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BARF Diets and Calorie Requirement

Calorie content in our raw BARF World diets is commonly considered when making a decision on the right protein for your pet and their health needs. Perhaps the increase in obesity is becoming rampant and pet owners are beginning to pay attention to the ever increasing weight problems we face in this country. We receive more and more calls each day from customers that are wanting advice on how to control their dog's weight. 

The importance of knowing the calorie intake of your pet is important information that you can then control the energy balance. An energy imbalance occurs when an animal’s daily energy consumption is either greater or less than its daily requirement, leading to changes in growth rate, body weight, and body composition. It is more common in dogs and cats to have an excess energy intake. This over consumption or energy has been shown to have several detrimental effects on dogs- especially the large and giant breeds. Feeding growing puppies to attain maximal growth rate appears to be a significant contributing factor in the development of skeletal disorders including hip dysplasia.

Small dog sitting on a weighing scale

Energy surplus also contributes to fat cell hyperplasia. Over feeding at a young age generates an excessive number of fat cells  which can predispose an animal to obesity later in life. Adult dogs and cats with an energy surplus leads to obesity and the medical complications associated with this condition. On the contrary, an inadequate energy intake results in reduced growth rate and compromised development in young dogs and cats. This is also true for weight loss and muscle wasting in adult pets.

Therefore, you can see the importance of monitoring the proper feeding amounts for the various stages of the animal's life. Obviously more food is required during the initial stages and as they develop the food requirement needs to be reduced. Many factors come into play in determining the proper level such as exercise, breed, general activity level, and pregnancy conditions. Knowing the amount of calories in the food and the daily required amount of calories are two important pieces to the puzzle. We outline rule of thumb feeding directions on our Barf® Diets, but it is the responsibility of each guardian to monitor the weight and growth conditions and make adjustments as needed based on the activity levels and other factors. Every pet is different and every pet metabolizes their food differently. If you would like to assess your pet’s feeding amounts, feel free to give us a call and one of our Raw Pet Food Specialists would be happy to go over our feeding recommendations.

Robert Mueller

Robert Mueller

Robert Mueller, BSc, Pharm. is a registered pharmacist, author of “Living Enzymes: The World’s Best Kept Pet Food Secret”, and co-developer of BARF World’s BARF diets patties, nuggets and supplements – the first company to make the Biologically Appropriate Raw Foods (BARF) diet conveniently available to animals everywhere. He and his wife love to travel around the world with their dog, Moxie – a Yorkshire Terrier/Maltese mix. For more articles like these and to learn more about the benefits of raw food for your pets, sign up for “The Intelligent Pet” monthly e-zine .

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