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Old 08-20-2014, 07:04 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default I'm worried I may be under feeding

Hello. I have a 9 week old GSD puppy. Since i brought her home from the breeder a week ago, she's been a little food vaccum. She eats so fast that I now use a large casserole dish as her food bowl so that she's forced to eat her kibble in smaller bites because it's so spread out. I feed her Orijen LBP food. She's 11lbs and the bag suggests 1 1/3 cups per day. The breeder said to give her between 1 1/2 and 2 cups per day. I've been giving her 1 1/2 to feed closer to the bag's recommendation. Also, the breeder said that underfeeding is better than overfeeding for bone growth.

She weighed 8lbs when I brought her home, so she's gained 3lbs in one week eating this way. But she's always felt really skinny to me. She's super fluffy, so i can't use her appearance as a guide. I have to feel her and i don't know what normal feels like. I can feel every rib with just a thin layer of skin and maybe a tiny amount of fat over it. I can feel every texture of her ribs, not just a general shape. I feel her hips. And her waist is tiny. When she's standing, I can put my fingers around her waist and if her belly wasn't in the way, my fingers could almost close around it.

She loves food but I have a feeling that's just her personality. She would eat the whole bag if I let her even if she was already full.

Overall she's a very happy puppy. When she's not sleeping, she's playing. When I'm eating, she'll ask for my food and I'll say no and that's it, she'll go back to playing with her toys, even if I'm eating while sitting on the floor next to her. She's not hounding me for food and only gets food excited if she hears her food container, not my food or other kitchen noises.

Her vet appointment isn't until a week from now, so I was hoping to get some advice here before then.

Thank you.
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Old 08-20-2014, 07:11 PM   #2 (permalink)
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if your puppy gain 3lbs/week consistently for 6 months she be around 80 lbs at 6 months old. i think you are not under feeding
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Old 08-20-2014, 08:36 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Puppies go through growth spurts, and at some periods they grow faster and some periods the growth plateaus. You can't go by 3 pounds a week. You have to go by her overall condition. If she is still hungry, feed her more.

Your pup is at a high growth stage. I am not familiar with Orijen, save to know it is grain free, sourced in Canada, and expensive, good food. I do not know whether it is particularly well suited to puppies at this stage, especially one that is already small and thin. Yes, go directly to adult food, but grain-frees are not all well-suited to puppies.

Also if the bag says feed x per pound, or for dogs at 11 pounds feed 1 1/ to 1 1/2, that usually does not mean puppies. Puppies are eating for growth and can eat considerably more than adults. I would up her to 2 cups a day to start and give her a week and re-evaluate her condition. It may not be enough.
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Old 08-20-2014, 08:42 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Ace GSD View Post
if your puppy gain 3lbs/week consistently for 6 months she be around 80 lbs at 6 months old. i think you are not under feeding
Actually, this isn't true.

The dog is already 2 months old. So she has 4 months or 17 weeks to reach six months. That would make her 51 + her current 11 pounds. So 62 pounds at six months (not a bad weight). But rate of growth in puppies is not linear. And lacking in nutrients during growth can cause issues down the line.

On the other hand, 2 cups of food can weigh a pound or more. So if the dog was weighed full (food and water) at the end of the week, and empty at the beginning of the week, then we can have variance. And not all scales, especially scales that can weigh 2-3 hundred pounds are going to have the same accuracy. So, we really must rely on how the dog feels, and if the pup is really acting hungry. I would probably feed this dog 3-4 times a day.
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Old 08-20-2014, 08:50 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by selzer View Post
Actually, this isn't true.

The dog is already 2 months old. So she has 4 months or 17 weeks to reach six months. That would make her 51 + her current 11 pounds. So 62 pounds at six months (not a bad weight). But rate of growth in puppies is not linear. And lacking in nutrients during growth can cause issues down the line.

On the other hand, 2 cups of food can weigh a pound or more. So if the dog was weighed full (food and water) at the end of the week, and empty at the beginning of the week, then we can have variance. And not all scales, especially scales that can weigh 2-3 hundred pounds are going to have the same accuracy. So, we really must rely on how the dog feels, and if the pup is really acting hungry. I would probably feed this dog 3-4 times a day.
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Old 08-20-2014, 08:55 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Thank you so much for your replies. I just wanted to clarify a few things, to help gauge my situation.

I feed her 4 times a day, totaling 1 1/2 cups per day.

The Orijen food is their Large Breed Puppy food and the measurements are meant for puppies. The suggested feeding is per day and the chart starts with current weight of the puppy and expected weight as adult from 30kg to 80kg. All across the board for a puppy weighing 11lbs it suggests 1 1/3 cups. (The puppy weight on the chart is shown in kg and lb.)

I'm not considering switching her to adult food, or any other food. Her stools are normal, her coat looks good, and it seems to be a good food and was recommended by her breeder.

I weigh her first thing in the morning, after a potty break, before food and water, using the same scale.

Once again, thank you. I appreciate all the help I can get. I am still unsure how her ribs should feel when perfectly fed.
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Old 08-20-2014, 09:33 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Julz View Post
Thank you so much for your replies. I just wanted to clarify a few things, to help gauge my situation.

I feed her 4 times a day, totaling 1 1/2 cups per day.

The Orijen food is their Large Breed Puppy food and the measurements are meant for puppies. The suggested feeding is per day and the chart starts with current weight of the puppy and expected weight as adult from 30kg to 80kg. All across the board for a puppy weighing 11lbs it suggests 1 1/3 cups. (The puppy weight on the chart is shown in kg and lb.)

I'm not considering switching her to adult food, or any other food. Her stools are normal, her coat looks good, and it seems to be a good food and was recommended by her breeder.

I weigh her first thing in the morning, after a potty break, before food and water, using the same scale.

Once again, thank you. I appreciate all the help I can get. I am still unsure how her ribs should feel when perfectly fed.
If you are feeling all her ribs up it anyway. Your breeder said to up it. Not all dogs have the same energy levels and not all have the same metabolism. If you think she is thin, then she probably is, and if you still have a question ask your vet. At 9 weeks old, 11 pounds is a little small, but not unheard of. GSDs vary a lot, If she should be 14 or 15 pounds and you are feeding her for 11 pounds, then, she may not be getting enough.
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Old 08-20-2014, 10:12 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Thank you! I'll up her to 2 cups until she sees the vet, then ask her what she thinks.
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Old 08-20-2014, 10:15 PM   #9 (permalink)
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As long as all worms have been ruled out and the pups been checked and tested and cleared by a vet I would simplify it and just feed what the bag says.

My GSD's in the past and now would eat to death or to bloat if given the option. I have one now that I could free feed, only problem is the other one will keep eating her food.

So as far as feeding, just do what your doing. If the pup is still hungry, ignore it if good health signs are present. I wouldn't be so quick to give more food. My boy would eat dinner every 15 minutes if I let him.

Stay with the LBP Orijen, great food if the pup can handle it.. As far as weight goes it depends on each dog. They are not all the same size and weight.

Most people think that GSD pups are skinny until they are two.
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Old 08-21-2014, 05:25 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Default I'm worried I may be under feeding

I would feed her more. 1 cup 3 times a day. Orijen or not doesn't matter in my opinion. She's growing she's a baby feed her. 1 1/2 total seems too little for a growing puppy. Go by how she looks. As long as you see her waistline. Which at 9 weeks you won't see it. You will around 12-13 weeks. All pups are different but at 8 weeks my female was 16lbs. At 4 1/2 months now she's eating over 4 cups a day and lean

Last edited by mydogs; 08-21-2014 at 05:28 PM.
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