So I've joined a doggie fb group. It's been fun, I used to get on labrador forums a lot but now that all I ever want to talk about is dog sports and dog food (ie raw), I post less & less on the lab forum.
The doggie fb group seem to, for the most part, know what's up. But I'm still amazed to see people asking a question:
How much food food do you feed ____ a day?
Well, I'll give a hint to how to keep them looking good- I don't measure her food with anything except my eyeballs. If we have a particularly active day, you get more food. If you've had a boring mellow day, you get less food. This keeps Baer normal at all times- I weigh her every two days to make sure, and her average is 48 lbs. This is perfect for her- not too heavy that she's slow, meaning weight on joints, and not too skinny that I can see every single rib. And I keep her at 48 lbs by eyeballing the amount of food I give her.
Feeding your dog isn't a science... it doesn't need to be "exactly nutritionally balanced." I don't have scales or anything. But I do have a good understanding of what types of vitamins, minerals, bone, veggie, organ and muscle meat, including the general ratio. Every dog is unique- every dog gains and loses weight uniquely. Our food system has ruined us- numbers on packaging for calories and fat content. Shoot, if you know that a chicken breast has around 3g of fat, then you'll know that giving a chicken breast in the morning & evening gives your dog 6 grams of fat. And, you can supplement your dog to ensure any deficiencies are covered. It isn't rocket science- kibble producers and most vets (who are holding hands with kibble producers, look at their love/hate relationship with Science Diet- It's a great food for your dog, it will cure what disease ails your dog, but it's mostly corn, by-product meal and chemicals. Why would any vet that was literate enough to read the ingredients recommend the stuff??) want you to believe that it is hard to feed raw, expensive to feed raw, you need to buy SUPER PREMIUM (what a great marketing term, huh?) kibble just to keep your dog healthy?
Your dog will, in the end, be whatever and how ever much you feed it. And I'd rather see a slightly underweight dog than a slightly overweight dog. It's just healthier in the long run. I can only hope one day people recognize the benefits of not having to weigh so much.
People who don't put time & effort into researching this stuff, people who just have an opinion will lash out and go "This isn't true, dogs need more weight", but I can only try and explain what I know and why I think this aspect of weight concern should be more acknowledged. The dog sports people are figuring it out slowly but surely- if you want your dog to have a healthy, long career, keep them lean.