Someone who just got their Corgi puppy last week asked me how much she should feed him. It reminded me that I haven't talked about food a whole lot on this blog even though I meant to. Part of the reason is that food is a tricky subject. Every dog is different, just like people. Just like there are people who can eat chili cheese fries all day and still be a twig (damn them!), I'm sure there are dogs that can eat a lot of kibble and still keep their girlish figure.
First off you have to decide how often to feed them. Some people do once, some people twice, and some even more. I would say it depends on how old your dog is. When we first got Theo he was a young pup with a raging metabolism, so we fed him 3 times a day. Actually, I only just recently reduced him down to 2 meals a day. I don't think I'll ever feed him just once a day. How would you like to be fed once a day? I think it's better to spread it out into a morning and evening meal.
How much to feed your dog obviously depends on what you're feeding your dog. I've read that if you use high end kibbles you actually have to feed your dog less because their more nutrient rich. I don't know if that's true, but generally if I eat a chicken salad vs. junk food I don't get fuller any faster on the salad. If anything food with fillers make me feel full longer. I would just use the bag as a guideline for how much to feed. I say guideline because I've heard from more sources than I can count that dog food companies suggest too much food per meal (more kibble fed = more money for them). So try feeding a little less and see how that goes. I myself feed Theo a combination of a natural diet with a high end, high protein kibble mixed in. So obviously it's harder to determine what's the right amount to feed.
An important thing to keep in mind is the age of the dog you're feeding. When we first got Theo he was eating maybe a cup a day. That quickly changed as he got older and at one point he was probably up to ~2 1/2 cups a day. Now that he's older his metabolism is obviously slowing down so I've actually been feeding him less than I did 2 months ago. Interesting how that works! When I asked Bailey the Beagle's owner how much food she gets, she said a cup a day. Bailey is 5. She's also smaller than Theo so I'll never feed him that little. Right now I feed Theo about 1 1/2 cups per day. The point is that there's never any one answer for how much to feed a dog (which is probably why I never found good information on it). You have to look at your dog, their weight, their habits, their age, and judge accordingly.
Don't worry, your dog won't roll over and die if he's one pound overweight. There's a trick to see if your over or under feeding your dog. Feel your dog's ribs. Can you feel them? If you can't feel ribs put little Fido on a diet, he's a fatty! Look at what kind of food you're feeding and how much. If you're still feeding puppy food, it's probably time to switch to adult. If you feed 3 cups a day, try reducing to 2 1/2 cups. I know it's hard to change your dog's eating habits, but if you stick with it, it quickly becomes the norm.
If you can feel ribs, great! Can you count them? As in, if you move your hand over your dogs ribs can you distinguish each rib bone well enough to count them. If the answer is yes, give Fido a snack! He's too skinny! That's the happy medium you want. You want to be able to feel your dog's ribs but not count them. Hey, I can still feel my ribs, does that mean I'm not fat!? Hehe. Again, that's just a guideline. I can still feel Theo's ribs, but to me he still looks a little tubby sometimes, so I've been really watching what I feed him. But at the same time I think it's just him getting bigger and his "chest dropping". That's what one of my neighbors refers to it as, and it's true! When Corgis get bigger their chest seems to grow down. LOL!
So now that I've spilled the beans on Theo's eating habits, anyone who wants to join in tell us what you feed your dog, how much, and how often. Do you think I've left any important information out, or just gotten something wrong?
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