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Discussion Starter #1
at my race last weekend, it was 5C and sunny, a lovely day. my brother had luc and he was cold if they were stopped moving for too long, he would shake and try to shelter in my brother.

my bf says he needs to gain fat and that it's not normal to be so cold intolerant. i know luc doesn't handle cold well when stopped, as we have had issues w/this, and that he has almost no body fat. he lost about 19% of his body weight in the first 6 months i had him. i know ppl think he looks PB, but he is now well out of standard.

the thing is, i run w/him, so i don't want him gaining too much weight. the vet says he looks great, and suggests that since he runs i should keep luc lean - she's thrilled w/his weight and physique.

is it possible to get luc to gain a BIT more body fat so he's not so cold intolerant, but he's still nice and lean?

the other thing i should note is that the end of june, i'm going to be running the la cloche silhouette trail in killarney (not really 100k, they gps'd it and it's 82.5). since i'm doing the run the anniversary of adopting luc, and since he's my running partner, i want him to come w/me.

....it will be hot, obviously, and we will be up in a very very old (short) mountain range (lots of sun exposure).

should i keep him at a lower body fat for something like that? should i ignore the bf? warmer weather is coming after all, i could worry about him gaining more body fat next fall.

thoughts? if i do try to up the body fat, obviously i would up the fat intake....does anyone have any suggestions of percentages?
currently i feed the dogs a mix of raw and grain-free kibble.
 

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How much food does Luc eat? How much MM, RMB, Kibble (and what kind of kibble?) What else do you feed him? What kind of meat is the MM and RMB?

Last year, I wanted to increase my raw-fed GSD's weight just a smidge, like you do. He's super-active, and by the end of the day, he'd look skinny.

I started feeding him extra meat (I concentrated on beef and lamb with the big chunks of fat trimmed off) and fatty proteins like low-fat cottage cheese. I started slowly (half-pound increments worked well for us). I also started to drizzle either olive or fish oil over his RMB every night for basically, straight calories (and great essential fatty acids!). But because my guy has a history of SIBO, I try to stay away from feeding just *fat.* (In other words, I don't feed much poultry skin nor chunks of fat from meat.)

So I made an effort to just increase overall calories. As I'm sure you know, extra protein calories will convert nicely into fat calories. Currently, Camper eats about 3-4 lbs of meat a day, plus about 1/2 cup cottage cheese, plus an egg, and veggies. This gets modified somewhat depending on what he's doing that day and that week. Busy weeks, he's eating 4 lbs meat, 3/4 c cottage cheese, 2 eggs; during really lazy weeks, it's about 3 lbs, less cheese, an egg every other day. Veggies probably provide about 60 calories per half cup, which is about what he gets per day.

My GSD stays lean, but this diet gives him the daily calories he needs to burn on a daily basis. If we have enough calories moving in us, that helps keep us warm, even if we are on the thin side. (Camper will hop into his pool in 18F weather (with icebergs floating in the pool) and stay in there for an hour if I let him). I know that Luc is way more active than Camper. So he likely need even more calories per day (perhaps 3-4 meals to avoid overloading him all at once?).

As you know, muscle mass burns calories. Luc surely has a ton of muscle mass. So he's going to need just a huge amount of calories. Probably more than just about any dog on this forum. I doubt that he'll put on more than a few pounds, and it will be exactly what he needs. Most important, he'll have the fuel in his system when he needs it.

(Which means you're going to go broke feeding him!
)

That's what I'd do...
 

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Will adding fat actually keep him warm? (we're not talking about adding a thick layer of blubber)

How bout a sweater? I'm not ordinarily a fan of dog clothes, but if he's cold, dress in layers~!


I say if the vet thinks his weight is good, then intentionally fattening him up doesn't sound like the best solution to the cold issue.

Could it be a thyroid thing? Maybe his metabolism is slow and that's why he's cold?
 

