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Discussion Starter #1
I have a 9 month, 11 pound Maltipoo/yorkie mix. I took him to the vet a few months ago and he was perfectly healthy. For awhile now he hasn't been eating much food like 1/2-1 cup every other day. I changed from Purina puppy chow to Nature's select food first the puppy chicken then the adult salmon food and now back to the chicken (4lb bags). I was thinking he was getting bored of the same flavor. (The bag says he should be eating around 1 1/2 cups a day.) He goes on two 20 minute walks a day and he loves to play fetch. His poop is normal. He goes 2-3 times a day and he is maintaining his weight. Because he's small I've been free feeding. I know smaller dogs mature faster so maybe he's fine not gaining weight but he's not getting his calories. The only other thing he eats is a dental stick every day at 5pm. I've tried wetting his food with hot water or hot chicken bone broth thinking it would be more appealing or easier to eat if it was a tooth issue but didn't help. When he does eat he picks during the day then maybe at night he'll eat what's in his bowl. I put 1/2 cup of food in his bowl at a time so it's not too full.
 

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If his weight is good with what he's eating now, I wouldn't worry much. As long as you are keeping careful track of what he is actually eating, which can be difficult when you free feed. I'd measure out what I put in the bowl and then measure it again at the end of the night if it isn't gone just so I know exactly how much he ate.

For reference, my two 110lb dogs only eat 2.5 cups a day (each), and they are moderately active dogs. My 15lb dog eats 1/2 cup of kibble and has either sardines, pork, beef, etc mixed in.
 

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My dogs are 13.5 pound each and if they ate kibble I'd be feeding them about 1/2 cup a day. If they lost weight I'd add a couple more kibbles to the bowl, if they gained I'd subtract a few kibbles. I'd be concerned if they were getting less than 2 grams of protein per pound at a healthy weight but otherwise don't much care how much they eat so long as weight is appropriate. 2 grams/pound is a lot of protein, dogs are adequately nourished at about 1 gram per pound of weight from a commercial dog food that has measured amounts of the essential amino acids.

How many calories does that all add up to? The dental stick could be contributing far more calories than you might think as well. He seems quite large for the breed mix, can you easily feel his ribs, chest, shoulder and hip points but not see them?

I've no idea exactly which Nature's Select you are offering or how much protein is in that dental stick. If you cut/pasted the actual names it would be a help. The Select Classic has 24% protein and has 3453 kcal/kilogram which means it has 24 grams of protein and 345 kcal per 100 grams. It has 392 kcal/cup. If he is eating 1/2 cup a day and his kibble is similar to this one then he's fine eating 1/2-1 cup daily not counting the unknown numbers for the dental stick.

Glad you are measuring it out so you know how much he eats daily. I dislike leaving food out for many reasons. It would be extremely difficult to do but putting it down for 1/2 hour 2-4x a day then picking it up should help him develop better eating habits in the long run. Determine if that dental stick is a worthy addition to the diet, it should have at least as high a protein percentage as the kibble fed.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I meant Nature's Recipe not Nature's Select. But his food Nature's Recipe Grain Free Puppy Chicken Sweet Potato & Pumpkin Recipe is 25% protein, 14% fat and 351 kcal/cup. The Pedigree dental stick is 20 kcal and 8% fat. I can easily feel is ribs and spine, etc and I can't see his ribs. His brother who is larger than him weighs 15 pounds and eats anything put down in front of him (My cousin has him but I know every dog is different and he's probably over weigh because their other dog is). They are from my aunt's Maltipoo's litter and we thought they'd be about 10 pounds but all but the female are larger than that. I just want to make sure he's getting enough nutrients since he doesn't eat much. Initially I was free feeding him because that's what he was use to and he was 4 pounds so I was worried about hypoglycemia but now that he's bigger I guess that's less of a concern.
 

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If I had a tiny dog and was concerned about low blood sugar I'd try feeding tiny amounts often rather than free feeding. Granted we've currently got 'white glove' ants around that zero in on any crumb left about but I dislike the idea of food sitting around and the dog taking a nibble as he pleases. How is the litter mate fed? Possibly competition with the other dog is whetting his appetite!
 
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