Unfortunately, obesity has become the accepted standard for our society, whether we are talking about people or dogs. When a dog is overweight, they are more likely to develop arthritis, which in a working dog means its career will be shortened. Therefore, it is important to prevent our Paw Pals puppies from becoming fat. Once fat cells form, they remain there for the dog’s entire life. When we put a dog on a diet, the fat cells get smaller but they are still present waiting to "balloon up".
Since every dog’s metabolism is different, it is impossible to use a chart to determine the amount of food your puppy needs to be fed. The dog food bag charts are only used as approximate guides, which is usually on the very high end. Between the age of 8 and
16 weeks, most puppies eat 2 cups/10 pounds/day divided into 3 feedings. Puppies older than 16 weeks (4 months) usually need 1 cup/10 pounds divided in 2 feedings. Remember every dog is different, so these recommendations are only a raw guide. Don’t forget to include the food used as treats during your training sessions in these determinations.
Weighing your puppy is a good way to record and monitor for changes but it does not always indicate how the dog looks. A better method is to do a "Backbone and Rib Check". This is done running your hand down the dog’s spine ("Backbone") and along there ribs. You should just barely be able to feel the spine as little bumps, but when you run your hands along the ribs, they should bounce between each rib.
One thing to remember is many dogs don’t realize they are full and given the chance, most of them will get in the food bag and do "self-service".
This information is provided for educational purposes only. If you suspect your puppy has a health problem, please consult your veterinarian
Ó 2007 BKramerDVM
Bonnie Kramer, DVM "Dr. Sparky"