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Discussion Starter #1
Hello all, i have a mixed puppy, her dad is a 145 lb presa canario her mom is a 40 lbs rotti mix (rotti american bulldog i think). The vet said go with large breed which i am, but all the instructions are based on projected adult weight (she could be anywhere from 40-100). Im feeding her 3 cups a day one at every meal, but i just dont want to be over feeding her, how can i know? at 8 weeks old 12inches to top of shoulder and 18lbs if that helps. cheers

(note im feeding her Blue brand ((Blue buffalo)) large breed puppy food)
 

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If you notice that she's getting chubby, cut back on her food. If she's looking a little thin, up the amount. If you're unsure if she's getting too pudgy or too thin, ask your vet if they can take a look at her.
 

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I'm not a big fan of the feeding instructions on the back of the bag past using them as a starting point. The amount you feed needs to be what keeps your dog at a healthy weight. I don't know how old your pup is but you'll (generally) feed more as she's growing and then less as an adult. For example, when I brought my boy home at 13 weeks he was getting ~4.5 cups a day divided between three meals. By 20 weeks he was getting 6 cups a day (divided into 3 meals until 6 months, and then two meals after that). Now that he's mostly done growing all he needs to keep him at a healthy weight is 2 - 2.5 cups a day.

Ask whoever you're getting your girl from how much she eats a day and use that to start. If she starts to look pudgy, slowly cut the amount down a little bit. If she starts to look skinny, increase the amount slowly.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
She is 9 weeks on tuesday. She does get a chubby belly after eating, and sometimes for a bit after, but usually on a morning after sleeping she is looking pretty slim again. I can feel her ribs fairly easily as well. I just want whats best for her :p and there is a LOT of conflicting info on the internet sometimes. thanks for the help!
 

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She is 9 weeks on tuesday. She does get a chubby belly after eating, and sometimes for a bit after, but usually on a morning after sleeping she is looking pretty slim again. I can feel her ribs fairly easily as well. I just want whats best for her :p and there is a LOT of conflicting info on the internet sometimes. thanks for the help!
At that age, I would feed her free choice. Also make sure she has access to water at all times.

She is growing and growing FAST! She could use all the food she can get. Maybe get some thing like some TOTW for free choice. I don't like puppy food for large mastif breeds. I would also look into some Viamins, I know some mastiff breeders recomend it because they grow so fast.
 

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I have two dogs and I am also facing the same problem. I also need some advice about feeding my pets. I liked the advice of marsha=whitie. I'll try it on my dogs.
 

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Why?? This tends to devalue food, so it loses its potential as a training tool. I'd be working with a 9 wk old pup very frequently, and I'd like my treats to be valuable to the dog.
It (free feeding) also complicates potty training. What goes in, must come out; and if it goes in at consistent times, it is more likely to come out at consistent times (esp as the dog matures)
 

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Another knock on free feeding - Free feeding is not something I'd suggest, not only for the reasons above but also because not eating is a strong sign of sickness in a dog. If you are free feeding your dog it is really hard to know how long it's been since they last ate and how much they ate.
 

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Usually feeding recommendations on food bags are a bit inflated. What I usually do, and this might sound a bit confusing, is start just below the highest recommended amount for the weight range one lower than what my puppy/dog actually is. So if the bag says this:


0-10# A -B cups/day
10-20# C- D cups/day
20-30# E - F cups/day

And my dog weighed 25 pounds, I would start out feeding slightly less than D cups per day. Then feel their body weight frequently (for a growing puppy I do every day, for an adult dog about once a week) and adjust as needed in about 1/4 cup increments up or down based on whether they are feeling chubby or skinny. I think when Squash was going through growth spurts or quieter periods I was adjusting his food almost every day. I will also adjust my dogs' food according to their activity to prevent loss or gain.
 

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While going by body condition is the simplest and quite effective, one kind of double-check to make sure you're on the right track in the beginning is to look at the calories.
Here's a simple calculator to try Dog Calories Calculator I think this calculator seems to run a little high for adult dogs, but not as high as the recommended feeding amount on most dog food bags.
Kcals should be either printed on the dog food bag or found on the brand's website.
Don't forget that training treats do add up also and for good nutrition, you don't want to overdo it on the treats.
 

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I would not free feed, especially with a large breed. You want to control their intake, so they don't grow TOO fast, which can wreak havoc with their joints. The bag instructions are just suggestions, it will be different for every dog. I started with the bag suggestion and the monitored the dogs' weights. Every Sunday, I make a point of feeling for their ribs and giving them a once over to check their body condition and adjust accordingly if I notice a trend in one direction or another over the course of several weeks. Our 14 year old ACD mix and 9 month old BC mix weight nearly exactly the same right now...the older dog, naturally, requires considerably less food than the young dog to maintain a good weight. Large breed puppies are better off kept a bit on the lean side. There are some guidelines on the web for how to check your dog's weight (short answer is you want to feel, but not see ribs and you want to see a "tuck" up from their chest to their belly and have a noticeable "waist" when viewed from above). It's harder with a hairy dog, you can't eyeball them, you have to feel them to check for appropriate weight.
 
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