German Shepherds Forum banner

1 - 19 of 19 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
2 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hello everyone..
I am really worried regarding my 8 months old male German Shepherd (KING). He is a very active dog, but seems underweight. I can feel his ribs if I rub his belly and I can also feel his spine very easily. I was feeding him Pedigree dog food and even started adding canned food of the same brand to his dry food, but he stopped eating after a few weeks of the new diet, so I switched back to dry and always keep his bowl full. He eats whenever he wants, but still so thin. What can I feed him to gain some weight in a healthy way?

Any advice and suggestions are welcome.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,828 Posts
You should be able to not only feel some ribs, but see some also. The ribs should feel smooth, not sharp.

Pedigree is not what anyone would call a good dog food. I would suggest you switch to something better and then start feeding twice a day, picking up his food after about ten minutes or if he looks done sooner, pick it up sooner.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
You should be able to not only feel some ribs, but see some also. The ribs should feel smooth, not sharp.

Pedigree is not what anyone would call a good dog food. I would suggest you switch to something better and then start feeding twice a day, picking up his food after about ten minutes or if he looks done sooner, pick it up sooner.
Thanks for your advice.. Can you please recommend me some good brands.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
5,219 Posts
Good brands: Orijen, Taste of the Wild, Wellness Super 5, Acana. I am sure you will get several other recommendations. My dog has a slender build and at first glance looks underweight but I can't feel her ribs without trying but I do feel her back bone, but it is not 'bony', it's just 'there'. She is very active and athletic... has a runner's build. The vet thinks she is at a perfect weight. 25", 66 pounds. She grew 2 pounds a week until 6 months then almost stopped completely. Her growth from 6 to 8 months was very slow and at 16 months she is only 3 pounds heavier than she was at 8 months.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,828 Posts
A good rule of thumb is if you can find the dog food at the grocery store, you should never feed it to your dog. PetSmart and PetCo sell poor to mid quality dog food. You have to generally go to a specialty store to find the good stuff like those mentioned above plus foods like Innova and California Natural.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,933 Posts
Make sure when you do the switch that you do it SLOWLY else you will have a dog with diarrhea. Start with 3/4's old food and 1/4 new food do that for several days, then go 1/2 for several days, then 3/4 new and 1/4 old for several days.
www.dogfoodanalysis.com rates the brands.

The brands mentioned above are all excellent brands. they are rich and you have not been feeding a quality food so the slower the transition the better for your dog.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,257 Posts
Don't be scared off by dog food analysis type sites. What works for one dog might not work for another and Stars or Paws don't mean a thing if a dog doesn't do well on it or your pocket book / wallet can't handle it.

And whether a kibble uses corn, pototoes, rice or some other starch source to help form the kibble, you can bet a wolf wouldn't eat those things by instinct but it doesn't mean it is bad for a dog. Not being "in a dogs carnivor nature" doesn't equal "bad".

My dogs have done well on Iams, Purina One, Pro Plan and Eukanuba. I've also tried high end Grain-Free brands too. Right now we are on Pro Plan and dogs are doing just fine - no one dropping dead from the grains in the food and we have no allergies here. We do give Raw Meaty Bones on the weekend to ensure good periodontal health.

Hope you find a food that works well to get the weight on and one that you are comfortable with.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
5,219 Posts
Hello everyone..
I am really worried regarding my 8 months old male German Shepherd (KING). He is a very active dog, but seems underweight. I can feel his ribs if I rub his belly and I can also feel his spine very easily. I was feeding him Pedigree dog food and even started adding canned food of the same brand to his dry food, but he stopped eating after a few weeks of the new diet, so I switched back to dry and always keep his bowl full. He eats whenever he wants, but still so thin. What can I feed him to gain some weight in a healthy way?

Any advice and suggestions are welcome.

Do you have any recent photos of King? I know they aren't always easy to get.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
235 Posts
My dog is very trim and extremely healthy (and she started life as an underweight puppy with severe parasite problems due to bad kennel conditions). It took us a while to fatten her up to normal. She will never be heavy but she is in great condition. Her middle nips in when viewed from the top and tucks up tight when viewed from the side. That is the way they are supposed to look. She runs and chases frizbees several times a day and has boundless energy. She has been on Pro plan puppy and is now on Pro Plan adult shredded chicken formula which our vet sells. I know it doesn't stand up to some of the pickier standards recommended by some GSD owners but it does well by her. It is $47.00 a bag but she eats less of it than other brands. We add a litle raw sometimes and we usually add chicken broth just because she loves it. I tried Pedigree for my English Bull Dog and he ended up in the vet emergency two times, they thought he was poisoned but it was something that didn't agree with him in the Pedigree. You have to find out what is good for your dog.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
19,157 Posts
we currently feed 4Health from tractor supply. We moved away from purina brands. They inhale it faster than anything (unless they're getting doggie junk food lol) and are doing well on it. its roughly $27 for a 35lb bag. Its a good deal i think. and its not nearly as expensive as some other brands. Tractor Supply you'll also be able to find some of the higher quality foods as well. I would definitely stop free feeding. fed two times a day is all you need to do. the dog needs to learn to eat and finish his meal when its out for him instead of eating whenever the mood strikes.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
5,219 Posts
we currently feed 4Health from tractor supply. We moved away from purina brands. They inhale it faster than anything (unless they're getting doggie junk food lol) and are doing well on it. its roughly $27 for a 35lb bag. Its a good deal i think. and its not nearly as expensive as some other brands. Tractor Supply you'll also be able to find some of the higher quality foods as well. I would definitely stop free feeding. fed two times a day is all you need to do. the dog needs to learn to eat and finish his meal when its out for him instead of eating whenever the mood strikes.
I have free fed almost from day one. She never over ate and never under ate. She eats when she is hungry, which is when the mood strikes. Her weight and energy level have alway been excellent. Dogs free fed in the wild for tens of thousands of years and managed to survive.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,834 Posts
Don't be scared off by dog food analysis type sites. What works for one dog might not work for another and Stars or Paws don't mean a thing if a dog doesn't do well on it or your pocket book / wallet can't handle it.

