So in all my research about raw food I can’t believe I haven’t caught this until just now. I was reading a forum when all of a sudden I caught “You must feed your growing puppy 2-3% based on his/her adult weight.”. This was in response to a new raw feeder that was asking exactly how much to feed.
Is this so? If so I have made some seriously calculation issues on how much I was planning to feed Moose when I started him on raw. I expect him to be around 100lbs ish since his mom was 90 and his dad was 120.
I’ve always heard 4% – 8% of body weight for puppies (closer to 8% when they’re first weaned and closer to 4% as they approach their adult weight) although 2-3% of expected adult weight would probably come out to roughly the same amount. For example when Mabel came home at 8 weeks she was around 20 lbs. with an expected adult weight of around 80 lbs. 8% of 20 lbs. is 1.6 lbs. of food and 2% of 80 lbs. is 1.6 lbs. of food – as you can see basing serving size on “puppy weight” yields the same amount as basing serving size on “expected adult weight”. Obviously these results can vary as you can never be truly sure what the adult weight is going to be. I don’t put too much stake in those recommendations (or any feeding recommendations) though. The best way to go about determining serving size is to monitor body condition, imo. Some dogs need much less than what’s “recommended” and some dogs need much more.
I heard the same thing but it went on to say that most large breeds would be near the bottom of that scale and most small breeds would be at the top. My Border Collies were right in the middle.
Yes, I’ve heard that too. I think that, generally speaking, smaller dogs require more calories per pound of body weight. However, this isn’t always the case (in fact, concerning my hounds I’ve found it to not be the case). Gertie eats 4-4.5% of her body weight daily in meat/organs/bone alone. In his old age Gus has slowed down on his eating, but as a young adult (2 – 4) he ate over 3,000 calories per day (generally 1.5 – 2X the recommended upper range on the kibble feeding charts). Some large/giant breeds are known for sluggish metabolisms (like Newfies and Saints) however others, like bloodhounds, are known for having very high energy requirements. I know that DieselJunki has been having issues keeping weight on Moose, so he should probably be fed at or above the recommended upper percentage recommended for his weight. Concerning both raw percentage guidelines and feeding charts for commercial foods, because I’ve always found myself typically needing to feed much more that what’s recommended I don’t pay too much attention to feeding recommendations. Feeding recommendations are useful as a starting point but not good for much more than that (imo). I much prefer calorie-counting as it’s accurate with any method of feeding (raw, kibble, etc.) and accounts for changes in energy density. If you know your dog needs 2,500 calories per day the dog will need 2,500 calories regardless of whether it’s eating a kibble or a high fat raw or a low fat raw, etc. It just doesn’t make sense to me to recommend that a dog eats a percentage of their body weight – some raw foods have as few as 30 kcal. per oz. while others have as much as 70 – how could a dog need the same amount of both foods?
I’ve got to totally agree with you, after all feeding recommendations don’t take into account seasonal differences either. It really is, by nature, a very limited concept, since metabolism, activity level, breed, age, reproductive statis, etc. all affect how much a dog needs to eat. To me it is a wonder that people even consider the possibility that they should be able to feed the amount suggested on a package.
I completely agree. People seem to be very concerned with feeding recommendations on the bag and whether or not their dog is eating the exact amount stated – I always say just look at your dog. If your dog is skinny feed it more, if your dog is fat feed it less. I mean, I don’t know many people that eat exactly the “recommended” 2,000 calories per day. Some people have to eat much less than that (feel bad for these people 🙁 ) and some, like me, have to eat much more than this. It’s just impossible to generalize – energy needs are dependent on so many factors.
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