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I'm Overfeeding... How Much Should I Dole Out?


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I apologize for asking a daft-- and likely overasked?-- question.

BUT! I will.

I recently adopted a just-turned-4 year old female greyhound and an 18 month year old lurcher. The organization that approved me (there is a God!) recommended that I feed both Beatrix Kiddo and Sphinx 2 cups of dog food a day. Being guilt-ridden by Sphinx's impressively boney butt and wildly in love with Beatrix Kiddo (she gives me hugs and crazy toothy smiles!), I've been overdosing the dogs with 3 cups of dry Kibble, soaked in yogurt or mashed pumpkin or cottage cheese.

I won't even venture into the snacks that I've been doling out.... I'm *that* ashamed.

 

Needless to say, I'm aware that I'm overfeeding the hounds. Can anyone recommend a 'food dosage,' for lack of better wording? Is 2 cups of Kibble, twice a day, and limited snacks 'enough?'

Sphinx, the young male lurcher, initially weighed around 63 lbs. despite his impressive height. My nickname for him was Skeletor. I could-- more or less-- pick him up, and I'm a weakling. Beatrix Kiddo, the female greyhound, was a rock solid 70 lbs. I could never lift the lass. She's a one-woman boulder! But she's noblely heavier than when I 'met' her 4 weeks ago.

 

I feed both dogs 3 cups of beefy Kibble mixed with yogurt or something softening twice a day... at 4am and at 3pm. I also give them treats throughout the day-- anything from bananas to carrots to marrow-bones-- and Sphinx, as is his lurcher-nature, regularly poaches my dinner.

 

How can I downsize their diets without upsetting them? Am I putting my hounds at risk for bloat?

On the upswing, I don't let them exercise 1 hour pre-feed or 2 hours post-feed. I am, however, concerned that I'm putting their health at risk via over-feeding them....

God only knows (cheers Brian Wilson!) that they fight over my bed... their first night in my house, I pulled a naughty. I let them sleep on my bed. That I've been shoved off my bed several times now, landing upon the un-used beds that I bought for them, serves me right. They sleep hard and they kick hard and they're... well, they're getting kind of fat. Thanks to me.

 

Any advice regarding food portions would be most welcomed! I dread disappointing the hounds... more than that, however, I dread killing them from bloat.

Thank you for tolerating yet another dietary question!

Luxy

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If your dogs are in the 70ish lb range then 2 cups twice a day sounds like a good starting point, but it will depend on the food itself. There should be a chart on the bag with the daily feeding amount by weight. This chart is not gospel, but a guideline. You may have to feed a bit more or a bit less.

 

Every response here will likely be a bit different, but I like to keep my dogs within a few pounds of race weight, where they still have definition but are not skin and bones either. Things like the three rib or two rib rule will depend on your dog's build, and I have had a few that this didn't apply to at all. My biggest didn't race, so I have no starting reference other than I should know where his ribs are without having them stand out all the time.

 

With what you have described, it does sound like you are feeding them too much. Despite the sad eyes and emoting of broken hearts, scaling back on the extras will not hurt them, and the less extras that you give them, the easier it will be to figure out the actual dosing of food that they need. My goal is to have them on a food that works for them so they do not need extras. That way I can tell if the food works for them, providing healthy skin and coats and firm stool. Treats become actual treats rather than an expected item. Believe me, they are still very spoiled. But they are also healthy, and if something changes, I don't have to limit a bunch of different things to identify the problem.

 

Good luck. There are no daft questions. It is only daft not to ask, when there are answers readily available.

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You will get great advice from a number of people, but I will add something about treats. A company like Milk-bone is in the business to make money. They put on their boxes small, medium and large and recommend a size for the weight of your dog. Why? I learned 30 or 35 years ago to only but the "Small." My dogs never complained when they got a "Small" Milk-bone and they got less calories and I got more treats per box so I saved money.

 

Dick

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Just remember this: food is not love.

 

Speaking to you from a country literally bloated with fat people and equally fat dogs!

 

The very fact that you're even concerned tells me that you must be overfeeding.

 

Love your dogs with pets and walks and cuddles. Feed them a healthy, appropriate diet and keep the THIN. They're not meant to be labradors on stilts!


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Susan,  Hamish,  Mister Bigglesworth and Nikita Stanislav. Missing Ming, George, and Buck

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Cheers so much for your responses, Clepto and GreytX!

 

I sincerely didn’t expect a shred of advice... idiot-girl here should know better, right?

 

Clepto, unfortunately I’m blonde enough to be ignorant of my hounds’ caloric intake... if you can make a recommendation, however, I’ll learn it. And use it! Before I adopted the greyhound and the lurcher, I didn’t know what a ‘sight-hound’ was.

