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 Post subject: How much to feed each dog?
PostPosted: Thu Jul 16, 2015 7:57 am 
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Joined: Sat Jan 17, 2015 7:27 am
Posts: 5
Hi All,
So I'm really confused. I have two cockers which I'll list age and current weight below. My older dog is overweight and I'm trying to get a handle on it.

I've been on so many boards today that I'm so confused. Can you help me figure out what amounts I should be feeding each dog each day?

Here's the breakdown
Dog Age Current Weight Recommended Weight Dry Dog Food Cal Wet Dog Food Cal
Toby 9 35.4 30 (Vet advised this) Dr. Tims 415 cup Nat. Var. Instinct 434 cup
Rio 8 mo 26 28? Dr. Tims 415 cup Nat. Var. Instinct 434 cup

The internet recs are all over the map for Toby, from 450 calories per day up to 830 calories per day. We feed each dog twice a day so we will cut total in half. HELP!!!!

 Post subject: Re: How much to feed each dog?
PostPosted: Thu Jul 16, 2015 8:24 am 
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Joined: Fri Sep 10, 2010 7:58 pm
Posts: 1661
Location: Pleasant Hill, CA
First of all, welcome!
Second, I hear your distress over the confusing recommendations. Honestly, I do find the guidelines given on the food bags/cans to be a helpful starting point, but just an initial reference point. When I have changed foods, I feed exactly what is recommended for 3-4 weeks, and then reassess.

That having been said, there have been many food discussions here (you can search for them using the search feature at the top of the page). It seems to me that the general consensus has always been one Level (measuring) Cup of kibble per day, usually split half morning, half night.

And the wet food is kind of all over the map. Personally, if I were trying to get a handle on weight, I'd skip the wet food for a while.

Your puppy, at 8 months now, will naturally gain a couple more pounds over the next 2-3 months, getting him right to where the vet said he should be.

Your older dog probably needs a combination of less calories and more exercise. Also, I have to ask, did the vet test him for thyroid issues? Or is he just going for 'let's work on diet' first?

Many people cut back on the kibble, and top it with frozen Green Beans (frozen because they have no salt or sugar added). Most of the cockers love them and it's a very low calorie way to cut calories and still fill them up.

You didn't mention treats at all, but if you use them, you may want to rethink that. See if your dogs will accept cuddles and playtime in lieu of treats (more calories).

Those are my best thoughts. I'm sure others will chime in here shortly. :gig

Mom to
Cricket, home 1-29-2012 - 3-29-2017, 5 yrs, 2 mo of Love
Sophie, 10-22-2015, home 9/19/15-
Maggie Mae: home 9/1/2014 - 3/31/2015, 7 mo of Love
Feather: 3/23/1994 - 11/17/2011, 17 yrs, 8 mo of Love

 Post subject: Re: How much to feed each dog?
PostPosted: Thu Jul 16, 2015 8:57 am 
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Joined: Sun Mar 22, 2015 11:18 am
Posts: 520
I totally agree with everything Chris said. Generally speaking, I have found the quantities on kibble bags recommended for Cici wayyyy too much. A cup a day is the general consensus and if the kibble is rich, then I cut it a little and substitute with some home cooked or canned because that is usually fewer calories than kibble, but still filling.

Puppies need more calories, though. The above works for Cici because she is 6 and while she goes for long walks, she doesn't like a ton of exercise when it is very hot, so she can easily pack on the pounds in the summer. In the summer is when we really need to monitor treats and meal quantity.

I have recently began mixing up her diet with crock pot/home cooked (very convenient), kibble and trying to work on suitable bones for her. She is staying at 28 pounds. I think she could be 27, but that is an uphill battle. :lol2 She used to be 31 pounds (and I think 35 at one point, before she was adopted), so we're getting there. she is not a small-boned or short cocker, so I don't feel so bad about 28 right now...LOL

Just factor in any treats!

