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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hi everybody!

New owner of a GSD mix with a Husky. Her name is Lucy, and she’s currently 3 months old. She has had 3 vaccination shots (1 not to go in 3 weeks). I do not take her to the park or the store. Only outside for potty training (and keeping an eye on what she does). I also have a 2 year old pit mix named Cooper.

So I am contacting you all today because I’m getting concerned about my puppy. She’s currently 3 months old and only weighs 20lbs... which I think (according to growing charts found online) is not enough. I am feeding her Wellness Core Puppy, 2 + 3/4 cups a day (2 feedings, one morning and one evening). Is that enough? Is the food good for her?

Also - it’s been about 2 days now she is having loose stools (not water puddle, just loose no properly formed poop - see picture). She doesn’t seem dehydrated (even though she’s always drank a lot of water a day, way more than my other dog when he was a puppy), she’s very active and doesn’t look ill. The stools are only loose, there is no blood or discoloration or mucus (even though sometimes just a light much coat, specifically after a second poop). I can see this is bothering her because usually she sleeps through the night in her crate without having me taking her outside, but for 2 nights now I had to take her twice in the middle of the night because I could hear her moving around and not wanting to rest - and as soon as I take her out she immediately poops and it all falls loose.

So before I go see a vet (because it doesn’t look like an alarming case of loose stool - and btw she had a fecal test at 6 weeks old and came back clear), I wanted to have everyone’s opinion. Has it happen to you before? What did you do to fix it? I noticed that Wellness Core has 36% Protein (whereas Blue Buffalo Freedom Grain Free Large breed puppy has 26%). Could this be the problem? It is now 7am PST on Sunday 09/16, and last night around 8pm I added 2 teaspoons of pumpkin purée to her meal. Haven’t seen any difference (for now) with the 4 poops she’s done since I fed her. Also, do you all think she looks too skinny for her age? (You can see her ribs a little bit).

Thanks everyone!
 

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Hello and welcome to the forum.

I'm just going to jump ahead with some of my opinions.

Why are you worrying about her weight at 3 months old? To be blunt, it's completely unnecessary and the GSD growth chart online is complete and utter bollocks. If everyone uses that as a 'bible' they'll go nuts because EVERY PUP has VERY DIFFERENT growing rates! The chart is NOT something to look at / compare to, please don't feed your pup more food just because you try to keep up with the so called 'chart.'

My male GSD was 21lb at 3 months, same as yours. At 6 months he was 45lb when the 'chart' says he was supposed to be at least 57lb. He looked super skinny but he was healthy and the vet was happy with the situation. I know another GSD who was already 75lb by 6 months, mine was tiny compares to him. I didn't care. The chart tops out at 76lb at 12 months, which is ridiculous because males don't stop growing until 3 years old, and females until 2. He is now 14 months old at 82lb. Still not filled out yet, and has a lot more room to grow. Like I said, different pup different rate.

For the soft stools... Some very young pups are ok with high protein high fat, food, some are not. For example, I feed my pup high protein 38% and he's fine, while for some that same food would be too much and results in soft stools.

Everytime I change his food (for any reason at all,) he tends to get diarrhea/soft stool During the change (around 7 days). What actually really helped was this: Pumpkin Puree. It's like $2 a tin at the supermarket. For my 82lb pup, 2 tablespoon a day. For yours, try just 1 tablespoon. Give it a go and see if you see any change in the stools. If not, try and find a lower protein diet 24%-28% and see how that goes.
 

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I would be concerned if she is waking you up in the middle of the night with loose stools. She is adorable, perhaps a tad on the thin side?... right of you to be worried as at a young age puppies can dehydrate quickly. Just because a stool sample came back negative does not mean parasites are not present, not every stool sample contains a parasite. Since you haven't changed foods lately? I would be a little concerned too, perhaps take another stool sample in she may have picked up a parasite somewhere along the lines (silly puppies putting everything in their mouths!) or your vet may want to go ahead and treat her anyways. I saw you mentioned Blue Buffalo, which you currently aren't feeding but was comparing to, Blue Buffalo is one of the worst foods out there. I'm not familiar with Wellness, but there may be better options as far as food goes. Many dogs cannot tolerate chicken, not sure of the flavor you are feeding. Check out dogfoodadvisor.com to learn more about different foods. I personally love the brand Natures Instinct, but every dog is different. Give it a little while and see if the pumpkin helps, that was a good idea. Keep her hydrated and check the gums, I'd make an appointment ASAP , you can always cancel if things improve.
 

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I would be feeding a puppy three times a day until at least six months of age. Your puppy may just be eating too much at mealtime because she is too hungry because her meals are spaced too far apart which can result in a loose stool.
 

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If you haven't taken this puppy to your vet since you got her GO, they can pick up worms or giardia or any number of things at any time, so have her checked out!

That being said, the puppy does not look too thin to me, and 2 days of semi loose stools would not be of too much concern for me normally. But, if she was sleeping through the night and now needs to get up twice, take her in! Something is definitely amiss!
 

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Discussion Starter #7
@McGloomy @GandalfTheShepherd @MineAreWorkingline @tim_s_adams thank you all so much for your reply


There has been a definite improvement in this situation with the pumpkin puree, and I'm very happy about it. I am thinking the Wellness Core Puppy might have too much protein (36%) which is why it's a bit too difficult for her to digest (and I also bought chicken made (real meat) training treats... so extra protein!). On Saturday evening 09/15 I started giving her 1 to 2 tsp of pumpkin puree with her meals, and her poops on Sunday 09/16 evening and Monday 09/17 morning were back to normal - and less frequent. During the night of Sunday to Monday, she slept through the entire night and didn't urgently need to poop.

