Five Tips to Make Measuring your Dog’s Food Servings a Habit
Last week we discussed why exercise alone does not guarantee that your pet will be slim and fit. It is the combination of steady exercise and proper feeding that will ensure that your dog is healthy and at their proper weight.
The only way to ensure that you are feeding the correct amount is to measure their servings and account for treats. Today we will provide five tips to help make measuring part of your normal routine.
There are two pieces of information that you need to know before you can determine proper feedings for your dog:
- The amount of calories your dog burns each day.
- The number of calories in their food and treats.
You do have these values handy, right? If not, check out our website tools (the Dog Food Database and the Calorie Tracker) or our iPhone app to determine these values. With these in hand, you should be able to determine proper portions, after accounting for feeding frequency and treats. (We will be publishing a post specifically on how to determine serving sizes in the coming weeks).
Five Tips to make it Easy to Measure your Dog’s Food
Assuming you do know how much you should be serving your pet, here are five easy tips to keep their feedings in line with their goals.
- Use a measuring cup to dole out food portions. If you know that your dog needs 2 cups of food per day, it is not good enough to eyeball what that is.
- Use a high-tech feeding device, like the one from Petnet.io. New technologies can be great and make our lives easier and more precise. The SmartFeeder from Petnet, is a pretty cool device that, among other things, does the calculations for you and automatically dispenses the proper amount of food. This feeder will be available in a few months and is worth considering.
- Split meals into two feedings. Like with humans, providing food throughout the day can help keep the dog’s blood sugar levels more consistent and reduce hunger. Try serving one half of the target food in the morning and one half in the evening.
- Use treat bags to dole out treats. Treats can be the bane of any dog’s diet. So many pet owners hand these out from the jar without really noticing how many (or how many calories) we have added for the day. Take out a plastic bag or other container and dole out the day’s treat rations first thing in the morning. Or dole out the whole week’s rations into individual containers if you prefer. In either case, for a given day, once that container is empty of treats, then you know that your dog has had enough. Resist the temptation to reach back into the biscuit jar!
- Use smaller treats like the Cloudstar Tricky Trainers or Itty Bitty Buddy products which contain 3-4 calories each. The fact is, dogs don’t do really discriminate between big treats or smaller treats. They just love the fact that you are providing them with something tasty. So use smaller treats and/or cut or break larger treats into halves or quarters. This will allow you to reward your dog throughout the day without breaking their diet.
Do you have any additional tricks to share?
Don’t forget to join us next week for the FitDog Friday One Year Anniversary Celebration. We’re going to have a huge prize package, a FitDOG Quiz where you can win a $50 Amex gift card and lots of chances to win a SlimDoggy bandana (soon to be a collector’s item). Be sure and join us!Please enjoy our FitDog Friday Blog Hop brought to you by SlimDoggy and our co-hosts To Dog with Love and My GBGV Life. Join the Hop or just enjoy the links below - lots of fun fitness tips and advice!