How to tell if you’re feeding too much Cold Pressed dog food:
So, you’ve done plenty of research, waded through the overwhelming number of dog food options, and settled on a really fabulous brand of cold pressed dog food. You know that cold pressed food offers your dog a fantastic level of nutrition, and you’re very pleased with the ingredients in the recipe you’ve chosen. You’re delighted to shop from a UK made brand, and feeling all warm inside for supporting a small independent business.
But…..your dog doesn’t seem to be doing as well on the food as you’d hoped. Is it possible that cold pressed dog food just doesn’t suit your dog? Or is there a chance that something else may be going on….?
The number one reason that owners don’t stick with cold pressed dog food is because they continue to use the same measuring cup that they used to use with their previous brand of traditional dry dog food. But cold pressed dog food is a very different product to the dry foods that are manufactured with traditional extrusion (a method of ‘cooking’ dog food at very high temperatures). Dogs actually don’t need to eat as much, and it’s extremely easy for owners to fall into the category of overfeeding.
So, what are the signs of overfeeding?
The 4 signs to look out for:
#1 Loose poo
If your dog is eating more nutrients than their body actually needs, there’s only one place it can go….out the other end. And if their body doesn’t need it, it won’t be able to process the extra very efficiently. That’s why the poo can be squishy, when a dog is eating more cold pressed food than they need.
#2 More poo!
It makes sense that as well as poo being soft, there may be more frequent toilet stops than you might expect. If your dog usually poos just once a day, and suddenly that increases, then the first thing to do is check how much you’re feeding.
#3 Excessive thirst
Now this may be an unexpected one, but it’s actually very logical. The natural ingredients in our cold pressed dog food recipes contain naturally occurring salts. We monitor this carefully, to ensure that each recipe has just the right amount of everything. Salt is a very important part of your dog’s diet, but too much of anything is never ideal. If your dog seems far thirstier than usual, then there’s a good chance they’re eating too much. Too much food is easy to see when it comes out as ‘too much poo’, but very few owners know that drinking lots can also be a sign of eating too much.
Now, obviously cold pressed dog food is a dry dog food, so a previously raw fed dog will drink more than before. Exercise and weather can also have an impact on how much liquid your dog needs. However, you should be able to tell if your dog seems unusually thirsty, and if they do, check how much you’re feeding.
#4 Weight LOSS….
Woah….what?? That’s right, sometimes when we feed too much, our dogs actually lose weight! This would often be accompanied by all of the first 3 signs, but definitely the first 2. When they eat far too much cold pressed dog food, it can overwhelm their tummies a bit, causing things to travel through the system too fast to process properly. Basically, they end up getting less of the most important nutrients, rather than too much. This means weight loss and lots and lots of poo.
What should I do?
- The first step is to Check the feeding guide. You may be surprised to find that you’re not actually feeding the same as our recommended daily amount for each of our cold pressed dog food recipes. Check if the amount it says in the guide is the same as the amount you feed for one whole day. Our feeding guide is the daily recommended amount, not the amount that we recommend for each serving of cold pressed. Click on the guide image, to see our 'feeding guide blog'.
- The next step is to Weigh out your cold pressed dog food at every single meal. We have a whole blog about why it’s so important to weigh cold pressed dog food, here. It only takes a few seconds, and means you can monitor your dog’s intake and adjust it slightly, if needed. Our dogs own meals get adjusted for things like the weather - they’re less likely to exercise much on hot days, so don’t need as much food. We also have a multi-human household, with everyone doing their bit to look after our fuzzy housemates. They sometimes switch between Rùn’s Chicken & Sweet Potato and the Mixed Sea Fish, and occasionally one of the humans doesn’t get the memo to reduce their portion when they have the higher calorie Fish. Fortunately it’s very easy to see when this happens - Ripley (working cocker) gets incredibly thirsty, and Murphy (Lab) suddenly starts pooing loads! The difference in meal size for each of them? Ripley needs 5g less, when he’s on the cold pressed Fish recipe. Murphy needs 10g less. The difference is absolutely tiny, but we know about it, because we weigh every single meal.
- The final step is to reduce the amount you’re feeding for a few days, and monitor any changes. If you’re already feeding the recommended daily allowance of cold pressed dog food, the we always recommend reducing meal size by 5-10%, for a period of 3-4 days. If things improve, then you know that over feeding was the issue. Improvements to look out for will be fewer, firmer poos, and a reduction in thirst, if an increase had been noted. If there’s been no improvement, then reduce by a further 5% every few days, until stools firm up and thirst levels return to normal. If you’re concerned that you’re now underfeeding, you can then start to slowly increase meal sizes, while keeping a careful eye on the poo situation!
To sum up:
If your dog is pooing a lot (bearing in mind that healthy dogs, fed on our cold pressed dog food, should have small, firm, regular bowel movements), or drinking more than usual, then look at the amount you're feeding them and reduce it for a few days. And remember, weight loss doesn't always mean underfeeding, especially in very active dogs. If they're losing weight and their poos are frequent and/or soft, then it's highly likely that they're eating too much.
A lot of owners at this point would understandably panic and change food, when actually, all they need to do is reduce the amount they're feeding.