 

Anyway Clepto— and unhelpfully!— I have no ideas what the calories per cup are. I do know that I’m feeding them Kibbles & Bits, though! Which is probably grotesque... I’m sorry!

With regard to exercise, they receive a fair bit.... I’m a professional ballet dancer, so the hounds have been welcomed into my outdoor fitness routine. An hour long walk through the Rocky Moutains twice a day, plus two 30 minute quickies in between... is that too much? Or too little?

 

If I could figure out how to upload photos of the hounds (and if you know how and you could tell me? Enter yet more gratitude!), I would... Noob-cum-Luddite that I am, I can’t even figure out how to upload my profile picture. Or correct my gender. I’m a girl despite my masculine “The Shining” ghostly portrait...

 

GreytX, thank you too! 2 cups twice a day doesn’t give you visions of All-You-Can-Eat buffets or bloat? I’ll definitely check the bag’s dietary guide... eejit that I am, doing something so rational never occurred to me (although allowing my lurcher to maul my bikini did. Natch! In my defense, he seemed happy).

Regardless, if keeping your dogs within their Race Weight zone is healthy, that’s good advice. Although my lurcher, Sphinx, was tossed away because he wasn’t much of a racer, he’s the one I want to fatten up... the poor wee lad is skeletal. My ‘retired racer,’ however, looked gorgeous a few months ago. Since I’ve adopted her, however? She’s getting heavy. Needless to say, cheerss for your advice. Cheers too for telling me to scale back.... especially on the snacks. You mentioned those ‘sad eyes?’ My Beatrix Kiddo is a champ at that. I’ll take your advice even if that means wearing a blindfold to avoid her woe-is-me eyes.

Also, thanks for alerting me about treats... they’ve definitely become an ‘expected item’ as opposed to a reward or a delight.

 

Thanks to both if you for alerting me to my mistakes. More than helping the likes if me, you two lads have helped my dogs.

 

Blessings lads!

Lux

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To Dick—

 

My thanks for the Milk-Bone advice... shamefully, I have a box in the cupboard. The sole reason that it’s still there is because I always associated Milk-Bone with McDonalds-for-Dogs. If my dogs ever swallow a Milk-Bone, it’ll be a Happy-Meal as opposed to a Super-Sized meal deal. Thanks for reminding me that small treats are as tasty as big bones... and that they cost less. Both within markets and within veterinary offices...

 

George-of-NE?

 

You’re right! Food isn’t love... even if my Sad-Eyed Lady of the Lowlands makes it seem that way. I’ll refuse her and I’ll look at her bones through the lense of ballet. That is to say, bones aren’t bad. Thank you for telling me like it is.. that’s what I need.

 

To everyone who answered my silly question? Thank you. I’ll heed your advice. I’ll also remember every single one of you... what you advised and the time that you took. It wasn’t wasted.

 

A grateful Lux

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It's really easy to overfeed since every kibble is different and we routinely get guilted into giving our dogs the "better" food instead of what may actually work for them. When cutting back, I usually cut back by 1/4 cup at a time until I reach what seems to be the best amount for the dog. This process will take several weeks.

 

As others have said, start with the feeding guidelines on the bag and adjust from there. Every kibble is different and between KCal count, fat content, protein etc, it will put weight on your dog differently with each brand.

 

Rocket was about 75 lbs after racing. 9 years later he is 85 lbs and a little overweight, but at 12 going on 13, we tend to let him eat when he wants since he often skips meals as part of his "I'm a senior dog and I will do what I want" campaign. The vet isn't concerned about his weight, but we have adjusted his food down a little in the past few weeks when his vet visit indicated a 2 lb gain since the previous visit. This gain is more from inactivity than food, since it;s now 110 degrees in Phoenix and multiple walks a day aren't feasible again until late November.

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Always missing my boy Hi Noon Rocket. The home of Petunia, MW Neptunia and Kate, Miss Kate.

Don't believe everything you read on the internet. - Abraham Lincoln

 

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Welcome!

Your dogs are getting a lot of exercise, that’s not a bad thing, but it will influence how much food they need. And they are currently getting a crappy food. You don’t need to feed top of the line grain free kangaroo kibble but Kibbles N Bits is loaded with artificial colors, sugar, and salt which are not good for doggies. There are lots of threads here about what food is best, but you should buy something of good quality that agrees with you dogs.

