Feeding — How Much To Feed Your Dogs and Cats
While reading this page, please remember the following:
In todays's world, dogs and cats are not starving for food. Instead they are starving for nutrition.
When it comes time for feeding it is important that we let our dogs and cats eat as much as they want at the time of feeding.
Many people say,
Oh, I couldn't do this, my dog is like a vacuum and it would just inhale it all.
What can I say, I'm sure you would too if you were starving for wholesome nutrition.
Remember, nutrition is fuel for the body. If your nutritional fuel were always running on empty because the food you ate was low in nutrition, you too would need to fill up more frequently and for a longer time.
Unfortunately, many pet guardians have been brainwashed by the feeding directions found on the labels of commercial pet foods. As a result, most people control or measure the amount of food they feed their pet. People are so used to reading directions on how much to feed that they often feel uncomfortable to feed the way mentioned on this page. But when feeding a wholesome raw meat diet, we want to toss the idea of limiting the amount food eaten out the window.
Okay, let's take 4 steps back for a moment. Let's first understand why commercial pet foods must provide feeding directions regarding. Essentially, commercial pet foods provide such a poor source of nutrition that your pet literally needs to eat more, a lot more food, in order to get the minimal nutrition it needs for sustenance. Since your pet will continue to eat and eat and eat and eat, commercial pet food companies must put a limit on the amount of food fed otherwise your pet might eat not only all of the food in the bag, but the bag too! Additionally, by providing directions on how much to feed your dog or cat, commercial pet foods make their food look more scientific. This
scientific approach often clouds what should be nothing more than
common sense when it comes to feeding.
The very fact that our pets often have endless stomachs when it comes to eating commercial pet foods should be one of the many warning signs that they are of significantly low quality and anything but wholesome. Of course, some will argue
but my cat doesn't overeat. Quite frankly, it's hard to overeat when the food eaten has swelled — or more likely, ballooned within your stomach.
I can remember quite well, during the late 70's and early 80's, Morris My Cat would eat his dry food, then instantly need to drink water. He would then vomit within minutes. I can never forget just how much the dry food he ate literally
ballooned. The amount he ate compared to the size he vomited was dramatically different. Of course, a simple test is to take some dry food and soak it to see what happens. For those that are wondering, the reason why Morris My Cat had to drink water after eating his dry food is because there was so much salt in the food back then that the salt literally burned his stomach. My goodness, I can't believe the food my family fed our pets back then. I sure am glad I switched to a wholesome raw meat diet! It's also rather ironic that Morris My Cat was named after Morris the Cat who appeared in the
9 Lives cat food commercials. Oh the irony of it all!
Anyway, unless you control the amount of commercial pet food your pet eats, they will continuously eat to the point where they vomit.
When you begin feeding a wholesome raw meat diet then you begin providing maximum nutrition to your pets. This simply happens because a wholesome raw meat diet is just that, wholesome. Commercial pet foods are made using refined and processed foods and thus provide less nutrition than the same amount of wholesome foods.
Think of it like this — you can put regular gas into your car or supercharged high octane fuel. Both make your car move but high octane fuel is known to burn better than regular gas. So it is with food — a wholesome diet provides more nutritional power for the same amount of food. Nothing can replace the wholesomeness of wholesome foods.
Some have a difficult time letting their pets eat all the wholesome raw meat and vegetables that it wants at each meal, but if you can then eventually your dog will begin to reduce its food intake. Generally, I have found that it takes about 2 weeks of eating a wholesome raw meat diet before the food intake is reduced. I say generally because sometimes it happens in less than a week and sometimes it takes longer. If your pet never reduces its food intake then that's when you should consult your vet, preferably a holistic vet, as there might be underlying health problems such as a thyroid problem.
Ultimately, a dog or cat is known to eat a lot of food at one time. Consider the following...
Field scientists have noticed that lions can eat up to 60 pounds of food at one feeding which is up to 15% of their total body weight. Some reports have said that this percentage can go up to 25% as a lion has also been known to eat a whole 35 kilogram impala. Two arctic wolves have eaten a whole musk oxen between themselves and their pups. No matter how you slice it, that's a lot of food. The fact is we don't know how much food your dog or cat will need on any given day at any given moment.
What we do know is that one of the reason why dogs and cats have endless stomachs is because they're seldom given an opportunity to get optimal and/or maximum nutrition, thus never becoming nutritionally satiated (full). Remember, our pets are not starving for food, but instead for nutrition. What's the cure? Simple, feed as much of the wholesome raw meat food that your pets want at each meah. This allows their body to get maximum nutrition. Once your pet is no longer starving for nutrition, they will no longer have an endless stomach.
The fact that so many pets are starving for nutrition can be a factor in why dogs and cats eat stools, vomit, garbage, dead carcasses and other things we don't want them to eat. Pets that eat such thing are looking for an alternative source of nutrition. Chances are, if your pet has a habit of eating such stuff, then it will stop once they have been eating a wholesome raw meat diet for a while! If your dog begs for food, chances are that this behavior will slowly disappear or dramatically reduce once your dog is eating what it needs.
