Parker is now 8.5 months old. He gets four cups of Pro Plan once a day. He gobbles that down like there's no tomorrow then starts looking around for more. Is that not enough food. He also gets various chewies and small treats over the course of the day. If that is enough food, how do I get him to slow down the eating and stop gobbling. Thanks
Is he in good condition? can you feel his ribs? if he is fit and healthy (energetic, good coat, well muscled, etc.) you are probably feeding him the perfect amount. If he is a little on the thin side you are probably not feeding enough. If he is too chunky (struggle to feel ribs, etc.) he could probably loose a few. Not rocket science I know but looking at a dogs physical condition is usually the best indicator of how much to feed.
There are a number of ways to get them to slow down and chew their food. For example, you can spread out his kibble across the floor. You can do this in the yard if you think it will make a mess. You could also put a large rock (large enough for him not to swallow!) so he has to eat around the rock.
I'd split his food into two meals as well, 2 cups twice a day, maybe? That'll decrease your chance of bloat, as well.
Here's a good reference to tell if he's too chubby/thin, etc. http://www.purina.com/dogs/health/Ad...yCondChart.pdf
And another: http://vet.osu.edu/1851.htm
Hope that helps!
Baloo - 5 year old black lab
Peanut - 7 year old minpin
Monster - 3-ish year old frenchie/jack, rescue
There's no easy answer to your question. For one thing, we don't know how much he weighs.
Growing pups (say 8 weeks old) start off needing about 2X the amount of food that a year old dog of that same weight would need.
As Labs get toward 8 months (or 7 or 10, depending on the particular line), their need for extra food to facilitate growth gets closer to 1.2X or maybe even 1X the amount of food that a mature, adult dog of that same weight would need.
But one of several problems is that many, maybe most Labs are gluttons and need to be limited in the amount available to eat because otherwise they'll overdo it. So you need to be able to judge your Lab's condition.
Another problem is the huge range of shapes for "Labs". In the US, "field line" Labs are typically leggier, leaner, lankier (and taller) than the "bench line" Labs. A field line Lab can be overweight and still look leaner than a bench line Lab of appropriate weight.
How many kcals/cup in the ProPlan you're feeding?
I also agree that feeding twice a day would be better.
FWIW, there's more danger in over-feeding than under-feeding your dog. A recent long-term study (about 15 years long) by Nestle-Purina found that with Lab littermates, matched for weight and gender, one group, the control group, was fed a "normal" amount while the littermate was fed 75% of what the littermate in the control group ate. Those Labs fed the lesser amounts lived significantly longer and had significantly fewer health problems.
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":
Split it up over two meals a day. That should help even out his hunger.
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