Asking For It: Soliciting Diet Advice

I can hardly believe I am doing this but I am actually going to ask for your opinions on dog food. It may be insane, but I want to hear it all. Do you cook your own meals? Do you believe raw is best? Are you like me and completely clueless about kibble? Consider this your once in a lifetime opportunity to open up about all your dog food woes and unleash all of your best advice.

Trust me, it won’t happen again. Not on this blog anyway.

Why am I embarking on this silly venture?

Shiva the dog is thin. Shiva the dog has always been thin. Shiva the dog eats much much more than the recommended amount of food every day. Shiva the dog’s vet says it is okay that she is thin as Shiva the dog is a very active dog involved in agility and other fun things. Until recently, I have taken the vet’s word and glared at anyone who suggested Shiva the dog may be unhealthy.

Why has this changed?

 I have heard more and more gasps of horror lately, I guess. And not just from the peanut gallery but from people I respect. While I still don’t think Shiva is any thinner than some other dogs with whom we practice agility, the subject is probably worth researching just a little more.  If she really is underweight, it’s our responsibility to change that. Perhaps her ribs are just a little too visible.

Not that size matters one teeny tiny bit to me. I want Shiva to be at her healthy best. Other than that, I don’t really care. Ultimately, I am going to go with our vet’s advice. She has her annual exam coming up in April and I figure if I arrive armed with information I can get the last word on this once and for all.

So what do you think? Do you have any advice for plumping my dog up? Do you think there is something missing in her diet? Should I just let her eat that cheeseburger?

44 thoughts on “Asking For It: Soliciting Diet Advice

  1. OK, I’ll be the first……If Shiva has passed all her health exams and is declared healthy then “Poo Faw” to those respected and others who give you a bad time. You know that you are doing everything you can to manage her weight. Boy what I would give to have a dog with a high metabolism. Boy what I would give to have a high metabolism.

    Now I am going to your email address if I can find it and tell you what I feed Bert….so there is no advertising for anyone.

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    • That’s my inclination as well. But I figure it’s worth the effort checking into all available food options, then asking my vet for the 48587th time if we should make a switch, and go from there.

      I wish I had my dog’s metabolism as well. Life is so unfair. 😉

      If you didn’t find it, my email address is contact@rescuedinsanity.com. You don’t have to tell me your dirty secrets though if you don’t want to. Food choices are personal – no one understands and respects that more than I do.

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

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  2. Oh boy, I bet you’re going to get all kinds of guilty confessions here.

    I admit, dog nutrition is not my strength.

    I cooked meals for Agatha on my homeopathic vet’s advice. I used recipes from Dr. Pitcairn’s natural health for dogs and cats and was thrilled with the results. Agatha thrived for a long time on the homemade diet and was much healthier much longer than Christie had been on premium kibble.

    I cooked the same homemade meals for Shadow because she had cancer in her jaw and wasn’t able to chew anything crunchy. She also did very well for a very long time.

    The down side–cooking meals in bulk takes time. I used oatmeal (which is fast) as the grain and turkey as the meat (and no, I saw no bad results from a high carb diet) and added all the supplement prescribed in the recipe. We’d often eat carryout because I was so exhausted from making huge pots of dog food to freeze.

    I’m back to kibble with Honey because her breeder recommended a particular brand and I’ve been too lazy to look for better. I alternate it with FreshPet food but I am also considering my options.

    It’s hard to beat the convenience of a high grade kibble. But my experience shows that human grade whole food is much healthier.

    I might take a look at Dr. Pitcairn’s book for some supplement recipes and add that to Shiva’s kibble to start. She might also need much more fat than a typical dog because of her high metabolism.

    I’m very interested in learning more about raw myself. I’m a little worried about the bones, however, since Honey has already has surgery for a squeakie in her intestines and I don’t know if that could be a problem.

    I look forward to reading what others have to say. And seeing what you decide.

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    • I would love to cook all of Shiva’s meals. But since I don’t even cook for myself I don’t know if it’s going to happen anytime soon. Also I worry about providing enough of the right nutrients. I would want to be sure of what a dog needs before I embarked on such a culinary adventure.

      Thanks for the supplement idea. I’d never considered that. I’ll add it to my research list. We do actually change up Shiva’s kibble every once in a while and other than the lamb incident, she has shown no averse effects. Maybe this could be a problem?
      Raw is not on the table for us right now. I know a lot of people who think it’s best but it just won’t work for our lifestyle, not to mention our budget.

      Thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts. All of the information out there really is confusing, isn’t it?

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      • Kristine – When you ask for advice you go all out, eh?! I have sent you an e-mail, but I will say this, since so many seem interested in the subject. There is no one food or diet that works for all dogs. – or even one product that might be applicable for your dog’s entire life! Depending on the dog, lifestyle, etc. the best thing can wildly vary. In fact – I did a kibble consultation last week for two dogs in the same house and I recommended two very different products!

        Over the last four years, I have literally feed every different level of pet food. I started out feeding a grocery store brand, then a vet prescribed kibble, a decent chain-store brand, a high end kibble with grain, grain free, dehydrated raw…and now raw. We tried it all! And we’re always happy to talk with people about what we loved and hated at each step of the way.

        @Pam – If you’re interested in chatting about raw and the benefits/downsides of it, feel free to drop me an email. For you and Honey, I’d be thrilled to share what we’ve learned!

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  3. I think if my dogs weren’t so furry, people would be quite shocked at how thin they are. I think they are healthy. Our vets agree. Less weight means less stress on joints.

    I don’t really limit what my dogs eat and they seem to burn it all off. I’m sure the same goes for Shiva too.

    I feed a better brand kibble, and mix in some canned dog food as well.

    Shiva looks great to me.

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    • Thanks for sharing your experience, Sara. I am inclined to agree. Every dog is different and it’s so hard to say. I just want to make sure I am doing right by my dog. If it turns out what we are doing now is just fine, I am totally okay with that. But it never hurts to arm yourself with more information, right?

      I think Oreo and Chewy look awesome!

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  4. It seems people are always willing to express their feelings about other dogs weight, not knowing any background of the animal. It’s sad to hear that people are so shocked by Shiva’s weight, but not surprising. My senior dog Scout was hugely over weight when we adopted him and being a senior dog it was never expect by us or his vet that he would ever return to a normal body weight. We managed to get him to a point where we could sort of see his waist but he will always have that senior dog rolly polly belly. Yet without fail whenever I take him to Therapy Dog visits or events, at least half the people I speak with feel the need to inform me that he’s over weight.

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  5. There is a popular recipes available for something called “Satin Balls” developed to help put weight on a dog. Try holisticdog.org – they had a bunch of variations on the recipe.
    When I want to check the quality of the dog food I’m feeding my dogs, I use the dogfoodadvisor.com website. It’s an excellent source of information about what goes into the dog food, and it rates the dog foods according to ingredients.

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  6. Larry was our first dog that needed to gain weight. It was really odd for us. My goal was for his hip bones not to stick a more than a quarter inch over his rump at resting.
    During weight gain, he got more kibble, he also got chicken fat. We buy skin on, bone in thighs, so he’d get chicken skin and fat poured over his kibble. He occassionally would get some chicken sausage or other high fat food.
    Now that we’re at weight maintenance, he still gets more kibble than the bag recommends because of his high metabolism.

    We’re really finicky about treats (no sugar, prefer the jerky where the sole ingredient is duck or chicken), but slightly less so about kibble. Still, if any of the dogs are having tummy trouble, we go to a diet of boiled chicken and brown rice. It’s supposedly bland, but the dogs love it.

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  7. I think Shiva looks fine…but then again she looks like Rio.

    I do think it’s incredibly important that we look at what we choose to put into our dogs’ bodies… especially for the canine athletes who we ask to perform at their peak.

    Shayne and Rio are on a homemade prey-model raw diet. On days I’m lazy or traveling, the dogs get a premium brand, grain free, kibble or a dehydrated diet like The Honest Kitchen or Sojo’s.

    My mom’s Shih Tzu is on a grain free premium kibble–his peak performance is napping on the couch but boy is he good at it and in PERFECT shape to do so LOL.

    Choosing a food, I went through and actually looked at the ingredients of the foods I was interested in, found a few that fit my wants and then used price to find one I could afford.

