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Discussion Starter #1
I just adopted Jose from a local rescue. he's over 10 years old, with complicated medical issues and a history of severe abuse and neglect. he has luxating patellas, discospondylitis, osteoarthritis, among other things, He's on prednisalone (anti-inflammatory), clavamox (AB for the DS), gabapentin (pain). he's extremely allergic to any analgesics. just had vet check. he weighs 5.8 pounds. he really could stand to lose a pound or so.

he came to me on wellness petites, grain free. he's a very fussy eater. can't have raw food because of the chronic infection. i looked at the dog food calculator, plugged in the numbers and it has me feeding 210 grams a day! i don't think that's right.

because of the medication, he needs to eat 2 meals and 2 snacks throughout the day. please help me figure out his total daily amount. thanks!
 

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I am happy to help you do the calculations, but I am not sure which food you are feeding. Wellness small breed grain free dry? One of their cans or other wet foods? I you post a link to the product on their website, I will help you calculate. I love doing that stuff!


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Discussion Starter #6
i've only had him a week, and the instructions from the rescue were a little complicated for me. he seems to eat all the flavors just as well (so far). he gets 1 T at breakfast and dinner, and 2 t at bedtime. he needs to eat with the meds he takes.
 

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From what I can find, he should probably be getting around 144 calories a day. That translates to a total of 1 1/3 trays each day assuming you are evenly alternating through all the flavors. The trays say they are 3oz each, so a total of 5oz by weight. So, I would weigh his food on a good kitchen scale. We have a nice digital one. Just put his bowl on the scale before turning it on, add food to correct weight, and feed. Judging by the rescue's recommendations, I would say to give 1.5oz for each of the two meals and 1oz for each of the two snacks.

Edit: he could go as low as 1 1/3 trays or 4oz total per day. Then you could do 1oz at each of the four feeding times or do 1.5oz twice a day and 0.5oz twice a day. Some flavors have many more calories than others, so this might change if he only eats a few of the 8 flavors.

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In case you want to see all the data, here it is:

Calories in each flavor
82 Mini filets chicken
83 mini filets turkey
81 mini filets beef
80 mini filets chicken & beef
90 casserole chicken
98 casserole turkey & duck
93 casserole beef & salmon
92 casserole lamb
87.4 average
144 kcal/day (115-173) for 4.8lb dog
1.65 trays/day (1.32-1.98)

Calorie needs calculated from http://www.petchidog.com/chihuahua-food-feeding


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Small dogs gain and loose weight quickly. It shouldn't be too hard to decrease his food intake. You could divide his meals into 3-4 smaller meals a day instead of just two. This would give his body a chance to better digest his meals. 5.8 lbs does not seem like he's too much overweight. What ever amount you are currently feeding now can be divided into 3rd or 4ths, but before you divide it, maybe start with reducing that amount by say 1 tablespoon. Feeding recommendations are just a general measurement to go by. The rule of thumb is to gauge how the dog looks and adjust feed accordingly. By dividing his meals into 3rd and 4ths he won't even know the total amount has been reduced and most importantly, he won't be hungry. Once you get him to your ideal weight, you can go back to feeding twice a day. The type of snacks you feed are also very important to maintaining weight. You could feed green beans, carrots, bananas, homemade dehydrated liver treats, etc. Store bought treats are full of sugar and artificial flavorings and have tons of recalls.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
it turns out jose is much more fussy than i ever imagined. rather than ask you about each food as i run through ones he will or will not eat, can you help me figure out how to determine how much of a particular food to feed? if he needs 144 calories/day, how do i figure out how many calories there are in the food i'm serving?
 

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From this link, click on each flavor, scroll down, and click on the "Feeding Guidelines" tab. The end of the last line lists the calories (kcal) per container. Divide 144 by that number. The result is the number of containers you feed each day.
http://www.wellnesspetfood.com/features.aspx?pet=dog&att=2

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I wouldn't worry too much about weighing everything and counting calories.
Just reduce his food a little and increase his exercise. As he loses you can reduce a little further. You want a slow, steady weight loss
it is easy to get hung up on guidelines for quantities, but they are only guidelines, each dog is an individual. So feed the dog in front of you, check his condition weekly and adjust portion size accordingly.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
that's usually how i am with my critters. but jose presents some special issue. he's older (the rescue guesses somewhere over 10 years old) and i know that older dogs can sometimes be a challenge when it comes to food. the other thing is that he's on medication that needs to be taken with food. i have started to give him his meds in a treat separately, so i know he's at least getting that . .
 

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Discussion Starter #17
so, apologies again for my anal retentive self. but can you just check if i'm figuring this out right?

there's a 6 oz can of food that's 1400 kcal per container. so if jose needs 144 kcal/day, that means there's 9.72 days (~10 days) worth of food in that one can, right?

and if 6 ounces is ~170 grams, that means each day's portion would be 17 grams, right (170 grams divided by 10 days)? and 17 grams divided by 3 meals would be 5.66 grams each meal.

measuring out by grams is easier, especially when the portions get small. does that formula work right?
 

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I think you are doing the right calculations, but using the wrong numbers. I would guess that 1400 kcal is what is in a kilogram of food, not a can. It is confusing, but I have often seen kcal/kg listed on websites or packages. It might also list kcal/container (or per cup in dry foods), but you may have to calculate it. So in this case, 6oz is 170g. So I would divide 1400 by 1000 to get kcal/g, which is 1.4. Then multiply that by 170 to get 238. So 238 kcal/can. Then you can divide his calorie need of 144 by 238 to get 0.6 cans per day. So 0.6 times 170 is 102, which is the total grams to feed each day.


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