Feeding guide for your dog

A common question a veterinarian gets asked is what and how much should I be feeding my dog?

The answer varies based on their breed, age, activity levels and whether their current body condition is ideal.

Good quality commercial dry or wet food diets are put through rigorous testing to ensure they meet the nutritional needs of the size and age of animal they are targeted at. These diets come with well-developed feeding guidelines. These are often written on the packaging or are available on the products’ websites.

Examples of quality diets are Delicate Care, Hills Science Diet and Royal Canin. For a young, fit and healthy animal the feeding guidelines in grams suggested by the manufacturer for that age of animal can generally be followed to start with. Weighing your pets’ food on a small kitchen scale is the best way to be completely accurate about the amount they are receiving. This is more accurate than using cup measures. By tracking your pet’s weight and body condition score adjustments can then be made up or down to maintain ideal body condition score.

Body condition score can be ranked on a scale from 1-9 as follows:

1/9 Emaciated

2/9 Very thin

3/9 Thin

4/9 Underweight

4.5-5/9 Ideal weight

6/9 Overweight

7/9 Heavy

8/9 Obese

9/9 Severely Obese

To determine what score your pet is requires observing them and palpating them and this is best done by an experienced professional. Your veterinarian will start by observing your pet from above. Do they have a waistline that curves behind their ribs to give them an hourglass figure or is their waist as wide as their ribcage? Then they will look at your pet from the side. Does their tummy tuck up or does it sag down? Next your veterinarian will palpate your pet. A pet at a healthy weight should have ribs that are easy to feel by spreading your fingers over them. There should only be a thin layer of fat palpable with the ribs felt right below that. It should feel similar to making a fist with one hand and feeling your knuckles with the other.

Feeding the correct amount for your pet is the most important step to maintaining their ideal body condition. As well as feeding the correct amount of a good quality diet, it is important to avoid feeding extra foods in between their meals like table scraps and excessive treats. At minimum these will cause weight gain, in some cases some foods that we consume can be toxic to your dog or cat. If training your pet, you can use a small portion of their normal meal as the reward.

Maintaining your pet at their ideal body weight provides them with life-long benefits. They are less likely to succumb to diseases like diabetes, heart disease and arthritis and are likely to have more energy to enjoy life with you the way they love to!


How much should I feed my dog?

The answer varies based on their breed, age, activity levels and whether their current body condition is ideal.

Is it ok to feed leftovers to my dog?

To avoide weight gain, it's important to avoid feeding extra foods in between their meals like table scraps and excessive treats

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Lynbrook Vet IconLynbrook Vet

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    My 5 y.o. dog just had her first health scare with some tumours, and Lynbrook Vet helped us through the testing and removal process so kindly.They laid out all our options and were transparent about probable outcomes, minimising costs where … More they could.They checked-in with me throughout her surgery day with phone calls, texts and photos (non-surgical!) and patiently answered all of my questions at pick-up.I have taken my dog to Lynbrook Vet since adopting her 3 years ago, and continue to go there after moving further away because they are so wonderful.The staff in reception are always friendly and helpful and happily assist with all of our needs.It's nice to attend a clinic with a great culture, where the animals, and their humans' peace of mind, are their top priorities.
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    I could not recommend both Lynbrook Vet and their sister vet Berwick/Clyde Vet any more. It is the best vet you will ever experience. We were desperate to find a vet to look after out little boy (he's a ragdoll cat who stopped eating … More and is also dealing with CKD) after being unhappy with our previous vet. We were recommended by our local community to take him to Jess who is working now full time at Berwick/Clyde Vet which has recently opened and her care (along with all the other nurses there), love, how switched on they are was one of the greatest experiences we've ever had. We thought that maybe something bad had gone wrong with his kidneys, but it was immediately picked up that one of his tooth was infected which explains the no eating (this wasn't picked up by the previous vet). Our little boy had to stay over night with a drip before going under and having 4 teeth removed. He's about to be 13 so this was a stressful situation with him going under. We were sent frequent updates with photos in the morning, during the day and just before we picked him up. They called me right before the procedure, during the procedure and right after to confirm everything was okay and if there were any updates. They knew exactly what to do and how to best keep him safe during this procedure. When we picked him up we were taken through all his blood work, x-rays and documents in elaborate detail so that we understood what everything meant and what was going on. They have even put us on a 6 month plan to get him to be as happy and as healthy as he can be when we return a week later for a free dental check up to see how his mouth is healing. We were given an aftercare plan. Pain medication that they had already been pre made!! I got a Toutube link texted to me that explains what exactly happened during the procedure. We were also given a tooth fairy certificate!!! (this vet is so extra I can't deal). This vet goes above and beyond, we saw a HUGE improvement the following day (he is SO MUCH HAPPIER) it felt like our little angel was at daycare and I could not recommend going to this vet enough! THANK YOU so much. We are eternally grateful for looking after Oscar so thoroughly.
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    1000% recommend!!!! This is such a stunning vet, everyone is so friendly and forthcoming, we have been seeing them for the past 4 months with our little staffy boy Stitch! He loves it there as everyone loves him and gives him all the attention … More he needs, we have had nothing but incredible service from all the staff there. Stitch went in today for a procedure and we felt so happy and safe leaving our boy there, everyone cares for your pet, like they are family. It’s truly the best experience we have ever had with a vet.It’s a definite must, as when your little ones aren’t feeling the best they make you feel better because they keep you in the loop every step of the way!We also did puppy pre-school through them which is incredible as well as he now associates the vet with such a happy feeling we never have him worried about the vet visit… and besides that all the love and care he gets when he walks through the Lynbrook vet doors!Truely amazing

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