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How much should we be feeding our dog Bingo?

How much should we be feeding our dog Bingo?

Most dogs like Bingo love to eat and willingly take anything that you offer them, even if they are already full. Unfortunately, this quickly can lead to obesity problems. And with a breed of dog such as a Boston terrier that is already predisposed to respiratory problems, you do not want the added complication of obesity. Other problems with obesity include serious effects related to the cardiac and skeletal systems.

In order to keep Bingo healthy and active, a managed feeding technique and exercise are recommended. There are, however, many options for how Bingo gets fed. Twice a day feedings are a good idea so that he doesn't get hungry later in the day.

This should be done by figuring out his total daily allowance of his diet and then dividing it in half for each meal. Most dog foods have a guide on the side of the bag that uses the dog's weight and age to calculate the amount you should feed. We recommend starting at the lower end of the range for most dogs and then making adjustments as needed.

Also be careful about giving Bingo too many snacks. Most dog treats are extremely high in fat, yet have very little nutritional value. Less than 10 percent of his daily food intake should come from snacks.

Generally, giving your dog something to eat every time the family is having a meal leads to begging. They do look adorable when doing this but some guests and family members may find it annoying. If you do decide to give Bingo a treat, it should be put into his food bowl away from the dinner table. We do not recommend feeding dogs people food, but a dog biscuit would be fine.

How can you tell if Bingo is getting the appropriate amount of food? The best way to do this it to monitor Bingo's body condition. All dogs should have a tucked up "waist" when you look at them from the side. If you are looking down at him, you should be able to see a much thinner abdomen as compared to the chest. Now use your hands to feel for Bingo's ribs. If you have to push through a layer of fatty tissue to feel a rib, then Bingo is too heavy.

If he is too thin, you will be able to see easily each individual rib. It is very unlikely that he would be too thin. As animal owners we want to shower our companions with love; this commonly means we overfeed them. I'm sure that Bingo has other activities that he loves as much as eating. If you feel you need to give Bingo some form of extra attention, try playing a game, going for a walk, or having a pleasant grooming session. You and your wife can have a well-fed, well-loved dog that will be much healthier in the long run.