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  8. I deal with a similar issue. Pearl is skinny. I used to ask our old vet constantly and he would say she looked fine, but our new holistic vet said she is underweight, although not drastically so. She has put on three pounds since adding a probiotic and a digestive enzyme to her diet, but she still needs to add a little more weight. Added to that, she has a sensitive stomach so a lot of the foods that are considered the best are too rich for her and cause major problems. We think about raw but the idea of it is just so scary for me because I am petrified of raw meat germs. She also eats way more than is recommended on the bag. Our vet’s concern was that Pearl was not absorbing the nutrients she should be considering how much she eats, how much she goes to the bathroom, and how skinny she is, and I think the supplements we added are helping with that. If Shiva seems healthy otherwise and is doing well on the food she has, I might consider adding a supplement before I start playing with brands of food and things like that. However, I am also pretty clueless so I do not claim to actually know what is best. I am really interested to see what other people say in the comments. For the record, Shiva doesn’t look too skinny to me. Most dogs I see actually look heavier than they should be.

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  9. When our dogs are training heavily, we have trouble keeping weight on them. The key is, is Shiva maintaining a weight? If she is maintaining a weight and it has been a good weight in the past then she is probably OK. However, if she is loosing weight, then that may be a sign that she needs a different food or she needs more food. I know some dogs we train with need more fat in their diets to maintain their weight during heavy training. We just increase the amount of food our dogs get by a little and that seems to work for them.

    After Thunder’s bloat surgery he was having trouble maintaining his weight so we added plain yogurt (live culture) and that seem to help him metabolize the food better. There are other probiotics available if you think Shiva is not metabolizing the food properly. We feed Taste of the Wild (a salmon based grain free kibble). It works for us but I know other people whose dogs lost weight on that food.

    Raw is great, but it would not fit our lifestyle.

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  10. Okay. I think she looks a bit on the thin side, but so does my dog Cricket – vet says she’s fine, dog people where I do agility think she looks fine. I worry that I can see her ribs when she’s resting.

    I fed my dogs EVO for a while. My couch potato dog, Bailey, got FAT on the all protein kibble, so I started cutting it with Trader Joe’s kibble. Eventually I went back to just TJs kibble. So mixing in or adding on some specialty kibble might put a bit of weight on her.

    Verify that your vet has checked for diabetes, which manifests as a thin, thirsty dog.

    Someone above mentioned chicken jerky. Be VERY careful when feeding treats (and kibble for that matter.) Watch labels and avoid anything out of China or which does not disclose the country of origin – watch and avoid ‘distributed by’ or ‘packaged by’, ‘packaged in USA/ Canada/ etc’ and similar terminology. There continues to be trouble with foods (for pets and sometimes for humans, too) out of China. They seemed to have stopped with the melamine, but the chicken jerky treats are linked to health failures in American pets, unfortunately they have not identified what is causing the illness….

    I’d also be wary of adding a lot of fat to the diet. Pancreatitis is an uncommon but sudden and devastating reaction to fat in the diet. The dog crashes and can die very quickly without medical attention.

    So that’s a lot of data from someone who has no background in animal care or diets. As always, do your homework and talk to your vet before acting on any advice you get from the internet.

    Peace. And thank you for sharing Shiva with us. She’s a treat, in all her crazy self.

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  11. It should be no surprise that I’m pro-raw, and both Alma and Moses get fed a raw diet. I’ve found the overall health benefits worth the extra cost, and washing food bowls after meals isn’t as big of a hassle as some may have you believe.

    I’ve known many dogs to slim down on raw, but there is a risk of not gaining intended weight on raw if done improperly (a focus too much on meat content and not on fruits/veggies). Higher fat meats like chicken can help add pounds. As can adding carbs like pumpkin or sweet potato to really any diet.

    If Shiva isn’t hungry enough to eat extra food at one meal, maybe multiple meals throughout the day can add some pounds.

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  12. If vet has cleared her, then I’d not worry. Have you asked your vet what food she’d suggest?

    Definitely dont give her rubbish food like hamburgers, as all they’ll do is put fat on her and not in the right places.

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  13. I’m sure you’ve already thought of this, but has she been tested for parasites? Perhaps she’s not getting the benefit of all the food she’s eating. If she check out good with the vet, my suggestion would be to look for a food with more calories. If you’re happy with the brand your feeding her, see if they offer a formula for active dogs. We feed the boys The Honest Kitchen – which, when purchased in bulk, is more reasonably priced – and they have several higher-calorie formulas. It’s also human-grade, so Rod and I can eat it too if we get in a pinch, and because it’s dehydrated it’s super-convenient for us to travel in the RV. Good luck with your skinny little girl – but this is definitely a better problem than if she were obese!

