To start off, we are very happy with NutriSource® Chicken and Rice Large Breed Puppy food... We're not looking to switch, I'm just wondering if we are feeding enough.
We have been feeding CoCo 1 cup twice a day for a few months... I think for a little while it was too much, and she was a chubster. *Now she is looking thinner (not too thin) as she has grown into this amount. *
I'm wondering when we should begin to up this amount, if at all?
I just checked their guidelines, and for a 7-12 month old that will be 50-75lbs at maturity, they recommend 3.5 - 4.5 cups per day... this is much higher than what CoCo receives. *
The food is 380 Calories per cup. *She will also get about 2Tbsp of peanut butter daily, along with an additional 1/4cup of kibble, a half banana or other fruit/veggie, and likely about 4 medium milkbones.
By my calculations, all of this adds up to about 1100 calories + the milkbones (don't have that info with me) in total.
CoCo is now 8 months and was 46lbs last Monday.
I have NO idea if this is too much, enough, whatever...!
~Jo & CoCo
If anything, at 8 months usually you're starting to cut back on their food. That being said, 1 cup twice a day does seem like a very small amount for a pup. Do you have any recent pics of her? If you can easily feel her ribs, but not see them, you should be fine. I'm still feeding Puzzle (6 months tomorrow) 4 cups of food. Piper (17 months) eats 3 cups.
Well, the more I think about it.... its 2 rounded cups... so lets say 2.5 cups... plus additional kibble in her Kong... so 2.75 cups all together.
She really was a bit TOO pudgy for a while, couldn't really feel her ribs, which is why we didn't up it anymore before... But she has definitely grown into it now. I don't think you can see her ribs, but I can feel them now. I did post some pics in Lab Chat, but they aren't really good ones to evaluate her weight. I'll see what I can do.
~Jo & CoCo
If she is chubby, then you should not up the food, or maybe you should up it a little --> The amount of calories you are giving/day IMO is very little for a puppy that is about 80% of her full grown weight. A full grown dog with no activity would need that amount of food. I think you should be somewhere around 1400-1700.
Has she lost a lot of weight recently or not gained any weight (she should still be getting bigger, but slowly)? If she has been on 1100/day for a significant time, I would think she would be pretty lean by now and I would up it. If you just reduced it to 1100/day, then it could take some time to see the weight go off, but at that few calories, once the body adjusts it will happen very quickly and you do not want that.
It is hard with a puppy though. You do not want her to lose weight. You want her to gain weight, but get leaner and bigger as she does. Does that make sense? I just don't think she will grow right at 1000-1100/day.
Again, I can not see your dog...so it is hard to tell - can you post a picture?
I tend to use this site as a starting point along with the low end of the bag and then factor in treats.
Well, she WAS chubby... but rather than reducing her food, we kept it the same as she got older, so now she isn't chubby anymore.
Perhaps we should up her food by a 1/2 cup per meal, and monitor her weight gain, keeping an eye (or a hand, I should say) on those ribs!
I'm quite sure she won't object..
~Jo & CoCo
PS, I feed my lab (6 month old lab)- 49 lbs - about 1900 calories/day - not including treats.
Right now his weigh is perfect. He started chubby when he was about 10 weeks, then got pretty skinny around 18 weeks. Now he is ideal, if anything, he is on the leaner side (which I prefer). If he gets chubby, I decrease it by 1/3 of a cup....if he gets too lean, I increase it about 1/3 cup.
1/3 of a cup over 2-3 meals is not much. For me it is about 43 calories/meal.
That sounds like a good idea to me! She sure won't complain.
Just keep an eye on her..if she gets chubby again, take out just a little bit at a time.
If she does not gain weight, you can always give her even a little more, but give it a week or two.
Good advice from gerst001. 2 cups isn't enough for a growing pup IMO.
My dogs were on around 4 cups a day at that age. I can't remember the exact age I reduced them to 3 cups but it was probably 12 months or so.
My 8 month old is eating about 1500 calories a day, but all the calories are from her food, which is also used as treats.
Each medium milkbone has 40 calories...yikes...and not "good" calories. Really, feeding a couple of tablespoons of peanut butter (about 200 calories) plus banana plus 160 calories worth of milkbones - that's a fairly significant portion of her daily intake. Might be enough to throw off the whole balance, especially if the kibble portion is on the low side. My vote would be to toss the milk bones and up the kibble. As mentioned, if she starts getting chubby, you know what to do!
FWIW here's my 2 cents...
I'm not sure how whats is CoCo's food compares to what is in Molly's but she eats 3 1/2 to 4 cups of food a day (some is used as kong stuffing if not she gets that extra 1/2 cup at dinner).
She weighs 63lbs and I can feel her ribs just fine but not see them She also runs around the yard like a googball with Abby and goes on 1 or 2 walks a day.
~Abby, Molly, and Penny (the honorary lab)