Be a Math Whiz!
Do One Thing: August, 2019: This article is part of the 2019 "Do One Thing" series, which focuses on one small project we can do each month to support our dog's health.
School doesn't start again for another month, but it's never too early to brush up on your math skills and support your dog's health at the same time.
Your assignment for August ...
Accurately weigh and measure food and supplements for your dog. Small errors when weighing or measuring your dog's food can lead to unintended weight changes in your dog. Small errors when measuring supplements, vitamins, minerals, or fatty acids may lead to an over or under supply of key nutrients in your dog's diet. As tempting as it may be to rely on the 'eyeball' technique when feeding your dog, it's not reliable and can have negative consequences on your dog's overall health.
Tips for Weighing and Measuring Food and Supplements
Raw Fed Dogs - Calculate how many ounces your dog needs each day and then use a food scale to weigh the food. Be accurate! Even 1/2 ounce of food extra each day can lead to unwanted pounds over the course of a year.
Kibble Fed Dogs - Calculate how many cups of food your dog requires each day and then use a measuring cup to portion your dog's food. Many brands of kibble are calorie dense and even a small amount of extra food at each meal can lead to excess calories and pounds over the year. When using a measuring cup, the top of the kibble in the cup should be parallel to the top of the measuring line.
Supplements - Use standardized measuring spoons to add supplements to your dog's meals. The spoons in your cutlery drawer are fine for ice cream, but are not appropriate when adding supplements to your dogs's meals. For example, kelp can easily be over or under supplied in the diet and this can have a serious impact on the functioning of the thyroid. Calcium and Vitamin D can also be over or under supplied and must be dosed and measured accurately in home prepared diets. Omega-3 fatty acids have a wide range of amazing health benefits for dogs, but must be dosed accurately in order for your dog's body to maximize their beneficial effects. Read labels for dosing instructions and measure accurately.
Medications - When dosing liquid medications, use the measuring cup or syringe provided by your vet and follow the instructions carefully. The liquid in the syringe or measuring cup should be parallel to the measurement line.
Herbals - Tinctures are dosed in drops. A 'drop' is a single water drop that comes out of the end of a dropper. Dry herbs can be measured in teaspoons or grams. Herbal medications need the same dosing accuracy as pharmaceuticals.
Accuracy when measuring our dogs' food and supplements matters, and is one simple thing we all can do to help our dogs life vital and healthy lives.
Weights and Measures
There are 16 ounces in a pound.
There are 28.35 grams in one ounce.
For liquids: there are 3 teaspoons in 1 tablespoon. 1 Tablespoon equals 1/2 ounce.
For liquids: there are 8 fluid ounces in 1 cup. There are 250 ml in 1 cup.
Good luck and see you in September!
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