Feeding Guideline Labels

Dog Food Advisor Forums Editors Choice Forum Feeding Guideline Labels

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  • #75496 Report Abuse

    I know that feeding labels on dog food are just suggestions based on weight and estimation of caloric intake, but my dogs eat nowhere near the amounts on the food.

    I’ve been transitioning my two dogs (6 year old american bulldog mix – 110 pounds, 6 month old Mega Mutt™- 20 pounds) from Organix to Whole Earth Farms and the Feeding Guidelines says that the larger dog should eat 5 3/4 cups per day and the puppy 2- 4.5 cups per day (at the bottom of the guideline is says that puppies can eat 2x -3x of the listed “adult recommendation”)

    It’s harder now since I’m transitioning between the old food and the new food so they won’t have digestive upset. But even before this, the dogs didn’t consume as much as Organix recommended (2¾ – 3¼ cups for the large dog, 2 ½ – 4 cups for the puppy).

    From their official websites:
    (Adult Food) “Calorie Content (calculated): 3,570 kcal ME/kg, 394.0 kcal ME/cup”
    (Puppy Food) “Calorie Content (calculated): 3,628 kcal ME/kg, 400.0 kcal ME/cup”

    Whole Earth Farms
    (All Life Stage Food) “3500 kcal/kg – 1 cup (100 grams) provides 350 kcal of metabolizable energy, calculated value.”

    The dogs are supposed to consume X amount of calories to maintain good weight (adult) and grow (puppy), but if they’re not eating the recommended (smaller) amount of the Organix, how am I going to get them to eat even more of the WEF?

    I mix in a couple of spoonfuls (about 1/4 can for both dogs) of the canned WEF in each meal or else they’re not very interested. And I know you’re not supposed to leave dry food that’s mixed with wet out for very long, so I’ve wound up wasted all this extra food that they won’t eat.

    When I first rescued the puppy (two months ago), I discovered last month that she had tapeworms. She seemed petite (my vet’s words) for her size (her DNA results came out so mixed that there’s nothing to really compare her to) and she was very hungry all the time. We’ve attributed that to the worms. Now, after treatment, she has definitely grown in size and weight and I’ve stopped free eating dry kibble and now feed both dogs two meals a day. She’s not as voraciously hungry as before (she would eat her puppy food and then eat the adult food in my other dog’s bowl…the primary reason that I’m switching to a food that is good for both of them to eat).

    Both dogs probably eat about half of what is recommended daily. Is this problematic? Both are fairly active. I try not to give too many treats, and only after meal time. I figure that as long as they seems healthy and aren’t losing weight that they’re eating enough.

    Can the guidelines be that far off the mark?

    #75497 Report Abuse
    Lori R

    It sounds like your dogs are healthy. I think you need to not put so much weight on the feeding guidelines. Animals (dogs cats horses) will only eat what they need most of the time. It would probably be better to cut back the amount of food to the amount they are consuming right now. As long as they are maintaining weight they are absolutely fine. Keep an eye on them and if their weight drops add a small amount at a time (1/8 to 1/4 cup) until their weight goes back to where you want it and they are cleaning up their food. Their appetites will change with activity, weather, etc. My dog (mini aussie) has decreased his intake due to the heart. Hope this helps….

    #75498 Report Abuse
    Lori R

    I meant heat not heart…

    #75505 Report Abuse

    Hi Christie- I would absolutely take the feeding guidelines as just that, guidelines. I do read them but I know how much my dog can eat and I know how much I need to feed to keep him at his ideal weight.

    Looking at the dry matter anaylsis for both Organix and WEF it looks like everything is similar % wise. Try feeding the same amount as the Organix and moniter their weight. If they lose too much feed a little more until they are maintaining ideal weight.

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