The first thing to get right is the transition from old food to Wolfworthy. When changing food, your dog's stomach needs time to adjust to the new bacteria (this applies to any food). Do this over a week starting at 25% Wolfworthy and 75% old food for a few days, if poos are firm then days 3 and 4 should be 50% Wolfworthy and 50% old food. Your dog's stomach should now be adjusting nicely so you can move to 75% Wolfworthy and 25% old food for the next 2 days with day 7 being 100% Wolfworthy.
Measuring out percentages may seem like a pain but believe me, it is worth getting this bit right. Overfeeding is very easy to do if you are doing it 'by eye' or by using a scoop (in fact ditch the scoop, more on that one later...) The best way to measure out your dog's food is by using a digital scale. Our food is so nutrient-dense that even going over by 10% could make your dog's poo softer than desired. Although, I think it is worth pointing out here than some dogs have cast-iron stomachs and can eat anything and be completely unaffected. If you know your dog is like this you can speed up the process a little.
Tip: If you have a puppy introduce Wolfworthy as a training treat and hand-feed only. It is incredibly aromatic and the drive to get it will be high. See our Facebook and Instagram for videos showing how to do this.
The next thing to bear in mind is that our food is made with a high amount of fresh meat. This makes it delicious but even if your dog wolfs it down and waits for more do not be tempted to give more. Our feeding guidelines give a range your dog will fall into. This is because you are going to adjust what you feed your dog based on their breed, temperament, age and activity level. Begin at the lower end of the scale and feed this amount for a few days, if poos are good and firm you can increase it by a little bit. The reason poo will become soft is that your dog's body has not had enough time to fully process the food before the next batch arrives. Getting the amount right is important.
Tip: If you have a dog you can pick up. Jump on the scale and weigh yourself, then get back on carrying your dog. The difference is the weight of the dog. Don't guess your dog's weight. If you can't pick them up visit the vet and use the scale there. You don't need an appointment just drop by.
Whilst our chart is very useful to get you going, your dog's poos and body condition is where you can see if the amount is right or not. Let's talk more about poo first. A Wolfworthy poo should be log-shaped, firm but with some give and leave no trace behind when bagged up. If poos are too firm and more like pebbles you can increase the feeding amount. If they are too soft reduce it by 10-20% for a few days and monitor output. Once their poos are a good consistency you have got the feeding amount right.
Tip: Adding a small amount of cooked mashed carrot, cooked sweet potato or cooked squash is very effective in firming up poos. They are full of fibre, a tablespoon will probably do it.
Now for body condition. Condition is a visual indicator as to whether you are feeding the right amount. If your dog is prone to begging for more food, body condition is your best friend. Some dogs act hungry but in fact, they are a perfect weigh and increasing how much you feed is either going to make their poos soft or pack on unwanted weight. You should be able to feel your dog's ribs, if you can't it is likely they are overweight. For most breeds, you should not be able to see ribs, if ribs are clearly visible, increase the amount a little and weigh your dog regularly to monitor progress.
Tip: Know your breed. Some breeds are bred to be leaner, for them this is normal and desirable. Look at your dog's breed club online and spend some time finding out what is normal for your dog.
Finally, keep a close eye on treats Many of them are low quality and contain problematic ingredients that can adversely affect your dog's digestion. Don't buy any old treats, read the pack carefully and avoid poor ingredients. If you do enjoy treating your dog, reduce the amount of food they are having a little to compensate for the extra calories in the treats. If your dog is producing soft stools remove the treats until you have established the correct feeding amount and your dog is producing firm poos,
Oh yes, and not forgetting the scoop. Scoops are not an accurate way to measure anything. The variation in one scoop and the next is vast. Your dog will be overfed one day and underfed the next. You are highly likely to overfeed using one and your bag will run out way before you expect, leaving you to make a dash to the supermarket for a poor substitution. Confine the scoop to the sandpit and use the scales.
Tip: Weigh out the daily food allowance in the morning carefully. Split into portions depending on your dog's needs, puppies will eat more often and in smaller amounts, older dogs tend to have 1 or 2 meals per day. Always have fresh water available.
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If you have any other questions our Help page is packed full of information on our food