And whether a kibble uses corn, pototoes, rice or some other starch source to help form the kibble, you can bet a wolf wouldn't eat those things by instinct but it doesn't mean it is bad for a dog. Not being "in a dogs carnivor nature" doesn't equal "bad".

My dogs have done well on Iams, Purina One, Pro Plan and Eukanuba. I've also tried high end Grain-Free brands too. Right now we are on Pro Plan and dogs are doing just fine - no one dropping dead from the grains in the food and we have no allergies here. We do give Raw Meaty Bones on the weekend to ensure good periodontal health.

Hope you find a food that works well to get the weight on and one that you are comfortable with.
I agree. :cool:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2 Posts
Some tips to gain weight :
1) Feed your dog a premium dog food that is higher in protein and other elements that are necessary to promote muscle growth and fat due.
2) Make sure your dog always has fresh water because some dogs have a lower weight to dehydration.
3) Promote rest and sleep for two hours after meals, it helps to temporarily slow the digestion process, which absorbs more calories and nutrients.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
19,157 Posts
I have free fed almost from day one. She never over ate and never under ate. She eats when she is hungry, which is when the mood strikes. Her weight and energy level have alway been excellent. Dogs free fed in the wild for tens of thousands of years and managed to survive.

yeah but those are dogs in the wild. they arent domestic. they actually have to work for their food and often times work very hard for it whereas domestic dogs dont usually have to do that. You hunt down your own food and tackle something twice your size or bigger than that and i'm sure you'd eat it too. Some dogs are fine to be free fed but not all. IMO, the OPs dog, is not one who should be free fed. If he knows its always there whenever he wants it, he's not going to eat as much as he should. whereas if he gets set meals or meals around a certain time he may be more likely to eat the amount he's supposed to when its offered. if free feeding works for you props.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,135 Posts
I would recommend Blue Buffalo and/or Blue Wilderness.

However, if you want to stay on the cheaper end, Kirkland dog food (from Costco) is a good quality food for about the same price as a large bag of Purina, and probably Pedigree.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,135 Posts
I personally would not free feed a dog. Four of our five are free fed. Those four are notably overweight. Ozzy is a good weight and has a nice build. I can feel his ribs, but they're not sticking out. He gets two meals per day.

I like knowing when Ozzy eats, because I can see how much he's eating, time when he has to go to the bathroom, and if there comes a day when he loses his appetite, I'll know that something's probably not quite right.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
19,157 Posts
I personally would not free feed a dog. Four of our five are free fed. Those four are notably overweight. Ozzy is a good weight and has a nice build. I can feel his ribs, but they're not sticking out. He gets two meals per day.

I like knowing when Ozzy eats, because I can see how much he's eating, time when he has to go to the bathroom, and if there comes a day when he loses his appetite, I'll know that something's probably not quite right.

exactly. thank you!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
585 Posts
I personally would not recommend blue buffalo...we put my sheps on it thinking it would help with the dry coat and all, however my male lost an extreme amount of weight on this food, even though he is already slim build and all, after a couple months on this he was literally skin and bones, and both dogs were not active at all on this food, made them lazy....even my female, and she is a very active dog...we swicthed to purina one, my dogs love it and so do we. I will never pay fifty dollars a bag for food again.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,135 Posts
I personally would not recommend blue buffalo...we put my sheps on it thinking it would help with the dry coat and all, however my male lost an extreme amount of weight on this food, even though he is already slim build and all, after a couple months on this he was literally skin and bones, and both dogs were not active at all on this food, made them lazy....even my female, and she is a very active dog...we swicthed to purina one, my dogs love it and so do we. I will never pay fifty dollars a bag for food again.
This is a perfect example. Blue Buffalo is a good quality food, but not for your dogs since your male didn't do well on it.

It all depends on what you're willing to buy and if your dogs do well on it or not. Like Orijen - probably the most highly acclaimed food, yet MANY dogs have a hard time retaining firm stools on it because it's so rich.
 
1 - 19 of 19 Posts
Top