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QUESTION: HELP please... How much Innova Grain Free should I feed a 100 lb. American lab who is active to moderately active. (indoor/outdoor, swims daily in summer, hot weather climate). I am worried that I have been underfeeding since I changed from Euka/Nutro reduced. The instructions on the Innova Evo Red Meat bag recommends 3 3/8 cups (moderate) and 4 cups (active) daily. This seems like a lot to me. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated, I love him dearly and cannot bare for him to go hungry, but for his health I want to keep his weight under control.

Thanks in advance, I've included a little background below.

BACKGROUND: I have a 5 year old American chocolate lab that used to be 18 lbs. overweight according to our vet. He now weighs approximately 100 lbs., has a waist, and almost can feel ribs. (hard to tell) I switched him from Nutro/Euka Reduced Fat to Nature's Variety Grain Free and cut back the amount fed. Was feeding ~ 3 1/2 c Nutro Reduced Fat, switched to 2 1/2 cups Nature's Variety. I was told that the grain free products have much more protein therefore you need to feed less. At Wyatt's last weigh-in he had lost 13 lbs over the course of 3 months and reached his goal weight. During the "diet" he acted like he was starving, and resorted to taking food off counters for the first time since puppyhood. Now I am worried that was underfeeding him during this time.
 

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Flay yourself no longer.

A recent very long term study by some nutritional scientists published in JAVMA a couple years ago found that littermate-matched (I think) Labs fed a diet of 75% of normal had significantly fewer health problems and lived significantly longer than those Labs fed a normal diet.  So if you err, err on the lighter, hungrier side if you value your Lab's health and longevity.

MOST dog food companies recommend feeding FAR more daily than most dogs need.  WHY do they do this?  Could they possibly -- for whatever obscure reason -- be trying to sell more dog food?

Diamond was the only company I've seen that has food amounts more nearly in keeping with my Lab's needs BUT they were still about 20% over her needs and limits.

(FORTUNATELY, I HAVE ONE OF THE VERY RARE SELF-REGULATING LABS ON FOOD INTAKE.  IF I GIVE PUFF SOME RICH ICE CREAM IN THE AFTERNOON, SHE'LL NOT EAT ALL OF HER SUPPER AND MAY NOT EAT ALL OF HER NEXT BREAKFAST.)  So I can tell from Puff's eating behavior what she needs.  [FWIW: Puff is a very active Lab and gets about 5 miles of off leash running and retrieving each morning plus some the rest of the day.]

Also, NEVER, EVER go by just the cups of food per day  (unless they are very near equal in number of kcals per cup.  Go by the kcals per cup.   That will be listed on the bag of dog food OR if not, call the customer svc. #.  If a dog food has 250 kcals/cup, then 1 cup of a food with 500 kcals/cup will be equal in food nutritional value to TWO cups of the first food.
 

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I don't know much about specific US food brands, but I do know that Innova is a high quality kibble. It is true that the better the kibble the less you have to feed.

BACKGROUND: I have a 5 year old American chocolate lab that used to be 18 lbs. overweight according to our vet. He now weighs approximately 100 lbs., has a waist, and almost can feel ribs. (hard to tell) I switched him from Nutro/Euka Reduced Fat to Nature's Variety Grain Free and cut back the amount fed. Was feeding ~ 3 1/2 c Nutro Reduced Fat, switched to 2 1/2 cups Nature's Variety. I was told that the grain free products have much more protein therefore you need to feed less. At Wyatt's last weigh-in he had lost 13 lbs over the course of 3 months and reached his goal weight. During the "diet" he acted like he was starving, and resorted to taking food off counters for the first time since puppyhood. Now I am worried that was underfeeding him during this time.
If you can't feel his ribs, he is still overweight.

In regards to weightloss, you should feed according to the dogs TARGET weight and not its ACTUAL weight.

So you are feeding 3 cups of Innova a day, right? have you tried supplementing with veggies as a filler? adding something like green beans or canned pumpkin bulks out the dog meal and makes it feel fuller.

As Bob said, don't follow the instructions on the back of the bag. Chances are if you follow them you will either overfeed or underfeed. Instead, you should adapt for the individual depending on the size, weight, activity level, etc., of the dog.
 

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You should actually be feeding even less than what you are feeding of the EVO. It's soooooooooo packed with calories, it could easily eat up all of those lost pounds really fast.

Rider is on EVO and he eats 1 cup twice a day.
 
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