we needed to do was to let them onto the pasture and allow them to graze.

    In my opinion, RER is mainly used by processed pet food companies whose so-called scientific methods are meant to distract us while they sell us nutritionally inappropriate, processed food junk.

    So here I am, writing this blog for all those dogs who could have a better and happier life and everyone who wants to calculate less and understand more. I also give my thanks to Francesca for encouraging me to write something that I should have written a long time ago.

    All you need to know is:
    • How much food to start with
    • How to recognize if your dog is thin or heavy
    • How much to adjust food
    • When to re-evaluate

    If you are feeding processed food, I urge you to reconsider. Recently, I witnessed a sad example of what happens when your dog becomes a victim of processed food. I have now been recommending natural raw or cooked diets for dogs for more than 17 years and it has become very obvious that pet food companies don’t tell us the 'whole' food truth.

    Just a few days ago, I met this really nice 10-year-old lab and his owner in a park. Let's call him Barley. I learned that Barley had heart disease. He required a $5,000 surgery to remove his spleen and some huge tumors on his shoulder. It broke my heart to see Barley wanted to play with Skai, but could hardly move. I learned from his owner that he was fed Pedigree because a vet told him that a raw diet was unsafe. The owner asked me if Skai was three years old. "He is going to be 10 this summer," I replied.

    If you are already feeding natural food, it will be easy to follow my recommendations. If you intend to continue feeding dried food, read on anyway as most of the information is universal. 

    How much food to start with

    Here is an example: A dog that weighs 50 lbs should get approximately 500 grams of meat and raw bone in a 2/3 to 1/3 ratio.

    Here is the simple formula I use:

    Body Weight (lbs) x 10 = amount of meat and bones in grams to feed.

    To this, add 25 percent veggies, which in this case is 125 gm. This will give you a total of 625 grams of food per day in one or two feedings per day. If your dog is a more active breed or thin, you may need to feed more, sometimes up to two times as much.

    Here is a conversion chart for ounces to grams. 

     Ounces
    Grams
    Ounces
    Grams
    1
    28
    31 879
    2
    57
    32 907
    3
    85
    33 936
    4
    113
    34 964
    5
    141
    35 992
    6
    170
    36 1021
    7
    198
    37 1049
    8
    226
    38 1077
    9
    255
    39 1106
    10
    283
    40
    1134
    11
    312
    41
    1162
    12
    340
    42
    1191
    13
    368
    43
    1219
    14
    397
    44
    1247
    15
    425
    45
    1276
    16
    454
    46
    1304
    17
    482
    47
    1332
    18
    510
    48
    1361
    19
    539
    49
    1389
    20
    567
    50
    1417
    21
    595
    51
    1446
    22
    624
    52
    1474
    23
    652
    53
    1503
    24
    680
    54
    1531
    25
    708
    55
    1559
    26
    737
    56
    1588
    27
    765 57 1616
    28
    793 58 1644
    29
    822 59 1673
    30
    850 60 1701

    To evaluate your dog’s body weight, feel the ribs, touch the hips, is going to be your mantra.

    Just follow this chart for simplicity and adjust your dog's food amount accordingly.

    If you follow this simple chart, your dog is very likely to be a healthy weight. However, there are some medical conditions that may contribute to obesity. Don’t forget to count in any food, including treats and bones, that your dog eats. Bones have a very similar calorie density to meat. 

    Product Reference

    Items referenced in this article.

    Dr. Peter Dobias, DVM has 30 years of experience as a veterinarian. He graduated as a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine in 1988 in the Czech Republic and obtained the Canadian Certificate of Qualification in 1995. He is currently licensed in the European Union, and his unique approach to healing and nutrition helps holistically minded dog lovers worldwide.

    Dr. Dobias strongly believes that disease prevention, natural nutrition and supplements, the right exercise and a drug free approach to medicine can add years to your dog's life.

    As a formulator of his all-natural vitamin and supplement line and co-inventor of natural, chemical free flea and tick control, FleaHex® and TickHex® his unique healing system and products currently hold the highest independent five star customer rating. For more information click here.

    Any general recommendations that Dr. Dobias makes are not a substitute for the appropriate veterinary care and are for informational and educational purposes only.

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