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Discussion Starter #1
Hi guys,

It's been a while since I posted here, but I'm a little nervous.

I left Sitka with friends for 7 days while I was out of town. It was the first time he's been away from me, and although he was stressed the first night, he seemed to settle in quickly. When I got him home yesterday he looked a bit thin, and sure enough, I weighed him at the vet today and he's lost nearly 5 lbs! He's not a big eater to begin with, and I know they gave him a lot of bones to chew on (prime rib and pet-store rollover brand).

Sitka has always been thin, but now I can feel between his ribs, and clearly see his hips bones.


Should I be worried? I picked up some puppy food to add to his regular food, but what else can I do to help him gain it back?

Stats:

14 months old
male
in-tact
Pre-Vacation weight - 70 lbs / 31.9kg
New Weight - 66 lbs / 30.3kg
Food: Only Natural in Red Meat Feast

This was the best picture I could get from a top angle.

** I am not interested in switching to a raw food diet.

20180426_194313 (1).jpg
 

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Discussion Starter #2
His first BM at home was quite green, and soft but not liquid. They've been normal today.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Any tips on weight gain? Any at all?

I know this something other GSD owners have dealt with...
 

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Well first, some questions, why did he lose? Was he not finishing his meals? Pacing a fence line all day? Diarrhea? How much is he eating? Was 70lbs a “good” weight before or did you still feel he was too lean?

If he was eating a maintenance ration before you left and he’s resumed eating that same ration now that you’re home.... the weight will restore itself. No need to do anything special.
 

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I agree with Fodder wondering why he lost the weight? Was he too skinny before hand? losing 4lbs and all the sudden him being the skinny just makes me wonder how skinny he was before hand.

Many people find great success with making a weight gain supplement called Satin Balls, they are basically hand made calorie dense balls to help kick start a dog back into weight gain. There are plenty of recipes online that you can find and start adding one or two into his food for a few days and see how it goes.

The photo is hard to tell too much from but from what I can see he should put a few back on.
 

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He looks pretty okay to me. But if you said he'd lost weight SUDDENLY, you need to know the reason why, like some of us has stated here. But answering directly go your question... My pup was very skinny up until he was 6 months old (45lb that time), now he is 9 months at 75lb. What changed? At 5 months and a half, I subtituted 1 cup of dry food with wet food, added raw liver, raw egg and boiled mashed sweet potato every other day. He's now at a healthy weight/body-fat ratio. Helped him filled out.
 

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This is the first time you've left him, and it was 7 days. Not trying to make you feel guilty, it's ultimately good for him, but a bit stressful as well. So he lost a few pounds...good. Don't get overly worried about it, just feed him up to where you think he should be and it'll all be good. Losing a few pounds under the circumstances doesn't seem all that unreasonable to me. Feed a slightly increased amount until he regains the weight he lost...not rocket science, it's actually pretty normal >:)
 

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I'd just feed little and often,if necessary put gravy on his food to make it more appealing to try and get more calories into him.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks for the replies.

I think he lost the weight from not eating. I think with the stress and tasty bones, he got distracted.

He has always been thin, but now it seems obvious he's too thin -- protruding hip and rib bones. My vet said he was healthy at 70lbs, saying its better to be slightly underweight to keep healthy hips and knees.

Sitka's never been a big eater - I tride scheduled feedings but he wouldn't eat anything for days. I free feed now and he just grazes throughout the day. I will try the Satin Balls and maybe some gravy to entice him to finish his bowl, at least until he returns to normal weight.
 

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My only concern with adding gravy to his food for a little while to get him to eat could make him picky and in the end make him eat less. He may decide that he won't eat any food unless it has gravy on it, even when he's back to his normal weight. I would prefer to give him something separately so he doesn't associate it with his normal food. I have had a semi-picky dog before, and it is not fun.
 

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Honestly... I wouldnt add anything that you aren’t prepared to continue forever. Especially if you think tasty bones may have contributed to him not eating his regular meals. I reserve satin balls for dogs that are ill and have no appetites at all. Giving them to a picky eater is a slippery slope.

I’d seriously go back to his normal routine and check his weight in a week or two.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Good Point Fodder and Pytheis. He is already a very picky eater- it took months to convince him peanut butter was ok! I definitely do not want to exacerbate it.

I am adding a little bit of puppy food to his regular kibble already - hopefully this alone will be enough
 

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My 14 month bitch is 30kg. Rake thin athlete.
For a gsd growing pup- thin is highly recommended. I always want to feel ribs n hips.
Look up Satin Balls on google. Great weight gain aid for the less hungry hound.
Mine (im on my 4th) gsd's are not food driven. They train for tug play fine- food treats? Forget it.
 

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^ total luck of the draw for me then @Jackal
I know the breed is notorious for this, but I swear my (also on my fourth) GSDs have been as food motivated as the labradors I work with. It’s been great! None have skipped a meal, they lick their bowls clean and rarely have I had to use anything more than kibble for training.
 

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Thanks for the replies.

I think he lost the weight from not eating. I think with the stress and tasty bones, he got distracted.

He has always been thin, but now it seems obvious he's too thin -- protruding hip and rib bones. My vet said he was healthy at 70lbs, saying its better to be slightly underweight to keep healthy hips and knees.

Sitka's never been a big eater - I tride scheduled feedings but he wouldn't eat anything for days. I free feed now and he just grazes throughout the day. I will try the Satin Balls and maybe some gravy to entice him to finish his bowl, at least until he returns to normal weight.

Have you had a German Shepherd before? Your dog is not to thin as your vet said. They do not fill out until they are about 2 years old. Your dog was stressed and lost weight, it happens. Go back to a normal day and feed the way you were and keep an eye on it. Better off this than heavy if the dogs healthy.

I wouldn't be messing with foods and different combos.

If your dog did need a supplement look at Coconut Cream paste, really high in calories and its used for dogs with Mega E to gain weight that really need the weight gain.
 

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^ total luck of the draw for me then @Jackal
I know the breed is notorious for this, but I swear my (also on my fourth) GSDs have been as food motivated as the labradors I work with. It’s been great! None have skipped a meal, they lick their bowls clean and rarely have I had to use anything more than kibble for training.
I'm with you, I've never had a shepherd that wasn't a food junkie. Mine would all eat until they pop if given the choice! They get their meals twice a day and it's all gone in about a second I have to try to get them to slow down. Makes me wonder if it's poor quality food or something, what did you say you were feeding Sitka?
 
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