Pet Obesity and Its Challenges
How much is (REALLY) in your Dog’s Food Bowl?
Measuring our pet’s food is the only way to know how much they are eating, but it’s how you measure their food that makes all the difference.
How does a puppy, kitten, adult dog or cat, go from “normal” weight, to slightly overweight, to chubby, then obese?
The first step when it comes to our pet’s health is to eliminate any and all medical conditions. Have your dog/cat/pet examined by your vet to make sure there are no underlying conditions. Once they are given the all clear, then we need to take a good look into how much we are putting in our dogs’ food dish!
How much is our dog REALLY eating?
It’s sooo easy to overfeed our pets. Do you take into consideration the treats or table scrapes you give your dog? Do you adjust meals (give less) if treats are given throughout the day?
How do you measure, or not, your pets food?
- Are you a scooper?
- Do you pour the kibble into a bowl then refill when empty?
- How about eyeballing the amount?
- Maybe you use a measuring cup, mug or dish from your cupboard?
- Have you ever weighed your dogs’ food on a scale?
Do you actually know how much your dog or pet is eating?
If asked the question, “how much does your dog eat”, could you confidently answer that question?
Knowing just how much our pet eats has benefits other than maintaining proper weight, it can give us an indication of possible health issues – pet eating less than usual or is unsatisfied and demanding more food.
Without properly measuring our pet’s food, the likelihood of them being underfed, I believe, is very slim, in fact, its more likely the opposite is true and our pets are being overfeed!
In this above photo, 41 grams is the amount of dry kibble my dog Edie gets fed twice a daily.
If I was to add just 10 additional kibble, which from the above picture really doesn’t look like much, the result for Edie would be an increase of 6 additional grams of food per day, or, a complete additional meal per week! That may not sound like much, but that additional amount of food would soon show up as an increase in Edie’s weight when she gets on the scale.
Dr. Jackie Parr,a board certified veterinary clinical nutritionist, who is also known as “The Kibble Queen” discusses here in her article #BanTheCup, how easy it is even for veterinarians to over estimate the amount of food given to a dog without weighing it out on a scale. Dr. Parr has even gone so far as to suggest that we should #BanTheCup and only use scales to measure out our pet’s food.
Test yourself – measure out your pet’s food as you usually would, then place it on a scale, you just might have an eye opener! Chances are you are feeding much more than you thought and much more than is recommended.
So if you were asked, “how much does your pet eat”, could you honestly and without hesitation answer?
How do you measure, or not, your dog or cat’s food?
I do not pretend to know all the answers. I do not have a medical background. I’m not a nutritionist, and I am not a vet. I’m a pet owner that had an obese dog. I share my story and journey, what worked, what didn’t work and how it made a difference in my dog’s health. The topic of pet nutrition and the side effects of pet obesity is a topic I thrive to learn more about. I do not suggest what worked for me will work for you or your dog, I am not here to debate ingredients in foods or what type of diet is best for your pet, but if I can encourage, answer questions or possibly be an inspiration to other pet owners, then I’ve achieved my goal.