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I'm seriously confused. We feed wellness core puppy. I followed the instructions, actually fed a bit less to make up for treats (she gets maybe 4-5 a day?) and the random stuff she steals here and there (ugh), and my puppy got pudgy, couldn't really feel the ribs (she's fluffy though so it's not always obvious).

So I decreased her food after the got spayed (went from 3 cups to 2), and I realized now that I'm feeding half as much as what the package says! That sounds completely insane. She's back at a healthier weight now and you can feel the last couple ribs (she still looks pudgy but again, she has a wide ribcage and she's fluffy).

Her activity is average I think? 2 miles walk in the morning, bit of playing outside during the day (chasing squirrels and sniffing around), then some zoomies around dinner time. She spends maybe 3-4 hours a day in her crate.

I just really don't understand how it can be so far off. I mean, she steals food from the kids, but it's maybe a couple crackers/pretzels here and there, it's not like she ever got away with eating 2 sausages or something...


Thoughts?
 

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Unless you have a working dog - working 7 days/week - the package recommendations are usually greatly inflated.

It's hard to avoid the conclusion that the food manufacturers are okay with obese dogs as long as they sell more food.
 

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If I fed the package recommendations, my dog would be morbidly obese. There are too many factors for them to be accurate. Altered dogs don't need as much calories while unaltered need more. Activity levels vary widely. Individual dogs have different metabolisms.
 

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My intact male, teenaged, highly (HIGHLY) active puppy eats close to the recommended amount.

The adult, altered dogs eat somewhere between 1/2 and 1/4 the guidelines - even the super active BC hovers around 1/2 the amount the back of (most) bags say. Right now they're on Nature's Variety INstinct where the recommendations are not quite so insane but are still up there for my dogs. She's eating slightly over a cup of food a day.

They all also have a fair amount of training treats thrown in, but even removing that for 4 of 4 no way would I feed the normal amount and frankly I'll cut that puppy back pretty hard once he's altered.
 

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There's no way I could feed my dog the recommended amount on the bags. She would be huge. The food she's on now recommends 55 grams for her weight and activity level. She maintains on about 22 grams.
 

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This is really interesting to hear! My guy, just turned two, eats MORE than the bag recommends (by about a cup a day), as many treats as he wants, and gets moderate exercise. I haven't figured out what his deal is, except maybe really fast metabolism. Everything is normal with him (clean fecal exam and recent vet exams), so I just figure that must be it. He is tall for his weight -- no one ever believes he is only 65 lbs. The trainer we worked with did comment that the others of his breed she has worked with seem to be super lean and then hit three and chunk out, so we keep an eye on him to be sure, but he's a very skinny dog!

Anyway, so I came down to say I use it as a starting point, but then judge based on what my dog needs weight-wise.
 

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Every dog is different. Jackson would balloon up if I fed him the recommended amounts on most food bags.

He's 18lbs, moderately active and his Acana kibble recommends for a 22lb 'less active' dog to be fed 1 cup per day. He eats half that. The "more active 1 hour+ per day" recommendations were 1.5 cups per day!

Granted, he gets extra treats (like usually a dentastix or something similar at night and some treats throughout the day) but he thrives on 1/2 cup per day mixed with a spoonful of wet food. If he ate a cup of food per day, he'd be overweight.
 

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Mine would be way overweight if I went by the package; their breed is prone to having breathing issues if overweight so really have to watch the amount. With treats added in for teaching her things the package says 1 and 2/3 cups a day and she gets a little less than 1 cup a day split into two times.
 

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They're not for most dogs, IME/IMO. I'd be feeding Squash 5-6 cups a day and he'd be as big as my minivan if I followed them.
 
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