Feed less! Baked food is more nutritious bite-for-bite than other pet foods (most of which are quickly extruded rather than slowly baking). You'll feed significantly less!
See the feeding guidelines for each recipe as a starting point. Food requirements vary depending on climate, breed of dog, and amount of activity. Adjust the feeding amount to maintain your dog's optimum weight. Body weight is generally considered optimal when you can feel and almost see their ribs, and they have a prominent waistline as viewed from above.
We recommend that you weigh your dog weekly. It's far better if weight gain is noticed ASAP and a slight feeding adjustment is made. Long, strict diets are no fun for anyone!
It's especially important not to overfeed large breed dogs because they're prone to skeletal problems if they grow too quickly.
Measure once, feed twice: We strongly recommend that you measure out the daily feeding amount once per day, then feed from that portion throughout the day. This provides a more consistent feeding amount, which is important for maintaining optimum weight. It's also more convenient, especially if you feed many times per day. Feed your dog a minimum of twice a day. Some dogs, especially high-energy small dogs, may prefer 5 feedings a day.
When to feed: We recommend feeding once in the morning and once in the early afternoon. Withhold food and water after vigorous exercise; wait until your dog has cooled down.
Transition: When changing to an oven-baked food, some dogs prefer a gradual transition over 7 to 10 days. Start with 25% of the new food mixed with 75% of the previous diet, and gradually increase the new while decreasing the previous until the transition is complete. Sudden diet change may cause loose stool or stomach discomfort. Typically, a gradual transition is not necessary when changing to another Pinto Canyon food because all of our foods are similar in quality and cooking process.
Rotating Flavors: Some dogs prefer variety and that's fine! Because all of our foods are baked and all have a similar Guaranteed Analysis, you can immediately switch between Pinto Canyon recipes. A gradual transition is typically not necessary between our foods!
Wet Food: Another great quality of oven-baked food is that it doesn't swell and get all gross when wet. If your dog prefers wet food, or has sensitive teeth, simply pour a little lukewarm water over the kibble, let it sit for a couple of minutes, and your dog can enjoy a moist meal!
Puppies: It's best to get your puppy on a regular feeding schedule right away. As a general rule you should feed three times a day until the puppy is 3 months old; measure the amount that you feed and feed as much as your puppy will eat in 10 minutes. After 3 months, your puppy should be fed twice a day; the amount that you feed daily should be the same as he/she was eating daily during the first 3 months and then gradually adjusted to maintain optimal body weight.
Overweight Pets: Humans and pets both have to push away from the table. We find many pet owners that have switched to Pinto Canyon products are still feeding the amount of food they formerly fed. With concentrated Pinto Canyon super premium foods, it is best to feed at least 25% less. Pets, like humans, require a little time for the stomach to adjust and to reduce their food intake to the proper amount. During this period of reducing the amount fed to a dog, add lightly cooked vegetables of all types—carrots, rice, broccoli, potatoes, celery, green beans, and pasta. This is great for your dog's health.
Keep in mind that dogs eating foods that are low in protein and fat will sometimes eat more than they should in order to satisfy their taste buds. Improper feeding is the greatest cause of a pet being overweight (along with those extra treats from the dinner table), not the protein content or quality of the food.
Soft Stool: Premium oven-baked dog food is nutritionally rich and has no useless fillers. During a change to a premium food, some pets may have a softer stool. A premium food will start cleaning the pet's digestive tract rather than just passing though the system. In time you will have a firmer, much smaller stool for easy clean-up. Adding cooked white rice (not instant) or vegetables to the food until the dog's system adjusts will add fiber to the diet which will firm the stool and also make the dog feel more full.