More and more consumers are requesting information on calories in the diet because they are concerned about the proper feeding amounts for their breed. The feeding guidelines that we display on all our BARF World Diet packages are strictly a guide or a rule of thumb. There are many variables that need to be considered in order to know what is a proper amount to feed.
Factors that make this guide unreliable are:
- Differences in an individual metabolic rate
- The efficiency of metabolism
- Level of activity
- Environmental temperature
- Environmental humidity
- Animal size (small needs more per kg body weight than bigger)
- And most importantly the source of the calories. (Calories from sugar and starch are more fattening than from fat or protein).
Processing plays a big role: overheated ingredients, despite identical caloric calculation, or even a cooked/extruded food is different in metabolizable calories than the same identical ingredients if not cooked, microwaved or heated.
Label claims of caloric content are so useless as to be more harmful than good.
The most important thing to remember in the proper feeding of a diet is the trained eye of the keeper!!!!
Feed the animal the amount that allows your dog to have the body condition you want.
Advice on amounts to feed:
- Dog with no activity- The amount that maintains ideal weight may not be enough to keep the dog feeling full, so begging may ensue. Displace this behavior with chew toys, walks, and other activity. You can also consider feeding the daily ration in more frequent meals (reduces begging).
- Dog with average activity- feed per the feeding guide, adjusted to the amount that maintains ideal weight.
- Dog with high activity- Give the dog as much as the dog will eat without gaining weight. Stool volume will go up.
- Lactation- Free choice- keep in mind that in as early as 3 weeks the puppies may be consuming some of mom’s food.
- Puppy Large and Small- (Keep in mind that often a pet owner does not know how big a dog will be. Obviously, someone who bought a purebred knows the adult size, but they are a minority. Knowing the mother’s size is not a proper indicator either). Puppies should be fed frequent small meals. There is far more danger from overfeeding than under feeding. If bone and stature appear to be increasing properly, a leaner body condition is much preferred to a butterball physique. Dogs are growing for 18 months, with small breeds reaching adult metabolism a little sooner.
BOTTOM LINE RECOMMENDATION – The best source of accurate information is the trained eye of the pet owner!
*Source- Dr. Richard Patton PhD nutritionist.