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Thread: Weight Gain in Puppies

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Sunshine Coast, Qld
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    909

    Default Weight Gain in Puppies

    I seem to be full of questions at the moment but here's another query.

    Because of Jenna's possible predisposition to hip problems we were told to watch her weight gain, switch to Adult dry food and feed approximately 75% of recommended amount. It's so hard to know if we are feeding her enough. I'm getting a bit paranoid about it. Being a crossbreed I know it's a bit of a guessing game how big she will be as an adult but right now she is 13kg and is 23 weeks old. Since she had her surgery (5 weeks ago) she has only put on 2kgs. She doesn't feel skinny (bit hard to tell with so much fur) but I would have expected her to be bigger by now. I have been in touch with a number of other people who have the same crossbreed and all their adult dogs are nearing the 30kg mark

    Now I don't mind if she ends up as a smaller dog, that is fine with me but what is worrying me is, do you think restricting her food intake is damaging her in other ways? I am giving her chicken necks, lamb bones, sardines, or lambs kidney and some veggies as well as about 170gms Eukanuba most days. If she just has kibble she gets about 260gms. Split into 3 meals still. Also treats for training and the odd roo tendon.

    Do you think this is enough?

    Thanks
    Last edited by Tkay; 10-31-2009 at 01:54 PM.
    The best things in life, aren't things

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Adelaide
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    12,602

    Default

    Hi Tkay

    I'm not an expert on labrador / golden retriever crosses (that's what she looks like). A female golden retriever is supposed to be somewhere around the 25 to 30kg mark and after that she's probably starting to get fat, which isn't great for the hips or knees.

    Frosty's growth rate really started to slow down around the 6 month mark, and I think she's close to her adult weight now at around 20 to 21 kg (a lot of muscle which weighs more than fat) and in the last 3 or 4 months (she's 13 months now) she put on maybe that last kg total.

    Most of the dog food suppliers recommend slow grow puppy food (large growth puppies) for dogs that are going to be 25kg plus on their packets. I haven't checked the nutrition panel for those but it's probably similar to adult dog food - which doesn't have as many calories per serve as the medium/normal puppy/pregnant bitch food.

    Our vet recommended feeding 1/3 less to desexed females. And also advised us that the recommendations on pet food packs are made by people who want to sell more of it and/or sell the diet versions of it.

    I don't know if this would work for Jenna being the kind of dog that might eat all available food all the time - but Frosty sometimes leaves food, and then I know I've over fed her, and if it's still there 2 to 10 minutes later - I usually pack it up and put it away for next meal time. If she eats everything well inside 2 minutes with no fluffing around looking for something better, I give her a little bit more. Usually the last little bit I put inside a kong or an everlast fun ball to slow her down a bit. And depending how fast she knocks that off, I might give her a bit more again.

    This is mainly because some days when we go to the ovals - she meets more running dogs, and runs more, than others. I'm also finding that (like me) in Summer she needs/wants less food anyway. She doesn't need to burn as many calories to keep warm.

    If you're really worried - phone the vet.

    If you want to see what her body shape looks like - give her a bath/hose down/swim and get her really wet. Pay attention to the area just ahead of her hips - there should be a narrowing/waist. And also pay attention to her ribs, and hip bones, if they're sticking out like a dairy cow - she's probably too skinny. I've also noticed a lot of variation in the size of labs and goldens around our area, male and female. Some are a lot smaller than others.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
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    Sunshine Coast, Qld
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    Thanks Hyacinth, for your reply. sorry, I should have said Jenna is a Golden retriever x Samoyed. I had always sort of thought she would be about 20ish kg until I met all these other dogs who are close to 30kg. As I said before I guess you never know with a cross. I was thinking of popping her to the vets anyway because her eyes are looking a bit red most of the time, not gunky just red so I can ask her then.
    The best things in life, aren't things

  4. #4

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    Sounds like Jenna's got a good parent. Sounds like Jenna's eating a good, healthy balanced diet. Dogs differ in sizes so you can't worry about that, Jenna will grow as tall as she's going to no matter what you feed her.

    Plenty of exercise and pretend that you don't understand when she looks at you with eyes that say "you didn't feed me enough" because unless those ribs are very visible when the dog is wet, you haven't.

    Try washing the eyes with warm, (not too) salty water. That may help the red eyes. If not, it's off to the vet for you.

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