I need input on a topic that I’ve NEVER had experience with…..an UNDERWEIGHT dog.
I aquired my daughter’s mini Aussie female puppy when she was about 11 months old. She was raised on Diamond Natural’s dry puppy food. Although she has grown into a somewhat thin lanky adult, she looked alright on the Diamond. However, when it came time to switch her to an adult food, I ended up going with the Victor Hi-Pro Plus (puppy and adult formula), only because a Sheltie puppy I just got, was already on it. So I thought I would finally get away from the Diamond products and for the last few weeks, they were both eating the Victor. I was a bit concerned with the variety of meats in this formula though.
Within the first 2 weeks, I noticed a growing shed and itchiness with the Aussie; actually had to take her into the vet for an allergy shot, which has helped. He suggested a food change, which I have done over the last week; back to another Diamond product though which I don’t like, but for now I’m trying it until I find something better. I am currently switching her over to the TOTW Pacific Stream grain-free formula). The puppy is switching to the puppy formula of that as well.
The shedding and itchiness has improved some, but it’s too soon to know if it’s the food change or the allergy med, but my daughter finally agrees with me that she is getting too thin. So I’m getting a bit concerned about this. While this is normally a pretty active breed, she seems pretty content with my subdued life style (I’m a moderately active 63 year old), and she does enjoy the activity involved with the new puppy. So an excessive activity level is not the issue. I am feeding her about 1 1/4 – 1 1/2 cups/day. I could up that of course, but if I’m NOT feeding the proper food, that will only serve to over-indulge her digestive system, wouldn’t it?
I’ve dealt with “overweight” problems at times, but NEVER an underweight issue. Suggestions, please. ASAP.
I find that a canned food can put weight on fast and there are many grain free, good products to choose from. I mix canned and my dry which is Orijen adult and have a skinny boy that is hard to keep weight on and that does the trick. I also supplement with chicken or hamburger, etc. and that gets him interested in his bowl of food! Not sure if you have an issue with your dogs not wanting to eat or just hard to keep weight on. Be careful when transitioning, you can upset everything if you go too fast. Good luck!
Thank you for your response. It is greatly appreciated. I will try your suggestions, and in answer to some of the “unknowns”, I have not had any issues with appetite or interest in food lately, but while she was still on the Diamond Natural’s puppy food; yes, it took a little coaxing by wetting the food a bit. I have tried feeding her a little more, but a few times, she would vomit all of it, so I cut it back some. I also wait until she’s been up for awhile in the mornings before I feed her. I also failed to mention that the more I feed her, the more I have stools all over the yard. Maybe there’s too much fiber in her food. It’s like the food is going right through……I’m sure that’s got to be affecting her weight.
I’m really at a loss here with this; like I said, I’ve just never had this problem before. It’s very frustrating, as is the whole dog food decision making process.
Hi Nancy – if you are experiencing diarrhea that is a different story. Not sure if all the stools are normal. I sometimes get into trouble with my little dogs if I feed them too much, then they have diarrhea. It is a slippery slope with these issues. Maybe try a different protein source in the food. My puppy was on Diamond when I first got him and doing just fine and when I tried to transition him over to Fromm he had raging diarrhea. I use a probiotic and that helps with digestive issues too. Good luck and I’m glad you are working with your vet and hope you get to the bottom of the weight loss.
The weight loss could be due to the food allergy. Eating something you react to inflames the gut lining. You haven’t said how much your dog should weigh, but that would help to figure out if this if an overfeeding/underfeeding issue. Also, if you live anywhere where you would be getting food from the Gaston, South Carolina plant, I would strongly suspect that that has something to do with the stool issue. Their foods are not very consistent batch to batch.
