Feed less! Baked food is more nutritious bite-for-bite than other pet foods (most of which are quickly extruded rather than slowly baking). You'll feed significantly less!
How much should I feed my dog? See the feeding guidelines for each recipe as a starting point. Food requirements vary depending on climate, breed of dog, and amount of activity. Adjust the feeding amount to maintain your dog's optimum weight. Body weight is generally considered optimal when you can feel and almost see their ribs, and they have a prominent waistline as viewed from above.
We recommend that you weigh your dog weekly. It's far better if weight gain is noticed ASAP and a slight feeding adjustment is made. Long, strict diets are no fun for anyone!
It's especially important not to overfeed large breed dogs because they're prone to skeletal problems if they grow too quickly.
Measure once, feed twice: We recommend that you measure out the daily feeding amount once per day, then feed from that portion throughout the day. This provides a more consistent feeding amount, which is important for maintaining optimum weight. It's also more convenient, especially if you feed many times per day. Feed your dog a minimum of twice a day. Some dogs, especially high-energy small dogs, may prefer 5 feedings a day.
When to feed: We recommend feeding once in the morning and once in the early afternoon. Withhold food and water after vigorous exercise; wait until your dog has cooled down.
Transition: When changing to an oven-baked food, some dogs prefer a gradual transition over 7 to 10 days. Start with 25% of the new food mixed with 75% of the previous diet, and gradually increase the new while decreasing the previous until the transition is complete. Sudden diet change may cause loose stool or stomach discomfort. Typically, a gradual transition is not necessary when changing to another Pinto Canyon food because all of our foods are similar in quality and cooking process.
Rotating Flavors: Some dogs prefer variety and that's fine! Because all of our foods are baked and all have a similar Guaranteed Analysis, you can immediately switch between Pinto Canyon recipes. A gradual transition is typically not necessary between our foods!
Wet Food: Another great quality of oven-baked food is that it doesn't swell and get all gross when wet. If your dog prefers wet food, or has sensitive teeth, simply pour a little lukewarm water over the kibble, let it sit for a couple of minutes, and your dog can enjoy a moist meal!
Overweight Pets: Humans and pets both have to push away from the table. We find many pet owners that have switched to Pinto Canyon products are still feeding the amount of food they formerly fed. With concentrated Pinto Canyon super premium foods, it is best to feed at least 25% less. Pets, like humans, require a little time for the stomach to adjust and to reduce their food intake to the proper amount. During this period of reducing the amount fed to a dog, add lightly cooked vegetables of all types—carrots, rice, broccoli, potatoes, celery, green beans, and pasta. This is great for your dog's health.
Soft Stool: Premium oven-baked dog food is nutritionally rich and has no useless fillers. During a change to a premium food, some pets may have a softer stool. A premium food will start cleaning the pet's digestive tract rather than just passing though the system. In time you will have a firmer, much smaller stool for easy clean-up. Adding cooked white rice (not instant) or vegetables to the food until the dog's system adjusts will add fiber to the diet which will firm the stool and also make your dog feel fuller.
Growing puppies eat a lot! It's common to underfeed puppies because it's hard to believe how much they need to eat! We're providing this detailed information to be certain you're well-informed about your puppies nutritional needs. Unless your puppy is overweight, don't worry about feeding too much! Puppies are growing and energetic and burn a lot of calories.
To get an idea of how much more puppies eat than adult dogs, the World Small Animal Veterinary Association makes these recommendations:
How often should I feed? We recommend feeding at least 3 times a day, letting them eat for 10 minutes in each feeding. Small breeds are extremely high energy and burn off calories very fast; they prefer to be fed every couple of hours, or have food always available. After your puppy is full grown, gradually reduce the amount until you reach the feeding amount for an adult dog of their weight.
When is my puppy full grown? Most dogs are fully grown at 1 year; however, large breeds may take up to 2 years to reach their full growth. We recommend that you simply weigh your dog, then gradually reduce their feeding amount; if they start to lose weight, stop reducing their feeding amount. If you can't weigh your dog, become familiar with the amount of flesh on their ribs and backbone; look at them from the top and notice their waistline.
What is a gradual reduction in feeding? A gradual reduction is important for their comfort and health. Baked kibble is nutrionally dense; a few kibbles may not look like much, but they are significant. A very general guideline when reducing feeding amounts is: each week reduce by about 5 kibbles for every 1/4 cup of food. We recommend weighing their food on a kitchen scale, and weighing them every 2-3 weeks. If you're not able to weigh your dog at home, ask your veterinarian if you can stop by and quickly use their scale. (This also gets them used to going to the vet!)
How much should I feed? Refer to the charts below.