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Discussion Starter #1
Just wanted to make sure I gave ok advice to a friend about feeding her GSD. He's almost 2 yrs old and is eating a grain-free high protein kibble. His target weight is probably about 85 lbs right now, but he's struggling to keep weight at 75 lbs. His owner was up to 9 cups a day. Aside from how expensive that would be to feed, I can't imagine that would be good to feed so much.

I told him to slowly decrease to about 5 cups, b/c from what I've learned, anything over that for that size dog wouldn't really be used effectively and would probably just lead to diarrhea issues, etc. And suggested he work more w/ the vet to check up on health issues.

What do you think? Would it ever be ok to feed an active dog that age so much food? I figured there would probably be a health issue if a dog was eating so much but not putting on weight....
 

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Wow, 9 cups is a ton. Either that dog is running all day long or there is something medically wrong with him.

We feed grain free kibble, and Niko is around 80 lbs, very lean, and he's getting 5 miles off leash run/walks, plus 2 mile on leash walking, plus 30 minutes active off leash play (which I consider to fall into the active dog category) per day. He eats 3 cups a day.
 

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Have you looked into satin balls for adding extra calories? If you do a search on here you will find a few recipes. That much kibble sounds like WAY to much. Has he been checked for worms parasites?
 

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Has this dog been to the vet? 9 cups is a TON of food.. 5 cups is still alot if it's a premium kibble.

Has he been tested for EPI, SIBO or other digestive issues? If he is struggling to keep weight on being fed that much there is something going on internally.
 

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We feed our highly active dogs 2-4 cups a day of grain-free, higher end kibble (Orijen, EVO, Wellness CORE, etc.). If they get a lot of exercise, they get 2 cups twice a day mixed with some raw meat and/or veggies. If they don't get as much exercise (based on my long work hours), they'll get one feeding of 2 cups plus raw. I have an 88 lb GSD, a 64 lb Husky, and a 60+ lb pup who is 8 months old and still growing. All three are lean and solid muscle (and solid fluffy fur!).
 

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I feed my active almost 2 year old GSD 4 cups of TOTW a day.
 

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Has this dog been to the vet? 9 cups is a TON of food.. 5 cups is still alot if it's a premium kibble.

Has he been tested for EPI, SIBO or other digestive issues? If he is struggling to keep weight on being fed that much there is something going on internally.

This is my thought. That dog should be a sofa on 9 cups a day. Are their poop problems? I would also check for parasites. When we got Ike he had been eating about 8 cups a day of Pedigree and still seemed thin. He also had pudding poop. This was because he had a giant infestation of hookworms. He currently eats about 4 cups of TOTW, and is perfect weight at about 93 lbs.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks for the replies! Makes me feel a lot better that I didn't steer him wrong at least. They've tested for EPI & SIBO & fecal tests for parasites. I think they're still looking at doing a few other tests though, so hopefully something will show up with those. I just couldn't imagine that much food being ok - my own dog is 85 lbs and very active with super high metabolism, and gets 4 cups grain-free high protein. And the dog in question is active, but not to an excess or anything....kind of typical active GSD. I'll keep encouraging the 5 or less cups a day and more medical testing then. Thanks again!
 

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You never mentioned anything about bad stools, did the owner say anything about that?
I would also like to see a photo of the dog, maybe he is 85 and fat? Could 75lbs be his ideal weight? Is he unhealthy looking at his current weight?

Not all high protein is equal, soy is high in protein, so is meat. I'd want to know what he was being fed.

The lack of information makes it impossible for someone to suggest one thing or another.

Second opinions never hurt, I'd suggest a different vet to bounce things off of.
 

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I think the first post, unless I misunderstood, stated that the dog was at 75 lbs but needed to get to 85 lbs. So he's already underweight.
 

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I think the first post, unless I misunderstood, stated that the dog was at 75 lbs but needed to get to 85 lbs. So he's already underweight.
On first read, this was my impression also, but then add human opinion into the mix. I was just trying to be objective so we are all on the same page.

You or I might have a different response all together if we were to assess the dog in person or through some good photos in terms of weight and overall health.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Sorry for the confusion. The dog is 75 or just a little under, and looks anorexic. You'll just have to trust me on the weight issue....I'm not an expert, but I learned through my dogs what a healthy GSD should look/feel like. My first GSD started out overweight because I didn't understand that stuff at first - but I've since learned & corrected my ways :)

He definitely needs to put on weight. The 85 number came as my estimate of where he should be at based on his structure. His owner thought he should be more like 90+, but I think that's on the high side and he'd be better a little lower. The food he's eating is Orijen adult regular. And surprisingly, his stool has been primarily ok, with some bouts of diarrhea. But apparently he's had a majority of solid/formed stools. I know they'll have to run more tests on him. I was just trying to make sure that I didn't give bad advice by steering him towards decreasing feeding back to 5 cups a day.
 
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