This month, Dr. Al answers your questions about portion control and feeding the correct amount for your pet’s specific needs.
Q: I have a pair of two year old Greyhounds. Their weight is between 55 and 60 lbs. I feed them 1 1/2 cups of Holistic Select Anchovy, Sardine & Salmon Meal Recipe Dry Dog Food morning and evening, which is a little more than you recommend. In addition to their Holistic Select dry food, they get several treats during the day, and yet they are still starving! When I let them outside I have to watch them closely so that they don’t consume their stools. They do scavenge around the yard eating sticks, acorns and droppings from the trees. What should I do?
A: In my experience, the behavior you have described is typical of a rescued greyhound. Much has developed as a result of boredom and periods of very little stimulation. Exercise is essential for these dogs. They need regular activities that stimulate their interest, both in the home and outside.
With regard to feeding, never feed to satisfy appetite, rather always feed just enough to maintain a slightly lean body mass. The Holistic Select Anchovy, Sardine and Salmon dry dog food is a relatively low calorie recipe (354 kcals./cup). I would suggest trying the Holistic Select Large & Giant Breed Recipe dry dog food as it contains more calories (almost 400 kcals./cup)and uses three different animal protein sources which is an excellent source of calories for a dog such as a Greyhound.
Remember to transition slowly to any new diet over a week’s time.
Q: My Westie puppy is approx 6.5 lbs. I have been feeding her 1 cup of Holistic Select Nourish Puppy Health Recipe Dry Dog Food each day (1/2 morning, 1/2 evening) lately I have been adding 1/4 cup midday but she still seems ravenous at times and goes crazy while I’m getting her food ready and gobbles it up so fast. Should I feed her more? Add more feedings?
A: Feeding three times a day would seem appropriate for a young growing Westie. Always feed to maintain a lean body mass and allow for growth; never feed just to satisfy the pup’s appetite.
I would consider a Westie to be a small breed and think that the Holistic Select Small & Mini Breed Nourish Puppy Health Recipe dry dog food may better suite your pup’s nutritional needs. It does have approximately 40 more calories per cup than the food you are currently feeding. If you need to feed more in order to maintain an ideal body mass and allow for growth, you can feed more than the feeding guide recommends.
Feeding guides are just that, a guide. It would be impossible to make a chart that would satisfy the needs of all small puppies. Like humans, they tend to all require a slightly different amount of the appropriate food. The guide is just a starting point. Many need less and some will need more.