As you may have heard, we are now official co-hosts of K9 Kamp with Kol’s Notes and Peggy’s Pet Place. K9 Kamp, a fitness challenge aimed at fighting pet obesity, happens a couple of times year. However, we believe that canine fitness should be something you work on year-round. This is where Keeping Up With K9 Kamp comes in.
Keeping Up With K9 Kamp is a series of mini-challenges that take place each month that K9 Kamp is not in session. The mini-challenges will help you keep the goal of canine fitness fresh in your mind.
I will announce a mini-challenge on the fist Friday of each month and link that post to the Fit Dog Friday Blog Hop. There will be a wrap-up post on the last Friday of each month. You are encouraged to let us know how you did if you accept the Keeping Up With K9 Kamp Challenge.*
The July 2013 Challenge
The challenge this month is to get an idea if you are feeding your dog the right amount of food. As with humans, the core of proper weight management is controlling calories in versus calories out. It’s important to find the right balance to maintain your pet’s weight, help them lose weight or help them gain a few pounds.
Figure out how many calories your dog should be eating each day. The calculators for doing this aren’t super customized (what, no activity choice for hiking?? Ha, ha) but, if you do the best to enter accurate information, the result is at least in the ballpark. The two best tools for calculating the calories needed by your dog are the SlimDoggy (you’ll find the calculator on the right sidebar) and DogFoodAdvisor widgets. I suggest you try both since the information you enter is a little different. The amount of calories your dog should get in day will fall within the range these widgets give you.
Figure out how many calories your dog is eating a day. This step takes a little more investigation on your part. Because it is not mandatory for pet food, treat, and supplement companies to list the calorie content on the package you may need to look it up on the internet. This information can usually be found on the manufacturer’s product website. If you can’t find it you can find the closest human food equivalent and estimate the calories (ex. dehydrated pumpkin flakes).
Look at how many calories you pet is eating compared to how many they should be eating. If your pet is at a healthy weight (check out this handy body condition chart to see) then you don’t need to change anything regardless of what the numbers say. If your pet could lose a few pounds then make sure the calories they consume are at (if they are not already), or less than, the recommended calories. If your pet needs to gain a few pounds, increase the calories. An adjustment of 50 – 100 calories either way for a a few months might do the trick.
I know what you might be thinking….because I certainly was – I read the package and what I feed my pet is within the recommended range. I did this exercise myself and was kind of surprised at the results. I’ll share those with you at the end of the month. Please give it a try and let us know if you gained any insight from it.
* You are encouraged to let us know how the challenge went for you on our monthly wrap-up blog post by writing your own blog post and linking it up to the hop or or leaving a comment on that post. The idea of K9 Kamp and these mini-challnges is to work toward a common goal and offer each other support. Please tweet and post photos using the hashtag #K9Kamp throughout the month so we can keep in touch and see what fitness means to you.