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Keeping Up with K9 Kamp: How Many Calories Does Your Dog Need

Keeping Up with K9 Kamp: How Many Calories Does Your Dog Need

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Last month, we celebrated the first K9 Kamp of 2013 with our “Do More” Challenge.

k9 kamp canine fitness blog challenge

It was awesome and we were so excited to have so many people join in. Just because our first challenge is over, doesn’t mean our featured kampers have abandoned their fitness plans.

That’s right! The K9 Kamp fitness and fun isn’t over.

k9kampbadgeb-300x300Every month, our new Kamp Coach Jessica from You Did What With Your Wiener is sharing a mini-challenge designed to be a quick and easy way to ensure your dog’s fitness is on track!

This month’s challenge is to make sure you’re feeding your dog the right amount of food. 

Through my kibble consultations, I’ve learned that when you ask most pet owners this question, they respond with a confident “Yup!” and explain that they carefully follow the guidelines on the bag. The trouble is – the guidelines aren’t always a good fit. In fact, more than 50% of the dogs I’ve worked with were being fed the wrong amount.

It’s important to know how many calories your dog should consume and it’s important to double check that number from time to time.

Changes to your lifestyle and activity level can affect how many calories your dog burns. Recently, Koly, Fe and I moved to an apartment and this has totally changed how much they get to eat. Instead of letting the boys out in the yard, we’re now going on 4 – 6 walks per day – well over 2 hours total. This means that the calories Kol and Fe used to get just aren’t enough anymore. On the flip side, as your dog ages, after surgery/illness or other life changes, your dog may need less calories. It’s all about finding what’s right for your dog, not just trusting what is on the bag.

With that in mind, I set out to complete this month’s Keeping Up With K9 Kamp mini-challenge.


Screenshot from the SlimDoggy App


Our friends (and fellow K9 Kampers) at SlimDoggy have a whole app that can help you make sure your dog is eating right. It’s super easy to use – just put in what your dog eats, how much exercise they get and voila! It shows you if your pet is on track for fitness or if their calories need to be adjusted. It’s not really designed for raw feeders like us, so I have to fudge it a bit, but I’ve found a way to make it work. If you’re an Apple piePhone user, you can get the SlimDoggy app from the App Store.


If you’re not an iPhone user, SlimDoggy can still help you calculate your dog’s calorie needs. They’ve built this handy dandy widget that you can use. It’s as easy as putting in your dog’s age, weight and exercise level. Go try it, then check out the calories in your dog food (usually found on the bag or the website of any good brand.) Click here and scroll about quarter way down the page – the widget is in the right 

What did you find out?

We found out that with all this exercise we’ve been getting, my Koly needed close to 200 more calories. #Jackpot. He’s kind of thrilled about it. We’ve bumped up his breakfast significantly and, just for fun, we’ve added in a few extra treats. (Great timing, since Clear Conscience just sent us a big box of yummy things to try.)

Felix on the other hand is still just about right. He needs a few more calories, but not enough that he’s getting any extra meals – just a slightly larger portion and a few extra treats. He doesn’t mind. He says dinner is over rated anyways – especially in this heat.

Do you know how many calories a day your dog needs?

You’ve still got time to join in! This Friday, July 27th, Jessica will be sharing her results from their Keeping Up With K9 Kamp Mini-Challenge and joining in the Fit Dog Friday Blog Hop! I hope you’ll drop by and tell her how you did with this month’s mini challenge and what you learned!


Kol’s Note: the Mama purchased the SlimDoggy App herself to try & use. No compensation was provided.


K9 Kampers are doing it right!

We are SO pleased and proud that not only is our blog a finalist for a 2013 Petties Award, but FIVE other K9 Kampers are finalists in their categories as well! Way to go team! Congrats to our fellow Kampers:

SLIMDOGGY finalist for Best Best Mobile App

PET BLOGS UNITED & TO DOG WITH LOVE finalists for Best Over All Pet Blog

YOU DID WHAT WITH YOUR WIENER & TERRIER TORRENT finalists for Best Active Living Blog

and of course, KOLCHAK PUGGLE, (hey! that’s me!) for Best Dog Blog!

Your votes mean the world to us! You can vote every single day until July 31. Cast your votes now!


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Jessica Rhae

Friday 26th of July 2013

I bet you are doing a lot more walking now! I remember my apartment days and how often I had to take Chester outside to unwater himself. It's a great idea to check back in with calorie needs when the daily activity routine changes. Lucky for Koly that he gets more food and treats. Jackpot indeed :)


Sunday 28th of July 2013

It's amazing what a few days perspective does! I got home, looked at Kol and was like "Holy Woof! That is one skinny dog!" He definitely needs the extra calories and I'm glad I brought home so many tasty snacks from SuperZoo ;0)


Monday 22nd of July 2013

You are right, we don't have the calorie amounts for raw and home-cooked diets. But if you know how many calories your dog burns each day, you can use that as a guide for the raw servings.

Maybe one day we will extend our database to include raw ingredients....

By the way- did you update the app with the latest version 2.0 (the picture on the post is an older version)? It has a nicer navigation and it is easier to add things to your daily diary.

Thanks for the great update Kol and Jodi!


Tuesday 23rd of July 2013

We found a way to make it work by adding custom foods, though, the calculation for the number of calories Kol should get still came out a tad low. It can definitely be made to work, with a little extra leg work.

I didn't update. I'm notoriously awful for having outdated apps. LOL. I'll have to make a point to do that when I get home from Superzoo!


Monday 22nd of July 2013

I'm like you, we feed raw so it's hard to tell. As of right now SlimDoggy does not have an app for the raw food. I feed what the nutritionist tells me and watch the dogs, if they start too look heavy I cut back a bit and vice versa. I'm sure Koly is thrilled. :-)


Tuesday 23rd of July 2013

He sure is. He actually showers me with love after his second dinner.

Jackie Bouchard

Monday 22nd of July 2013

This was a great post by YDWWYW and it was interesting to see the results. We are going to post about what we learned on Friday. Thanks for the shout-out on our Educating Rita post. Off to vote!


Tuesday 23rd of July 2013

Awesome! I can't wait to read it. We are loving having Jessica on board to help us coach K9 Kamp!

Pamela | Something Wagging

Monday 22nd of July 2013

The other problem with the feeding guidelines on prepared foods is they're for a wide range of weights. I've seen instructions that tell you if your dog weights between 50 - 70 pounds, give them 2 1/2 - 6 cups of food. Which means I have to do math. Which means I'll never figure out the right amount to feed my dog.

BTW, are you calculating into Fe and Kol's rations any extra snacks your mom might be giving them? I hear doting grandmothers are the worst. :)


Monday 22nd of July 2013

You are right Pamela- the feeding instructions on the label are way to generic. That is where the SlimDoggy app and widget come in.


Monday 22nd of July 2013

Oh I see you've met the Nana? Grandma is better because she asks first, but the Nana runs amok, so there is a healthy allowance for treats in there.

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