Hello! My 5 month old is currently eating approx 4 cups split 3x day...I use carrots and apples for treats but she's starting to look a little pudgy (gets plenty of exercise!). Is there a general standard or do I just reduce little by little until I can visually see the result. Do I need to wait until 6 months to reduce to 2x day as well?
Thanks in advance!
What kind of food are you feeding? From what I've seen the cheap dog food bag says to feed almost twice as much as a good more expensive nutrituious food. Also keep in mind that most dog food companys label the bags wrong and tell you to feed your dog way more than he needs. They're in the business of selling dog food and thats one of the key reasons there are so many overweight dogs out there. Thats what my vet says anyway.
I looked at a bag of purina puppy chow and for odies weight 19lbs, it says to feed up to 5 1/2 cups a day. This tells me that puppy chow is full of corn or some other kind of filler.
On the bag of Natural Choice, which is what Odie eats, it says to feed a maximum of 2 1/2 cups a day. Right now he's eating 2 cups a day spit twice a day, and appears to be doing just fine.
I don't think there's any general standard for Labs because there's such a HUGE variation in developmental rates and sizes (with adult Labs ranging 45 - 140 lbs).
I'm lucky that my Puff is one of the rare 10% of Labs that was "self-regulating" in her puppyhood and earlier adult life. (She's a little less so now.)
Puff went from eating about a cup of food a day when she was 6 lbs at 9 weeks age to eating 5 cups/day (divided into 2 meals) at 8-9 months when she weighed 50 lbs.
Then she stopped eating for a couple days and when she did eat, she ate only part of her food.
I looked up puppy nutrition in several dog vet books. The UC-Davis "Book of Dogs" says, for instance, that when puppies are very young they need to eat about 2X the amount of food that an adult dog of that same weight would need.
BUT, as they approach maturity, that need multiplier decreases from 2X down to 1X -- with 1X meaning they need the same amount an adult dog of that weight should eat.
Puff leveled off in her food consumption to 2 -2¼ cups/day at around 12 months and 55 lbs.
Do you put down her food and leave it or take it up after 15 minutes? The 15 minute limit helps some dogs.
How much does she weigh and at what age (in days or weeks)? How many kcals per cup is the food you're feeding? (If it does not say on the bag, call the tool free customer service number listed and ask them.)
If it's any consolation to you, it's healthier for your Lab to be slightly underfed rather than fed a "normal" amount or overfed.
See this study which has been confirmed by similar results on many animal species:
ETA -- phrase inserted in red
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":
wow. I don't think I ever fed either of my two boys 4 c. at any point in their lives. My pups always went straight to 2x a day feedings at 9 weeks old. You need to do whatever you feel is right, what are you feeding?
I also switch my dogs from puppy to adult at 5 months, and feed them based on the kcals in the food...not by the bag recommendation....and I figure that to include the kcals i give in treats.
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she's on ProPlan Chicken and Rice Adult..almost 4... 3 and 3/4 cups spread over 3 meals...she's about 50 lbs..huge paws...not fat by any means just a little meaty...I think I'll start by cutting her down to 3
p.s. she definately not self regulating! she's a chow hound.....
I would start to cut it down some and going to two meals now should be more than fine. Then just watch her and see how she looks and go from there.
Mocha gets 2 cups a day and has since she was probably about 7-8 months old but she pretty much stopped growing at 7 months.
I use Nutro Large dog breed...He eats 3 Cups a day(he is 3 months) and yes its 40 bucks a bag BUT compair the feedings amount of Ol'roy cheap food and it said 4 cups a feeding 2 times a day and that bag wont last nearly as long as the other and my dog was SOO gassy and skinny looking on the walmart stuff..this nutro food giving him a REALLY nice cut and muscle tone.But if you go on the webpage for the food you use it should give you details on the amount to feed and when to lower it and so on