Is my puppy skinny? (feeding RAW) - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 23 (permalink) Old 05-16-2013, 10:14 AM Thread Starter
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Is my puppy skinny? (feeding RAW)

Hello, i'm new to this forum and i think it's a great opportunity to learn from people with much more experience in this than me.

My puppy is 17 weeks old, it's my first puppy in my whole life and i've been reading a lot to learn about dogs so i can do my best.

The point is, i'm a little worried about her weight. She weighs 27 pounds and she looks skinny. i feed her raw: chicken, turkey, beef, pork and sometimes lamb. i also give her green tripe and little pieces of organs such as liver, pancreas, heart (if you would consider it an organ), fish (whole mackerels and sometimes, frozen salmon fillets and flounder fillets), raw eggs.... sometimes i give her little snacks like plain yogurt and berries. she's currently eating aprox 2 pounds a day, but i'm feeding her twice a day. should i feed her a little bit more o three times a day maybe? i also notice she looks kinda tired during the day, like reaaaally hungry. my calculations are 3% of her ideal adult body weight, which would be 65lbs? The fact is i really don't want her to be fat cause i know it would be terrible for her joints, but it kills me seeing her that hungry all the time and she eats about everything! Food, grass, dirt, pieces of log, my fingers... People likes her a lot but sometimes some people ask me if i'm feeding her cause she looks skinny. it's embarrassing cause yeah, of course i do! Like a clockwork! My question is where is all that food going to?

The vet says she's a little underweight but that was good for growing puppies. However, i found a german shepherd puppy weight chart and her normal weight should be 36.2lbs. What should i do?

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post #2 of 23 (permalink) Old 05-16-2013, 10:21 AM
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We need pictures of her from the side (standing) and looking down on her from above (with her standing).

They grow and change alot their first year, as does the volume of food they need to be a good weight. So adjustments are usual.

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post #3 of 23 (permalink) Old 05-16-2013, 10:42 AM Thread Starter
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i juts took these pictures




Is my puppy skinny? (feeding RAW)-photo-1.jpg




Is my puppy skinny? (feeding RAW)-photo-2.jpg
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post #4 of 23 (permalink) Old 05-16-2013, 10:46 AM
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She looks perfect. I have no idea why any vet would say that dog is underweight.


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post #5 of 23 (permalink) Old 05-28-2013, 10:41 PM
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What should i do?
You should most definitely feed her more. She does look a little thin, and her tail is down. She looks a little sad. If she was getting enough to eat, she should have boundless energy! And that tail would be up and wagging!

As with human children, puppies are growing and expending a lot of energy. They need to eat as much as they want. You don't need to worry about her being fat any time soon, especially on a raw diet!

Your puppy looks just like my puppy. They are about the same age. Mine was a rescue and was thin when I got her. She, too, was underweight according to the charts. I'm feeding her about half raw and half kibble. I let her eat as much as she wants and some days she eats a lot while other days she doesn't eat much. I am trusting her instinct to guide her and she is filling out quite nicely!

Bottom line is: If your puppy acts like she's hungry, then you need to FEED HER! Simple solution. Babies shouldn't be hungry! Yes, feed her 3 times per day instead of twice, and let her eat as much as she wants, until she catches up. Drop the tightly-regimented calculations. Your puppy knows how much she needs! Trust her! Again, she isn't going to overeat on a raw diet! That is the beauty of raw diets. It's only the highly processed kibble that can cause dogs to be overweight, because it's an unnatural food. But since you are such a good mommy and feeding her raw, you don't need to worry about that. The important thing right now is to let her EAT!!!

She might pig out the first few times. She might be so happy to get more food that she barfs. So don't let her eat too too much the first time...start by adding a 3rd meal for a couple of days, then after she gets used to that, let her eat as much as she wants.

With human and canine children, it's better to err on the side of too much food, than not enough.

Also, a raw diet shouldn't be just meat. It needs to include other foods also. You might need to add more non-meat ingredients, to up her carbs and calories. Check out the 'raw' section in the puppy forum.

Good luck! Let us know how it goes!

Last edited by lealdragon; 05-28-2013 at 10:47 PM.
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post #6 of 23 (permalink) Old 05-28-2013, 11:00 PM
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You should most definitely feed her more. She does look a little thin, and her tail is down. She looks a little sad. If she was getting enough to eat, she should have boundless energy! And that tail would be up and wagging!

As with human children, puppies are growing and expending a lot of energy. They need to eat as much as they want. You don't need to worry about her being fat any time soon, especially on a raw diet!

