I started my dog on Acana puppy large breed (5 stars rated, 55% meat) and I’m very pleased with it. However, a dog trainer I know, recently told me that because we feed smaller amount in rich quality dog foods, while this amount is enough for the physical needs of the dog, it doesn’t fill the dog’s belly, so the dog doesn’t feel full. And I can not add more food to the daily amount, because then the dog will gain weight.
What do you think about it? I want to feed my dog quality food, but I don’t want him to be hungry all the time… I now feed him 150g less then in his former food ( it’s 400g per day, and he’s 25 kg, but in the adult food it’s less then that). Is there anyway of knowing if a dog is really hungry?
I’d be happy to hear any thought or opinions from anyone!
Hound Dog MomParticipant
Hi boxermom –
You need to feed your dog whatever amount of food keeps it in optimal body condition – generally, higher quality foods are more calorie-dense (because they contain less filler) so the dog will require a smaller volume of food. Most dogs will want to eat more than they need. Some people have luck adding vegetables to the food (high fiber and low caloric density) to bulk up the meal. Personally, as long as the dog is in good body condition I’d ignore any “begging” for more food.
Is your dog doing anything to tell you he’s not getting enough? Because if he’s fine, he’s fine. Don’t let someone who is trying to justify feeding a lower quality feed bother you. You can increase the volume of his food by adding water and letting it soak in and not affect the quality of the food. Too much added fiber can affect the mineral absoption in the intestines, so if you decide you need to do that don’t go crazy. I have to agree with HDM, most dogs want to eat more than they should, ignore begging. I go one step further and put mine to work if they are begging, but they’re Border Collies, they need a job to be happy.
BTW, just like in people, their stomachs grow to accomodate the amount they eat, if they are consistantly fed a smaller amount, their stomach shrinks. So this trainer is full o’ bull.
Hound Dog MomParticipant
Assuming they’re comprising a reasonable portion of the diet (<20%), adding vegetables to increase the bulk of the dog's diet isn't going to result in nutrient absorption issues. These issues tend to arise when "isolated fibers" (non-whole food fibers) are fed in high quantities – i.e.) fruit pectin, beet pulp, pea fiber, cellulose, peanut hulls, bran, etc. It also appears that rapidly fermentable fibers (such as guar gum and pectins) are the fibers that decrease the availability of certain nutrients (namely zinc, calcium, iron and phosphorus), while fibers that contain more cellulose have little effect on mineral absorption. Vegetables are vitamin and mineral rich whole foods, to add a few spoonfuls of pumpkin or a small amount of steamed low glycemic vegetables to a meal is not going to result in a mineral deficiency – if anything it would enhance the nutrient value of the meal in addition to allowing the dog to eat a greater volume of food without having a significant impact on caloric intake.
Thank you very much for your comments Hound Dog Mom and Pattyvaughn!
My dog is not really begging, he never get food at the table so I guess he know it wouldn’t help 🙂 But what he do is going to his empty bowl and lick it every once in a while, which hardly never happened before. Plus he finishes the food super-fast. With the former food, it would stay in the bowl for a few hours before he’d eat it… And he almost never went to the empty bowl to lick it (if it would happen, I usually gave him some more food, because he would never eat his entire daily amount).
Your answers did calm my guilt though.. I think for now I won’t add vegetables because I want to wait and see if his stool firm up before making any changes (soft stool is why I changed the food to begin with). I’ll keep follow and see if he gets used to the smaller amount.
Going to the bowl and licking is a sign that he really likes his new food, nothing more.
I’m glad to hear that! Thanks!
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