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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello I have a blue Doberman puppy, she is 8 weeks old and not gaining much weight. I feed her 1 cup of food a day spread over 4 feedings. She weighs about 7lbs. She was the runt and no one wanted her due to them being prone to skin issues and other issues. We have a schnauzer so we are very familiar with taking care of skin issues. I started making her food and that has put some weight on her but I can still see her hip bones. She is our first Doberman so any advice would be good. I use the B.A.R.F diet outline but I cook the food to keep the risk of food born illness down. Right now I’m using a diet high in pork to try and beef her up. 3 lbs pork, 1 pound beef liver, 3 eggs, 1 cup sweet potatoes, 1 cup broccoli, 1/2 cup pumpkin purée, half a bundle of parsley and buckwheat flour to bind it after its ground I also add a sprinkle of turmeric and ginger. I have several other recipes but this is the one I used for bulking my other dogs when they were puppies. I was feeding her puppy food wet and dry and I still add it to the with her homemade food. I’m waiting on a shipment of bone meal to add in as well. All of my dogs get a multi vitamin as well. I just crush hers up. They also get sardines in water as a treat and that adds a lot of omega 3 and natural fish oil to their diets.
 

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If your pup is already struggling to gain weight, I'd be hesitant to make your own food when she's that young. It's also important that puppies grow slowly, as rapid growth can cause issues with their bones and ligaments in the long run. Puppies really need a well balanced diet and the larger pet food companies have pet nutritionists on staff to make sure their food are balanced. My vet recommended Purina Pro Plan's puppy formula. I'd probably see what your vet thinks just to make sure she's growing at a healthy rate, and you can always start her on your homemade food once she's been able to gain some healthy weight and ensure she's eating a balanced diet specifically designed for puppies.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited)
Thanks I’ll try putting her back on high quality dog food. When we first got her the other puppies wouldn’t let her eat because she was the runt so I actually gave her puppy formula with her kibble for a week that put 2 lbs on her. I’ll talk to my vet again and see what he recommends. I actually run my recipes by him to make sure I’m not missing any nutrients and not giving my dogs anything harmful. I am just trying to get her up to a healthy weight as she was severely under weight when we got her.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
IMO 1 cup of food a day isn't nearly enough. At that age I feed 1 cup 3x a day and quickly go up to 1.5cups 3x a day.
She’s just so small I didn’t want her to get to much at once but I will start giving her more. My lab weighs 120 lbs. all muscle and he started out the same way. I just don’t want her to get bloat she does have a busy bowl like my other dogs so she can’t eat to fast. I need to take her back to the vet and get his opinion. Thank you for the advice.
 

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When my boy was a little pup, he had 1 cup of food with a splash of low-sodium chicken broth 3 times each day. He had 15 minutes to eat it from a slow-feeder bowl and he never left any of it.

Be sure you have her checked for parasites and worms and be sure they check for giardia. Good luck!
 

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Puppies rarely bloat (in fact I've never heard of a bloat and torsion case in Dobe puppies--seems to be more likely they older they get.

But for her puppyhood I'd also put her on a kibble with some additives to help her catch up and also not grow too fast.

I'd probably feed the proplan puppy salmon and rice or the proplan puppy chicken rice (not the small breed formula) or feed adult proplan (not the shredded blend) to which I would add some yogurt or cottage cheese, some meat (and I'd be inclined to add either chicken or beef in preference to port--mainly because those tend to be more easily utilized than pork. Fish is also a good addition. And eggs--I hard boil them so I can fix a bunch at a time and give one a day with one of the meals. I don't feed either home cooked or raw but your basic recipe looks a little high on organ meat to me but if your vet has some training in nutrition and oks it I guess it's OK.


If you check out how puppies normally eat you'll worry a lot less about feeding too much at one meal. When nursing puppies typically drink as much as they can hold and go to sleep--wake up and repeat. When they start getting solid food the same thing happens--they eat as much as they can old, stumble away from the food bowl and go to sleep.

