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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14A/10-30 Northey Road, Lynbrook

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    They take such good care of your pets as they are your own. Such friendly staff and amazing service every time we are there!
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    This is a little overdue to show my appreciation for the Lynbrook Vet team, especially Dr. Adrienne who looked after our furry family member. The service I received here is like no others. I received a thorough phone call consultation and … More quotes for different options. The dental surgery day came I was constantly being updated and picked my baby girl the same day. We can back for 2 nurses and 1 doctor post-surgery check up for free of charge. Now, my girls is fully recovered, eat well and a happy tail again.I can’t recommend this place enough to look after your furry friends. You can tell they truly care and the cost is appropriate as well.
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    I recently visited Lynbrook Vet with my pet, and I'm thrilled to say it was a fantastic experience. The Lynbrook Vet team provided top-notch care, addressing all my concerns with professionalism and compassion. The clinic's facilities … More were impressive, and the staff went above and beyond to ensure my pet's comfort. I highly recommend Lynbrook Vet for anyone seeking exceptional veterinary care.
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    Such a genuine and caring vet!We drive 30-40min to get to Lynbrook Vet even though there’s a vet just 200m from our house.Would HIGHLY recommend for fellow Greyhound owners, as they understand some of the more unique challenges of the breed. … More However, we even take our staffy here! Their consistent communication and sending photos while our dogs go in for procedures is SO comforting and such a beautiful touch.Love this vet!
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    They took very good care of my cat. Love that they sent messages pretending to be my cat. Nice that they sent updates and photos. I would highly recommend this VET clinic.
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    What a lovely experience! From the receptionists, consultants, vets & students, everyone was equally caring, knowledgeable and professional. The rooms were clean, the pricing was fair, the appointment was on time and easy to make. … More Thankyou for taking such good care of Moose team at Lynbrook Vet.

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