I am gradually switching her to Blue Buffalo Freedom LGB Puppy - and even though some people may not like/agree with Blue Buffalo, I have found online (on GSD specific websites) that it is good for GSD specifically if they have digestive issues or soft stools (proteins are at 26%.... compared to the 36% of Wellness Core Puppy).

Now that her poops are back to normal, should I still bring her to the vet to get her stools examined for parasites?

Thanks again everyone!
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks again for all this useful info

Something I wanted to add: unfortunately both my partner and I are gone (for work) for most part of the day, so we're unable to give her a middle-of-the-day-meal... so we're currently feeding her 2 meals a day, and not 3. Is it a big problem?
 

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1. I would definitely redo the fecal test -- and probably run her through with 3 days of Panacur just to be on the safe side.


2. If negative, then I would put her on a less rich food. Forget about grain-free -- it's marketing hype at best and often worse for the dog! Some of that protein is coming from peas and legumes -- check out our "FDA Warning" thread about DCM (a heart condition) linked to some high-pea/high-potato foods! Please keep in mind that you cannot extrude kibble out of the machine used in the manufacturing process without about 40% or more starch so ALL kibble is starch-based. (If you want a meat-based diet, then you should be feeding a frozen, properly balanced commercial raw that's labeled as suitable for puppies.) The grain-free kibbles are mostly just trading out highly digestible grains (like oats and rice) for less digestible starches (like peas, potatoes, and tapioca)...and charging you more money for that dubious trade. If you want to feed kibble, then I would instead opt for a grain-in large breed puppy food with a good reputation -- like Fromm Gold (blue bag), though there are others.
 

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Becareful not to overfeed it can cause loose stools so can stress to new home, dewormers. I would also suggest another fecal test. I was very happy with the Fromm large breed puppy. Healthy coat, firm stools and the pups enjoyed it. Honest kitchen has perfect form which might helpful also help you may be able to get it on amazon.
https://www.thehonestkitchen.com/perfect-form
 

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Before changing food PLEASE run another fecal test. Often vets don't even charge an exam fee if they're already see the pup recently -- just call and ask if they'll let you bring a fresh poop sample (same day) in a ziploc baggie. They typically charge a small fee to look at it under the microscope (maybe $20).



People often spin in circles with food change after food change sometimes, without realizing no food will lead to an improvement if there are worms, and worms are very, very common -- they live in the environment, and just walking over contaminate soil is enough to pick them up sometimes.
 

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It seems you are a very diligent and concerned puppy owner, which is understandable! I also worried a lot in the early months with my puppy, she occasionally had bouts of diarrhea and or vomiting, but they turned out to be nothing in particular and I'm glad I resisted the temptation to change her food prematurely, as she continues to eat the same food and has no on-going issues. Also, I don't feed my dog any kind of premium meat based diet. I would prefer to give the best diet possible, but my decision has been to give a standard kibble diet from one of the slightly more premium supermarket main brands (not grain free) and I have had absolutely no issues, her coat is shiny and glossy, and her weight is perfect.

I honestly wouldn't say your puppy looks too thin, she looks normal. My pup was just under 19lbs at 11 weeks, so her weight is 'normal' too. My pup now is large for her age and in very good shape, so it's not a good indication of her later size either.

However, saying all that obviously if she has any other symptoms or if it lasts longer than a few days then do please see the vet to check she hasn't picked something up, always worth the piece of mind if anything!
 

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Discussion Starter #15 (Edited)
@Magwart I have an appointment for the vet tomorrow for a fecal test. They’re still going to charge me a visit + test ($45), but you gotta do what you gotta do 🙂 I am going to change her to Fromm anyway because regardless of if the soft stool problem is related to the food or not, it will be overall more beneficial for her (health) and for me (financially). Thanks for your help again.
 

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My dog was 35lbs at 5 months, and is now 115, with still 10-15lbs to grow. He's only a year and a half. Your dog looks fine to me, and like others said dogs grow at different rates. I wouldn't worry about it unless your dog wasn't eating at all and was looking malnourished. If you can feel a few ribs and there is a visible waist line, your dog is fine. If you can see every rib, your dog might be a bit underweight. From what I can tell from the pictures, your dog looks just fine.

5 months, vs 10 months, vs 1 year, vs 1.5 years in the pictures below

https://i.imgur.com/QLZEllZ.jpg
https://i.imgur.com/btSSCmL.jpg
https://i.imgur.com/zNtw9ki.jpg
https://i.imgur.com/wQuopoe.jpg
 

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It is good you are doing a fecal test. I’m just sharing a photo of my max and my chihuahua. I used to feed our chihuahua -wellness food- then switched to Fromm. Such an amazing difference our chihuahuas coat which was always dull and his eyes runny that ran so much and stained his fur under his eyes like a raccoon. I would had to shave under his eyes. I switched to Fromm when we got max and saw the big difference in his coat and eyes. It is what truly sold me. Before and after photo.



Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

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My 7 month old has a very sensitive tummy. Our vet said to give him no salt/low salt green beans with his meal when he gets loose stools. It also provides fiber.
 
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