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What’s for dinner?

Posted by laurie on June 4, 2012

We’ve been feeding Merrick dog food for many years. We used to mix kibble and canned, then went to all kibble with a side order of canned pumpkin or chicken broth. Phillip suggested that we feed them kibble in the morning and canned at night. Good idea! But how much of the canned? I emailed Merrick’s customer support and they sent back a feeding chart. For active dogs 21-50 pounds, they reccommend a total of 2-3 1/2 cups of kibble per day, or 1-1/2 to 1-3/4 cups of canned.

Seem high to you? Me, too! They get 1/2 cup of kibble twice a day, which is 1/2 of their recommendation. I don’t think so! We are going with 1/2 cup of kibble in the morning and a half can for supper. Stanley could probably eat less as he’s still somewhat chubby, and the bathing suit season is fast approaching.

30 Responses to “What’s for dinner?”

  1. Three cups! I feed Trumbo a cup and a quarter. Lola the Lab, who is a big girl (96 pounds of muscle) gets three cups. And Alvah gets a half cup (anything more, he just walks away). I was feeding them soft food too, but stopped. They eat Wellness and I looked at their recommendations and their suggestions pretty close to what I give them. These serving suggestions is just to get us to buy more. I already spend a bundle on dog food. And Merrick is not cheap!

  2. Karen S. said

    Yes, you have to go by the dog. The largest dog of my three dogs, Blue, is more than 2x the size of my smallest. Yet Blue dog gets the least amount of food of the three and is still kinda fat. He’s on thyroid medication now so I’m hoping he’ll lose some weight. That said, all three eat like they haven’t had a bread crumb in weeks.

    • Trumbo and Lola are the same way. Once they see the bowls out, it seems like they’ve been on a starvation diet. And I keep feeding them earlier and earlier. They used to have dinner, then supper, now it’s lunch.

  3. Amber said

    Well, I have a small announcement to make.

    Eddie had to undergo emergency surgery a week ago (the night before we left for vacation). He’d been limping, and we just assumed he’d stepped on a toy like he’d done dozens of times. By Saturday night he was literally dragging his entire hind end. So we took him to a 24 hour vet, who diagnosed him with IVDD, so he had surgery that night. We had a family member come in to take care of him while we were gone.

    The good news is that the prognosis is for a full recovery, the bad news is that he has to stay in his crate for a month! I feel so horrible for him. He’s only in his crate when he’s been bad, so he thinks he’s done something wrong, and he hasn’t Anyone have any advice with dealing with this?

    sorry for the re-post, I didn’t realize I posted this on Friday’s this morning.

    • If you can, try to get a baby pen that you can adjust the amount of space he has. Make it bigger and sit with him to keep him company and let him know he’s a good boy. When you step away, adjust so he doesn’t have so much space, but at least it’s more open than the crate.

      • Kramer and Gandolf's mom, Kate said

        I agree with Rebeca. We had to do that with one of the dogs I grew up with. She was comfortable in it, much moreso than her crate and it was open so she could see everyone. So sorry for you and Eddie, but so glad his prognosis is so good. 🙂

    • laurie said

      Amber, our Clayton was on crate rest for 7 weeks back in 2001 and it went fine. It’s long, it’s hard but he got used to it. I had several crates throughout the house and moved him from room to room so he wouldn’t be alone.

    • Karen S. said

      What is IVDD? Buy him a very tasty chew, e.g. tendon. He’ll soon forget about his cares . But don’t leave him untended with any chew.

      • Amber said

        “IVDD is caused by the degeneration of one or more intervertebral discs that function as cushions between the vertebral bones of the spine. Degeneration results in the ossification or hardening and herniation of the disc. When this happens, there is pressure exerted on the spinal cord running along the vertebral column. Since the spinal cord is a highly sensitive tissue, any compression even though how minimal may result in the manifestation of nervous signs.

