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A Simple Question

A Simple Question

If you’re reading this blog then you probably fancy yourself a pretty responsible dog owner.  You probably hear us droning on and on about the prevalence of canine obesity and think to yourself “that’s a good point, but I’m part of the solution, not part of the problem. I work hard to keep my dog fit and healthy.”

And perhaps you’re right.

But before you get carried away with patting yourself on the back, see how well you can answer this simple question: How many calories does your dog need to ingest every day in order to maintain energy balance?

Can you spit out an exact number? Or even an approximate range? Heck, do you have any idea whatsoever?

Sure, if we tasked you with calculating the number of calories that your dog burns every day, we imagine that you could dive into the Internet and eventually come up with a reasonable estimate.

But shouldn’t you be able to answer reflexively, without even thinking about it?

After all, it’s been shown that obesity shortens the lives of our beloved canine companions and that about half the dogs in America are overweight. And we know that calorie intake is an indispensable part of the process of managing obesity because understanding our dogs’ daily caloric needs is a necessary prerequisite to understanding the amount of food they should be eating every day. If we don’t know how many calories our dogs should be ingesting every day, isn’t it pretty hard to make the claim that we’re managing their health appropriately?

So shouldn’t all responsible dog owners have a solid grasp on this simple concept?

And, if they should, then why don’t you?

1 Comment

  1. Emily says:

    I believe in balance over time and monitoring my dog’s condition visually and by touch. It is not necessary or particularly productive for me to count calories. I don’t feed commercial food either, so I don’t have those numbers easily at my disposal. I know how many ounces of food they eat a day and have a general grasp on the fat/protein levels of their food items.

    My dogs’ condition speaks for itself, so no, I don’t think I need to know how many calories they consume a day.

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