My sister recently adopted a new dog. For those of you keeping dog score that is Sister: 3, Me: 1. I’ve had the pleasure of letting her out during the day, she isn’t quite housebroken yet. After our meet and greet one weekend my sister and I were discussing all things dog, training, toys, reactivity, and then she asked a very poignant question: How many calories is a dog supposed to eat in a day?
Phew! It seems like a simple question, but it is much more complicated. I could’ve made up a number, or just shrugged. I, however, had a good answer! There is no one answer!
There are too many factors to give a simple number.
What breed of dog?
What is the dog’s activity level?
Does the dog have any special diet needs?
What kind of food do you are you going to feed?
The last question is the most complicated, at least to me. Different types of food provide different nutritional needs for dogs. If you feed inexpensive food you’ll have to feed the dog more. “Cheap” food has lots of filler in it, so in order to meet the dog’s needs you’ll have to compensate.
There are so many differing opinions on dog nutrition it is hard to know who to listen to. Some people say dogs should only eat meat, some say raw, some talk supplements. It is a confusing world out there! Dog food labels only make it more confusing.
Dog food is a big and strange business, so what do you feed your dog? I, personally, am of the “what works for you” camp. In an ideal world, all dogs would get the nutrition they need. It wouldn’t be so complicated.