Your puppy looks just like my puppy. They are about the same age. Mine was a rescue and was thin when I got her. She, too, was underweight according to the charts. I'm feeding her about half raw and half kibble. I let her eat as much as she wants and some days she eats a lot while other days she doesn't eat much. I am trusting her instinct to guide her and she is filling out quite nicely!

Bottom line is: If your puppy acts like she's hungry, then you need to FEED HER! Simple solution. Babies shouldn't be hungry! Yes, feed her 3 times per day instead of twice, and let her eat as much as she wants, until she catches up. Drop the tightly-regimented calculations. Your puppy knows how much she needs! Trust her! Again, she isn't going to overeat on a raw diet! That is the beauty of raw diets. It's only the highly processed kibble that can cause dogs to be overweight, because it's an unnatural food. But since you are such a good mommy and feeding her raw, you don't need to worry about that. The important thing right now is to let her EAT!!!

She might pig out the first few times. She might be so happy to get more food that she barfs. So don't let her eat too too much the first time...start by adding a 3rd meal for a couple of days, then after she gets used to that, let her eat as much as she wants.

With human and canine children, it's better to err on the side of too much food, than not enough.

Also, a raw diet shouldn't be just meat. It needs to include other foods also. You might need to add more non-meat ingredients, to up her carbs and calories. Check out the 'raw' section in the puppy forum.

Good luck! Let us know how it goes!
If that were true I would have to feed my dog until she died. She would probably eat herself to death. That puppy looks pretty good. And you don't base how much to feed your dog based on how hungry they are. Food drives differ in every dog. Keep her from eating other stuff. Are her poops good? Solid? She's still young and puppies need lots of rest. Does she have playful spurts through out the day? And a raw diet does not need something other than meat. Look up prey model raw.


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post #7 of 23 (permalink) Old 05-28-2013, 11:07 PM
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Your pup looks great! Keep doing what you're doing. Over feeding your pup can be very detrimental to your pups long term health.
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post #8 of 23 (permalink) Old 05-29-2013, 05:10 AM
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Keep feeding them when theyre hungry???? Berlin would eat 10+ lbs of raw meat a day if I let him!!! No you do NOT need to just keep feeding them. Very young pups are good at self regulating but once they get older they usually want to eat everything.

As far as your pup, she looks perfect. I hate those stupid puppy weight charts. Every pup should be exactly 36.2 lbs? Yeah right. You have american show lines, west germab show lines, wgwl, ddr, Czech lines, etc.... females vs male. There is a very large varation in types and therefor size. If the dog looks healthy the dog is fine.

Berlin has been looking skinny. Remember shepherd pups are notorious for being gangly. It's just now at 20 weeks he's starting to fill out a little more.

I talked to one of my vets recently about being a tad too skinny vs a tad overweight, because i too was a little concerned about berlin. She said it would do more harm to have an overweight puppy than it would do to have a slightly underweight puppy. Do not ere on the side of more food to "play it safe".

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post #9 of 23 (permalink) Old 05-29-2013, 09:01 AM Thread Starter
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If that were true I would have to feed my dog until she died. She would probably eat herself to death. That puppy looks pretty good. And you don't base how much to feed your dog based on how hungry they are. Food drives differ in every dog. Keep her from eating other stuff. Are her poops good? Solid? She's still young and puppies need lots of rest. Does she have playful spurts through out the day? And a raw diet does not need something other than meat. Look up prey model raw.


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yeah, that's the problem if i let her eat everything she wants she will be a balloon, she won't stop. also, i totally agree, i'm following the prey model diet, which makes the most sense to me. few table scraps (like some veggies or maybe couple of berries) won't hurt her, but it wouldn't even make the 1% of her diet. dogs are carnivore. her poops are fine, sometimes soft when i haven't fed enough bones but other than that she's fine. she sleeps a lot, and does wake up with bursts of energy, then she plays, runs, and then zzzzz....

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post #10 of 23 (permalink) Old 05-29-2013, 01:46 PM
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it kills me seeing her that hungry all the time and she eats about everything! Food, grass, dirt, pieces of log, my fingers... People likes her a lot but sometimes some people ask me if i'm feeding her cause she looks skinny.

The vet says she's a little underweight but that was good for growing puppies.
OK so no one liked my answer but look at what you said, quoted above. And your vet said she's a little underweight, and people are noticing she looks skinny.

I mean, heeeeelllllllooooo there is clearly a problem here!