 

It does sounds like your greyhound could use a reduction in what she’s getting. I’d say that most average female greyhounds get 2-3 cups of kibbles per day, not per meal. If the lurcher is still too skinny there is no need to reduce his rations. You will also probably be able to feed a smaller quantity of a better quality food. Softening the kibble is a good idea to prevent the choking that comes from eating too fast, but you can use warm water instead of the other stuff. Being overweight is more of threat to them than bloat.

 

Dogs will always want more food and greyhounds are experts in the sad eyes. I’m pretty generous with treats, but I use small ones, like only a couple calories each. Dogs care more about quantity than quality. My girl won’t touch a vegetable, but lots of dogs are happy with carrots for treats.

 

You will need to use a 3rd party photo hosing site to get pictures on here, or you can copy them from Facebook. Check out the Technical Form for more info.

Lila Football
Jerilyn, devoted Mistress to Lila (Good Looking)
 
 

 

 

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Wow!

 

Thank you all *so* much... I genuinely didn’t expect a single response, let alone thus avalanche of advice.

 

Also, I apologize if saying ‘avalanche of advice’ is gratitous or ingratiating... I just mean it, is all. And I’m surprised that any of you folks bothered to respond to my nitwit question....

 

dmdsmoxie—- cheers! I will do! The Milk-Bones that I bought are (ahem) admirable to say the least. For a T-Rex. Your advice to slice those veritable dinosaur bones in half will do my dogs well! Not to mention it’s an easy task that’ll result— hopefully— in ‘easy’ outcomes. All I mean to say us: cheers.

 

Time4ANap—

Why can’t your login name be my lurcher’s attitude? Regardless, that 1/4 cup cut over a few weeks is priceless. I’ll also be vigilant of the kibble nutrition... as shameful as this is to admit, I’ve never regarded my dogs caloric intake in the past.... I’ve only had Irish wolfhounds and, oddly, rescued parking-lot toys of no discernible descent. I fed them what they fancied and they didn’t die. Granted, I was a teen and dog-death wasn’t something that could happen. Now that I’m older and it can, thank you. By the way, your Rocket is staggering! He looks about as ‘overweight’ as Marilyn Monroe... oh the greyhound world, yeah? It’s the canine version of ballet!

 

Jerilyn—

Cheers for the warm welcome, lass! Kibbles & Bits is (if you’ll forgive my slur) **e? Judging from Beatrix Kiddo’s reaction, I don’t doubt you... in fact, I was beginning to feel guilty for buying such cheapo chow. Your confirmation means loads to me... I’m kind of alone in ‘advice bubble,’ so to speak. I’ll up the ante and make sure the hounds are living on the greyhound version of A&W.... I’ll search the threads that you mentioned re: good kibble. Albeit, not Kibbles & Bits. It’s brilliant that you noticed my faux-pad, by the way!

 

Thanks for recommending the warm water in place of the yogurt, et al. Both dogs eat too quickly— hence that infamous hack— but warm water is obviously less... erm... caloric? that mushed pumpkin.

 

After work, I’ll check the Technical Forum. Thank you so much!

Lux. Who won’t forget any of the help that you lot offered.

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One more thing - don't be swayed by the various reviews of kibble and feel that you have to go buy the most expensive stuff for your dog. Here's the rule - the best kibble for your dog is the one that your dog does well on. Probably 50% or more of the owners on here feed Iams Green Bag. Dog's coats are shiny and smooth, stools bounce on impact with the ground, and it just works. As you read online, there many detractors of IAMS because it's a big corporation.

 

Rocket has a sensitive stomach and sometimes has stress colitis. We've switched foods more times than I care to count, and most recently the food that worked for him was a Purina food. I was one of those people who wouldn't consider a Purina product prior to this, but someone else here with a stress colitis suffering hound had used the particular food successfully and I tried it with great results. Rocket has since been diagnosed with some early stage kidney issues, and is doing beautifully on a special kidney diet, ironically also made by Purina. So, never say never when it comes to what you feed your dog. Again, the food that works for them is the best kibble you can feed.

 

Also, Rocket says there are no calories in ice cream or french fries. :bgeorge .

 

edited typo

Edited by Time4ANap
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Always missing my boy Hi Noon Rocket. The home of Petunia, MW Neptunia and Kate, Miss Kate.

Don't believe everything you read on the internet. - Abraham Lincoln

 

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I buy milk bones minis. That way, the dogs can each get two and still get less than the small size. What does your vet say about their weight? Two cups twice a day is usually fine for dogs at their weight. Three cups twice a day does sound like a lot. Maybe start by giving 2.5 cups each meal, and reducing the add ins? Good luck!