Dogs actually continue the same process as adults--eating as much as they can as fast as they can is normal--and the growing pups who can do this survive--and thrive.

And the most recent studies on bloat have kind of indicated that eating food fast is not likely to cause bloat.

dobebug
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
When my boy was a little pup, he had 1 cup of food with a splash of low-sodium chicken broth 3 times each day. He had 15 minutes to eat it from a slow-feeder bowl and he never left any of it.

Be sure you have her checked for parasites and worms and be sure they check for giardia. Good luck!
I will have the vet check her for giardia this week. I give her chicken broth but I make it myself in the instant pot because most store bought ones contain onions or onion juice. I’m thinking about getting her on bully max for now. My buddy breeds Cane Corso show dogs and suggested it not sure but I’m researching it now. Thank you for your advice.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Puppies rarely bloat (in fact I've never heard of a bloat and torsion case in Dobe puppies--seems to be more likely they older they get.

But for her puppyhood I'd also put her on a kibble with some additives to help her catch up and also not grow too fast.

I'd probably feed the proplan puppy salmon and rice or the proplan puppy chicken rice (not the small breed formula) or feed adult proplan (not the shredded blend) to which I would add some yogurt or cottage cheese, some meat (and I'd be inclined to add either chicken or beef in preference to port--mainly because those tend to be more easily utilized than pork. Fish is also a good addition. And eggs--I hard boil them so I can fix a bunch at a time and give one a day with one of the meals. I don't feed either home cooked or raw but your basic recipe looks a little high on organ meat to me but if your vet has some training in nutrition and oks it I guess it's OK.


If you check out how puppies normally eat you'll worry a lot less about feeding too much at one meal. When nursing puppies typically drink as much as they can hold and go to sleep--wake up and repeat. When they start getting solid food the same thing happens--they eat as much as they can old, stumble away from the food bowl and go to sleep.

Dogs actually continue the same process as adults--eating as much as they can as fast as they can is normal--and the growing pups who can do this survive--and thrive.

And the most recent studies on bloat have kind of indicated that eating food fast is not likely to cause bloat.

dobebug
 

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I will have the vet check her for giardia this week. I give her chicken broth but I make it myself in the instant pot because most store bought ones contain onions or onion juice. I’m thinking about getting her on bully max for now. My buddy breeds Cane Corso show dogs and suggested it not sure but I’m researching it now. Thank you for your advice.
I looked over the Bully Max awhile ago--decided that I was already feeding something that I liked better (and the dogs surely did) than the Bully Max. But the manufacturers of that also offer maybe the best and most durable toy I've ever bought for my Dobes--it's their Indistructable bully ball--was $16.95 when I ordered it. It's still intact months later--the dog I bought if for still plays with it--has figured out it bounces and he can the chase it if he drops so he doesn't have to wait for me to drop or throw it for him.

dobebug
 

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I also agree with 1 cup 3x a day. She may not eat all of it at first, but it won't be long till she will eat that much plus some! Her weight is very low for her age. While they are growing, they really need more food than you would think. Once they are about 2 years old, the amount they need will actually go down. The main reason dogs get fat is that people keep feeding them as much as they did while they were growing - My male ate 6 cups a day when is was a year old just to keep at show weight - he now eats 3 for the past several years (he is 13) - and ate about 4 cups a day in his prime. My girls only get 2 cups a day plus add ins.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I also agree with 1 cup 3x a day. She may not eat all of it at first, but it won't be long till she will eat that much plus some! Her weight is very low for her age. While they are growing, they really need more food than you would think. Once they are about 2 years old, the amount they need will actually go down. The main reason dogs get fat is that people keep feeding them as much as they did while they were growing - My male ate 6 cups a day when is was a year old just to keep at show weight - he now eats 3 for the past several years (he is 13) - and ate about 4 cups a day in his prime. My girls only get 2 cups a day plus add ins.
Thank you, I spoke to a bully max rep today and they are sending me a starter pack to see if we can get her some nourishment and get her on a healthy track to reach her potential. Thank you everyone for the suggestions. Really appreciate it.
 
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