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  14. Aargh…my comment got swallowed…
    Doughnuts and beer are a good solution to the problem of a lean, healthy dog.

    Shiva looks great. I would just ignore the voices of fatness around you.
    Dog food is one topic I won’t touch on my blog. Owners get so emotional about what they feed their dogs.

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  15. We have always had a problem keeping the weight OFF of Cali 🙂 We have tried just about every food out there because of her allergies (including raw, which was horrible for me since I’m a vegetarian and hated handling the raw meat- blech!). Saydee was eating Purina when she got here and she was underweight – we switched her to the food that Cali is eating (Taste of the Wild) and her skin got much better. She never really put on much weight, even though we were feeding her 4 cups a day (Cali would get HUGE if we fed her that much!!)

    I feel like the whole “what should I feed my dog” conversation has been a constant one in my house for the 13 years we have had Cali 🙂 Sorry that you are getting gasps – don’t let it get to you! Shiva is a happy, well taken care of, energetic girl!

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  16. A dog’s diet is such a touchy subject these days, but it is so important!
    I have thought many times about switching the dogs to a raw diet but I just don’t feel that I know enough about it to do so, and I can barely cook for my kids, let alone the dogs:) I can tell you that a few years ago I became obsessed with researching dog kibble and their is just way too many opinions out there. I finally settled on a grain free fish based diet called Acana, I liked it and so did the dogs. Recently since Leroy was eating so many rocks and starting to look thin I switched his food to a different protein source and a different, popular brand name food. IMO he lost more weight and so did Sherman, so I am going to switch back to the other food. I am also going to start adding in a few supplements. We’ll see.
    I think Shiva looks great, and I bet the vet will think she is ideal with her body condition. It is so rare to see dogs that are at a healthy weight, most people probably think their dog should look like a beached whale:) sad but true. It’s hard to tell with the Newfs but I can feel their ribs under their thick fur and you would be surprised to see what they look like when they are soaked to the skin. Thin but healthy:)

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  17. Given Shiva’s tornado-like energy, I’m not surprised she’s thin. Since we got Hurley and made major changes to the dog’s diet, both Maggie & Sadie have dropped weight and I worry about Maggie being too thin. My vet insists she’s on the smaller side of normal and there’s nothing to worry about yet so I just keep an eye on it. I understand worrying about it though. I do envy them their ability to stay thin. I guess if someone else regulated my food intake, I might be able to lose weight too. But dang, Girl Scout cookies are delicious!

    We feed kibble in the AM’s and a combo of Honest Kitchen dehydrated raw and frozen raw in the PM’s. I change up evening meals on a regular basis so sometimes we do 100% frozen raw, half kibble/half raw, half kibble/half Honest Kitchen, you get the idea. I think incorporating raw food into their diet has been a big part of their weight loss and Sadie most definitely needed to shed a few pounds so I’m not complaining. I see so many over-weight dogs and owners who have no clue so I’m happy that they’re all thin rather than the alternative.

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  18. When I first got Sampson I wanted him on a good quality dog food. I put him on California Natural based upon my trainer’s suggestion. When we added Delilah she ate the same kibble. But when Delilah had her health issues it was advised to go on raw to help her lose weight.

    Raw is very costly, so when we switched we only did the raw one meal per day and the other meal was a grain free kibble. We used Taste of the Wild, and the dogs really like it. They didn’t lose all their weight until we switched totally to raw.

    The way it was explained to me is that raw is how they would eat in the wild. They wouldn’t kill a squirrel, build a fire and put it on a spit and make a pot of rice to go with it. 🙂

    That being said, with raw being so expensive their are a bunch of really good quality grain free dog foods out there. When the time comes that I cannot feed raw twice a day, we will be switching to a grain free kibble.

    Personally I just feel like it is the way dogs were designed to eat. That’s my 98 cents worth. 🙂

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  19. If you’re still looking for advice on dog food, when it comes to kibble here is the website to the food I feed my dogs. It seems to work quite well for them. http://www.aivilaspetproducts.com/

    P.S.: Please GET RID OF THE PLASTIC DISH! I saw a show by a pet expert, and he said that plastic dishes give of formaldehyde! We only use stainless steel dishes.

