Feeding Guides explained – Why do your feeding rate guides seem low?
Hi, I’m Bill Wiadrowski from LifeWise Pet Nutrition and today’s question comes from Graeme who is querying the feeding guide that’s on the back of the LifeWise bags. He says it doesn’t seem to be enough, what’s the story?
Well Graeme, it can be enough and sometimes it’s not enough, it just really does depend an awful lot on the dog. From a manufacturer’s point of view of writing a label, we can only put down what the average dog is going to eat, but of course we don’t know what your dog is relative to the average, or for that matter what is an average dog. The amount of food the dog requires is going to be determined from a number of factors;
- environmental considerations (for example how hot it is, how cold it is),
- his level of activity is a big governing factor as to how much he eats; and the other one of course is
- genetic make-up (is he a nervous dog?, is he a calm dog?) because nervousness consumes a lot of food
So we have to make allowances for all of those factors. So when it comes to a feeding guide that’s on the back of the bag that is really just an indication and you have to bear that in mind appropriately to what sort of dog you have and how that dog leads its life.
The best way to do it is to start off at a-roundabout the same amount of food as you were feeding previously from the food that you are changing from, and then watch the condition of the dog and just adjust your feeding rate to suit. Remember that over the first three months after you change, the actual amount of food that the dog needs is going to reduce as his blood nutrient levels stabilise, so that’s going to affect how much he eats.
Of course going from summer into winter is going to increase the amount of food required to actually allow for generation of body heat in cold times. and similarly going from winter back into summer the amount of food required is going to reduce.
So whilst the table on the back of the bag is a handy hint as to what your dog should be eating, it really is only a general guide. Ultimately it comes down to body condition and we always say you must feed to body condition! We want the animal in just the right condition, we don’t want him fat, we don’t want him skinny we want him just right – happy and healthy.
So there you go Graeme, hope that answers your question, if you need any more information, please get in touch and we’ll be delighted to address that as well. So until then, we’ll see you next time.