I am new to these forums and hoping for some assistance. I have been doing a lot of research on foods lately as I have two senior bearded collies one with some stomach issues and hoping to find a food they can both eat. In addition, I have a 3 year old 100 lb dane mix who is going through some teeth issues and I was told to soften his food. I see on the website the food calculator but unless I’m missing something, what I do not see anywhere is the calorie content in food. Right now I am feeding him natures’ recipe canned food and chicken with rice. Before the issues, he was eating IAMs large breed food and he ate 4 cups a day. I cannot figure out how much of this current food to feed him. The cans say for his weight he would need 5 but I am supplementing the chicken and rice. Right now I am giving him 2 cans, and one cup each of the chicken and rice. I do not plan to go back to IAMs when the issue is resolved. I guess there is no “cups of food required daily based on weight” way to figure it out?
Go to the foods website to look for the calorie content. Once you have that, you can use the calorie content. I’ve read that dogs with sensitive tummies do well on NutriSource. You could feed it to all your dogs, if they do well on it. For the one with teeth issues, add done warm water to soften the food. You could feed canned but that would be expensive for a dog of his size. You could try dehydrated or premade or ground raw.
I can relate to your calorie content puzzlement, since I too had the same puzzlement when I started reading this website last summer. I was hoping the calorie content would be included when the Editor’s Choice ratings came online, but alas, it’s not. (Sorry if I seem disappointed, I am.)
The subject of this thread is about Quantity so I am not addressing the stomach issues, especially since I’ve been most curious about this for some time and get other opinions/thoughts on the subject.
How do you reconcile which food to buy? Find a food(s) Dr. Mike gives 3-5 stars, that you are comfortable buying, feed your dog and watch his weight. Adjust servings accordingly. It does require you use a measuring cup, not a plain scoop or empty soup can as I have done at times.
Food for thought: (pun intended)
Dog food is sold by the pound and fed by the cup. It’s hard to compare those 2 factors. And to complicate it further, the dog food mfg’rs don’t seem to agree on how much to feed, calorie wise.
DFA Calorie Calculator says my dog needs 1230 calories per day. On their websites, Fromm Adult Gold claims 408 calories/cup. Orijen Adult claims 478, so that extrapolates to Fromm recommending 1428 cals./day and Orijen recommending 1003 for my 55 lb. dog. That’s a huge difference between the two, with Fromm over ~20% and Orijen under ~20% of the DFA calculator.
To show the recommended feeding amounts another way,
Food—-Mfgr Cups—DFA Calc Cups
You just have to go with the quantity that keeps appropriate weight on your dog. I like this chart for reference. http://media.marketwire.com/attachments/200802/MOD-402887_weight-chart1.jpg
If you want to compare prices of dog food, I think it’s better to compare cups fed per dollar rather than dollar per pound of the bag. Those looking to maximize economy might be more interested in a high calorie/low cost 3-star kibble over a lower calorie 5-star kibble, but it really isn’t that simple as you can see. (And I haven’t even mentioned protein, carbs, vitamins, etc.!) FWIW, I actually measured Fromm Adult Gold to be 4 cups per pound and Orijen Adult to be 3.2 cups per pound. Both claim 10% max moisture so Orijen would seem to be a much more dense food based on recommended serving size, but you may not be getting enough calories.
Sorry if this post rambled and got scattered, a million possibilities exist to feed you dog and I haven’t figured it out yet either, although “Blue” seems to be enjoying and doing well with the mix of 3-5 star rated foods I buy, per Dr. Mike’s rating system. 🙂
Hi Steve and Corey-
I enjoyed both of your posts because I have had the same puzzlements. And yes, I have also weighed food to see how many cups per bag to compare prices. I have since just decided to go with foods that are around 400 calories per cup and just compare their prices to keep things easier. Also that way everyone knows how much to feed when I rotate to another brand. I have it posted above their food in the garage who gets how much. Lol! I found that with just a little tweaking, the dog food calculator on this site worked pretty well for me. I’ve also found that most companies have the calories listed on their websites or you can email them to get the information. I also add toppers and use less kibble to compensate. A lot of canned foods do list the calories on the can or their websites also. I just use an average of 350 calories per can now. Fresh Pet, Honest kitchen and Northwest Naturals frozen raw nuggets also list their calories on the package, if you want to use any of those as toppers.
I think you are doing right and can see that I’ll head a similar direction also, for simplicity. As complicated as feeding your dog can be, I realize it doesn’t have to be. But I’m glad to have researched foods, quantities, nutrition so that I have some better understanding about feeding my dog in a healthy way.