        Minimal compression on the spinal cord may be manifested by mild pain which may be temporary. However, permanent paralysis may arise if the spinal cord is severely compressed. The most common sites of spinal compressions include the region of the lower back (thoraco-lumbar) and the neck region (cervical).”

        Eddie’s was the lower back. Basically w/o the surgery he’d have been paralyzed from under the ribcage down. He’s still very weak in this area and that’s why he has to be crated.

    • Luana, Cody, and Henry said

      Glad to hear that Eddie’s prognosis is so good!

  4. Julie - JB & Cassie's Mum in England said

    We’ve found that Cassie is very prone to weight gain, so she’s on Hill’s Science Plan Light. JB is on half and half Hill’s Natures Best and Light. They get a quarter of a cup in the morning with two tablespoons of canned and a little hot water to make it nice and smelly! In the evening JB has 3/4 of a cup and Cassie has 1/2 a cup, both with two tablespoons of canned. We’ve found that if you leave about 12 hours between meals they’re OK, but any longer and they get so hungry they’re sick. So they have breakfast between 7.30 and 8.30 a.m. and dinner around 7.30 p.m. They also have a Bonio biscuit at bedtime – if JB doesn’t get it he thinks he’s going to die of starvation in the night and he scratches on the kitchen door until you get up and give him one! It harks back to about three years ago when he had gastro enteritis and the vet said to starve him for 24 hours, so he had to go to bed without any dinner. It’s about the worst thing you could ever do to a beagle and he’s been determined to ensure he never goes to bed hungry again!!!!

    • Linda UK said

      Dylan does really well on Hills Science Plan Light too, it just keeps him the ‘right’ weight. Totally agree that the manufacturers want you to feed them too much.
      On an aside – Happy Diamond Jubilee to all the Brits with beagles! Should they be honorary corgis for these few days?? 🙂

      • Sue ~ Barney & Jodi's Mom said


      • Karen S. said

        Do you get the feeling that beagles write the feeding guidelines?

      • Linda UK said

        Ah well, made a scrummy Jubilee cake with Union Jack icing – gosh, did Dylan covet that! Regretfully (for him)none came his way. No manufacturer recommendations at all. We rather exceeded the one slice rule for ourselves 😉

  5. Nancy J said

    My guys are not what you would call “active” dogs. Oh, they move around and run a bit, and bark a lot; but flyball dogs they are not. We give them about 1/2 cup of kibble in the morning and just a touch more at night (their evening meal also includes veggies). Our main problem is human–us. We tend to give out way too many treats.

    I agree. The serving size on the bag is marketing driven.

  6. ChristyACB said

    We feed Blue Wilderness because the grain free seems to really play into the healthy weight with my guys. Gigi gets a scant half cup per meal, 2 meals a day. Charlie, on the other hand, who isn’t really any bigger than Gigi, gets almost a cup twice a day and we’re barely maintaining his weight (he loses so fast)! It all comes down, with them anyway, to their resting state. Gigi is laid back and snoozy while Charlie is either out like a light or on full alert.

    We also add the pumpkin. 🙂

  7. Sue ~ Barney & Jodi's Mom said

    We feel Blue Buffalo, White Fish & Sweet Potato, 2/3 c. AM & PM. PM we add pumpkin. If we fed what the bags say, they would be foot stools, Barney is almost one now. Due to……again, us. Too many treats. I have been thinknig about switching them to Blue Wilderness…hmmmm, thanks Christy

  8. Kim Henry said

    Gizmo & Ferris get about a cup each of Merricks BG, I agree, less carbs are better for our pups! luuckly we can fill their bowls, and they nibble through out the day. Several times a week, they split a can of Merricks or Evangers. Hope Eddie makes a fast & full recovery!

  9. Joan said

    We feed the beags Solid Gold Sundancer. 1/2 cup in am and pm supplemented with homemade dog stew. Dog food companies always say to feed them so much more than you should.

