How much do I feed my pet?

How much should you feed your pet?  There are a few ways to decide:

The amount of food you recommended that I feed my pet is way different from what’s on the package… why?

When a manufacturer is creating a package they have the option of simplifying or complicating their label. Unfortunately, when it comes to the feeding recommendation guide manufacturers usually make one single chart that they put on all of their products. This can never be completely accurate for a few reasons:

1) The calories per cup in each product are usually different (often substantially)

2) Your pets size alters your pets metabolism (larger animals have slower metabolisms than smaller ones… think elephants vs hummingbirds)

3) Your pet may have a higher or lower activity level than the average pet used to determine their general guideline

4) Your pet may need to gain or lose weight, which is not factored into a general guideline

5) Your pet may have a medical condition that requires adjustments in caloric needs

6) Your pet may be a puppy or senior, requiring more or less calories than the general guideline indicates

7) You may have a habit of giving treats, chews, human food, or some other calorie containing product that is not taken into account on the general feeding guide on your package.

Each of these factors is important to take into consideration when identifying the overall health and needs of your pet. Hero’s Pets takes each of these factors into account… the guidelines on product labels do not. This is why the amounts we recommend are often so different from what a package might say. Anyone who ever advises that you feed your pet a certain amount without asking these questions should be questioned.

So how did you figure out how much I should feed my pet? I want to do the math myself

Hero's Pets recommends determining the amount to feed based on calories, not weight. Many people recommend feeding 2-3% of body per day.  We feel this is a highly inaccurate way to feed because caloric density can vary so widely. For example, Solutions is 68kcals/oz while Small Batch Rabbit is 39kcals/oz - for a 50lb dog you'd have to feed 14.7oz of one and 25.6oz of the other each day to reach the same number of calories. As caloric control has been clearly identified a way to prevent and control metabolic disease, we feel that precision is mandatory for your pets ideal health. 

1- 50lbs - 200kcals/10 pounds of body weight per day. (this includes cats)

50-100lbs -150kcals/10 pounds of body weight per day.

100+lbs - 100kcals/10lbs of body weight per day. 

Pregnant or lactating = +15-25% per day.

Under a year old = +25% per day

Underweight = +10-25% more than the base calories per day OR add cooked oats or soaked chia seeds. (Remember that overfeeding often causes diarrhea and surprisingly often causes weight LOSS. Overfeeding your pet can actually cause their body to put out excessive effort purging the extra calories. If you find you are overfeeding your pet based on these calorie recommendation and they are not gaining weight, please come into the store for feeding advice, or see contact info below).

Sedentary or overweight = -10-25% less than the base calories per day.

Deduct extra calories from your daily total - e.g. bully sticks average 50kcals/inch, marrow bones average 225kcals/inch, coconut oil is 120kcals/tbsp. These calories must be factored into the total number of calories provided in a day. Hero’s Pets is happy to assist you in identifying proper caloric needs while cutting expenses by incorporating these into the dietary needs.

Certain medical conditions such as low thyroid, EPI and diabetes require caloric adjustments.

Hero’s Pets is always willing to do this math for your for free in conjunction with any food consultation and purchase. If you live out of state and would like assistance with your calculations please click here for a consultation.