How much should I feed my doodle is a very common question and there is not always a straightforward, easy answer. There are many factors that can have an impact on how much you should be feeding your doodle. Keeping your doodle at their ideal weight and ensuring good nutrition is one of the most important ways to impact your doodle’s overall wellness. Feeding the correct amount of healthy food and proper exercise amounts is the biggest contribution that owners can have to their doodles happy and healthy life. 👍
Level of Activity
One of the factors to consider is your doodle’s activity level. The feeding charts located on dog food containers don’t take activity level into account, that is up to the owners to figure out. You may have a bordoodle that won’t stop running around or a bichpoo that mostly wants to lounge around. The factor of activity level needs to be considered by owners when calculating how much food their own doodle needs. 🐕
One of the most important factors to keeping your doodle healthy throughout their lives is keeping them at a healthy weight. As owners it is within our control to help our doodles maintain an ideal weight, contributing to their overall health. When you find a dog food that meets your doodle’s nutritional needs and is well balanced then looking at other contributing factors such as activity level you can begin to determine how much to feed them. 🎾
When determining how much to feed your doodle don’t forget about the treats. Treats should make us less than 10% of your doodles daily calorie intake. 🥓
Figuring out the right amount to feed your doodle is important. Overfeeding your doodle can lead to them gaining weight which can cause joint issues and a large list of other health concerns. 🩺 Allowing your doodles weight gain to go untreated can lead to major issues including musculoskeletal problems, heart failure, Cushing’s disease and many types of cancer. Due to these medical issues it is very important to help your doodle reach a healthy weight for their overall wellness.
Having an underweight doodle can also cause a fair share of medical issues. Feeding a doodle too little can lead to overall nutritional deficiency which can cause a few serious medical issues as well. Underweight doodles can have weakened immune systems and a loss of muscle strength.
Feeding your doodle too much or not enough can both cause medical problems. If your doodle is currently over or underweight you may need to temporarily adjust their food intake accordingly until they reach a healthy weight. ⏰
Number of Meals Per Day
How often to feed your doodle can also take some consideration as well. The general recommendation is to feed your doodle twice per day. Ensuring that your doodle eats healthy consistent meals can help to maintain their overall health and wellness. If you would like any more information on how to decide when to feed your doodle you can check out this article. 🐶
Type of Dog Food
Choosing the right type of dog food for your doodle can be a very individual choice. The age of your doodle can have an impact on which food you give them. Since dog food has different nutritional properties that match up to a doodle’s life stage. Such as puppy food, adult dog food and senior dog food. As your doodle’s age changes so do their nutritional needs.
Dry dog food brands can vary drastically in calorie count and nutritional quality from brand to brand.
With many new fresh food options entering the dog food market that can be purchased with a subscription and delivered to your front door feeding your doodle has never been easier. Using a service like this can take a lot of the guesswork out of feeding your doodle. The companies that provide these services make their food according to the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) standards for nutritionally balanced pet food, so as owners you can know that they are nutritionally balanced meals. 👏
Feeding wet dog food is also another option to choose from. It can be more expensive than dry dog food but many doodles prefer the taste. It is important to note that wet dog food can have a higher fat and protein content than dry dog food, so be sure to read the labels. 👓
A final option to consider is to use the wet dog food, homemade or fresh prepared dog foods just as a topper to dry dog food. Some owners prefer this option to round out their doodle’s meals.
Reading a Feeding Chart
Dog food companies are required to include feeding instructions on their dog food packaging, usually a dog food chart. The styles and layouts of the charts can vary from brand to brand. Usually they are fairly easy to read and determine the daily serving based on your doodle’s weight. But feeding your doodle the proper amount can be a little more complicated than just the food label. 😣
Keep in mind that dog food labels are a total daily recommendation covering a 24 hour period. If you are feeding your doodle more than once per day then you will need to divide the total daily food by how many times per day you are feeding your doodle. Although dog food labels can be helpful they have their limitations. As we discussed prior, they do not take into account your doodles age or physical activity level. Some companies’ dog food calculation may be based on a dog that is more active than your doodle and you may have to feed a little less, or the other way around. Usually about 25% of dog owners have to adjust the amount that they feed their dogs compared to the food label recommendation. 🐩
This process of your dog food evaluation will need to be done whenever you switch dog food brands or types. Checking to make sure that your doodle is getting the correct amount of food and nutrients in the proper portion for their age and activity level.
Body Conditioning Score
One tool that your veterinarian uses to determine if your doodle is at the ideal weight is the Body Condition Score (BCS). Working with your veterinarian to see what your doodles BCS is a great idea. You can also continue to use that tool to make sure that your doodle stays on track throughout their lives. 🛤️
The BCS is a quick reference guide to visually check if your doodle is at their ideal weight. Based on the BCS owners can tell if their doodles are getting too much or too little food.
Step 1: Look at your doodle from the top down. What you are looking to see is if you can identify an “hourglass” figure. ⏳ Basically what you are looking for is a wide shoulder and ribs area, then a tapering after the ribcage and finally a widening again at the hip area. The stomach should be narrower than both the shoulder area and hips.
Step 2: Look at your doodle from the side profile. The ribs area should be closer to the ground than the stomach. The term “tucked up” should describe the dog’s natural waistline.
Step 3: Finally, the ribs should not be visible, but you should be able to feel them with your fingers with light pressure. 👈
When a veterinarian is evaluating the BCS scale and where dogs land on it they grade the dog with 2 different number systems to give them a number rating. But the number doesn’t matter that much. If you know that your doodle is either a little over the ideal weight or a little under the ideal weight or they are just right. The BCS is a nice and fairly simple way to figure out where your doodle lands in relation to their ideal weight and to keep your doodle on the right track. 🎉
Keeping an eye on your doodle’s weight is an essential part to keeping them healthy and happy. If you have any questions about your doodle’s ideal weight or if you need any further information don’t hesitate to contact your veterinarian. 🧑⚕️