Bear Mama to
Cici - 8 years old (Gotcha Dec 14, 2013)
Raleigh, North Carolina

 Post subject: Re: How much to feed each dog?
PostPosted: Thu Jul 16, 2015 10:57 am 
I Rescued A Cocker!
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Joined: Fri Sep 10, 2010 8:56 pm
Posts: 2215
Location: Brentwood, CA and Vida, OR
It is important to consider both the calories per cup and a dog's activity level when determining how much to feed per day.

As an older guy, Toby may be less active. To help Toby reduce his weight, you might need to go to a food lower in calories than 415 calories per cup, or reduce the quantity of kibble and back fill with frozen green beans. The green beans provide bulk, with no calories.
This is called the 'Green Bean Diet'.

Your pup, Rio, is probably very active, so he does need the higher calorie intake, since his activity level probably burns calories pretty fast. A mature weight of 26-28 pounds sounds good, but, like with people, is dependent on his bone structure.

I feed all 5 of my cockers Nature's Domain Salmon & Sweet Potato from Costco. My dogs weigh between 19.5 and 25.5 pounds.
They each get one cup a day, split into a morning & evening feeding.
This Nature's Domain kibble has 333 calories in a level cup. That is 82 calories less per cup than what you are feeding and although it doesn't sound like much, it adds up pretty quickly over a few days.
I do add a bit of canned chicken loaf as an evening meal topper for my dogs. Depending on the dog, I add a 1-2 teaspoons of the chicken loaf, so they do get a few more calories per day. If I feel the furkids are getting too chunky, I reduce or eliminate the chicken topper till they lose the extra weight.

Also, you would be amazed at the calories in some treats! I have seen treats with 30-35 calories per treat, which is 10% of my dogs daily allowance!
I try to buy treats that have less than 10 calories per treat. If more, I break the treats in half.
And green beans are a great treat for a dog who is trying to trim down. They are basically empty calories, and my dogs love them!

Good luck!

Marianne E
Louie 02/15/2002
Cooper 12/07/07
Leila 03/21/08
Bridgette 01/12/09
Echo 08/10/12

Waiting at the Bridge: Little Sister, Savana, Tivy, Slider, Arrow and all the others, I will always love you.

 Post subject: Re: How much to feed each dog?
PostPosted: Thu Jul 16, 2015 8:02 pm 
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Joined: Sun Sep 12, 2010 8:10 pm
Posts: 6638
My girls get 1/2 cup of dry in the morning. Their evening meal is 1/4 cup of dry with a full/heaping tablespoon of wet. I treat them pretty generously with Fruitables dog treats. They weigh 19 and 22 pounds. It does depend on how big your cocker is. My girls are pretty small compared to many cockers, bone structure wise. Neither is thin or chunky.

Abby (B&W) 3/25/09
Ava (B&T) 3/25/09

 Post subject: Re: How much to feed each dog?
PostPosted: Fri Jul 17, 2015 4:24 am 
I Rescue Cockers
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Joined: Sat Sep 11, 2010 4:52 am
Posts: 3196
Location: Westchester, NY
First....Debbie is right that a lot depends on the size of the dog. My Teddy is the grandson of a "barrel-chested cocker spaniel". He is currently 32.4 pounds and, even though he is 12 and not as active as a pup, he would look emaciated if he were to drop below about 28 pounds or so. His vet says he's perfect; small waist, broad chest, thankfully very healthy.

All my pups get about 1/3 cup dry food morning and evening. I cook for them so on top of that in the mornings they get about 1/4 cup beef stew and in the evenings they get 1/4 cup chicken stew. Periodically they get salmon.

Teddy - 11/11/03
Annie - 2/13/05
Jennie - Gotcha 9/14/11
Cody - 9/2/08
Monkey Cat - 1993 - 2013
Cori - My First - 1/2/91 - 12/15/03
Maxine - My Angel - Gotcha - 9/5/09 - 7/28/11
Maddie - Good Boy - Gotcha 6/17/12 - 7/25/13

 Post subject: Re: How much to feed each dog?
PostPosted: Fri Jul 17, 2015 8:30 am 
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Joined: Thu Jun 07, 2012 12:40 pm
Posts: 1465
Depends on how active too. For the older dog. Keep checking those teeth as plaque build up.


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