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Are We Feeding Them Enough?


Guest Kryspen
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I have 2 greyhounds, Pebbles (Dawn Cranz) a 10-year-old bitch and Mac (Gee Mac) a 5-year-old dog, both adopted from the RGT. We've had Mac since last November and were giving him 2 meals a day. When Pebbles joined us we did the same for her. Unfortunately both dogs began messing in the house overnight, despite being taken for a walk just before bed time.

 

Well, we stopped giving them 2 meals a day. One a day seems to have eliminated the messes. Now the question is "are we feeding them enough?" They each get about a cup full of local supermarket dry dog food and around 7 ounces of dog meat, once a day.

 

I don't think they are particularly hungry, but it's hard to tell. Both are quick to snatch up anything edible that comes their way - but isn't that normal for dogs?

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I think it's really hard to say without seeing nutrition labels, etc. I usually start by feeding the recommended amount of food per dog's weight that is listed on the bag. If I notice one is getting a little ribby, I increase it a bit. If one starts to look a little plump, I decrease it a bit. This varies a lot based on the season. My girls definitely eat more in the fall/winter than in the spring/summer when the weather gets hot. It can also vary a lot by the hound. I have two 60 lb. girls, and one eats 1 cup of food more per day than the other. If your hounds look like they are is good shape and are at a healthy weight, I would say that they are getting enough. It can always be adjusted as you go along. Good luck!

Laura, mom to Luna (Boc's Duchess) and Nova (Atascocita Venus).
Forever in my heart, Phantom (Tequila Nights) and Zippy (Iruska Monte).

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Off the top of my head it sounds considerably less than I feed Ken - but then I don't know what your dogs weigh, or what you are feeding them.

 

So - do you know how much they weigh? How does it compare to their racing weight? (Which you should be able to find on this website:http://www.greyhound-data.com if you don't already know it.) Ken weighs about the same as when he raced, other dogs may put a few pounds on after retirement.

 

What does the dog food packaging say? There should be a feeding guide, the suggested amount may not suit every dog of the same weight - metabolisms vary, as if with humans - but it is a starting point at least.

 

NB supermarket dry dog food is not usually great quality, and will contain a lot of grain fillers, which will all come out the other end in due course, possibly accounting for the overnight poos ...

 

Are you in the UK? If so this is a useful site for checking dog foods - and includes recommended feeding amounts:http://www.allaboutdogfood.co.uk/

 

Ken is on this one: http://www.allaboutdogfood.co.uk/dog-food-reviews/0323/autarky-adult-chicken

 

Finally, how do they look? Skinnies? Fatties? Condition guide here:http://www.purina.co.uk/content/docs/downloadable-pdfs/bodycondsytempdf.pdf That is not specifically for greyhounds, who will usually look somewhat underweight to the average dog owner's eyes. Usual recommendation here is that you should be able to see the last two or three ribs, and a hint of pinbone (on top of the hips), but it will vary a bit according to their build.

 

If you would like to post some photos of your dogs from the side, and above, I dare say folk on here will be happy to comment on their condition.

Clare with Tiger (Snapper Gar, b. 18/05/2015), and remembering Ken (Boomtown Ken, 01/05/2011-21/02/2020) and Doc (Barefoot Doctor, 20/08/2001-15/04/2015).

"It is also to be noted of every species, that the handsomest of each move best ... and beasts of the most elegant form, always excel in speed; of this, the horse and greyhound are beautiful examples."----Wiliam Hogarth, The Analysis of Beauty, 1753.

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Guest GreyOrchard

I think there are two things going on here with the information you gave, One is about quantity and the other is about quality.

 

Rule of thumb: a pet greyhound's ribs, spine and hip bones generally should be well covered. If ribs and hip bones are not covered, if they are prominent, your greyhounds are too thin. They need more food. So much for quantity.

 

Quality? Oh! That's a gigantic topic. However, if you are going to feed kibble, it is best to use one that has no preservatives or colourings, is very low in "protein" because the protein in kibble is processed protein and can be problem. Low protein would be about 20%...even 22% is too much. It is unclear if it is the processed protein itself that can cause problems OR the preservatives needed to preserve it that is the problem. Also if maize or corn is listed as the first ingredient, that's a problem because it can be difficult for a dog to digest.

 

You can make up for the low protein with real protein in the form of real but in expensive human-quality meat or fish. I see you are from the UK (I am in Ireland), so you can buy a tray of "chicken thighs" (not legs or drumsticks or wings) from Aldi or Lidl for less than £3. Usually there are about 7 in the pack. Thighs are good because there is only one bone and there is a lot of meat on it. Boil them up so they are almost falling off the bone and shred or finely cut up the meat from 2 of them. Mix it in with the kibble with a bit of the broth and they will love it. If you throw in a handful of porridge oats and mix that in too, this will increase the nutritional benefit a lot.....porridge oats are good for hair, skin, immune system and central nervous system. You can also replace the chicken with mince or sardines-in-oil....but sardines no more than twice a week. The chicken, mince and sardines all cost about the same as tinned dog food, which generally is crap, so they are better off without it. Sometimes mixing in some leftover broccoli, potatoes, rice, carrots, whatever, is a good idea too...hope this helps!

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Looks like Dawn Cranz's racing weight was 27.5 kg ~ 61 lbs.
If Gee Mac is a black male (UK) and just turned 6 years old in August, his racing weight was not listed on Greyhound-data. His racing weight may be listed in your adoption documents.
Good question. I would be concerned that they may not be getting enough food. Our hounds average 3.5 to 4 cups of kibble per day. Dividing their daily amount into two meals is preferred vs. one meal. (Our hounds also get a small bedtime snack to hold them over to breakfast, otherwise some hounds vomit bile before breakfast.) Various kibble brands' caloric content can vary from 350+/- calories per cup to 500+ cal per cup. Typically, the higher quality with higher calorie content usually requires feeding less quantity. Feeding guide on kibble bag is a good start.
If both of your hounds were eliminating stools overnight in the house, I would find a better quality kibble that agreed with their systems. A fecal test could rule out parasites (common cause of stool problems). Food changes should be introduced gradually over a couple weeks (or longer) since abrupt changes often result in stool problems.
The USA adoption groups often suggest a healthy Greyhound "pet" weight is being able to see the last two ribs, and hip points. An average healthy "pet" weight gain for many Greyhounds is about 3 to 5 lbs.( up to 2.26 kg?) above racing weight.

 

Greyhound specific weight comparisons between racing weight and healthy pet weight (including photos): http://greyhoundcrossroads.com/index.php?page=weight

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I was thinking again about my reply yesterday, and realised that I forgot to ask you what size the cup was! I assumed you were working off the standard US cup size, a volume measurement also used for human food (e.g. in American cake recipes). That is really quite small - one US cup = 250g butter, or 150g flour.

Clare with Tiger (Snapper Gar, b. 18/05/2015), and remembering Ken (Boomtown Ken, 01/05/2011-21/02/2020) and Doc (Barefoot Doctor, 20/08/2001-15/04/2015).

"It is also to be noted of every species, that the handsomest of each move best ... and beasts of the most elegant form, always excel in speed; of this, the horse and greyhound are beautiful examples."----Wiliam Hogarth, The Analysis of Beauty, 1753.

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