HOW OFTEN DO I FEED?
Some of this depends on your dog, but here are some general “guidelines”.
Start off with the suggested schedule here, but make adjustments as necessary. Your dog will tell you/show you what it prefers; for example, if you feed twice a day and it starts refusing a meal, feed only once a day. For puppies under 4-5 months of age, feed 3 times a day. If your pup consistently refuses one of the meals, move to 2 times a day.
Young pups such as these 5 wks need feeding 3 x daily
. Here we have 16 week old pup Judd, I would feed 2 x daily.
Dogs over 6 months of age can eat 2 times a day. If your dog indicates that it only needs one meal per day, then switch to one meal per day.
A dog can be moved to one meal per day a) when it tells you it is ready, or b) after it has finished its period of rapid growth (usually around one year), or c) never. Some dogs do much better on two meals a day, and some prefer one meal a day. Let your dog dictate how often you feed it. Many raw feeders generally feed one meal a day so that the dog can get as big of a raw meaty bone as possible, but all follow the rule of thumb—KNOW YOUR DOG! Their dogs told/showed them that they preferred or did better on one meal.
A dog that is out of puppy hood and over one year of age can safely be fasted for a day as long as more food is fed on the other days to make up for that day without food. Fasting is implemented by many raw feeders with great results, and mimics a condition seen commonly in wild canids. Fasting is known to have wonderful benefits in cleansing and toning the body while helping the dog lay down muscle, not fat. The fast also allows raw feeders to feed bigger raw meaty bones on the other days and gives the digestive system a “break”.
One technique commonly used with fasting is called the “Gorge and Fast” technique. The dog receives a large meal the night before the fast, and then fasts the entire next day. Some people give a light breakfast the morning after the fast, while others just wait until evening to feed the dog its full meal. Some feeders incorporate this technique even further by having several fasts per week, each preceded by a gorge night (where the dog may eat something like a whole chicken or a whole turkey or half a goat in one sitting). This mimics a more natural way of eating and allows the dog to actually eat until it is full, allowing the stomach and intestines to fully function as they were designed to. Regardless of what method you choose, once the dog is old enough/ready, at least one day of fasting should be incorporated. Often the dog will dictate this for you, particularly if it has had a large meal the day before.
If your dog eats sporadically—heartily one day, then picking at food the next—incorporate a fast day on the day your dog would usually be picking at its food. Also keep in mind that canids are incredible faster and can go for weeks without food (Wolves: Behaviour, Ecology, and Conservation.).
Beta, Bronx & Balco all in perfect condition..
HOW MUCH DO I FEED? This will also vary with your dog. A dog that is more active and has a higher metabolism will eat more, while a less active dog or one with a slower metabolism will eat less. Puppies will typically eat more than adults, since they need to fuel their rapidly growing body.
The recommended food amount is 2-3% of your dog’s desired body weight per day. So for a 100lb dog, you will be feeding 2-3 pounds of food a day. If you are gorging and fasting, you may be feeding 6 pounds or more on a gorge day. A highly active dog may need closer to 3%, while a dog with slower metabolism may need closer to 2%.
How do you know if your dog is too fat or thin? You should be able to easily feel your dog’s ribs and even see the outline of the last few floating ribs at the end of the ribcage that attaches to the vertebrae of the spine closest to the hips. You should not be able to see ALL the ribs, or the hip bones, or the vertebrae of the spine, just the outline of the last few floating ribs. If you stand above your dog, he should have a definite waist between his hips and ribcage. Remember that dogs are built differently from each other, so some may have a naturally stocky body that will not give you a waist no matter what you do. Know your dog.
Kong can not wait to get stuck in to his all natural meal..
For a puppy, feed 2-3% of his expected adult body weight per day. Puppies under 4 months of age are very good at self-regulating their food intake, and can be given the opportunity to eat at a carcass or raw meaty bone until they are full at each meal.
Pick up the leftovers and feed them later. If the puppy starts gorging himself to the point he has a huge, swollen, distended belly, or if he is getting fat, regulate his portions at 2-3% of his adult body weight per day. If the pup is looking very skinny and is not putting on weight, get a fecal sample done to make sure he does not have worms, and then up his food intake if needed. Keep in mind that puppies grow at a slower, more regulated rate on raw food than on commercial foods. This translates to less chance of developing the bone and joint problems seen in puppies fed commercial foods.
Do not force feed your pup in an effort to make it grow faster or bigger.
For an overweight dog: determine the desired body weight and then feed 2-3% of that ideal body weight per day. For an underweight dog: determine the desired body weight and feed 2-3% of that desired weight per day. For maintenance: feed 2-3% of the dog’s current body weight per day and adjust the food amount as needed.
Not hard to see fat from skinny and a perfectly conditioned Rottweiler in these pics..
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Below is an X-ray of a 2 week old puppy.
Look at how far the bones have to grow before they become a proper bony joint! This is why you should never let puppies jump, walk up/down stairs, over exercise or over train. Doing too much impact activity at a young age will cause serious issues later in life, or even at a young age as hip dysplasia and other orthopaedic conditions are rising in puppies!
Its always best to keep your pup a bit on the lean side rather than having an overweight pup.