Alright, I went to the vet, they said feed as it says on the back of the bag....she doesnt eat all that food! then I went and asked the trainer, she said a half of cup per seven pounds. The dog I have is a lab....HELP....what do i do?
That's always tricky. What are you feeding? That changes a lot. If she's not eating the amount on the back of the bag, then I'd cut back and feed what she'll eat. The best way is to monitor the dog's weight. You should be able to easily feel the ribs. If you notice your dog losing weight, up the food, if your dog is gaining, then decrease food.
Some dogs seem very good about managing their own weight. Mine now are, however, my old sheltie would've eaten anything you put in front of her. Even size/breed doesn't really matter imo. I have two papillons that are roughly the same size and age (7 lbs and 5 years). One eats over twice as much as the other yet he's still in great shape.
The amounts on the back of the bag are on the high side and assume you've got a dog that herds cattle all day long. That's the biggest factor on how much to feed....the amount of exercise the dog gets every day. That's also why some dog foods are very high calorie....often called performance foods for the working dog.
As Laurelin pointed out, the other factor is metabolism rate. That changes as dogs age so, what you feed this month might be too much several months from now.
In general, if your dog is sedentary I'd go as low as you can. If you're doing 15 mile runs every day then I'd opt for 1/2-3/4 of what the bag recommends and see how the weight goes. Don't forget to count the 'extra' dog treats that you use for training.
I started my pups at the amount it said on the bag. I quickly figured out that Bella ate far less than that amount and that Bug ate the lower end of the amount. Now 9 months later Bella still eats less than what the bag calls for and Bug eats about right in the middle of the amount the bag calls for. Both are a good weight.
I base my amount by what he needs... if he turns into a hoover and starts trying to eat everything in site, I will give him a little more food that day. This is all while watching his weight very closely. I'm not sure if it is a fluke, but it turns out the EXACT amount I have been feeding him is what this calculator recommends.
Just type in your dog's vitals and it will give you a daily caloric intake, then you can enter your food's values on the right and it will tell you how many cups a day to give him of that particular food.
Good Luck, and as always watch your dogs weight, if he starts to gain some chubb, cut back, if he's starting to get too lean, add a little. As mentioned above make sure to compensate for whatever treats you give during that day as well.
Honestly, I don't think I'd worry about how much your dog is eating. I think its fine as long as he's eating, acting normal, and he's at healthy weight. I'd be a lot more concerned if he started losing weight, or acting lethargic.
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