Like other animals, dogs eat to satisfy their requirement for calories. In order to be balanced, a diet must, therefore, provide all the essential nutrients in proportion to the animal’s calorie intake. A balance of energy is important to maintain a dog in good health at all stages of his life. Too little can result in loss of weight, lethargy and poor condition, too much will lead to obesity and all its complications – such as joint problems or respiratory difficulties.

The calorie requirement of your dog will depend on how active he is, if he is kept indoors or outside, and if he is ill, elderly or still growing. Pregnant and lactating bitches also have a greater energy requirement.

When using a prepared pet food, the label on the packaging will provide a guideline as to how much to feed your dog. Bear in mind that these recommendations are a guideline only and you may need to make adjustments according to your dog’s needs. If your dog is very active, he may need more than the recommended amount, but if he is quite sedentary then he will probably need less. Also, don’t forget to allow for any other food he is receiving – the calories in biscuits, treats and other titbits soon add up.

The easiest way to keep an eye on your dog’s feeding habits and general health is to use the evidence of your hands and eyes. If the dog appears alert and bright-eyed and is neither thin nor overweight, then he is probably in good health and benefiting from a properly balanced diet. However, if your dog seems to be getting overweight, you may well be overfeeding him. In this instance, try to establish a balance by cutting down the total amount of food or by reducing the amount of biscuits if you are feeding him a meat and biscuit ration.

Most adult dogs of nine months and older can be given their daily food allowance in one meal, although this can be divided into two or more meals if it is more convenient for you or suits your dog better. Remember that small dogs have small stomachs and may prefer to be fed twice a day.

Similarly, growing and working dogs, bitches that are pregnant or lactating, and dogs that are sick or convalescing will usually need more than one meal a day. Use your judgement to ensure that your dog is taking the right amount of food at the right times.

We recommend and feed all our Dobermanns on Royal Canin Formulas

This information is referenced from the Waltham website which can be located at www.waltham.com

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