Get Your Dog Care Questions Answered by Experts
All dogs are different, even if they are the same weight, it has alot to do with their activity level and their basic health level.I have supplied some information below about daily nutritional guidelines for dogs and some tips for keeping your dog's weight maintained. If your dog has a problem maintaining their weight then you should first rule out any health issues that could be causing the weight loss. If you dog is very lean then I suggest increasing the calorie intake by 25% by what the standards state on the food you are feeding and this should help keep the weight up on your dog. I suggest reading the tips below as they can be very helpful in proper nutrician for your dog. Calorie intake depends on the dogs activity level, wellness level, and of course weight. Follow the instructions on any AAFCO approved food for your dog, and if you are feeding the recommended daily allowance and your dog is not keeping their weight up or is losing weight that is a sign to increase the intake to a higher calorie type dog food.
Good nutrition and a balanced diet are essential elements for good health in a dog. Your dog needs plenty of fresh water and should be fed good quality food in amounts just right to meet his energy requirements. Inadequate or excess intake of nutrients can be equally harmful. Most dry dog foods are soybean, corn or rice based. Some of the better brands have meat or fish meal as the first listed ingredient. Although higher priced, they are worth looking into. Dogs eat less of the higher quality products, thus reducing the cost. Dry dog foods also have greater "caloric density" which means simply, there is less water in a cup of food as compared to a canned food diet. This is not a big issue for our smaller canine friends, but large dogs may have difficulty eating enough volume of canned food to fulfill their caloric needs (because they also get a lot of water in that food). Overall, the choice of "dry" vs. "canned" vs. "semi-moist" is an individual one, but larger dogs (such as those greater than 30 pounds) should be fed a dry or semi-moist food in most circumstances Proteins, fats and carbohydrates are necessary for energy. Dietary requirements for dogs can vary according to activity and stress levels and medical history. Dogs expend energy in many different ways. For example, outdoor dogs are likely to experience increased levels of exercise and thus require a higher percentage of protein and fat for energy production than a dog who stays indoors most of the time. Dogs in various life stages [including puppy ("growth"), adult and senior ("geriatric")] require different amounts of nutrients. Special situations such as pregnancy and nursing puppies can dramatically affect nutritional needs. Working dogs need more calories, while the "couch potato" needs less (just like us!). The Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) is an organization that publishes regulations for nutritional adequacy of "complete and balanced" dog and cat foods. Your pet’s food should conform to minimal AAFCO standards. Diets that fulfill the AAFCO regulations will state on the label: "formulated to meet the AAFCO Dog Food Nutrient Profile for…(a given life stage).Recommendations
How much to feed?The best determinant of the amount of food to feed is the dog himself. Food intake in all animals is governed principally by energy requirements. When dogs are successfully fed freely, the underlying control over the amount of food that is consumed is primarily the need for energy. When dogs are fed on a portion-controlled basis, owners should select a quantity of food based primarily on the pet's weight and body condition. If the dog gains too much weight (energy surplus), the amount should be decreased. Conversely, if weight is lost, an increased amount of food is provided. Commercial pet foods that are sold for particular life stages or lifestyles are formulated to contain the proper amount of essential nutrients when a quantity is fed that meets the dog's energy requirements. Balancing energy density with nutrient content ensures that when a dog's caloric needs are met, its needs for all other essential nutrients will be met by the same quantity of food. Therefore, the best way to determine how much to feed a particular dog is first to estimate the animal's energy needs, then calculate the amount of an appropriate food that must be fed to meet that need. http://www.1stchoice.ca/en/fiches/fiches_chiens_nourrir.asp