I’m impressed with what Dr. Mike has put together for us and joined Editors Choice as my way of thanking him.
Thank you for all of the feedback. Think I still need help so will give more specifics in hopes that there might be some easy answers but I fear not cause things at my house are far too crazy! I live with my husband and adult daughter and between us we have 4 dogs. 3 of them have food issues that cause me questions:
Missy – 12 year old bearded collie – Would eat nothing but frozen Bil Jac her entire life until she got acid reflux issues 6 wks ago and changing her food was extremely tough. She is now eating (begrudgingly) one cup of natures’ recipe easy to digest chicken dry food, one half cup of rice and one half cup of either boiled ground chicken or boiled ground beef per day.
Max – 11 year old bearded collie – no health issues – will eat ANYTHING including what he finds in the back yard when he beats me to it. He is currently, happily eating two cups per day of the natures’ recipe easy to digest chicken dry food.
Frankie – 3 year old dane mix – he is currently eating IAMS large breed proactive years 1-5. Many days he wants nothing to do with it. Also concerned about what I am reading about IAMS testing on animals, but the plus is they do sell it in 50 lb bags at my Costco. I tried mixing in canned with the dry and he wants nothing to do with the wet food. He is having some teeth issues, with mild gingivitis and we are working on that so not sure if that is factoring in.
Last but not least my daughter’s new puppy Rerun – he is 4 mos old. Rerun is half beagle and half siberian husky – now 30 lbs – vet estimates will be around 60. She is currently feeding him Kirkland signature puppy. He does not seem to like it. He eats very little of it and wants no more.
I feel like 60% of my life right now revolves around feeding dogs and it is becoming more difficult to manage than I can handle. Of course with the 4 of them in the house, feeding is an event, not just an all day graze – you eat what you are given or you dont get any – but now that everyone but Max has decided to become picky – it now involves each of us coralled to a designated space with our charge for the better part of an hour to hour and a half while we coax whichever dog we have to eat so that we can go on with life.
I know that most might want to provide the advice that we just have too many dogs, and I’ve talked way long enough without going into why we have this many dogs at this time in our lives lol! I think I’ve read enough to have learned that the better the quality of food the less tasty. Do I need to find a middle of the road senior food that is palliative enough for my older dogs to eat and wont bother their stomachs? (is there such a thing?) If I can coax my dane to eat the IAMS for awhile longer, what happens when he gets to 6 years old – the bag says 1-5 and he’s almost 4 and weighs 100 lbs. What about this puppy – do we start trying other puppy foods to find one he likes? We tried adding canned (have only found adult canned where I shop) and he then eats the canned and spits out the dry. Very sorry for such a long post – and look forward to any suggestions!!
4 Dogs for 3 people isn’t too much! I have had 3 for myself for the last year (just 2 now, my sister returned from overseas and her dog is now back with her) so that’s just fine
I don’t recommend most senior foods, they are fairly low in protein. I would find an all life stages that works for all of them and see what you can do from there. Switching brands/protein types may help you keep them eating. Large breed adult food, to my knowledge though I have no giants, is unnecessary, and he should be able to be on the same thing as the rest.
Maybe try some of the fromms? The 4 star have a lot of variation and so its very easy to switch what they’re eating from bag to bag. There is grain free and grain inclusive as well
1. I joined Editor’s Choice as a way of thanking Dr Mike as well.
2.Blue and crazy, I’d LOVE to see the weight/volume/price data that you guys collected.
3. Corey said “…the better the quality of food the less tasty.” Has anybody else made that conclusion? I haven’t.
It’s somewhat true. Cheap food adds additives for taste to get the dogs to eat it-and eat a lot of it. It’s similar to fast food. Dogs that are used to eating “fast food” sometimes have trouble adjusting to food that is higher quality, and may take some work
Perhaps my dog just isn’t picky then.
I think the lesser quality taste issue is best compared to a child being served corn dogs or broiled chicken breast and broccoli. The child, like our dogs, have their behavior and taste buds retrained.
My dogs wouldn’t eat the cheap foods or were very picky with them. Once I started feeding better foods, my dogs have never missed a meal, or even eaten slowly.
theBCnut- I had the same experience with my dogs. The many fosters I’ve had that came from rescues free feeding cheap stuff have sometimes taken a little persuasion. Lol, they don’t want healthy, they want their junk food.
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