My pet’s gaining or losing weight, but I’m feeding what the bag says!
Feeding guidelines are just that, a guide only. You can and should vary the amount you feed to manage your pet's changing needs, including feeding less if their activity levels have dropped or they gain weight, or feeding more if they need to gain weight. Here's what to consider...
First and foremost, you are the best judge of what your pet needs, because you know all the factors that play a part in how much your pet needs to eat.
If your pet is gaining or losing weight, consider if there's been a change in exercise levels that may be a factor. Less exercise can cause weight gain, and more exercise can cause weight loss, even if you haven't changed their food or treats.
If your pet has been more active lately and is losing too much weight, increase how much you feed to meet their new higher calorie needs. Also change how much you feed if they are exercising less - maybe it's due to bad weather, a change in season, spending more time indoors, or a change in your schedule - and feed less to reduce their calorie intake to help them get down to a healthier weight.
Also consider what treats and snacks your pet eats, and who else might be feeding them or giving them treats. Some treats can be very high in calories, even though they're small in size.
For pets that are gaining more weight than they should. you'll likely need to reduce or temporarily stop giving treats, or replace treats with healthier options.
Feeding guide, not feeding rules
Feeding guides are just that, a guide. Just like us, our pets need different amounts of calories to maintain a healthy weight, depending on their individual needs.
You can and should adjust the amount you feed to suit your pet's weight. Use the feeding guide on the bag as a starting point, then adjust up or down from there over time, to find the ideal level your pet needs to maintain a healthy weight.
It's normal (and often necessary), to adjust how much you feed when the season's change. Many pets spend more time indoors with us during winter, and less time being active outdoors, making them more prone to weight gain over winter. If your pet's habits change in winter versus summer, adjust how much you feed to match.
I changed how much I feed, but my pet's still not gaining / losing weight
If you’re worried about your pet’s weight you should always seek the advice of your Vet as the next step. Especially if you have reduced how much you feed and increased their activity level but your pet is not losing weight, or if you are feeding more but they are still underweight. It's best to get them checked just in case there are other causes.