When I first got this dog from my daughter, she weighed 25.5# at the vet. I had taken her in for a fecal. Shortly after that is when I changed her diet to the Victor Hi-pro. About a week into the transition is when I noticed the major itchiness, back rolling and scratching, and that is when she got the allergy shot. She had lost about a pound within that week, which isn’t extreme, but I suspect that she is still losing slightly. He told me to wait a couple weeks to change her to a fish based food, to make sure it was the food, but I was running low on the Victor and decided to purchase a new bag of a new food; the TOTW.Pacific Stream. She had already been having more stools when she was on the Victor. They are about the same on the TOTW. I live in Arkansas, so I believe the food is coming out of Missouri. Like I said, I am NOT a TOTW fan, by any means, but for now I’m going to continue with it until I know whether it’s the food or the allergy shot that’s helping. In a couple weeks I should know. In the meantime, I’m just trying to figure out where to go next. I’ll either have to find a higher protein/fat food, or just keep her on puppy food for awhile longer. Will probably take her back to the vet after the holidays to get her checked out again and discuss it with him though, before I make any more changes.
Thanks much for your response! Everything is helpful!
I found boiled chicken breast with a bit of Pumkin made my boy gain weight & stay on as soon as I feed tuna & pumkin he lost weight again, so back to chicken & pumkin for breakfast, also use as a topper on the kibble, sardines in spring water are good for skin… also stay away from potatos tomato, peas, legumes, lentils grains etc, foods high in Lectins they can cause problems with the gut…try a gluten free, hypoallergenic kibble thats low in Carbs for the itch,
also a good shampoo like “Malaseb” medicated shampoo, kills any bacteria on their skin & doesn’t strip their good oils, leaving dog itch free & soft, I bath every 5-7 days as soon as Patch starts rubbing on the carpets & itches..
Dogs can stay on puppy or all life stages food for life. There is nothing in the food that adults can’t have, it’s just higher calorie, which a lot of high energy dogs need anyways.
If you should decide to do something like make your own food, realize that in the short term, it doesn’t matter if the food is not balanced, but if you are feeding that way for more than 2 weeks, you need to make sure your dog’s diet is balanced, especially the calcium/phosphorus ratio.
Thank you Susan and BCnut……great info! I think I’ve got some work cut out for me, getting this dog on the right stuff! Your ideas give me hope!
This sounds similar to what happened to my dog. I got him from a rescue at age 3. He was thin when I got him, was feeding him generous quantities of food and he was pooping like a cow. Large, soft stinky stools. After 3 months I realized he had lost a pound. He was only 11 pounds when I got him. Off to the vet…….now he’s on a restricted diet, potato and venison. He’s strong like a little bull now. Vet said it’s a true food allergy. We will try rabbit next. I know beef and turkey are no good for him. Many foods have multiple proteins in them which makes it difficult to determine the problem.
Thanks for the info about your experience. I haven’t had quite that experience, but very close. This dog’s stools have not been abnormally soft or smelly, but rather quite large and numerous; especially while on the Victor food. And then came the itchies. I was a bit suspicious when I saw all the different proteins/meats in the Victor food as well, but as many people who swear by it, I decided to give it a try. While many dogs probably do great on it, and it sounds like a great quality food, I have never been a fan of this many different meat sources in one food. I have always preferred a more limited ingredient food. Actually, it seems this dog did much better on her original puppy food; the Diamond Natural’s formula. Even though it was chicken based, it had a high protein and fat content, and a nice fiber content, which apparently she needs. As much as I distrust Diamond, we may go back to that and start all over again.
I’d really be interested to know what brand you are using now; the venison/potato. I’ve looked at many, many foods and even including puppy formulas, I can’t seem to find one even close to the Diamond…….not yet.
Thanks again for your input!
He started with Royal Canin Potato and Venison. It’s prescription through the vet. He was eating that exclusively for about 3 months and did wonderfully, gained weight, etc. After that time I started adding in Natural Balance Venison and Sweet Potato. I slowly worked up to half and half of each and he’s still doing fine. I prefer the NB because it’s higher in protein and has the sweet potato instead of white potato. It’s also half the price of the RC.
THANK YOU! I thoroughly appreciate it!
Oh, BTW, I use the canned. Although he did start with part kibble and did fine. Canned is my preference.
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