volumes or weight feed other dogs is rather meaningless for the following reasonsI was wondering how many cups of food you feed your hounds? Let's say how much when they were feed as a puppy compared to what you feed to adults.[/b]
1. the amout of calories for a given food volume or weight varries greatly between brands.
i.e. brand x may require 2 cups for y calories while another brand could be twice as much
2. each dogs activity and metablism is different two dog same breed and weight may have very different feed requirement. My harrier and basset are approximately the same weight but the basset requires twice as much food as the harrier. the fact she is 6 years younger has a lot do do with it.
Use the dog food manufactures recommendations as a guide but keep in mind it is in there interest to sell more food not less the following are a few of the ways to assess a dogs body condition (weight) use it as a guide on whether to feed more or less. You will likely find variation in food requirement by season. For mine they require less in the dog days of summer than at other times of the year
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Purina Body Condition ChartDogs vary in height, bone structure, and muscularity, so there is no one correct weight for a dog of any given breed. The best way to determine whether a dog is overweight is to test 3 different parts of the body: the neck, the ribs, and the hips.
To check the neck, press your thumb and index finger deep into the side of the neck just ahead of the shoulder, and pinch them together. If your fingers are more than 1/2" apart, the dog is overweight. (Note: this is where old dogs tend to carry most of their excess fat, and they may actually be thin in other locations.)
To check the ribs, stand with your dog beside you, facing his butt. Place your thumb on the middle of his spine half way down the back and spread your fingers out over his last few ribs. Then run your fingers up and down along his skin. You should be able to feel the bumps of his ribs without pressing in.
To check the hips, run your hand over your dog's croup. You should be able to feel the bumps of his two pelvic bones without pressing down.
Some of you may be reading this and thinking, "I would never want my dog to be that skinny!" Think about the Olympic athletes. If you want your dog to be an athlete then it is only fair that you do what you can to help him achieve the body that he will need to perform and stay healthy and injury free for many years[/b]
and image to help illustrate the feel the rib method. if when you rub the rib area of the dog and it feel like the ridges of your knuckes in a clenched fist the dog is too thin, If it feels like the back of your hand the dog is to fat finally if it feel like it does over your finger than the dog is fine.
keep in mind that most people even using these method under under estimate the weight of their dogs i.e. the thing they are ideal when in fact they are over weight so it is wiser and healthier for the dog to be slightly underweight than it is to be slightly overweight.
Purina® Study Confirms Link Between body Fat and Certain Health Conditions
Other Purina research found that most owners couldn't accurately assess their dogs' body conditions. When owner and expert scores were compared, only 28 percent of owners characterized their pets as above ideal body condition, while 79 percent of the experts scored those same animals to be above ideal body condition. Dr. Larson says this gap is serious because pet owners are not likely to recognize that their pets are overweight and even moderate excess body fat may lead to problems.[/b]