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Discussion Starter #1
And here I thought we were doing really good for weight. We went to a new vet today, who said Navarro needs to gain 6 lbs and that I should switch to adult formula and up his food. He is 73 lbs at 8 months old and still growing like a weed. The vet said he "only has a small fat layer and would like to see more fat on Navarro's sides". I have always read that it is better to be lean than fat. So now there is smoke coming out of my ears... Is a layer of fat good?

Also the diets he recommended I just can't afford. We're on about 5 cups of Wellness LPB a day + pumpkin right now but I would like to switch to something without chicken and see if his stools are firmer. We get nice firm stools in the morning but they get looser as the day goes on. Any recommendations?
 

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Okay, assuming you will want to stay with this vet, you will not need to go back until 5 months or more when it is time for his annual vaccines, by that time, your Navarro will have gained much more than 6 lbs just by growing and also he will have filled out some. So, I would just feed the way you are. Since cost is a concern, you may want to stay with the food you are giving but add a prebiotic (digest enzyme supplement) to help with the stools. I use Optagest.
 

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When you stand over him, press your hands gently into his sides and rub his rib cage, do you easily feel individual ribs? You should feel ribs, but would have to go slow to feel each one.

If you easily feel each one in the initial rub, then he's slightly underweight. If you see the bottom of his rib cage at his waist, then he's grossly underweight.

If you can't feel the individual ribs, then he might be a bit of a pudge.

Wow, 73 lbs at 8 months doesn't sound bad at all. 5 cups of kibble plus pumpkin? That sounds like a lot (but then I feed less volume of a different kibble).

If you're concerned, check thyroid and glucose. But I agree with the other poster, keep on keeping on. Mostly likely too early to tell, with growth spurts and all. Maybe consider a different vet...
 

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He sounds like he's at a fine weight....vets are *not* always right about weights. For a GSD, yeah you want them lean. You want to be able to feel the ribs if you run your hands over them. Switch to a different protein - my guy didnt tolerate chicken well, so I switched to a fish based kibble - stools have been fine since.

And, (all dogs are different but...) my guy really hasnt gained much, if anything since he was 8 months old. He is going to be a year old in a few days and is only 70 pounds.
 

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My 8 month old is about 73 pounds and my vet said it's better to be lean. He only eats 3 1/2 cups of food and the morning meal has a small amount of natural balance loaf on it.,,,and the enzymes that help his poo stay firm.
 

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Vets are YMMV, even between doctors at a single practice. I've found most GSDs that come through our doors, including mine, are just leaner in general and take longer to mature.

In a healthy, athletic dog you want to feel but not see the ribs and be able to discern a defined waist between the end of the ribcage and pelvis.
I'm guessing the vet was assuming laymen terms when he said 'fat' because most of their clients don't know or care the difference between healthy lean muscle tissue and fat. They just want to get the point across that the dog could stand to put on a few healthy pounds.

As long as your dog is active, eating well, and otherwise healthy I prefer a lean dog to a pudgy one.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Sounds good to me. I can feel his ribs but I have to press quite firmly to do it. Personally I do think his weight is good but vets deal with more dogs than I do so credit where credit is due. I'm going to transition to a non-chicken kibble...maybe even try a grain free formula again despite our "explosive" results on BB Wilderness. Fingers crossed!
 

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If i were you I wouldnt worry that weight sounds good. Your pup may not gain another pound or may gain 10. I would take the vets comments with a grain of salt. I had a male that was 90lbs lean at 24months and a vet said he could be another 5-10lbs ROFL!!!. By the way vets are not dog breed specialist by trade they care for all animals.
 
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