Raw question - how much?
I have recently switched my dogs to raw. I did it for several reasons - the first and biggest reason being that Cooper, my oldest, is overweight and a picky eater. I have friends that feed raw and he stayed with them one night and gobbled up the resident dog's dinner. After hearing about that, I researched and decided that I am too lazy to go to the trouble of buying meats and grinding them and all that other stuff, so both my boys are eating Nature's Variety. We started out with the freeze-dried and it received a lukewarm reception, so we bought some of the frozen raw and it's been a hit. Cooper actually looks forward to being fed now whereas before, he was eating because I asked him to.
That being said, Cooper is almost twice what he should weigh. He's a chihuahua and he should be around 8 lbs - he tips the scale right now at 14.5. I have been trying to get weight off him since he was a puppy (he's 5 now) and nothing ever seems to work - he just puts on more and more weight regardless of what I feed him. He is checked regularly for thyroid and any other condition that would keep weight on him and so far, test have always come back with nothing. I am starting to get tired of vets giving me that look they give when you know they don't believe a word you say. When I say "I don't feed him anything other than XYZ," I can tell they're thinking "... and a cheeseburger."
I went to the Nature's Variety website and used their "how much to feed" feature to find out how much he needs to be fed in a day. When I put in the information for a 10 lb. "not active" dog, it says to feed him 3 oz. of the raw frozen per day (1.75-2% body weight). They say on the website to feed 1.5-2% body weight of raw per day. But using the standard raw feeder's 3% of body weight, I should feed 4.8 oz per day. That's a huge difference when you're feeding a chihuahua - I'm a bit confused now.
I understand that the Nature's Variety has all the fruits, veggies and oils pre-mixed in, so I know that the amounts to feed shouldn't be the same for the pre-mix vs. straight up raw. But 1.8 oz. is a HUGE difference and I want to make sure that Cooper's getting the food he needs without over or underfeeding him. Before, I could tell if he was hungry or not when he was eating foods he didn't really enjoy but with the NV, he's always wanting more because he loves it so much and I can't judge by just looking at him.
Is there anyone out there that can give me some guidance? All this math has my head spinning!