How often do you reassess the amount you feed your dog?
Some pet parents continue to measure out the same amount of kibble and wet food through their dog’s entire life, changing it only on their vet’s orders. But, according to new insights collected from Whistle devices, that habit could lead to weight gain if your dog goes through periods of higher and lower activity throughout the year.
Dog weight can actually be a sensitive topic for many people. Loafs, boofers, chonks… these can be terms of endearment for some pets, but underneath all that snookums love, how worried should pet parents be when they notice a little extra paunch on their pooch?
Because our partners at WALTHAM Centre for Pet Nutrition and the University of Liverpool found that overweight dogs do, in fact, live shorter lives than those with ideal weights, we find it more important than ever to empower pet parents to keep their pups in perfect health.
And we do this with the Whistle app, where you can learn the right amount of food you should be feeding your dog and what an ideal body weight looks like for your particular size and breed. Both of those discoveries help you give them exactly what they need. Another key factor to keep in mind: how many calories your dog is actually burning. And, according to our insights, your dog may not be burning the same amount of calories every month.
Let’s look at Beagles for an example...
The graph below shows an adult Beagle’s calorie burn by month. Without tracking activity, one might think summer would include the higher activity months because of all the outdoor adventure. But for this dog, summer actually saw the lowest monthly activity. Looking at the year as a whole, you can see a substantial disparity between the peak activity of April and the lowest activity of September.
According to one popular dog food brand, Beagles in this dog’s weight range should eat 1.75 cups of food daily. But one look at the chart shows that a consistent amount of food throughout the year will not match the amount of energy the dog is naturally burning.
Doing the math, if a pet parent fed their 30-pound beagle 1.75 cups of food year-round, they’d be overfeeding the poor pooch by up to 2.5 pounds of food per season, which could add up to 7.5 extra pounds of food per year!
Instead of taking the same-amount-every-day approach, you can stay more in tune with your pet’s weight by reassessing their feeding every 3 months, adjusting for any major changes in their activity levels. The Whistle app takes in your dog’s age, weight, breed, and activity levels, giving you back all the information you need to keep that lovable pup in tip top shape!
Go ahead—give it a whirl yourself and see what you learn.