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View Full Version : Feeding and Health Questions - Please advise!



Suzanne
2nd June 2006, 05:16 PM
Lady Lucy will be 5 months old on June 11th. When I received her ( she was 10 weeks old), she weighed 6 pounds. As of today, she weighs 16 pounds (give or take a pound for my scales inaccuracy). I am concerned that she may be gaining too much weight. I feed her Nutro Puppy food. She gets half-a-cup three times a day. I also give her a small chunk of carrot to chew on each day (my vet said it's good for her teething). Giving her a piece of carrot is another issue for me, also. I am never sure how much, or how little, to give her! I don't give her a tiny piece, for fear that she will choke on it, but I don't want to give her too large a piece in case that is not good for her. She also gets one or two tiny treats a day. If anyone can give me some advice about these issues, I would sincerely appreciate it. I have always had medium and large dogs in the past, and a wee lassie is something very new for me! I don't want to starve her, but I also don't want to overfeed her! I also have concerns about all the health issues I have read about concerning cavs. I am terribly worried that she will develop heart issues, etc., in the future. Are these unavoidable problems for the majority of cavs? I must admit my ignorance about this before I received her...I so wanted a cav, and fell in love the moment I laid eyes on her...that I didn't pay much heed to the health issues.

Suzanne
2nd June 2006, 05:19 PM
Forgot to mention that I am bookmarking the dog/canine health clinic website...which I will refer to when she is old enough to be tested.

RodRussell
2nd June 2006, 05:53 PM
If you are concerned that a puppy is too heavy, you might switch from puppy food to adult food. I believe most puppy versions have higher fat content. I know of Cavalier breeders who never feed puppy food because of that.

My understanding of whole carrots is that very little actually is digested in the average dog. We used to give our puppies a carrot a day. We use pieces of regular dog food as treats and make the dog work (sit, down, stay, come, heel, etc.) for every treat.

As for heart disease, it pretty much is a given for the breed. Nearly every Cavalier will develop an MVD murmur, with over half doing so by their fifth birthday. Some cardiologists recommend well supplemented diet (vitamins C, E, CoQ10, fish oils, Missing Link or the like, etc.) and reasonable exercise and good weight maintenance in hopes of defering the age of onset of the murmurs.

Rod Russell
Orlando, Florida USA

sramirez
2nd June 2006, 06:43 PM
Suzanne: I buy my two girls carrot chips - they are available in my local grocery store in a small bag. That way I can give Sophie a couple and I might eat a few too (with ranch dressing for me, of course ;) )

I've also just started Sophie (who needs to lose quite a bit of wgt) on some apple slices. That way she "thinks" she is eating the same snacks as me, but they're more nutricious for both of us!!

Sheri

sramirez
2nd June 2006, 06:45 PM
Suzanne: I buy my two girls carrot chips - they are available in my local grocery store in a small bag. That way I can give Sophie a couple and I might eat a few too (with ranch dressing for me, of course ;) )

I've also just started Sophie (who needs to lose quite a bit of wgt) on some apple slices. That way she "thinks" she is eating the same snacks as me, but they're more nutricious for both of us!!

Sheri

Suzanne
2nd June 2006, 07:18 PM
Thank you all for your replies! I will be checking out the fat content in her food versus addult food. As far as carrot chips, I think that sounds good and will see if I can purchase them locally. I have been giving her some apple whenever I eat one, but once again...I am never certain how much (or how little) to give her. I have only been giving her a few itty bitty pieces...if I can give her "slices"...how many would be ok, and how big should the slices be? I know I'm beginning to sound paronoid here! LOL :? And...please tell me if 16 lbs. is too much weight for her age, so I can get an idea whether she is getting to fat. I can still feel her ribs, and she still has a visible "waistline" when I look down at her. :flwr:

Karlin
2nd June 2006, 10:28 PM
I think that sounds like a lot of food -- maybe at least a third too much? I never fed more than a cup a day and that was of adult food. Can you see a distinct waist on her or is she really chunky? For a normal sized cavalier of her age she'd be a bit heavy and eating a lot of food (buit see further comments below).

If she is looking chunky, I'd cut her back to about 3/4th a cup daily and supplement with veg/fruit if you'd like.

That said some cavaliers get very big and feeding advice all depends on whether your dog is in good shape or is overwight, depending on her build. Feeding levels depend on level of activity too. My two are very active, walked at least a mile a day, with agility once a week, for example, and as adults (which need less than puppies, especially neutered adults) get about 2/3rds a cup of food daily fed once in the morning. They are in very good shape on that amount. I would feed them less if they were getting less exercise than they are now.

I fi d the recommended amounts given on bags of food are way, way over the amounts my dogs would ever eat. James Wellbeloved for example recommends twice the amount I feed!! :shock:

I recommend reading this page and looking at the cavalier waist pics!!

http://roycroftcavaliers.com/manualfeeding.htm

I feel whole carrots all the time. They chew them like crunchy bones. :)

Suzanne
3rd June 2006, 02:07 PM
Karlin, thank you so much for the info and the link. I've just finished reading the article and found it extremely informative. :thmbsup: I will begin to follow the suggestions both from your post and from the article. Lucy is a important part of my life now, and I want to do the very best I possibly can for her. I will start feeding her a half cup twice a day, with some veggies. She does love her carrots and pieces of apples! I will have to keep a close eye on her...I feed my cat Bella separately from Lucy, and yesterday Lucy scampered in and gobbled Bella's food before I could catch up to her (she is VERY fast on her feet!). Bella doesn't like to eat her food in one gulp the way Lucy does, and Lucy has learned that she will find food in Bella's bowl (and once she knows something, she doesn't forget!). Usually I make sure she doesn't have access to it, but yesterday the little scamp succeeded!
:oops:
If I don't succeed in keeping her thin and trim, I guess I will just have to sign her up with a Weight Watchers group! ;) lol