Feeding directions for dogs

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ALL pet foods are required to provide feeding directions on the label.

Unfortunately feeding directions can be misleading. They are guidelines and should only be used as such.

Dogs generally eat enough food to meet their energy needs. If the food is nutrient dense, providing a high number of kilocalories (KC) per cup, the dog will need to eat less.

One of the main problems is that most dogs feeding directions are calculated based on an average dog or puppy.

Since these are average figures, and since no two dogs are the same, it is apparent why feeding directions can be so misleading. Your dog is unlikely to fit the average.

The best method of determining the proper feeding amount for your dog is to start with the recommended level on the package. Increase or decrease the amount by the way the dog should look. As an example if you have a 20lb dog, eating one-and-a-half cups per day of a new food, and he starts gaining weight, decrease the feeding level to one cup. Conversely, if the dog begins to lose weight you should increase his daily intake to two cups.

All puppies and young dogs up to the age of 12 months should be fed three meals a day. Adult dogs from 12 months to eight years should be fed two meals a day. Dogs from the age of eight years should be fed three small meals a day.

If you have any problem as to what your dog’s ideal weight should be, ask your vet to help you.

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