Why I decreased Wally's raw dog food amount by 3 oz

Why I Decreased Wally’s Raw Dog Food Amount By 3oz

I recently decreased Wally’s daily raw dog food amount by 0.5% or 3 oz!

That was the first time since I adopted him in early 2019.

The reason was pretty straight forward: He gained some weight and needed to lose it again.

I’m not sure how much exactly he gained because I didn’t weigh him, but his waistline was less visible and I had to adjust his harness some.

So in this blog post, I’ll share how this happened along with the math I did to decrease his raw dog food amount per day!

Why I Decreased Wally’s Raw Dog Food Amount By 3oz

Why I decreased Wally's raw dog food amount by 3 oz

In a nutshell, Wally didn’t get his 2 hours of daily exercise he’s used to for about 1 month.

Wally’s Weeklong Stay With My Parents

The first week was due to the fact that my parents watched him for me while I was at Global Pet Expo 2023 in Orlando, FL. They’re both in their late 70s and can’t handle Wally on leash when he goes into prey mode.

So while he was there, he only had yard time.

Which he didn’t mind because it’s a decent size fenced-in yard with lots of birds and squirrels to chase and composting areas to explore. My parents are active gardeners, so Wally was in really good company there.

But he didn’t get to go on his walks and I didn’t think to reduce his daily raw dog food amount. Plus, I asked my parents to play nose games with him and left a stash of treats for him.

So yeah.

My 3 Week Sickness

When I got back from my trip, I was sick for 3 weeks with a nasty cough.

I went to see the doctor and while it wasn’t COVID, it was a dry, aggressive cough that was apparently going around.

The doc said to expect it to last for 2-3 weeks, and sure enough, this sucker stayed with me for 3 weeks.

I didn’t have any symptoms besides the cough, but it prevented me from getting decent sleep at night which made me feel exhausted real quick.

So either way, I barely managed to walk him for 30 minutes per day and AGAIN didn’t think to reduce his raw dog food amount per day!

Then, towards the third week of being sick, it struck me that Wally was starting to fill out some.

That’s when I finally connected the dots, pulled out a piece of paper and a pen and redid his raw dog food math!

Adjusting Wally’s Daily Raw Dog Food Amount

Wally’s target body weight is 38 lbs and I usually feed him at a 2.5% maintenance percentage.

That’s normal for an adult dog like him who gets about 2 hours of daily exercise.

Here’s how to do the 2.5% math: I divide his target body weight by 100, then I multiply the result with 2.5%.

38/100=0.38

0.38×2.5=0.95 lb

0.95 lb=15.2 oz

Wally typically eats 15.2 oz of raw dog food per day split up into 2 portions. The daily amount consists of:

  • 10.64 oz of muscle meat (including 1 oz fish)
  • 1.52 oz of raw meaty bone
  • 0.76 oz of liver
  • 0.75 oz of other secreting organ
  • 1.52 oz of plant matter (veggies, fruit, nuts & seeds)
Homemade raw meal prep with Wally's regular raw dog food amount
Homemade raw meal prep with Wally’s regular raw dog food amount

After I redid his raw dog food amount calculations with a 2% maintenance percentage, he’s down to 12.16 oz of daily raw dog food.

Again, here’s how to do the 2% math: I divide his target body weight by 100, then multiply the result with 2%.

38/100=0.38

0.38×2=0.76 lb

0.76 lb=12.16 oz

I split up the 12.16 oz as follows:

  • 8.5 oz muscle meat (including 0.8 oz fish)
  • 1.2 oz of raw meaty bone
  • 0.6 oz of liver
  • 0.6 oz of other secreting organ
  • 1.2 oz of plant matter (veggies, fruit, nuts & seeds)
Reduced raw dog food amount for Wally
Reduced raw dog food amount for Wally

Overall, that’s 3 oz less in daily raw dog food which translates into 21oz = 1.3 lb less per week.

3 weeks in combined with his usual amount of exercise and he’s almost back to where he was waistline-wise.

Wally's looks after I adjusted his raw dog food amount
Wally’s looks 3 weeks after I adjusted his raw dog food amount

Why I Decreased Wally’s Raw Dog Food Amount By 3oz: Bottom Line

Wally ate his reduced amount of raw dog food for one week at home and then for 2 weeks during our recent road trip.

I just made another batch of raw meals for the upcoming week, and will transition him back to 2.5% calculations after that one.

So, if you notice that your pup is gaining weight or not losing any when he’s supposed to, see about reducing the food you’re preparing if you’re making your own meals.

You can either do the calculations yourself using the formula I shared earlier, or use a raw dog food calculator such as this one by Your Paws.

If you’re feeding premade raw dog food, just reduce the amount you’re feeding. If your pup still doesn’t loose weight with that approach, you may want to take them in for a medical check up at your vet to rule out any disease.

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Barbara launched her blog K9sOverCoffee in 2014 and has been feeding her dogs raw dog food since 2015. As a former professional dog walker, she’s passionate about balancing species-appropriate exercise with healthy dog nutrition. Barbara is raw dog food nutrition certified from “Dogs Naturally Magazine” and the author of several e-books about minimally processed, balanced raw dog food.


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