How much should I feed my dog?
Too much food leads to obesity.
This is actually the easiest question to answer out of all the questions around nutrition, although judging by the large number of obese pets, one would not think so.
Whatever diet you choose, feed your dog just enough so he maintains a healthy weight. That's all there is to it. No domestic dog is able to feed himself, so - unless there is an underlying medical cause for changes in weight - it is the amount of food you give your dog that determines whether he will get fat, loose weight, or maintain his weight.
How do I know whether my dog is the right weight?
At the right weight, you should be able to just feel your dog's ribs if you run your fingers along the ribcage with gentle pressure. The ribs (or backbone or hip bones) should not be visible, but if you can't feel the ribs, your dog could do with less weight.
For a more detailed illustration of how to judge your dog's weight, see the Purina Body Condition System chart.
Typically most dogs are heavier than they should be, but occasionally I see puppies that are too thin, as well as Whippets. Puppies grow through growth spurts. Make sure to check the feel of your puppy's ribs often, particularly if you have a cute "fluff ball".
The guidelines for a healthy weight for Whippets is no different to any other dog. While they are naturally lean looking, they should not be showing any ribs, backbone or hip bones.
What contributes to weight gain?
What should I do to help my dog lose weight?
Always check with your vet first before embarking on any attempts of having your dog lose weight.
What do I do if my dog is too thin?
Check with your vet first to ensure there are no other reasons for your dog being underweight.
If the vet gives the all clear, it's easy: Feed him more! If your dog does not like the food you are currently giving him (this is often the case with kibble), experiment with different types of kibble, and/or try using canned food or semi moist dog rolls instead. Many dogs prefer moist foods to dry kibble.
If your dogs is anxious, this may contribute to his inability to put on weight. Talk to your vet, a veterinary behaviourist, or contact us for a behavioural assessment.
How do I maintain my dog's weight?
Once your dog has reached his optimal weight, simply check the feel of his ribs every few days. This is particularly important for dogs with a thick or fluffy coat, as a change in appearance is easily overlooked. Then simply adjust his food intake accordingly.
Intelligent Dog|People Training
Melbourne SE Suburbs
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How I keep my dogs lean
Rewards based training can mean that the dog gets a lot of his food through training. I feed only a small breakfast and then assess at the end of the day how much food the dogs had through training, and how much exercise they had. Then I adjust dinner accordingly.