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Right amount of food for 9mth old GSD?

2910 Views 12 Replies 7 Participants Last post by  Timber1
Hi there,
Am so confused on how much kibble and wet food to give my 9 mth. old at each feeding. His weight fluctuates from 77 to 85 pounds. I feed him twice daily(breakfast and dinner). I have read on other threads that it is basically trial and error but just wanted to hear other people's experience and advice so I can perhaps learn from others.
I was giving him 3 cups of kibble and one can (12 0z) for each feeding (twice daily) but he started having the runs off and on. So, took the feeding down to 2 and a half cups of kibble and 1/2 can of wet food for each feeding. He doesn't have the runs anymore but just want to make sure I am feeding him the right amount.
Any advice or input would be greatly appreciated.
thanks again,
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I think a lot has to do with what you're feeding him.

Dieter is 7 months old, just over 70 lbs (at my best guess) and he's getting 1 1/2 cups 2x a day of Natural Balance Potato and Fish. If he gets more than that, he gets the runs. It really was trial and error to find an amount that worked to keep his weight up (he drops weight quickly) but not give him soft poop. So far, so good

As for wet food, I don't feed it regularly, so I can't really answer... I *sometimes* give him a can as a treat (Merrick) but usually I use the 95% meat stuff, and put that into his kongs... taking that into consideration, he sometimes gets between 1/4 and 1/2 a can of wet a day too.
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What are you feeding him? Dog food can vary all over the place as far as Kcals per cup - anywhere from 200-something to almost 600. Without knowing what you're feeding him there's no way to know how many calories he's getting in a day. A seven pound fluctuation is quite a bit - are you feeding him the same amount you have for the last few months? At 9 months old he's past the fastest growing period of puppyhood and nearing his adult weight, so his food should be cut back if you haven't already done so.

I usually start with the bag recommendations as a general guide, and then adjust accordingly, based on the condition of the dog. How the dog looks, (you can feel but not see the ribs, or maybe just see the last one or two, a noticeable waist when looking down on the dog, and a tuck from the side), is the best way to know if you're feeding him the right amount. When I switch foods I calculate how many Kcals they were getting with the old food, and then feed whatever quantity of the new food that will give them the same amount.
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The amount depends on the food as well as the amount of exercise your dog gets and her/his individual metabolism. How does he look?
I was feeding him Science Diet Large Breed for the 1st 8 months because I trusted my vet's recommendation. After grueling research I was both horrified and shocked as to what really goes into this particular dog food. Anyways, decided to go Organic. I am now feeding him Castor & Pollux both kibble and wet food.
He was a bit skinny at 6mths. old so Vet recommended that we up his food intake to 3 cups of kibble plus one can of wet food per each serving which is twice daily. Have been doing that up until now until I noticed soft stools and sometimes the runs. So now, have cut back to 2 and a half cups of kibble and a 1/2 can of wet food per serving twice daily with the Castor & Pollux.
recommendations (Castor & Pollux) are 3-4 cups of kibble per day. But Romy won't really eat the kibble unless I put some wet food in it. You can see the last 2 ribs and he has the tuck when you look at him . The rest of the ribcage is not noticeable but you can see the outline of the ribs barely. don't know if I am explaining myself clearly.
I guess what I wanted to find out is what is the typical (approximate ) weight for a 9 mth. old male?
thanks again,
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Sorry to be vague, but there really is no "typical" weight for a 9 month old male! Here is a chart that may be helpful, but both my dogs were off the chart:

At 6 months old Dena was 7 pounds more than her half sibling Keefer was at the same age. He was about a pound and a half under the 6 month male weight shown, she was 13 pounds over the 6 month female weight shown, and 6 pounds over the male weight. Now he's about 8 pounds more than her, so those early weights didn't mean much in the long run.

Puppies are born at different weights, grow at different rates, and will eventually reach an adult weight within a pretty wide range, so condition is so much more important than the number of pounds. Your description of his condition sounds on the thin side of okay. Thinner is healthier than fatter - slow steady growth is best, and easier on the joints.

Some dogs are picky eaters and will be naturally thin no matter how much food you try to get into them. Others would eat everything in the house if you let them, and you have to work at keeping the pounds off. If his stools are good at the lower amount of food, but loose at the higher amount you could try feeding him a little more per day, but split into 3 smaller meals.
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He actually looks really good. I walk him 2-3 times per day at 30 min. per walk and play ball with him in the back yard throughout the day. He is of working lines and has a high ball drive!
The food I now feed him is Castor & Pollux which is Organic. We'll see how that one goes.... GSDs seem to be quite the pickey eaters!
You're feeding a quality food, so as long as he looks good, don't worry about his weight, even if he's below what the chart lists as average. He sounds like a healthy, active boy!
So glad you took the research time and found out what *not* to feed your dog

I thought I had a major health problem w/my own dog(s) early on. My now 18mos old male would skip meals (just not eat them) sometimes both meals for a day or two at a time. Being new to big dogs this was literally freaking me out. My Dad always had dogs and they always seemed to eat just fine. People and the vet commented he was to thin. I literally panicked some more and tried everything under the sun I could think of. There were days I was actually in sobbing tears thinking I was starving my dog to death and what could I do to fix this kind of thing. I had *never* known a dog not to eat.

