The Amounts we Feed

I will begin this section by saying that it is a good idea to fast a dog that is over a year every now and then. Some do it once a week – we used to do this but dont anymore.
We do not do this with puppies, lactating bitches or pregnant bitches. Fasting dogs helps clean out their system. Some feel it is a very healthy thing to get in the habit of doing. Fasting is a normal occurrence for carnivores. Fasting enables the energy used to digest food to be used for other things in the body. It’s important to remember to make sure your pet has plenty of fresh water on fast day.
Before I talk about the amounts that I feed I will say that it is also not critical for the dogs to be fed exactly the same amount and type of food every day. In nature wild dogs do not eat exactly 5 cups of food every day.
So with this in mind I will begin the process of determining the amount to feed each dog by looking at the condition of the respective dog. Overweight dogs obviously get less food than very thin dogs which need more food.
The amount of exercise a dog gets will determine the amount of food it needs. For example, a dog that lives in an outside yard and runs the fence all day is obviously going to require more food than a 10 year old couch potato who seldom goes out for a walk. So it’s almost impossible to say that you feed a 6 month old dog this much food or an adult male GSD this amount of food.
As a rule, American’s over feed their dogs and keep them too fat. A thin dog is a healthy dog. A thin dog has less skeletal problems (i.e. dysplasia) than an overweight dog.
In the winter we will always feed our outside dogs more food then we feed the same dog in the summer.
Wtih all of these variables it’s impossible for me to tell someone how much to feed their dog. If I cant see the dog, see how it lives I can’t say how much to feed it.
With this in mind I will feed an adult male GSD 1 1/2 pounds up to 3 pounds food per day. Some dogs just get chicken leg quaters (from Wall Mart), 400 units of vitamin E and salmon oil. At times during the week we will add in raw eggs, mackeral, sardines and the various ingredients listed above. I try and mix it up to keep it interesting for the dogs. I really think they like this.

Additional tips

Adult dogs should be fed according to their size and energy needs. Most adults should get two meals a day.
All dogs need separate food and water dishes. The bowls should be cleaned daily, and cool, fresh water should be available at all times.
Dogs can be great beggars, but don’t let yours charm you into the habit of sharing your food. Dogs’ nutritional needs are different from humans’, and you’re doing your dog a disservice by giving him a diet meant for you. There are plenty of nutritious dog treats on the market, which you can feed as a part of a dog’s overall food intake. Dogs also love vegetables such as broccoli, carrots, zucchini, cauliflower, peas, and beans, and fruits such as bananas, apples, and melon. These make great low-calorie treats.

What Not To Feed

Never give your dog chocolate. It contains theobromine, a chemical that is toxic to dogs. Also, don’t feed your dogs bones that can splinter or that have sharp edges. Large, hard bones such as knuckle and marrow bones are fine, but parboil them to destroy harmful parasites, and take them away from your dog if he starts to actually eat the bone rather than just chew on it.

Sources: leerburg.com, akc.org

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