When I brought Miles home, my breeder said to feed 3/4 cup 3x per day. I did but reduced a little to make up for the kibble I used for training and treats for potty. Yesterday, I realized I might have been underfeeding and increased it a bit and but he still is very enthusiastic about mealtime.
I took him to the vet today and they told me to let him eat as much as he wants but limit to 10 minutes for each meal. Let him eat until he stops OR stop at 10 minutes whichever comes first. They said he's hungry and we don't want him to start getting territorial or possessive about food. At first, he will eat the whole 10 minutes, in time, he'll stop and actually let me know when he is ready to give up the mid-day meal.
Well, I did that and my poor guy. I did this at lunch time and he ate and ate and I stopped at 10 minutes and his belly is so big and all he wants to do is sleep. I feel like I made my poor baby sick! :'(
I hope he's okay. My husband says to let him sleep it off and see how he is after a good poop tomorrow. I hope I didn't hurt him. :'(
What the heck was the VET thinking advising you to do that!?
Most labs will eat til they get sick.
Ender allways acts if he's starving.. seriously I wouln't change the amount Miles gets unless he is getting too fat or too skinny. And definitely follow the breeder's instructions... he/she knows her pups far better than the vet and what works for them. Assuming she is a responsible breeder.
BTW... Ender allways acts as if he's starved and I tend to feed a little less rather than over feed because he is allready so big and I'm concerned about him putting too much weight on those growing joints and also if he over eats he will probably have loose stool.
Ender has NEVER shown any signs of aggression and we've been doing this for 1.5 months now. He has to sit/stay in order to get his food and periodically deal with us putting our hands in his bowl and taking the bowl away momentarilly... he just sits there like... "can I eat now?"
Why did you think you were underfeeding him? Do you have a top down picture you can post? Does he have a "waist"... can you feel his ribs but not see them? If so... then he's probably at a good weight. If you are really concerned that he is over fed, post some top down pictures and side view pictures in Lab Chat and hopefully some of the professional breeders will let you know if he is the right weight.
Same thing our vet said. We were told to feed Josie 2 times a day. Leave her food dish down for 30 minutes and let her eat all of it or as much as she can then take it up. Usually the 30 minutes is more like 10-15 minutes before she is licking the bowl clean. This is what we have been doing since we got her and it seem's to be working for Josie. I just thought her being 7 months old she would be a little heavier that she is(40lb)
Aaaawwww....you're only trying to do what's best for Miles.
When we brought ours home, our breeder gave feeding instructions; they were the same as you were doing. 3/4 c. 3x/day..moisten with water. The vet agreed this was correct. Don't beat yourself up...you're trying to do the best, and you can get conflicting advice.
Lindsay, I think I was underfeeding him the first 2 days because when I actually measured on Sunday it looked like alot more food. I gave that info because I think that's why he was eating like that. The poor guy was hungry. I increased on Sunday/Monday and he got better. The vet suggested what he suggested because I told him how he behaved at feeding time (he asked how fast he eats his meals). His weight is just fine and the doc said he's a very healthy pup. He is just concerned about food guarding.
I think I am not going to do what he told me. I am going to feed a bit more than 3/4 3x per day for 2 reasons. 1) Breeders instructins say to increas to 1 cup 3x per day at 9 weeks and 2) He's alot bigger than he was last Friday and bigger than most his age so I think he needs it. He weighs 16.4 pounds!!
I do like this vet. He's very caring and he spent alot of time with Miles and that meant alot to me. this just didn't work for us.
He feels much better now, by the way. My little guy is back.
Ahhhh.... I see. I thought maybe you were taking his appetite for an indication of under-feeding which wouldn't work with Ender (or Miles it seems) since they both will literally eat themselves sick.
We have a scoop that is 1 cup and I love it... I think they sell them at the pet supply places... it stays in the tub with the food and that way regardless of who feeds him, it is the same amount.
Regarding the vet... it's kind of obvious to me that if he doesn't know enough about labs to know that they will usually eat themselves sick, then I wouldn't rely on him for lab specific advice. Yes the general heath checkups and heartworm/flea/tick medications would probably be fine... but I would stay away from asking him/her for lab advice such as proper weight on those joints, feeding, temperment etc. Just my humble opinion.
Miles is such a cutie pie... WE NEED MORE PICTURES!!!