He was getting Canadae - a high quality food but I found out that even though it's great food it supposedly has been known to not help some GSDs put on or hold their weight. Some foods no matter how good they are just don't agree w/a dog's metabolism or something like that. So, we tried another food and bingo! He started eating better and put on weight.

The vet said that reality was he's not "food driven" which to her means I'll never have a fat dog
hopefully she's right. If he's not hungry he just doesn't eat. He may skip a meal, may skip a full day's meals and even into the second day. Then he turns right around and goes back to eating normally. About once or twice a month he will finish his meal and sit by his bowl wanting more. Those times, I will feed him until he walks away. He knows when he's full and that's it, he's done. Being that his usual consumption per meal when he does eat is well within the guidelines I do not worry about that once or twice a month when he's extra hungry. I chalk it up to the same thing happens w/people.

I have an 8mos old female who is now exhibiting the same eating behaviors as my male. I feed her now the same amount as I feed my male. 2C dry mixed with one slice bread broken into pieces for each dog and 1/2 can Merrick's (they share a large can each meal). What they don't eat if there's enough to bother saving, I put in a covered container in the fridge for a later meal.

Why the bread? Well, fiber is good for them according to my vet. I found this out when my male ate a (nightlight) light bulb. In order to help this pass, the vet suggested fiber (bread or pumpkin) mixed with half & half creamer mixed in his food. During the few days afterwards I found that my backyard was MUCH easier to pick up <eg> and so I just continue with the bread each meal. On top of that because both have gone through a "thin" period the bread helped them put on weight as well. A slice of oat or wheat bread in your dog's food may help with the runs. I should think it would unless there's a medical issue you're not aware of. Or you can add canned pumpkin, or chunks of pumpkin.

My female started out 4mos or so ago when we got her at about 1 3/4C dry and the rest of the mixture. She eventually started eating more a month or so ago so now gets the same 2C my male does.

I don't know what she weighs now because the last time she was weighed was in October when she was spayed. She was 53 or 56lbs then. I want to say both of them were 60-65lbs at about 9mos of age but don't quote me. They were both considered to be "thin looking" at that age. As my male got older he filled out very nicely and is no longer considered thin. Could be yours is having a growth spurt where he's all arms, legs and body length but not enough weight and he'll catch up over the next few months.

You really can't judge the dog's weight by how much other dogs of the same breed or age weigh. For example my daughter has a female GSD who's one month older than my female. Her GSD is *very* small in comparison to both of mine. To see the 3 together she's (my own term) like a little dwarf compared to mine. I don't think there's a single thing wrong with her, I just think she's going to be a smaller GSD when full grown. Or ... I suppose she could have a growth spurt yet and catch up though.

My own female's parents are quite large dogs. Daddy is like 130lbs and Mom is probably 90'ish. We do expect our female to be taller than our male when full grown. At 8mos she's already a hair taller than he is but she has a more dainty frame. He's 75'ish lbs so not a huge GSD but he's built *very* nicely. If I was a female GSD I'd call him "buff" LOL! I'm told 75lbs is pretty much average. When you get one over 85'ish lbs they're considered large. I have no clue how accurate that is.
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Thanks so much for all of the responses! I feel less worried now. I guess I will stick with the amount that I am feeding him now and see what happens. I don't want to over feed neither so it's kinda hard to get it just right. I guess trial and error is the best thing.
I'm just happy I got him off that Science Diet. I was so mad at myself when I found out what I was actually feeding him and all the while I thought he was getting good quality food. I was in tears when I found out that the past 8 months I have been feeding him crap.
I haven't had a dog since I was a kid so to me this is all new. Thank God for forums like these where we can learn stuff and try to do the right thing. Thanks to all,
Romy 1
Good for you on doing the research it will pay off down the road.

My Gunner a GSD pup is now 10 months old he weighs 85 pounds. Up until a couple of months ago he ate everything in sight but started becoming picky about then I became worried like you but I didn't fool with his diet because I did my home work and know he s on a quality diet.

From the time I got him I had him on Urban Wolf and Orijen then at about 6 months he wouldn't eat the Urban Wolf so I switched to straight Orijen for his kibble.
Like you I feed him twice a day since I got him I feed him raw meat with each meal I looked into this and I feel it's much better than canned. He gets a quarter pound of raw natural ground beef I get at my local butcher with each meal for variety he gets raw Elk Venison or raw Buffalo meat once in awhile. He never has been finicaky eating the meat it's always the first to go he still gobbles it down.
Because I'm paranoid I feed him a supplement Canine Complete it's the best I could find he gets that sprinkled on his food every meal also give him salmon oil. The supplements are from

I swore up and down I would do it right this time my last couple of Shepherds I lisitened to the Vet for their diet's I swear they are paid off by science diet and both died from cancer at about the same age.
It's a learning experience for all of us with this wonderful breed and this forum is just great for an exchange of information.

I can just hear all the GSD's saying we know what's best for us to eat when are these owners going to wise up and listen to us.
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I hear that! These vets ARE probably getting kick backs from Science Diet. I will be adding variety as well with each meal. I don't know much about raw feeding so I will have to do some research on that. But thanks again guys and Happy New Year!
In your initial post it sounded like you were feeding your dog on the high side. But if the dog looks good and is active that is fine.

Dogs eating habits differ so much, but it sounds like you are doing a great job.
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