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  20. Really, I dig the ease of kibble. If I could feed myself 3-5 cups of something a day and have it theoretically be my balanced meal? I’d do it. And my weight would be as lovely as Elka’s, I’m sure. We feed her Taste of the Wild Wetlands formula, with varying treats and peanut butter in toys, and table scraps.

    I’d do home cooked or raw if I had the appropriate setup and motivation. But like I said, kibble and a scoop (and some coconut oil) is just so easy.

    She does look a little ribsy. If she’s healthy, though, and working (agility is working, right?), I wouldn’t be too worried, personally. People do comment on how “skinny” Elka is, while I (and the vet) feel that she is in fact the perfect weight.

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  21. When I first visit here in your blog I already love Shiva, I think he is healthy and no more diet. He looks fine and he looks the same as I saw him before.

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  22. 1/4 grain free organic kibble to 3/4 alternating combos of raw beef/lamb, cooked chicken/beef/chicken hearts, rice/oatmeal, raw chicken/beef/lamb bones, eggs, a little cheese, plain yogurt + 3 alternating veggie combos – cooked lentil/pumpkin/sweet potato, raw carrot/celery, cooked silver beet/beans + supplements – raw bran, slippery elm, pro-biotic when necessary.

    Whew! I got tired just typing that. I find raw meat to be not as expensive as one might think because we buy in bulk (sometimes from wholesale butchers), premium kibble can be very expensive here (maybe because they’re imported) and our vet bills went down after we switched to homemade.

    Time can be an issue but I don’t work. I do have to put aside an hour or 2 a week to prep, cook, box and freeze. Not much really when you think about it. I do the meat once a week, the veggies once a fortnight.

    I’m not a dog dietician but Georgia’s meal plan seems to keep her at a good weight and in good health. We’ve run it by her vet to make sure we weren’t killing her off inadvertently. There are so many differing opinions out there about what a dog should eat. My conclusion is the same plan I follow for our human diet – eat a good variety of foods in moderation.

    Hope that was not too #8 😉

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  23. mine eat kibble from a local (like two suburbs away) producer that was recommended to us by their boarding kennel…. it has done wonders for Barbie’s coat. My dogs are no longer particularly active – Bender is slowing down and Barbie, well, she’s a greyhound and it’s easy for them to get fat in retirement. They don’t even eat very much – a couple of cups of kibble in the evening, a handful of treats on walks, and a treat at bedtime. They are lean but they don’t seem to attract comments, except for the jokes about Barbie being skinny of course. The figure is that 60% of dogs in Australia are overweight, so fat is the new normal.

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  24. Honestly, I think so many people are used to seeing fat dogs that they can’t tell one that is at a good weight when they see one. Shiva is fine. If all her health exams check out and she eats well, I don’t see the problem. She just has a high metabolism. Not like Shelties who not only have a low metabolism, but will eat anything and everything all day long.

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  25. This is such a difficult topic because there are so many opinions and so many people feel strongly about what they feed. I’ve tried lots and lots of different brands of food (due to free samples for blogging) and have a few favorites but mainly what I’ve concluded is to feed Kelly the very best quality food I can afford. I look at the first 5 or so ingredients on the list and make sure they are whole foods, protein, and wholesome. You’re probably already doing this. If Shiva has passed all her physical exams and it really is just because of her metabolism, maybe you could ask your vet if you can supplement her daily nutritious kibble with foods such as rice, sweet potatoes, or other food that might add some weight to her? Also, maybe consult with people at some of the dog food companies about your problem. I’ve found them to be extremely helpful. Good luck.

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  26. Hi Kristine, all of us have been raised on a raw diet, pretty much from the time that we first arrived at our forever home. The boys, including me get bison and my sister gets rabbit. The difference is due to dietary and health considerations. Then my mom puts a raw vegetable mixture in and then some acidophilus sprinkles and a shot of wild salmon oil for the boys’ meal and we’re good to go. I think that testing Shiva is probably prudent in any case. Hopefully you’ll figure out what, if anything is responsible for Shiva’s apparent low weight.

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  27. Koira has always been hard to maintain at proper weight. On many kibbles, she was eating 2x the recommended amount for an active dog of her weight. When I switched her to raw, she did not gain much in visible weight (her ribs have remained very visible), but she did gain a LOT of muscle tone, and since there were no significant changes in our exercise schedule, I believe it was due to the food. Plus, with raw, she is eating within the recommended amount of food and maintaining weight (she eats about 2.5-3% of her body weight, which is right where most people recommend for raw feeding).

