View Full Version : Question about Feeding

5th August 2008, 01:35 PM
This is long and probably way too much info, but being a 1st time dog owner I am overly cautious!

My cav. Winston is almost 8 months old. He weighs just under 12 lbs. He is slim, and VERY active. I feed him Nutro Natural Choice Small Bites Puppy.

Until about 6 weeks ago he would get two heaping 1/2 cups a day, but he tended to eat 3 meals over a two day period. (He would skip breakfast and then eat dinner early, so the next morning he would want breakfast, which meant he ate his dinner later, and then the cycle would continue b/c he wouldn't want breakfast the next day.) He won't eat in his kennel, so he has access to food in the morning for 2 hours, the hour I'm home for lunch, and then 5-10 in the evening.

Then he started eating his food every morning and night, and seemed to look around for more. So we upped his serving to 2/3 a cup, twice a day, which he will ignore unil he is hungry and then eat it all...it is within the range on the bag. However, I'm worried that that is a lot of food for the little guy.

he is super active, we go on two brisk walks a day and play in the house a lot. He is either running around, super active or sleeping....no middle gear.

Daisy's Mom
5th August 2008, 01:43 PM
That does sound like a lot of food. Daisy probably isn't as active as Winston, but she gets less than one cup of food a day. And she's a larger Cavalier with an ideal weight of about 22 pounds, according to the vet. I think you'll find that most people here feed much less food than you are feeding him.

All dogs are different, but that does sound like too much to me.

5th August 2008, 05:02 PM
I think this is too much food, and he has been telling you himself he gets too much. That's why he keeps skipping meals.

None of my adult cavaliers -- ranging in weight from 12-16.5 lbs -- eats even a cup of food daily -- they eat from 1/3rd to 3/4ths maximum depending on the dog. The two that are 12 and 13lbs only eat about a third of a up for the entire DAY and then get a dog biscuit treat in evenings. So there's a wide variation!

Puppies are very good at eating only what they need but yours is now getting to the age when they can turn into gluttons so you need to start watching the amounts. Also you really should get him on to a regular eating pattern (see the 'finicky eater' post in the Library section of the forum for what to do -- basically put his food down and give him 10-15 minutes to eat then the food vanishes until the next scheduled meal).

I'd actually take him back to a scant 1/2 cup twice daily (or less) and if he isn't eating a meal it is no big deal. Just lift the food and offer the same regular meal amount at the next scheduled meal, not that plus the previous meal, or the remains of the old meal. Keep the amounts and the time he is allowed to eat consistent.

This will quickly enable you to see how much he actually prefers to eat and then you can settle on that amount. If he isn't finishing half a cup or is skipping meals then reduce the amount down to 1/3rd cup twice daily. At the same time you must watch metabolism -- he is going to start needing less food as he matures, most likely (most adults eat less than they do as growing puppies).

Definitely do NOT take a cue on whether to feed based on him seeming to look around for food. :lol: This breed is one of about 5 that vets identify as having serious obesity inclinations and like labradors most will eat til they are barrels if given half a chance -- mine would never stop eating if allowed and constantly look for treats (one reason so many cavaliers you see are overweight -- people keep giving them treats 'because they look hungry'. They ALWAYS look hungry!). Their intake needs to be strictly watched and controlled and they should not be allowed to free feed. This all is another reason it is advisable to get him to realise he has a set period in which to eat as it makes it much easier for you to gauge food levels and notice if he is off his food (a signal that he may be ill).

This is a great guide to feeding: http://www.roycroftcavaliers.com/manualfeeding.htm

6th August 2008, 03:31 PM
Thanks so much for the responses. I knew I would need to cut back once he was adult, I just wasn't sure since he is a puppy and is so active. We play and run all the time, plus he has not eaten when he wasn't hungry in the past, so now that he is eating every meal I wasn't too worried about overeating. I just got nervous reading all the food posts on here.

I will cut him back to 1/2 cup a day and see how that goes...Thanks for the advice

7th August 2008, 04:30 PM
I've been going through the same thing with my 11 MO pup. I was feeding him 1/2 cup morning and night, and about a month ago he started balking at the morning feed. So I cut his food to 1/4 cup morning and night and now he eats every meal every time. I still feel he's a little too skinny and would like to bump his intake up a little, but I'll let him lead the way.

8th August 2008, 12:12 AM
My three get around half a cup morning and night and a small biscuit treat in the middle of the day. I vary it a little depending on how active they've been.Gus (6) gets under a half cup some days as he is less active and inclined to put on weight, Pippin (4) is small he is quite active and his measure stays much the same,DJ is (4) is very lean and sometimes very active especially if the weather is good he loves the garden, so he sometimes gets a little more.

They would all eat all day if I let them and are always after what I'm eating even though I never feed it to them!

Getting the balance is stressful..I've been there with the weighing scales and measuring cups! Now I just use instinct,the measures on packs are only a general guideline.

He should be fine now on half a cup and the 10 to 15 minute rule.

Good luck with it all.