Spring is almost here
Stay calm, friends. Winter is almost over, and with it comes longer walks, new scents, and slimming down for summer ;) Kaysar, you can wake up from hibernation now.
We didn't get much snow, but here are a few pix from our winter walks...
And for more photos and videos, follow us on Instagram!
Please give a warm welcome to new pup, Elliot! He's a 12 year old daschund who loves pickpocketing our bait bags for treats, snuggling under the duvet, and finding sunny places to lay in with his two cat siblings. Adorable!
Rodney is also a new pack member. He's a 4 year old hound/Black Mouth Cur, possibly Rhodesian Ridgeback mix. He's already besties with our beagle friend Bailey, and they love sniffing and investigating their way through Gowanus. Happy to have you, Rodney!
Ask the Vet!
Please welcome Sydney Warshaw, VMD, veterinarian at VERG North in Brooklyn - for a Q & A on feeding our dogs.
Q: What’s the proper amount of food per weight and should I follow guidelines on the label if using prepackaged?
When a veterinarian calculates the amount of food your pet should be fed in a day, there are a number of things we take into consideration. These factors include the calorie content of the specific food you choose to feed, your pets size and breed, life stage, health status, current body condition, treats you feed during the day, your pets activity level, etc.
For an average healthy adult dog, a simple way to calculate their calorie requirement at home is using this equation: 30 x (your pets weight in kilograms) + 70. This will give you the minimum kilocalories per day that your pet should eat. If you give your pet treats throughout the day, then the kilocalories within those treats should be subtracted from your total calculated requirements.
For example, an adult dog who is weighs 25 kg (55 lbs) will need: 30 x 25 + 70 = 820 kilocalories per day. This pet is also given 2 small milk bones per day, at 20 kilocalories per treat. So this dog needs (820 – 40=) 780 kilocalories per day. If the dog is eating a food that is 390 kilocalories per cup, then they need 2 cups of food per day.
Most pet food companies base their feeding guidelines on large-scale feeding trials, meaning the recommendations you read on your pet food bag are based on the averages of thousands of dogs of all sizes and activity levels, so, their guidelines are a good starting point. For example, you can feed the low recommended amount and monitor your pet for weight gain or loss. If your pet gains weight then you should decrease the amount of food by 15% per day, or if your pet loses weight, then you can increase the amount of food by 15% per day. An ideal diet should help your pet maintain his or her weight with minimal fluctuations.
*The number of kilocalories in a cup of food (kcal/cup) will be listed under the feeding recommendations of your store bought pet food.
Q: Is it better to feed once or twice (or more) per day?
There is no right or wrong answer to feeding one or 2 or more small meals during the day. This depends on you and your pet. I personally decided to split my dogs meals into two, once in the morning and once in the evening to prevent begging for food at the end of the day.
Q: How much/many treats can I allow per day?
This depends on what you are giving as treats, and how you are using them throughout the day. I personally use treats as a training tool or for positive reinforcement of certain behaviors. You can give as many treats as you like. Just be sure to include the calories from those treats in your calculation of daily food requirements (see above).
Q: What kind of treats or snacks would you recommend?
I would personally recommend avoiding high fat or calorically dense treats as this makes it easy to overfeed your pets. Canine obesity is not a benign condition, and excess weight can exacerbate orthopedic disease or certain endocrine diseases. While food is not love (however much we wish it to be!), you can feed a variety of things as treats or snacks. Just be sure to include the calories from those treats in your calculation of daily food requirements; i.e., reduce the amount of their normal kibble to compensate. However, you should consult with your veterinarian before changing or altering your pets diet.
Here is a list of treats/snacks that I personally offer to my own dog to increase the volume I can offer him without exceeding his caloric needs:
- A frozen kong filled with 2 tablespoons of peanut butter or plain/vanilla yogurt twice a week
- 1/3 cup of his own kibble (subtracted from his meals) daily. *You can also turn a kong into an enriching toy at dinner time or during the day by soaking a kibble filled kong in water and freezing it the night before.
- 1/3 cup per day of mixed frozen veggies or fruits such as carrots, frozen cut green beans, blueberries, banana, and apple. * Be sure to avoid feeding fruit skins or seeds as these can cause GI upset.
- 1/4 cup or less of shredded, plain boiled chicken breast (this can also be frozen). *You can also save the chicken water after cooking and freeze these into ice cubes. On a hot day, these can be a great treat as well.
Q: Can I give vitamin supplements to my dog, and if so, what would you recommend?
Absolutely! Many veterinary formulated diets have all the necessary nutrients in appropriate amounts making extra supplementation just that..extra. The type of supplement recommended for your pet will vary depending on current diet, life stage and health status. So really, your veterinarian who knows your pets the best can make more specific recommendations.
That's a wrap for March! Please stay tuned for a new update to our website coming soon, along with some instructional videos and added content.
Spring break/school holiday time is approaching, so don't forget to let us know if you'll be away, and check in about overnights/boarding options. Happy Spring!