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Discussion Starter #4
he has a dog jacket from ruffwear, and a sweater that he's never worn outside b/c i'm embarrassed
i should've had it on him, but didn't expect that 5C and sunny would be too cold for him....

i keep on forgetting to get his thyroid checked. i do want to do that.

i would also like to get him some belly blankets. i've basically decided i can't backpack w/him in the winter, though we can day hike. i'd like to be able to backpack with him in the winter, but i'm not sure the weight gain would be a worthwhile tradeoff.

and that's a good point - maybe it wouldn't keep him warm adding more fat.

the kibble dogs get is wellness core. i feed the mid-high end of the range for the 55-65lb dogs (i think that's the range....his range, anyways).

for raw, they do get organ meats - pork, chicken, beef liver, beef kidneys a couple of times a week.

i do feed tripe occasionally (as often as i can stomach the smell).

hearts and gizzards i consider MM, not organ. i feed those whenever i find in the grocery store. i feed pork chops w/bone, whole fish sometimes (luc loves, teagan refused to eat, which is annoying - when i do, it's stuff like mackeral or rainbow trout). turkey backs, turkey thighs w/bone, chicken backs, chicken thighs w/bone, chicken wings, drumsticks, all w/bone obviously, some different beef cuts that have bone like bone in the blade steaks - sorry, i'm terrible at remembering the name of meat cuts - i always eyeball the bone size to make sure it's not too big).

w/raw, i tend to feed around 2% of body weight, but if luc is being very active, i will feed more than that.

i haven't had him weighed since january, but i would say his weight has stabilized. i haven't wanted him to gain more weight, b/c it's best he stays lean. he has tonnes of energy - we go for our runs, walks w/teagan, and he tears around the yard and bounces all over the place like it's going out of style. i'm comfortable w/what i'm feeding now as a maintance thing, and i think he looks great - very lean, very muscular - he's beautiful. compared to how he looked when i got him - when i look at the picture of him in the rescue now, he looks absolutely huge - i think he's far healthier now, i'm just not sure about this cold thing.

of course, luca stl may have a point - what if being cold isn't related to his weight. maybe he would have been freezing at 68lbs as well.

edit: and they do get fish oils added for omega, plus i do add olive oil sometimes, and occasionally they get eggs.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
one other note....

lori, so you trim the extra fat off the meat? i was wondering about leaving it, i know dogs use fat like humans use carbs. (edit: actually, i was wondering about buying fattier cuts)

i started feeding a grain-free kibble to see if it would be any cheaper for me
still feeding raw, but trying to get the best of both worlds, i guess.

i usually feed luc twice a day. maybe adding in one more small meal would be good.
 

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Jarn, I need to trim off the whole white chunks of fat because Camper had SIBO, and big chunks of fat can give him, uh, GI issues. I don't know that would be an issue with Luc.

When I look at your meat list, I see a lot of lean meats (though "dark" poultry like legs and thighs is fattier than "white" meat like wings). I think that fattier meats would help. Beef, duck, and lamb come immediately to mind.

Oh, wait. I just found this, which looks kind of helpful: http://www.fatfreekitchen.com/nutrition/meat-fish-nutrition.html

IMO, Mixing & matching premium kibble and raw doesn't matter much either way in this instance, except that it would be harder for my little brain to keep track of how much my dog eats.

Luc WAS eating how much (raw) before you started to incorporate the kibble into his diet again? Is that 2% with or without the kibble? Without? What does Luc weigh? What should Luc weigh? You said he lost 19% of his body weight. What did he look like when you got him? Was he overweight or flabby? If not, maybe you should take that weight and use that as your guideline weight? I don't know. I'm just thinking aloud here. I'm sure Tracy will guide us...


And I'm always in favor of a full blood panel, including thyroid. It's one of my favorite things to recommend to dog owners!
 

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Discussion Starter #7
ah. that makes sense.

good to know about fatty/non-fatty meats. i admit to not really knowing that. i will up the beef, i've fed lamb a few times but generally find it not-well priced. i'll keep an eye out.

when luc was fully on raw, he ate 2-4%, depending on activity level. now he generally eats 2%.

luc weighed 68lbs when i adopted him. the vet said, he looks great, shouldn't lose any weight. he lost 4lbs after about 2.5 months. by 6 months, he had lost close to 13lbs (last time he was weighed, but i'd say he's stayed at that weight). looking at pictures of him when he first came, i would say he was a 'normal' dog, but flabby. he looks absolutely monsterous in the pics from that time. the vet is now beyond thrilled with the shape he's in - he's thin, but muscular. you can't see ribs or anything. she doesn't want him to gain an ounce. he would be huge at 68lbs - i don't want him back up at that weight.

does that help?
 
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