I was feeding Rowan 3.5 cups of food twice daily but noticed she is getting chunky. I have cut her back to 2 3/4 cups now but was wondering ~ how will I know if she is really hungry??
I have also cut out the knuckle bones, biscuits(for the most part) ~ she gets one biscuit a day and a kong every couple of days with yogurt and bananas... and a bully stick every few days.
If she is constantly bugging you (and only you know those signs) then she may well be hungry but I wouldn't look into it too much. Labs can be deceitful. If she is on a high quality food and has a moderate amount of activity, I think 2 3/4 cups is plenty. If you take a look at the "What food to you feed your Lab" thread in Lab Chat, you'll see that the large majority of people feed between 2-3 cups per day.
If it really worries you, try adding some green beans to each meal. They make good 'empty calorie' fillers.
If she's breathing and she's a lab, she's probably hungry. Really. If I fed my dogs what they think I should feed them they would resemble hot air balloons. Her stomach will adjust to the smaller portions and she will be fine. She's still getting a good bit of food - my girls only get 1 cup twice daily.Originally Posted by Dawson Creek Girl
As the warmer weather gets here she will be getting more activity ~ I feed her Nutro's - Ultra Large Breed Puppy.
I was out walking her yesterday evening after a windstorm.. and our trail is so blown in that I was up to my waist in snow. NEedless to say, poor Rowan got a good work out too as I was sure sweating upon my return. We won't be tackling the trail today ~ it will be yard play sessions.
I agree with what Trickster & Labsrme said -- most Labs need their people to monitor their food intake because they won't regulate themselves appropriately. You can tell from appearance (especially from above, the "Coke bottle" waist) and, as Trickster said, from your "reading" of her behavior.
How old is Rowan? As puppies get older, their need for extra food intake decreases because they've gotten closer to adult height and weight. When they start out, they need about 2X the amount that an adult of that same weight would normally need for maintenance. Then as they reach about 8-10 months, that multiplier has declined.
My Puff is one of the rare (10%) of Labs that self-regulates her food intake. At 9 weeks age and 6 lbs, she maybe ate a little over a cup a day. She kept eating more and more until she was about 9 months old and eating 5 cups/day.
Then she suddenly stopped eating for a day or so and when she resumed, she ate less. Then we went through more episodes like that until we reached her current level of eating 1 1/4 cups/meal, 2X/day.
Puff [YF, AKC field line (from competing HT/FT breeder) 62 lbs, dob: 8-'01]
Bess [BF, AKC bench line (from competing show breeder) 55 lbs., 1967-1981] "Poor Bess, the Wonder Dog":
Rowan is 8 months old now ~ and no, I don't think she has the coke bottle thing happening... she needs to loose a few pounds. She goes for her spaying on the 5th of April so I will be touching base about that issue with the vet ~ she is of show type so I and I know her Daddy is 'stalker' so maybe she is dealing with that too.
Wow, I was just logging on to ask this same question!! I have been feeding my two Nutro LB lamb & rice
that has 318 k/cals a cup and I'm switching them over (Slowly) to California natural chicken & rice at 514 k/cals a cup. I am going to have to reduce their food by about a cup a day! I was going to ask if their stomachs would shrink eventually to where they wont feel starved to death all the time? I am planning on adding green beans to their dinners every night to help out. How long do you all think it will take for them to get used to this amount?
We do 2 cups a day (1 each meal) and this way they can still have treats. We watch them closely and adjust as necessary. Right now, Maddy just needs more exercise...
Dawson Creek girl,
I love the new pic of Rowan !