What quantity of food does my dog need?
All manufacturers provide food tables on their packaging, from which you can conveniently read the recommended quantity of food for your dog. However, these figures are merely guideline values that must be adjusted to take account of individual influences such as weather, breed, age, movement level and dog size. For this reason, we provide numerous tips below on how to interpret the recommended quantity of food for your dog correctly.
How do dog food producers calculate the correct quantity of food for dogs?
The recommended quantity of food on the dog food packaging is calculated based on a scientific formula, which determines the daily requirement of a quiet, fully-grown dog. The formula is as follows:
Body mass (kg) ^ 0.75 x 100 kilocalories (kcal) = daily requirement
Example: A dog weighs 30 kg. 30 kg to the power of 0.75 is 12.82 kg. The number 12.82 is multiplied by 100 kcal. In other words, this quiet, fully-grown dog has a daily intake requirement of around 1282 kcal.
What quantity of food is right for your dog?
Every dog is unique! Therefore, you should only take the recommended quantity of food on the dog food packaging as a guideline. Although these figures are calculated according to the latest scientific recommendations, the quantity of food must be adjusted to suit the individual needs of your dog (high or low activity level, weather conditions and lots more).
How do you feed in practice?
Please try not to adhere to the recommended quantity of food too strictly. Instead, observe and feel your dog at regular intervals, and ration the quantity of dog food based on dog's ribs! If you can feel the last 3-4 pairs of ribs of the rib cage easily without pressure (or can almost see the ribs if there wasn't any hair on them) there is no fat layer on the ribs, and the weight of your dog is correct. Consequently, the quantity of dog food is also correct! As a handy reminder, place a mark on the measuring cup for the quantity of food after you weigh it for the first time. Don't worry about the number of grams - the food is only "visually" apportioned. Put in a little more or a little less depending on the weight of the dog, i.e. just above or below the line on the measuring cup.
What to do about an underweight dog?
As a general rule, dogs can vary greatly in their energy-metabolic rate. In many cases – as is also the case with humans – genetic predispositions play a major role. However, environmental influences are also extremely important: A sledge dog, which is exposed to ice and snow, generally consumes a large amount of energy simply to maintain its body temperature. Apart from increasing the daily ration (moderately), it may help to select a food with a higher fat content if your dog is underweight. If this also has no effect, you should consult a vet because the weight loss may be related to an illness: An infestation with parasites or dysfunctional pancreas or thyroid glands among other things could be the cause. Persistent stress can also be the cause of an excessively high energy metabolism. In these cases, the only solution is to identify and, if possible, remedy the cause.
What to do with an overweight dog?
If you have to press in order to feel your dog's ribs, there is too much fat on the ribs. Your dog is therefore overweight. Consequently, several additional exercise sessions should follow and, if necessary, the quantity of dog food should be reduced as soon as possible. Special light foods such as Meradog care light dog food help you introduce a successful diet for your dog that does not involve starvation. Overweight in dogs is a comprehensive topic and more and more dogs suffer from this condition. You can find additional information on the subject of excess weight here.
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