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How Dogs Are Supposed to Eat

  • A puppy eats BIG
  • A stray eats BIG

A normal dog eats dry dog food with little interest, may even skip meals.

You have to add something to the dry food to keep them eating ‘well’ at every feeding, but then they go past “lean” and into fat.

A dog’s waist should be exactly 75% of the diameter of the chest*.  

  1. A 12 inch chest should have a 9 inch waist.
  2. A 20 inch chest should have a 15 inch waist.
  3. A 30 inch chest should have a 23 inch waist.
*exceptions exist in greyhounds and Salukis which may be < 2/3rds the chest.

When a dog is eventually at a healthy weight it will get PICKY about dry dog food. If we left it at that, our dogs would never get fat.

At that point it’s your call whether you mix something in the dry food to coaxe a lean dog to eat, or simply let her eat per her needs, and stay lean.

“She stopped liking her food. She just wouldn’t eat it.”

This is because they don’t NEED many calories when they’re mostly indoors, lean and healthy.

If I don’t say something about a dog’s overweight it means I gave up. It suggests the dog is an ornament or plaything, not a real creature.

The leading killer of dogs is overweight impacts on heart, airway and joints.

The number one owner error is struggling to convince an overweight dog to eat.

“If I don’t mix something in his dry food he won’t eat it.”

“Yes he will, he’ll regain an interest when he loses a little weight on his bratty hunger strike and he realizes you aren’t going to cave in.”

“No, I let him go hungry for two straight days looking at his dry food, then I gave him his usual milk shake, his peanut butter, Skittles and his bacon, so he wouldn’t die.”

“You just made my entire point.”

controlling overweight in dogs

dogs that are fat

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Dr Erik Johnson

Dr Erik Johnson is a Marietta, Georgia Veterinarian with a practice in small animal medicine. He graduated from University of Georgia with his Doctorate in 1991. Dr Johnson is the author of several texts on Koi and Pond Fish Health and Disease as well as numerous articles on dog and cat health topics.

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