"Why are you starving your dog"? - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-21-2013, 03:26 PM Thread Starter
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"Why are you starving your dog"?

So I've been asked this question or variations of this question on more than one occasion while out walking Penny... Penny seems to be overly thin... You can see her hip bones and when she is panting hard or takes a deep breath while she is laying on her side you can easily see all of her ribs. You can also feel her spine without a problem, and you can see and feel her shoulder blades as well. She does not have worms and HAS been tested to see if she does have them but she doesn't.

Penny gets anywhere between 2 - 3 hours of exercise a day, and she has been eating about 2 cups of food a day... I have tried to give her more food but she wont eat it, 2 cups at night and that's it she wont eat during the day unless its treats (she gets a fair amount of treats about 3 cookie treats and 6 "soft" treats broken up and used as training treats a day) and I have tried even not given her treats and she still wont eat during the day.

Diesel (my last shepherd) was thin, but you could never see her ribs or her hip bones or feel her spine or anything like that... Penny is 10 months now and it has seemed like the older she has gotten the thinner she has gotten...

Will Penny fill out? Am I doing something wrong? I know GSD's are suppose to be thin but thin to the point where you can easily see their bones? Im just sick of people telling me that I must not be feeding my dog but... "you can lead a horse to water but you cant make it drink" same goes for dogs you can put the food in front of them but you cant make'em eat it! Any suggestions to get her to gain a little weight, not too much just enough to make it look like she is not being starved?


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Penny - GSD - 11/11/2012
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Diesel - GSD - 03/15/2010 - 11/05/2012
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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-21-2013, 03:32 PM
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From my breeder told me, GSD should be able to feel the bone but not seeing it.
have you tried other dog food? maybe give him some raw meat ?
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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-21-2013, 03:33 PM
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With my Pup I had same problem but not for very long. She was not eating enough puppy kibble (only two cups and I wanted her to have way more cause she was so thin). So I switched to RAW- wow, huge difference. Eats every bit and has filled out perfectly. If you go to RAW make sure it has a good amount of calcium for pups...I also add a pump of salmon oil, 2 tbl spoons of organic veg for dogs and every once in awhile some pumpkin. Good luck!


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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-21-2013, 03:41 PM
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I have always fed my dogs twice a day with additional bones / snacks in between. Once in the morning, and once around dinner time or when we get home from work.

My husky, Emma, would never eat. We dont leave food out because my other dogs would be overweight and wed be spending way too much. I decided to use half a can of wet food with each meal (divided between 3 dogs, so thats 6 meals for 1 can that costs 2 dollars at petsmart) and now Emma loves breakfast and dinner. She gets so excited and is finally a healthy weight.

For 2 dollars a day I made feed time a fun, easier process. And all the dogs really enjoy the change. Emma prances around, shaking her tush and runs in circles because shes so happy its time for dinner. We feed her the exact brand / type of dry kibble we've been feeding them.

Just something to consider trying.

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Morgan Lynn - GSD - 15 months - Herder in Training
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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-21-2013, 04:26 PM
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Cafall was the same way for the period from 8-10 months of age. Finally someone suggested just adding a 1/4 cup of kibble to each meal and mixing with yogurt or a raw egg. Boy did he snarf that down, and without turning up his nose at the extra amount. I was also able to give him a raw 'snack' in the afternoons. This varied from 1/3 -1/2lb (150-225g) of some sort of raw beef, turkey, or chicken. Within a few weeks he had started to add a bit of meat over his ribs. Although he wasn't too thrilled once he reached his goal weight and we cut back on the extras :P
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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-21-2013, 04:57 PM
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All mine are like that growing up, but they eat 4-5 cups a day (or more!). We're active, they're active, and they're healthy. It's just the way they grow. Mine often grow up (bony, skeletal) and then bulk out (and look normal!).

Don't be fooled by the dogs on TV, a healthy active dog should show rib when expanding their chest. They should have a defined waist and you should feel solid muscle when you pet them, not wobbly fat. Most folks keep their dogs a bit overweight because they think seeing ribs is bad; it's not! Don't worry!


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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-21-2013, 07:32 PM
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what are you feeding her?
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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-21-2013, 07:37 PM
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How about looking for a higher calorie food?




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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-21-2013, 07:47 PM
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Definitely listen to what Doggiedad recommends. From me reading on what he has told others, Jonas eats great now and is filling out nicely.

"A House Is Not A Home Without A German Shepherd"
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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-21-2013, 07:58 PM
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I completely agree with Marbury.

I keep my dog very thin because of his age and activity level (competes in agility). You can easily feel his bones, and see his hip bones and last rib. Most people think he looks great, more importantly my vet thinks he looks great. Some people comment that he is skinny and I just tell them that he competes in agility and needs to be very fit because of his size.
If you think that your dog is too skinny you could look to a higher calorie food as Jax suggested. That way she gets more calories and doesn't have to eat more.

ADCH Mikko (USDAA) SCH-B; (NADAC) EAC, EJC, TN-E, TG-E, VerO; (AKC) NAJ, CGC; (NACSW) NW1 - 9 year old GSD

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