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The caloric intake is on the side of the bag with protein , fats ,fiber, etc. A good amount of protein is around 26-28%, fat around 14. GH tend to have a tendency towards pancreatitis vs. Bloat. If the food is too rich they can easily have a flare up. Lamb based foods tend to have higher caloric counts, good for a fussy eater. But if you have a chow hound then somewhere around 380 calories per cup, 4 cups daily should work.

 

I got into calorie count with my dogs first bout of pancreatitis when I drastically reduced fat to 8%. But it's a balance of good fats, good digestible protein and fiber. One doesn't have to spend a mint to feed a good food. Eagle Pac &blue seal are 2 old fashioned foods not spoken about that are reasonable products for the price. Purina pro plan is also a mainstream quality food, not too rich, little waste products and goid results with out having to rob a bank.

 

Exercise wise the amount they get sounds fine. Age also has a lot to do with how well they are filled out. How young is the lurched? Larger dogs as you know, can take quite a while.

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My two male ex-racers are kept in fine fettle at about 900 calories a day (1.25 cups per meal). They weigh 74 and 67 pounds. I feed Fromm's 4 Star (various versions within that line so they get lots of variety) and it has somewhere near 30% protein. So for your female, I would reduce that somewhat, by probably 25% or so, so I'd shoot for 600-ish calories per day. My guys also get plenty of treats, but usually small ones. They also lick my plates, help me clean cereal bowls and generally get bites of anything I'm eating, if it's suitable for dogs. They are horrible beggars as a result :lol. There are lots of fruits and veggies your guys can get without loading them up on calories, so I think you're fine giving bits of banana and carrots :)

 

Anyway, with regards to weight, you want to always see a tuck and hip bone points are also typically visible (but not stark) on an in-shape dog. I don't go by the 3-ribs-visible thing - I had one guy who raced at 71lbs (but was a tall fellow who hadn't filled out yet) and his retirement weight was about 78 lean, muscular pounds. He even got up to 80 pounds (stealing bread :rolleyes: ), and all his ribs were visible, even then - he just had high sprung ribs. Somewhere on here is a post by JJng who offers a nice guide (with pictures!) of retired greyhounds in good weight. A lot depends on your dogs' metabolism, too.

Edited by turbotaina


Meredith with Heyokha (HUS Me Teddy) and Crow (Mike Milbury). Missing Turbo (Sendahl Boss), Pancho, JoJo, and "Fat Stacks" Juana, the psycho kitty. Canku wakan kin manipi.

"Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities." - Voltaire

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One more thing - don't be swayed by the various reviews of kibble and feel that you have to go buy the most expensive stuff for your dog. Here's the rule - the best kibble for your dog is the one that your dog does well on.

 

This would also be my advice. A good healthy build, shiny coat, good skin and firm stool are all good indicators that the food works. For greys, I also try to keep the protein below 25.

 

All good advice above on ramping down the food and extras.

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TOURBOTAINA- 900 calories!!! per meal?

this is what i used to feed him when his kidneys were functioning.... and he stayed a lean 74# on 4 cups a day. (now it's a different story, don't ask)

 

  • Crude Protein (Min) 26.0% Crude Fat (Min) 16.0% Crude Fiber (Max) 4.0% Moisture (Max) 12.0% Linoleic Acid (Min) 1.5% Calcium (Ca) (Min) 1.0% Phosphorus (P) (Min) 0.8% Zinc (Min) 180 mg/kg
  • Selenium (Min) 0.30 mg/kg Vitamin A (Min) 15,000 IU/kg Vitamin E (Min) 460 IU/kg Ascorbic Acid* (Min) 70 mg/kg Glucosamine* (Min) 350 ppm Omega 3 Fatty Acids* (Min) 0.8% Omega 6 Fatty Acids* (Min) 1.6%
*Not recognized as an essential nutrient by the AAFCO Dog Food Nutrient Profiles
Calorie Content (Calculated) Metabolize Energy (ME) 3725 kcal/kg 429 kcal/cup
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Time4ANap— I kind of wish that I was seduced by pricey kibble. On most days I am! But at this moment? My lurcher has created one of those not-so-much moments.... I kind of want to kill him. Albeit, fictionally as opposed to literally. Less Dr. Kervorokian than Stephen King....

 

Anyroad, cheers for not promoting super-priced Kibble... if I could afford Kobi-Beef steak for dogs, I’d serve them Japan’s Best. Unfortunately, I’m stuck on a budget... hence, less Kobe and more Kibble. What you said about IAMs, though? Cheers! I was beginning to feel ‘negligent.’