It doesn't have to be all or nothing...you don't have to go from 1 extreme to the other. You don't want to let her eat freely, ok fine, then don't do that. (My puppy DOES stop when she's full...she walks away...but maybe she's unusual?) But you CAN feed her 1 more meal...feed her 3 times instead of 2...just to make up the gap. She is growing...she's not going to balloon out if you let her eat 3 times per day for a month or so, until she fills out a bit and feels satisfied.

I agree that we shouldn't follow the growth charts. Why, then, are people who are saying not to follow the growth charts, also saying to precisely follow the feeding charts? Do you see the contradiction here?

I'm not suggesting that you let her eat constantly and get fat. You expressed some concerns. Clearly, if she was doing totally fine, you wouldn't have those concerns. What I am suggesting is that you loosen up a bit on the rigid feeding schedule and let her eat a bit more.

I wouldn't want to be hungry all the time and I wouldn't want to impose that on my puppy, based on some rigid feeding schedule. Dogs overeat when they're given dead food that lacks nutrients. You're feeding her raw so she shouldn't have that problem.

If you're still concerned about her eating too much, then switch to 3 times per day just temporarily, for a month or 2, then switch back to 2 once she seems less frantic.

Key word here being frantic...Sure, puppies like to eat, but they shouldn't seem frantic to get more food. If she seems frantic, then that is a sign she is starving for something...either more calories or some missing nutrient.

As for the 'prey' diet consisting of only meat, that is controversial. Wolves eat the contents of their prey's stomachs, so they do indeed get fruits and veggies.

Also, get this: the dog holding the Guinness world record for long life is - gasp - a vegetarian!

Before everyone jumps on me for that, let me say that I do NOT believe in making dogs total vegetarians. They are clearly carnivores. There is no mistaking those teeth! But the FACT is that vegetarian dogs DO live longer. So maybe there is a happy middle? Like, for example, letting her have some avocado for extra nutrients, healthy fats and calories? I'm just suggesting that it might not be as black-and-white as the diet gurus want us to believe. It might be useful to question what we've been taught.

I'm feeding my puppy half grain-free puppy kibble, mixed with a raw egg or cottage cheese in the morning, adult kibble when the other dogs eat in the afternoon, and a serving of either Stella&Chewy's or Primal brand reconstituted freeze-dried raw meat (with ground raw bones, fruits and veggies) in the evening. I acknowledge that this isn't optimal. I'd much rather she be on 100% raw, and I am considering doing that, but just haven't worked it all out yet, being that I have 8 cats and 3 dogs. You are already ahead of the game since you're feeding her raw meat - that's awesome! I admire you for being able to do that. But if anything, then that means there is even less concern about her being fat...do you see any fat wolves in the wild? The dogs who get fat are the ones on cooked kibble!!

You are worried about her being too fat. This reminds me of a friend I had who was following a strict raw vegan diet while she was pregnant, and then raised her children on that diet too.

Now, for the record, I am a 'high raw' vegan and I realize I'm in the company of a lot of meat-eaters. I do NOT want to get into a debate about human diet! The point is that, even though I am myself a raw vegan, I would NEVER recommend raising a child that way! At least not until more people have done it successfully. It might be totally fine and even optimal, but because the diet is so new, it's still unknown how to do it properly for pregnant women and children. I would never experiment on my child for the sake of some ideology!

Well, my friend did. She experimented on her children and they had all sorts of problems. That is NOT to say the diet might not work, but it certainly didn't work the way she did it. I remember she kept telling me that she and her children felt hungry all the time and never satisfied. Her kids were skinny and just didn't thrive.

I told her then "Duh, something is missing. Either find out what, or give them some cooked vegetarian food, or even organic free range eggs...but don't let them be hungry! That's not good for children't brain development!"

She didn't listen to me, unfortunately. Her son lost all his teeth at age 3 and had to live without teeth until his adult teeth came in. Yes, this is an extreme case, and is NOT representative of vegetarian diets - my own son was raised 100% vegetarian - never had a bite of meat in his life - but not in an extremist way. He is now 24 and extremely strong and healthy. So this is NOT about the vegetarian diet! It's about being RIGID in ANY diet, to the point where the person loses common sense and the ability to observe what is going on with the child or dog.

Moral of the story is: You seem to notice that your puppy isn't satisfied. I am suggesting that you don't do what my friend did, and ignore the signs, in favor of rigidly following some 'expert' feeding chart.

Last edited by lealdragon; 05-29-2013 at 01:55 PM.
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