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My Dobe doesn't seem to be able to keep on any weight. I feed him 4 cups of Wellness brand dog food (Adult, he'll be a year in two weeks) a day. Which he eats through out the day. Not all at once. He is very active. We have 7 acres of property that he runs around on. But I don't understand why he's so skinny. Any suggestions? And please don't be rude and lecture me. Just give me suggestions as to why he won't keep on weight and what I should do about it. Thanks! :biggrin55

Here's a picture of him
 

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We know that he's healthy, yes? He chooses to not consume more than what he eats, yes? If you fed him more, he would not eat more?

Have you tried a more calorie- and nutrient-dense food? The Wellness large breed adult contains 336 calories per cup... the Orijen formula I looked at contains 460/cup, and EVO red meat formula contains 527/cup. I think higher-powered food would be the first thing I would try. I also would train him to eat two meals a day, instead of allowing him to graze at will.
 

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Yes he is healthy and will not eat more. I've tried putting more in his bowl but he eats what he wants and then leaves the rest until he gets hungry again. So, maybe I should try feeding him a food with more calories? What about protein? Does he maybe need more protein?
 

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Does he like the taste? To help out emaciated or too-stressed-to-eat fosters, I always fed biscuits and gravy (canine comfort food!) during those heavy fostering days since so many dogs came in emaciated and/or unwilling to eat kibble and even canned food. The biscuits were easy to make in bulk. Every month, I sprouted amaranth/broccoli/alfalfa, grinding them into flour alongside brown rice and oats. I mixed the fresh flour with water, baked the biscuits, and stored them in a large canister instead of kibble. I roasted the beef, venison, or lamb with garlic and vegetables, and made thick brown gravy from the drippings. When sharing, I always removed the dogs' portion way before my own, leaving all the garlic to myself. I sliced the (extremely rare) roast and poured hot gravy over the meat and biscuits, then topped with fresh mint and parsley. Please don't tell me that after your dog smells this for the 15 minutes or so it takes to cool, he doesn't clean the dish!

Now that I don't serve biscuits and gravy regularly but do occasionally need to provide some animal comfort food (most recently to homeless kittens), I keep a few packages of freeze-dried raw beef sprinkles on hand, to be mixed with kibble and rehydrated with water, broth, or gravy.
 

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He's still quite young. He'll probably fill out as he gets older. If he's healthy and has a good appetite and is active...I wouldn't worry.
 

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Ok, so...

I just had my doggy call your doggy. They spoke for a bit.

Your doggy said that his collar is too unisex for it to be a big boy male collar. He also told my doggy that because of this, he feels as if you wanted a girl instead and is trying to be ultra trim to please your underlying wishes.

True story.
 

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Yes he is healthy and will not eat more. I've tried putting more in his bowl but he eats what he wants and then leaves the rest until he gets hungry again. So, maybe I should try feeding him a food with more calories? What about protein? Does he maybe need more protein?
Well, my personal bias is to think that carnivores need water and protein and fat and minerals and vitamins... anything else falls into the category of not necessary. Wellness is 25% protein, 11% fat and probably just under half carbohydrates... and, carbohydrates are not necessary for dogs. If he was my dog, he would be getting a whole lot more protein, and also a whole lot more fat. Orijen, EVO, Taste of the Wild, Core (if you like Wellness products) and many more grainless and super-premium foods are higher protein, fat and calories than what you are feeding now.

A lot of peckish poor eaters have never been really truly hungry... hungry as in STARVING (not medically starving, but "Dinner NOW!!!" tummyache starving). There is a program for teaching your dog to eat, the point of which is that eventually your dog becomes really truly starving hungry... that knowledge transforms food from "Eh. Who cares?" into a very valuable resource that any smart dog will dive into head first the minute the opportunity presents itself. I would do this:
Teaching Your Dog to Eat
 

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We had to put my boy on a special diet while running food allergy tests--he didn't like the food much and, no matter how much food I offered to him, ate only enough to get by. He got too skinny for my taste. Now that he is on a different food, eating is not a problem and his weight is looking good.

Changing food could make a big difference.
 

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A couple of thoughts. I also have a large area of rough terrain that my dogs run on constantly. It's the kind of constant activity that a lot of "city" dogs" just don't get. Even so, his hipbones should at least be covered. I would give him a little more of a higher octane food. I'm not that impressed with Wellness for such a dog. The 25% protein isn't bad although he could probably handle more. I would definately up the fat to at least 14%.

There are plenty of no grain foods available that are 14 or 15% fat. TOTW, Canidae, Pure Vita(white bag). The Pure Vita by nutri source(Turkey) is what I feed Fei.

He is on heartworm preventive?
 

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I wouldn't go too high in protein as he is still a young boy, but what I will do for young dogs that need to put some weight on for the show ring is give them a meatball of high fat hamburger every day - it can be given raw or just partly cooked. I like to buy a big bag of frozen preformed cheap hamburgers at a place like costco and just pull one out a day and zap it in the microwave to defrost it.

Also, if you can get him to eat more, do. My male ate 6 cups of kibble a day when he was that age. He maintains on 4 cups now that he is 3 years old.
 

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Not to start anything,but everyone always tells you what food to try... But...have you seen a vet? They can give him a shot of vit.B-12 to help increase his eating, also have
you thought about doing any liver/kidney tests? I had one that was a hereity disorder, and yes comformed by the vet's, and yes more than one vet.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Ok, so...

I just had my doggy call your doggy. They spoke for a bit.

Your doggy said that his collar is too unisex for it to be a big boy male collar. He also told my doggy that because of this, he feels as if you wanted a girl instead and is trying to be ultra trim to please your underlying wishes.

True story.
I happen to like my his collar. thanks though. :)

And no I haven't taken him to the vet yet. I wanted to get ideas and opinions first and try something at home before I bring him to the vet. I think I'm going to try the hamburger thing. My grandfather owns a butcher shop so getting fresh ground meat would be no problem at all. Thanks for the help everyone!
 

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I happen to like my his collar. thanks though. :)

And no I haven't taken him to the vet yet. I wanted to get ideas and opinions first and try something at home before I bring him to the vet. I think I'm going to try the hamburger thing. My grandfather owns a butcher shop so getting fresh ground meat would be no problem at all. Thanks for the help everyone!
I hope that didn't come out wrong, I was 100% just playing around, the collar is fine. :D
 

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when Quincy was a young intact dog, he was a very picky eater and constantly skinny. He would eat - but only the choicest hand picked delicacies. Certainly not the kibble we wanted him on. Once he was neutered - he started eating whatever food we put in front of him, and now tends to be on the heavy side.
 

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I hope that didn't come out wrong, I was 100% just playing around, the collar is fine. :D
Oh no it's totally cool! Sorry if I sounded rude! :biggrin55

I actually used to have a white Chow who had one of those collars with the pointed studs on them and I have been trying to find one for Duke, but I haven't had any luck yet!
 

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when Quincy was a young intact dog, he was a very picky eater and constantly skinny. He would eat - but only the choicest hand picked delicacies. Certainly not the kibble we wanted him on. Once he was neutered - he started eating whatever food we put in front of him, and now tends to be on the heavy side.
Thanks for the info! I'm trying to talk my fiance into neutering Duke, but no such luck with it yet! We have no intentions of breeding of him, so I'm not sure why we haven't gotten it done yet, but I am definitely working of getting him to agree to it! I posted this the other day, but the picture is older. He isn't that skinny anymore. I'm thinking the heat had a lot to do with it. But I will be trying the ground meat thing and possibly switching to that Red Meat Innova too!
 
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