 

My heart wrenches to hear that your Rocket has been diagnosed with kidney problems... Will your wee fella be okay? I’m sick to myself that I’ve been moaning on about potentially over feeding my remarkably spoiled hounds when your beloved boy is ill… I’m so sorry. I don’t wish to patronize you, but Rocket? He’s in my prayers. The poor wee lad.. he’s a beautiful boy. At the risk of sounding like John Lennon.

 

I love what Rocket says about ice-cream and crisps, though. I’m assuming he means people, too? Not that Rocket isn’t a person... I just mean that I hope your handsome boy includes us daft human beings in his dietary recommendations...

 

Bless you both. And tell Rocket that I respect what he had to say about ice-cream and fries. I’ll take his dietary advice to heart! For me, that is. On the flip side, I’ll use YOUR advice as for as my dogs go. Rocket can be my nutritionist and you’re a star for Beatrix & Sphinx... who’ll be seeing a hell of a lot less ice cream then me

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TOURBOTAINA- 900 calories!!! per meal?

this is what i used to feed him when his kidneys were functioning.... and he stayed a lean 74# on 4 cups a day. (now it's a different story, don't ask)

 

  • Crude Protein (Min) 26.0% Crude Fat (Min) 16.0% Crude Fiber (Max) 4.0% Moisture (Max) 12.0% Linoleic Acid (Min) 1.5% Calcium (Ca) (Min) 1.0% Phosphorus (P) (Min) 0.8% Zinc (Min) 180 mg/kg
  • Selenium (Min) 0.30 mg/kg Vitamin A (Min) 15,000 IU/kg Vitamin E (Min) 460 IU/kg Ascorbic Acid* (Min) 70 mg/kg Glucosamine* (Min) 350 ppm Omega 3 Fatty Acids* (Min) 0.8% Omega 6 Fatty Acids* (Min) 1.6%
*Not recognized as an essential nutrient by the AAFCO Dog Food Nutrient Profiles

Calorie Content (Calculated) Metabolize Energy (ME) 3725 kcal/kg 429 kcal/cup

No! Per day divided into 2 meals :lol

So your kibble is a good protein amount and pretty high in calories - Id give your girl 1.5 cups per day and your boy 2 cups per day :)


Meredith with Heyokha (HUS Me Teddy) and Crow (Mike Milbury). Missing Turbo (Sendahl Boss), Pancho, JoJo, and "Fat Stacks" Juana, the psycho kitty. Canku wakan kin manipi.

"Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities." - Voltaire

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Why can’t your login name [Time4ANap] be my lurcher’s attitude?

 

 

I have a lurcher, too. He started to slow down a little at age 6. :colgate But here's the weird thing -- He weighs 63 lbs compared to my retired racer, who weighs 78. That's about 20% less. They're about the same age. So you'd think he'd get 20% less food, or even less difference. But even though the lurcher is more active all day every day compared to the retired racer, the lurcher gets 33% less food to maintain weight.

 

Somebody check my math -- I have to take off my shoes and socks to count to 20.

Edited by EllenEveBaz

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Ellen, Milo, and Jeter

remembering Eve, Baz, Scout, Romie, and Nutmeg

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I’ve stayed out of this since I don’t feed kibble, but OP said her lurcher is only 18 months, so essentially an adolescent. I think you would want to feed him more than a four year old as he is still growing, and will probably have a higher energy level. Just another thing to consider :)

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I have a lurcher, too. He started to slow down a little at age 6. :colgate But here's the weird thing -- He weighs 63 lbs compared to my retired racer, who weighs 78. That's about 20% less. They're about the same age. So you'd think he'd get 20% less food, or even less difference. But even though the lurcher is more active all day every day compared to the retired racer, the lurcher gets 33% less food to maintain weight.

 

Somebody check my math -- I have to take off my shoes and socks to count to 20.

Ellen, you are very very funny. Now, there aren't any numbers except for toes and fingers in your post. I assume you have everything. Now being an artist I'm fine with estimates. but do I presume that Jeter eats 1/3 of felix's daily rations or Jamie's ?
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I have a lurcher, too. He started to slow down a little at age 6. :colgate But here's the weird thing -- He weighs 63 lbs compared to my retired racer, who weighs 78. That's about 20% less. They're about the same age. So you'd think he'd get 20% less food, or even less difference. But even though the lurcher is more active all day every day compared to the retired racer, the lurcher gets 33% less food to maintain weight.

 

Somebody check my math -- I have to take off my shoes and socks to count to 20.

Ellen, you are very very funny. Now, there aren't any numbers except for toes and fingers in your post. I assume you have everything. Now being an artist I'm fine with estimates. but do I presume that Jeter eats 1/3 less of felix's daily rations which is around 2/12- 3 cups or 1209 calories?
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