  10. Gloria said

    We feed our 13 inch beagle Black Gold. 1/4 cup in am and 1/4 cup in pm supplemented with treats. Our vet warns us that we do not want a “round hound” – it can cause all sorts of problems. Suzie takes a walk with us and plays with her friend the cat. We are fortunate that her weight remains around 25 lbs and she is 5. Left to her own devices she would clean out the refrigerator, the pantry and probably start defrosting the freezer. It is so hard to give in to those big brown begging eyes.

    • Cathy, Gomez & Lily said

      I laughed at your comment on defrosting the freezer – I cleaned mine out yesterday and I had a LOT of help!

    • Nancy J said

      My hubby always reminds me to double check inside the refrigerator and the freezer before I close them so we don’t have a beagle-cicle.

  11. Cathy, Gomez & Lily said

    I looked at the dog food bag once and could not figure out why – other than selling more dog food, duh – they would recommend such large servings. Now I think I know. I give the beags Taste of the Wild, which does not come in a reduced calorie version unfortunately, and Gomez and Lily get a little less than 1/2 cup twice a day. Mr. Peabody gets twice as much! Now granted, Mr. P is still on a weight gain progam and G & L are losing, but man, that’s a big difference. He’s definitely more athletic than the other two but they all get about the same amount of exercise these days, so I guess they have very different metabolisms.

  12. Joe O'D said

    Their guidelines are set for all breeds, so even though I have a very active 30 pound beagle, he only gets 1/2 cup of kibble twice a day, just like ur guys Laurie. But maybe the manufacturers aren’t taking into consideration the calories most dogs get from treats, etc?

    Hope all is well! Joe O’D

  13. Moxy eats Taste of the Wild and she loves it. No gas, and no poop eating.

    I am lucky enough to be able to just keep food in her bowl and she eats it as she’s hungry. I would guess she’s eating about 1.5 – 2 cups a day, with some treats on the side. If she starts to gain too much I just don’t refill it as quick and let it stay empty for a bit and that seems to take care of it. She’s also only 2 1/2 and I’m expecting it to get harder as she gets older.

  14. Harper said

    We feed ours twice a day (4:30 am and 5:30-ish pm). Shotzy the German Shepard is SUPER SKINNY and she gets 4-6 cups a day although some days she doesn’t eat breakfast, so it’s only 3 cups at night. JD the lab who’s older and has bad knees gets 2 cups in the morning and 2 cups in the evening; Bartles the Basset was so skinny when we got him, he fattened up really quick (bad humans, we fed too much) so now he’s 1/2 cup to 1 cup morning and night, and they all get pumpkin in their dinners (I split 1 can between the three of them).
    Laurie: Have you found chicken broth without onions? I’ve looked all over, and one of the ingredients is onions… I get worried about that, since I’ve heard from vets that onion is bad for pups.

    Amber, so sorry to hear about Eddie, but happy to hear the prognosis. What is IVDD?

  15. Debra said

    I have two beagles. One is 17 pounds, the other is 27 pounds. I feed my two beagles twice a day. I feed them both the exact same amount–1/4 cup kibble in the am and 1/4 cup kibble in the pm. I add “filler” to their kibble (pumpkin, frozen green beans, frozen mixed vegetables, cottage cheese) to make them feel full. If I feed the 27 pound dog more than 1/4 cup kibble per meal, she gains weight. Both dogs maintain their different weights (a difference of 10 pounds) despite having the same diet.

    The amount to feed your dog is specific to your dog–it depends on how much exercise the dog gets and the dog’s metabolism. Pay no attention to the recommended amounts.

  16. Mom to Sam and Sweetums said

    We give 1/2 C dry-usually Blue as it has no corn and Sweetums has indigestion often and same at night. Their treat is water added that is rinising out the small can of cat food! Sweetums could gain weight just looking at food and I am concerned her bikini might not fit in time for the annual beagle bash!

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