How much should I feed my dog, and why does it vary so much? – Part 2

Nutrition Your Questions Answered

Hello, I’m Bill Wiadrowski from LifeWise Pet Nutrition and today we are looking at Part Two of the question “How much food does my dog need and why does it vary so much?”

In Part One we looked at the issues concerning the efficiency of use in the dog relatively to the design of the diet and how appropriate that was to the physiological age of the dog. In Part Two we are going to look at the other aspect and that is the use of the nutrients within the body.

What happens when we start feeding a dog on a highly efficient diet, such as the LifeWise food we immediate see this sort of action.. so we would normally be feeding along here with passage of time, and we get to this point here where we change onto a LifeWise food and it’s quite common to see an actual reduction in the immediate amount of food that the dog eats.  This is simply a function of the efficiency of use – having functional nutrition and genetic nutrition balanced means that less food is required to do the same job so you see that reflected in the amount of food that the dog eats.

Over the ensuing three months some other changes occur. Basically what happens in the next three month period is that we get a gradual decline in the amount of food and this is in keeping with blood nutrient levels coming into balance in the body. It takes three months for the blood nutrients levels to stabilise once you change the diet so as that stabilisation occurs we use less food again. Once we get past that three month period the amount of food evens out ,so our graph just goes along in a straight line.  The position of that straight line is in keeping with the other factors we looked at in Part One of this series about whether it be summer or winter.

One of the most common complaints, or not necessarily a complaint but one of the common queries we get relates to around this three month period. Many people after a few month contact us and say “The dog doesn’t like the food any more, what’s going on?”  It’s actually not a factor that the dog doesn’t like the food, what it is it’s an indication that the blood nutrient levels are stabilising and the dog doesn’t need the food. So he/she is becoming a lot more blasé about eating his/her meal. There’s many a time when we find out dogs here, we give them some food and they just look at it and they walk away and they come back later – they simply aren’t hungry.

If the dog’s condition is right, the coat’s nice and shiny, healthy covering and they’re happy and relaxed then you know that the food is doing the job – don’t worry about it, they’ll come back eat something when they’re hungry.

So that’s the story, that’s what really governs what the intake is and how it affects the animal. The efficiency of food is all about using the least amount of food, that is the healthiest way to feed a dog. The concept of more being better, simply doesn’t work in nutrition, when you get the balance right you don’t use much food, the efficiency of the dog is enhanced, the stress on the body is reduced by virtue of minimising nutritional stress. And let’s face it, with our domestic dogs these days, nutritional stress is often as not one of the biggest stressors in the dog’s life, and if we can reduce stress they are happier, healthier, live longer and above all enjoy a far higher quality of life.

So there you go, those are some of the factors that influence how much food your dog will eat and how LifeWise can help with the health and wellbeing of your animal.

So if you’ve got another question, please send it in and we’ll get to that one as well, but in the meantime – see you next time.

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