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 –
If your pet is under 80lbs we recommend feeding 200kcals/10 pounds of body weight per day.
If your pet is over 80lbs we recommend feeding 150kcals/10 pounds of body weight per day.
If your pet is pregnant or lactating we recommend increasing that amount by 15-25% per day.
If your pet is under a year old we recommend feeding for their estimated body size at 6 months old for the first 3 months (e.g. your pet is estimated to weigh 30lbs at 6 months old, feed them based on a 30lb body weight until they are 3 months old), 9 months old from 3-6 months (e.g. your pet is estimated to weigh 45lbs at 9 months old, feed them based on 45lb body weight from 3-6 months old), and estimated full body weight for 6 months on (e.g. your pet is estimated to weigh 60lbs at full body size, feed them based on 60lb body weight from 7 months on).
If your pet is active or underweight feed 10-25% more than the base calories per day. (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). If your pet is sedentary or overweight feed them 10-25% less than the base calories per day.
If you are providing alternative calorie sources such as chew bones (bully sticks average 50kcals/inch, marrow bones average 225kcals/inch), treats, human food, etc 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.
Always make sure to compare current caloric intake (how many calories has your pet been eating and how have they been doing on that amount) to calculated caloric intake (how many calories per day did you calculate that your pet needs to eat based on these guidelines) before starting a new amount of food. It is common for Hero’s Pets employees to identify potential medical conditions based on caloric discrepancies found in this calculation process.
Another commonly used guideline is 2-3% of the pet’s ideal body weight a day.
|Body weight kg/lbs||Protein||Veggies & Fruits||Total (2%)|
|2.5kg / 5.5lbs||30 – 37.5gr||5 – 7.5gr||2.5 – 5gr||7.5 – 12.5gr||50gr|
|5kg / 11lbs||60 – 75gr||10 -15gr||5 – 10gr||15 – 25gr||100gr|
|10kg / 22lbs||120 – 150gr||20 -30gr||10 – 20gr||30 – 50gr||200gr|
|15kg / 33lbs||180 – 225gr||30 -45gr||15 – 30gr||45 – 75gr||300gr|
|20kg / 44lbs||240 – 300gr||40 – 60 gr||20 – 40gr||60 – 100gr||400gr|
|25kg / 55.1lbs||300 – 375gr||50 – 75gr||25 – 50gr||75 – 125gr||500gr|
|30kg / 66.1lbs||360 – 450gr||30 – 60gr||60 – 90gr||90 – 150||600gr|
|35kg / 77.1lbs||420 – 525gr||70 – 105gr||35 – 70gr||105 – 175gr||700gr|
|40kg / 88.2lbs||480 – 600gr||80 – 120gr||40 – 80gr||120 – 200gr||800gr|
|45kg / 99.2lbs||540 – 675gr||90 – 135gr||45 – 90gr||135 – 225gr||900gr|
|50kg / 110.2lbs||600 – 750gr||100 – 150gr||50 – 100gr||150 – 250gr||1kg|
Ideal bodyweight means that an overweight cat or dog should be fed 2-3% of the weight they should be, a day. A more active pet would probably require a bit more. Some small toy dogs also tend to have higher metabolism and activity rate. If the ribs are starting to get prominent (and it’s not a breed trait), start increasing the quantity. If they disappear, however, under a growing layer of fat, it is time to cut down on these portions. For a mature healthy dog the weekly quantity can also be divided to six, providing a day (some even recommend two non consecutive days) of fast. Puppies and kittens should eat much larger quantities and much more frequently. They may eat from 5% of their body weight up to what they it as adults (depending on their age). In some cases they should have unlimited access to food. Pregnant and lactating moms should also have extra food, 5-7% of their bodyweight per day, with extra bone content.
Chart provided by www.wildatheartpets.com
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 you can call us at 303.931.1068 or email us at Hero@HerosPets.com. Out of state consultations done in conjunction with purchase are free. Caloric Intake Consultations done without purchase are $20/hr.