Anyway... Kamp Coach Jessica's mini challenge this month was to figure out if you're feeding your dog the right amount of food.
The basic idea was to calculate your dog's calories in and calories out and see, based on your dog's current weight (fine? A little pudgy? Too thin?) if you need to make some adjustments.
|"Does this fur make my butt look big, Momma?"|
How many calories does my dog need?
I used the SlimDoggy app on their site (you can use the Calorie Calculator on the right hand side of their home page) and input Rita's weight, age, and activity level to estimate the number of calories she needs. Unfortunately, we haven't been doing our extra walks at night lately like we were during Kamp (cuz the hubs has been working a lot - bummer) so I estimated based on 1 hour per day of light activity (walking/playing). The estimate was just over 1000 calories per day.
|"Don't be shy with the calories, Momma!"|
This part's a little harder as many treats don't have the calories on them, but I was easily able to look up the calories for most of her food and the main treats that she gets. The rest I estimated based on the size/type of treat compared to others that I knew.
Based on my calculations and estimates here and there, I figured Rita is getting about 650 calories from her breakfast/dinner, and another 300 calories from her treats, which would put her at 950, or just a bit under the 1000 per day that the SlimDoggy app estimated.
Since she looks "ideal" to me (or maybe just 1 or 2 pounds over ideal), I think we're probably feeding her the right amount for her level of exercise, so I wasn't surprised that the calories she needs more or less equaled the calories she's getting. When we get back to our 2-walks/day routine, she'll easily lose that 1 or 2 lbs. (Hope I will!)
|Visible waist and ribs with a nice "tummy tuck"|
What did I learn?
I know that we give Rita a lot of treats (she gets 1 when Daddy leaves for work, 1 if I leave her alone, 1 after a walk, a stick or chew in the middle of the afternoon, 2 for "dessert" at night, a few small ones at bedtime) but I didn't realize she was getting 1/3 of her calories from treats!
I was a bit shocked and thought at first, we gotta stop doing that! But then I thought... treats for her aren't like "treats" for me. It's not like she's eating an actual cookie or a bowl of ice cream. She gets good quality stuff, mostly low-grain, full of protein and some of them are very low cal like the Zuke's Mini Naturals that she loves for a bedtime snack. Since she looks good, and since she LOVES her treats, I'm okay with that.
I also learned that a kcal is the same as a regular ol' calorie!
It's an interesting "exercise" that you might want to try for your pup! And be sure to check out You Did What With Your Wiener next Friday for the next mini-challenge!
Thanks to Kamp Coach Jessica for the challenge and to SlimDoggy for hosting the FitDog Friday hop!