I have two mutts who I love dearly. Both females. Our older dog (9 yrs.) is a newfie mix (mom was newf- dad unknown) who is not as big as you would think. With her full coat, she is about 55 lbs. and with summer cut, she is about 45 lbs. Our younger girl (3 yrs.) is a tall, short-haired husky/pittie/godknowswhat mix. She usually weighs in at about 50-55 lbs.
I would love to feed them the same everyday kibble but my old girl runs to fat and my young girl runs to lean. We have been feeding them a kibble/ soft food mix with our lean dog getting a higher proportion of the soft food and our fattie just getting enough soft food so she doesn’t feel like she is missing out. However, lately I am concerned that our soft food (Bil-Jac frozen) is not as healthy for our dogs as the manufacturers would like us to believe and is most likely just a bunch of meat-flavored fillers. My dogs are fed twice a day and are walked for about a mile everyday. Sometimes we can get two walks in but not that often.
My question for you fine people is, “is there a decent quality and tasty kibble that I can feed both of my dogs while maintaining their healthy weights? I don’t want my old girl getting too fat and I don’t want the husky getting too skinny. Any ideas?
Each dog is an individual and what works for one, might not work best for another. Since I have multiple dogs, I find it easiest to find a food that works for all, and increase or decrease based on calorie requirements. My baseline kibble is a good 50-50 mix of 5 star or 4 star foods, grain free and grain inclusive. Add in toppers and we are good to go. I started with the calculator to determine a kcal starting point and simply went from there.As long as the food is a decent quality, and does not cause issues for either(skin, ears, stomach etc) you should be able to maintain both on one with serving size variation.
Check out Sojo’s products, they’re a less expensive but good quality dehydrated food. They have a grain-free mix where you can add your choice of meat. That’s the one I buy. It is easy enough to make and my dog really loves it. I believe dogs will be healthier if they eat a more natural, moist food.
I also like MelissaandCrew’s suggestion about serving size variation. You can just measure their food into proper portion sizes, depending on which dog it is for.
We’ve always had two dogs, usually three and the times I have one food here is rare. Good luck!
Due to the fact that all dogs are different, in terms of what they like and what works for them (same with humans), it’s going to take a bit of trail and error to find what works for you. Thankfully, most good foods will offer free samples, which you can bring to your dogs to first make sure they’ll eat it. After that you can purchase small bags to feed them, and monitor how they do with it (firm stools, good weight, etc).
I’d go with a food that is grain free and higher in protein, whether that be kibble or whatever type. A dog’s system is designed to process protein, rather than carbohydrates, so your big dog won’t gain too much weight due to grains and carbs, and your little dog will be able to get more out of the protein-rich food and put on some weight.
What it will come down to, I believe, is that you can’t just free feed them. Meaning that you simply keep their food bowls full, and let them eat at their own leisure. If you think of them as children, you’ll know that they aren’t going to regulate how much they should or shouldn’t eat… that’s mom’s job. I know it can makes things tougher, but as long as you’re having weight issues then I don’t see any way around it.
What kibble are you feeding? I have three dogs that all eat the same things whether it’s kibble, canned or other form. My group doesn’t have any GI issues. I only adjust the amount fed since two are 24 lbs and one is 30. And one is 8 yrs old while the others are 5. My foster dogs all eat the same kibble as well. I only adjust the amount fed. And my fosters range in ages and sizes. I also rotate their kibble between two or three flavors and will use various canned food toppers. I weigh the dogs monthly and adjust their food amount accordingly.
Thank you all for your responses. Pugmomsandy, unfortunately, I have been giving my dogs crappy grocery store kibble. I thought that mixing it with a “premium” soft food like Bil-Jac frozen would give added nutrition. Sadly, I have learned this is not the case as Bil-Jac has very low ratings on this and other websites. Yes, I have practically been poisoning my dogs for the past three years. 🙁
I imagine I will need to follow Melissa’s advice and adjust serving sizes using trial and error. After doing some research, I think Taste of the Wild will probably fit best for our needs and budget.
I was worried that my older dog would feel deprived but according to the food calculator, she can have 3.5 cups of food per day, which is pretty close to what she had been getting with the old mix. I just hope she enjoys the taste of Taste of the Wild without the need for tasty toppers.
The good news is both dogs are at their ideal weights right now so we just need to maintain.
Thanks for your help. This forum is a great resource!
Yes it it is trial and error sometimes on picking a food(s) that work well for all dogs and feeding amounts. But also when you feed a “better” food, they generally require less of it. On Beneful I would have fed more than 1 cup, but on my current “better” kibble, they get 2/3 cup and actually gained muscle mass and weigh more and would be considered overweight but are still not fat according to “body condition score”. So keep that in mind as well. Also the calculator is a guideline. My dogs require less than what the calculator says, but they are pugs – not active!
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