Hi all! We adopted our male Pembroke, Macaroni, in late December of last year and I'm having a little trouble with feeding. When we adopted him, he was a bit overweight at 35lbs (down from 37lbs when the shelter found him) but he quickly dropped to 33lbs-- getting used to a new house after being in a shelter is stressful! We also had to ween him off of the shelter's fatty food (Iams) onto new food (Blue Buffalo). The snow was really bad early in the year, so he didn't get a whole lot of outdoor exercise in January & February but he stayed pretty stable with his weight. He weighed in at 30lbs a couple of months ago and the vet said he's at a perfect weight and his health is great-- much better than when she saw him when he was shelter-fresh. Now, he's very happy, healthy and fully integrated into our home & lives.
We have been very active, especially in the last few months: weekly trips to the dog park where he runs around like a maniac with his buddies and long walks 2-3 times a day. Unfortunately, he's now down to 27lbs! Macaroni is ~2.5 years old and we had been feeding him ~1/2cup a day of Blue Buffalo Adult kibble split between breakfast and dinner. I've upped this to almost a cup a day since his weight loss. He gets between 6-10 small treats a day for good deeds and he loves Dingo Munchie Sticks so he gets 1 per day. We're also bad parents sometimes-- he gets table scraps every now and then.
Sorry for all the background info! My question is: How do all of you more seasoned corgi owners adjust your dogs food throughout the year with their changing activity levels?
The key is not to be married to a portion size. I keep three measuring cups in the food: 1/2, 1/3, and 1/4 cup.
Mine get about a cup a day, divided over 2 feedings. If it's hot or rainy and they don't get much exercise for the day, or if I add a little yogurt or canned fish to their food, I will drop one or both meals to a third of a cup. If we are doing a lot of training (say, an hour agility class) with constant treats, they might get a quarter cup for one meal.
If I see one getting a little thin, I might heap the cup a bit for a few days. Or if one is getting thick in the middle, I will go one size down for a week or so.
In other words, with Corgis I found that it's a matter of adjusting the food day-to-day based on activity level and treats, rather than sticking to one size meal all the time. For me, keeping all the different measuring scoops in the food tin is a visual reminder that I should be feeding daily based on what the dogs do. It took me a good six months to get comfortable with this system, but now it's second nature to me.
Thank you so much for your help Beth! This is great advice. It's good to know that I don't have to be as consistent as I feel I need to be. I also like the idea of putting yogurt, green beans or fish with his food!
Thanks again! :)