It is important that you let your dog or cat eat as much of the wholesome raw meat diet as they need at their meal. Once their body becomes nutritionally satiated, they will cut their food intake, sometimes by half the amount, and go on a maintenance diet.
At this point, their daily food intake will vary from day to day depending on their nutritional requirements. It is just as it is with you — I mean, why are you very hungry some days, not too hungry other days and normal other days? Each day your food intake requirements change and so will your dog or cat's. Maybe now you can begin to more clearly see how the
scientific feeding approach of commercial pet foods has prevented us from adopting a
common sense approach to feeding. It should be painfully obvious to all of us that our pets daily nutritional needs are naturally going to fluctuate based on weather, time of year, amount of exercise, age, etc. Yet, commercial pet foods feed the same amount to every pet. But with a wholesome raw meat diet, we not only do the reverse, but the absolute complete opposite. We let our pets decide how much they are going to eat each day.
Most people are not willing to trust their dog or cat when it comes to food intake, but you should. It is hard for people to grasp this idea and the more you struggle with it, the harder it is to grasp. The less you struggle, not only is this concept easier to grasp but it suddenly becomes powerful knowledge.
Many people are reluctant to feed all the wholesome raw meat their pets wants and needs and so this is why I am mentioning it twice. If given the opportunity to eat what is required and needed, your pet will cut it's food intake. Sometimes this amount can be cut by as much as half or more.
Most people are literally shocked when the food intake is cut back and they email me asking if this is normal. It is normal, but this will never happen unless you trust your dog or cat.
Free feeding must go. A carnivore is used to only catching their food every now and then. As a result they are designed to eat as much food as they can, as fast as they can.
Carnivores are not herbivores and as such, a carnivore isn't meant to continually graze on food — free feeding is really no different than grazing! A carnivore's intestinal tract is shorter to allow food to come in and leave before any raw meat begins to putrefy in the intestinal tract. Whereas a herbivore has a longer intestinal tract to allow the body to break down and fully digest the vegetation it has eaten. If you continually feed your carnivore friend like a herbivore (regardless of the food - commercial pet food or homemade food), then you are in fact, adding and allowing putrefaction to happen within the intestinal tract which is of course a no no.
Dogs and cats should have been named pigs, because they eat like them. If your dog or cat inhales food without even stopping for air, then this is a true sign of a carnivore.
It is important that you try to get your mature dog or cat down to one or two feedings per day. However, if your dog or cat is unwilling to accept 1 or 2 feedings per day, don't force it on them. Work with your companion and in time you will most likely notice that the number of meals required will reduce naturally until you get to the 1 or 2 feedings per day...
...if I was able to do this with my cat who ate commercial pet food for the first 15½ years of his life, then you should be able to do this too!
Have you ever noticed in a nature show that a lion can walk right by a zebra without attacking the zebra as long as the lion's stomach is big and plump? I've also seen video of lions that ate so much meat that they literally could not move. Their stomach was just so big and plump that all the lion could do was lay next to its kill.
Not only this, but have you noticed that after eating, the lions play and then sleep before hunting again?
Carnivores are designed to eat a lot, rest and then let the food be fully eliminated before eating again. This is how a carnivore's digestive system is designed to work.
The break between feedings allows the digestive system to fully digest and eliminate the food before the next feeding. It also allows the organs within the body to relax and do their jobs, like detoxifying.
Lions in the wild do not eat every 5 minutes. Lions only eat when they need to.
If you would like an animal that is meant to eat all the time, may I suggest a goat or a cow. These animals are natural grazers, your dog or cat is not.
This page focuses on teaching you how much to feed. In part 3 of my book, you are going use this information and put all of your new found knowledge together as you learn how to make natural homemade pet food.
Editor's Paw Note:
If the food intake never cuts back, then consult your vet because there may be underlying problems such as a thyroid problem.
This method of feeding your pet all that it wants to eat at each meal only works when feeding a wholesome, raw meat diet and should not be used when feeding commercial pet foods or cooked meat diets.
When your dog or cat reduces its food intake, sometimes the reduction in food intake can be so dramatic that people write me and say
My pet is no longer eating when in fact the pet is eating, just not as much as it no longer requires huge amounts of food. Sometimes the food reduction scares the person into thinking their pet is sick when in fact, it has reached a new level of health.
Full Meal Deal — The Supersized Information Continues
I realize that you might also be getting thirsty by now, so please go get some water and hydrate yourself. I warn you now because the next page will probably make you thirsty, or at least, thirsty for more information:
- Why Feed Natural Homemade Pet Food?
- Let's Take A Closer Look A Natural Homemade Pet Food
- An Early Conclusion About Natural Homemade Pet Food
- Feeding — How Much To Feed Dogs and Cats
- Water — Pets Drink Water While Eating
- The Importance of Calcium
- How To Make Your Own Calcium Supplement
- Pet Supplements — A Quick Introduction
- The Benefits of Enzymes
- Nutritive Herbs