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arasara
3rd September 2006, 04:22 AM
I need some advice on how much I should increase Kosmo's food.

Since I've had him he hasn't eaten much. I told the vet he was only eating about 1/4 to 1/2 of what was recommended and she told me that he was fine and obviously getting all of the nutrients he needed because he was healthy and still growing like a weed.

We switched to Innova:Evo not too long ago. He's around 7 mos and 11.2lbs. On the packaging it states that a 3-10lb dog @ 5-7 mos should be getting 1/2 to 1 1/4 cup per day. A 10-20lb dog should be getting 1 1/4 to 2. Kosmo has usually eaten around 1/2 cup and actually leaves a bit, but recently he's been clearing his food. Looking at the guidelines he should be eating around 1 cup per day (around 1 1/4 but he's neutered so that counts for the decrease.) So my question is - if his body is used to eating 1/2 cup and I suddenly start giving him twice as much, even though that's well within the recommended guidelines, will he balloon out? Should I do it gradually and increase by lets say, 1/8 cup per day? I have a feeling it might have to go by trial and error but I don't want to wake up one day and not be able to see his waist!! :yikes :yikes

Has anybody been through this before or am i worrying about nothing?

judy
3rd September 2006, 10:57 AM
if it was me, i'd increase the food gradually if at all. Personally, I wouldn't go by general recommendations because they are general rather than about the particular dog. I would/do go by whether the dog is the right weight for its body frame, judging by eye, not by numbers. If my dog was the ideal weight for his frame at X amount of food a day, even if the general recommendation was 2X amount of food a day, i wouldn't want to increase, even a little, because i can see that my dog is getting the amount of food and nutrients he needs at X amount a day, and i would not want him to put any more weight on since he's already ideal.

In your case, your vet has assessed, based on seeing him, that he's the right size and that changing his amount of food is not necessary. As opposed to general recommendations, this is a recommendation based on a particular dog, which i would tend to have confidence in. However, vets differ, sometimes widely, in their opinions about various things, so the dog owner has to consider their own knowledge of their dog if they feel a certain vet is making an error where their dog is concerned.

If you look at Kosmo and you think he is too thin or that his coat or eyes don't look healthy, then even if your vet says he is doing fine on the amount of food he's getting, it makes sense that you would question this. But if you agree with your vet that Kosmo looks and acts healthy and is the right size for his body frame, then it becomes a question of whether you think your vet is simply wrong about believing the current amount of food is adequate.

In that case, i think it's most reasonable to try increasing the food just a little bit and watch his weight.

Zack has not gained any weight since he was less than 7 months old, and he is going to be 11 months next week. I'm not even sure when the last time he gained weight was. This seems weird because i thought at his age he'd still be growing. But four vets have seen him at different times during that period, and they all say he looks healthy and is the correct weight. He has lots of energy. He never seems to get tired.

It's hard for me to tell if he's been growing in the past 4 months since i see him every day, but he does feel bigger when i pick him up or when he gets in my lap. But he is not thin. He has a distinct waist, and when i feel his body, he doesn't have fat. So i don't want him to gain more weight, unless his body grows too. I have to judge that by eye and feel. i don't know any other way to do it. Since so far, he's doing well, health-wise on the amount of food i've been giving him (1/2 cup 2X a day), i guess that's the right amount. If his energy level decreases, then he would probably need less, or if he got less exercise.

When i switched to Evo, for the first time, he started eating his food as soon as i put it down, and then when he got done, sniffing the bowl to see if more had miraculously appeared after he finished. He also licked the bowl. All new behavior. So, since he was seeking more food, i began wondering if i should give him more. I was tempted to, but was going to consult with cavaliertalk about it. But then, after Belle's visit last weekend, he's eating less eagerly so for now, it's no longer an issue.

Anyway, i can't see increasing his food as long as he's the right weight or size for him frame, even if he's acting hungry when he gets done. I know lots of dogs act hungry all the time but that doesn't mean they need more food, and if they are given more food, they get fat.

:yikes

Bruce H
3rd September 2006, 12:34 PM
What Judy said!!

I would not increase his food much, if at all, based on what the vet said. This breed seems to be prone to getting overweight, I think it's those big, beautiful eyes that make that happen :D . And with the potential for health problems, you don't want an overweight Cavalier.

BTW, totally ignore the reccommendations on the dog food bags. We feed 2/3 cup per day of Royal Canin to our dogs (ever so slightly less to a couple of them) and they are just fine. If we followed the recommendations on the bag, we would have to stencil "Goodyear" on the side of our dogs :shock:

nlg679
3rd September 2006, 12:47 PM
Bruce,
Do you feed 2/3 cup a day to 13 week old puppies as well? I am just so curious as Katydid is a foodie and I have been feeding her 1/4 cup 3 times a day....is that too much? two weeks ago at the vet she weighed in at 5 pounds. I did not feed Teddy that much as a pup. He gets 1/4 cup two times a day now at 3 years old and he is 16 pounds.
Nancy
NJ

Bruce H
3rd September 2006, 01:22 PM
Nancy, I think what you are feeding is just right. We feed our puppies just a little bit more than our adults, then cut back a bit at maybe 6 months old. Or earlier if it looks like they are looking a little pudgy.

arasara
3rd September 2006, 02:30 PM
If we followed the recommendations on the bag, we would have to stencil "Goodyear" on the side of our dogs :shock:

Bruce, :rotfl: That's soo funny I can just picture seeing a cavalier blimp in the air..


nlg679,
I am glad to know you're feeding 1/2 cup as well to Teddy. It makes me feel so much better! :)

Judy, I love your new avatar .. I could absolutely eat Zack up!! :) :)

Thanks guys for your recommendations. You know, yesterday I offered 3/4 throughout the day and he still ate 1/2. I think some days he is really really hungry and others he barely eats at all. He is still gaining weight a little bit but now it's slowly and I think he's more filling out. He looks like an inverted log on stilts from the top down!! icon_whistling I think I will continue to give 1/2 and on those days he's really hungry maybe I'll give a bit more or throw some veggies in his bowl or something. I've started giving him a dallop of yogurt in the mornings with his food and he seems to really like that. Plus he does get a few table scraps (grilled chicken breast and stuff like that) here and there so that added up I am sure counts for the difference. ;)

It's nice to know I was worrying about nothing! I just keep reading on what everyone else was feeding and kind of started feeling like I was starving him!! :yikes

The vet said that about him a LONG time ago but he's still been gaining since then and she didn't mention anything when he got neutered which was end of June, so I think he's fine. He doesn't act lethargic so I am assuming he's ok I just didn't want to starve him.

Thanks again!! :flwr:

judy
4th September 2006, 08:52 AM
...Judy, I love your new avatar .. I could absolutely eat Zack up!! :) :)..

thanks sara--i just got a new digital camera which takes more detailed photos than my other one that i got pre-zack. Zack needs a camera that can capture a moving target so that's what i got, am trying to learn to use it, somewhat of a learning curve but fun. the photo in the avatar is not one of the the best examples of image quality, it was one of the first ones i took, but i liked the shot so i wanted to use it for a while.

Karlin
4th September 2006, 10:37 AM
If we followed the recommendations on the bag, we would have to stencil "Goodyear" on the side of our dogs

:rotfl: :rotfl:

The best feeding guide:

www.roycroftcavaliers.com/manualfeeding.htm

All dogs like all people are entirely different and guideliens on bags are only that -- and in my experience I think like bruce that the amounts are WAY too high. Same goes for treats -- I have dog biscuits that say you can give 6 a day to a cavalier IN ADDITION to its meal. Six biscuits in quantity would be MORE than I feed any of the dogs for their meals -- much less offering that in addition to their meals!!

How much Kosmo needs will depend entirely on his metabolism, his size, how much exercise he gets, how generally active he is, the ingredients in the food... etc etc. I'd always leave food levels the same unless he starts losing weight -- then increase. If he starts gaining.. decrease, as Laura says on her page above.

Of my crew:

Lily, 14lbs, is fine on only a third a cup of food a day. She maintains weight at this tiny amount despite being very active and thus I have her on even less to try and drop another two lbs or so that she needs to lose

Jaspar, 16.5 lbs, gets about three fourths a cup and used to need less food than smaller Leo. He is very active though and lately has been dropping weight so I give him the extra healthy treats during the day

Leo, 14.5 lbs, moderately active but needs more food than Jaspar unless Jaspar is really getting out for agility/runs in the park. About three fourths a cup, maybe a bit more up to a cup.

I go by general amounts of food as I don't feed a dry food consistently but homecooked or dry supplemented with other things.

arasara
4th September 2006, 04:45 PM
Thank you for your advice Karlin. :) I have heard from a few people with Cavalier experience that Kosmo is pretty small boned, so like I said I must have just been worrying about nothing. ;) That being said though I do think he prefers 2 meals of 1/4 cup per day. I don't really mind it as he eats when we eat and I know where he is while I'm eating. The day when he ate a whole cup ( :yikes :yikes :yikes ) come to think of it was the day after we met up with Finn's Family and Linda so Kosmo had a HUGE amount of exercise which probably accounts for why he was starved that day. He didn't eat anything the day of and was too tired that night, but the next day, my goodness. . . Also thank you for the site reference. . . Laura Lang's site has helped me in so many ways!!! :flwr:

Maxxs_Mummy
4th September 2006, 11:24 PM
Sara,

My two only get 60g of food a day - this is what, according to the bag, a 6kg dog should be eating. Charlie was 10kg last time I had him weighed and has put on a bit so I'm going to cut him down again and Maxx is 13kg and still losing :)

I honestly think that food manf's like all dogs to have huge portions - if we gave our Cavaliers the recommended amounts they'd all be enormous - like Bruce said 'Goodyear printed on the side' :lol: :lol: :lol:

I shouldn't panic too much as long as Kosmo is healthy and has a waist :)

WoodHaven
4th September 2006, 11:30 PM
What Judy said!!

I would not increase his food much, if at all, based on what the vet said. This breed seems to be prone to getting overweight, I think it's those big, beautiful eyes that make that happen :D . And with the potential for health problems, you don't want an overweight Cavalier.

BTW, totally ignore the reccommendations on the dog food bags. We feed 2/3 cup per day of Royal Canin to our dogs (ever so slightly less to a couple of them) and they are just fine. If we followed the recommendations on the bag, we would have to stencil "Goodyear" on the side of our dogs :shock:

I agree 100% -- you have to remember that they are selling food-- the more food they sell, the more $$$ they make. When it comes to pups,I am not really concerned with amounts of food. Does the dog look healthy ?? At a year, I really look at them with a more critical eye when it comes to shape. They are still growing (just like kids) one day they seem too slim and a month later they seem pudgy.