    The biggest thing I think, is to pay attention to how much volume is going in versus coming out. I know sometimes it seemed as if all of that quantity of kibble that I was giving to Koira was just coming right back out the other end in the same volume! One thing that helped this a bit, and allowed me to reduce the amount of kibble being fed, was to feed twice a day and to soak her kibble in an equal amount of water for an hour before serving her food. The water slowed down the speed she was eating and seemed to help her digest and use the kibble more effectively.

    As for dog food brands, or even raw- I think what matters most is that your dog does well on the food given. Koira does amazing on raw. Pallo does okay on any food, be it raw or kibble. I feed him raw as well simply because I feed it to Koira and my cat Martha, so it makes it easier than getting kibble for him. If one of my pets ever did better on kibble than on raw, I wouldn’t hesitate to switch that one back over.

    Oh, and dogfoodanalysis.com is a good resource if you are looking at switching to a different brand of dog food. It provides good reviews with in depth information about the ingredients and why each food is rated like it is. (As a side note, the kibble my dogs did best on, and which I had to feed Koira the least amount of to maintain a good weight, was Earthborn Naturals).

    Good luck!

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  28. When Kita was taken from the puppy mill she was extremely underweight – less than 4 pounds –
    she had given birth to 16 puppies in less than 4 years. The vet told the foster family that she needed to gain weight as she was still feeding 4 pups when she was rescued. The vet recommended at the time to feed her half joint formula food – as she is half maltese and they do have weak joints in the breed – and half puppy chow to help her gain weight. However, the foster family overdid it. When we adopted her she was over weight – gaining almost 10 pounds in three months. So now -we feed her the joint formula still – and exercise her – and she now weights around 8 pounds which is still a little heavy but close to her ideal weight of 7 pounds.
    So – if you want to put a few pounds on Shiva – add puppy chow to her regular food – but – I would see what her vet has to say first. Could be she is meant to be on the thin side. Hard to say sometimes with mixed breeds – you are not sure what she is so it is hard to determine what she should weigh. So – go with your vets recommendation and your gut – you know your dog.

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  29. I feed raw, but I find it’s difficult to keep weight on some of my rescues with just raw.

    I use an Australian brand called “Uncle Albers” to help put weight on. It’s not a ‘good’ brand, but it’s very fatty and oily… I almost use it as a supplement for when I have dogs struggling with weight. It’s very greasy, so I haven’t had any dogs turn their nose up at it, and generally, it’s just been well received! I won some at a dog show a couple of years ago, and have kept using it (as required) since. It’s cheap, too – it costs me about $32 for 25 kgs. Certainly not a premium brand but it works!

    (I also have a rescue greyhound at the moment who kept have loose stools on Advance, but firmed up on Uncle Albers. Very happy about it, but perplexed, as well!)

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  30. I tend to think that if you trust your vet, who probably sees far more fat dogs than fit dogs, and he is not concerned, you should probably not be concerned. For a young, active dog, if she’s maintaining her weight and has good muscle tone and a good energy level, I wouldn’t worry too tremendously much about it. Some dogs are just hard keepers.

    I went through the same thing with my Border Collie. No matter how much I fed him, he didn’t gain weight. The vet would write in his record “thin but normal for him” Increasing food in just made him poop more. I tried kibble with grains and without. I tried the high end kibble and the lower grade kibble. It didn’t seem to make any difference. I did end up switching him to a raw diet, and he’s put on about three pounds and eats a much more realistic amount so it’s a financially better choice than the amount of kibble I was pouring into him, but it’s a hassle.

    If you haven’t tried different kibbles with her, I’d start there. Just pick something different. Every dog is an individual, and what works great for one dog may not be the right choice for another.

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  31. first of all, life is short–eat the cheeseburger. 🙂

    second of all, if the vet says she’s healthy, i really wouldn’t give a hoot what other people say to you. so shiva would look great in a bandage dress–good for her!

    third, when we got desmond, he was 10+ pounds underweight and lacked muscle/strength. we helped him gain by giving him extra food and lots of treats and after about two months, we gave in to our secret urges to share safe people food with him. after that, he finally was at his recommended weight and he’s stayed that way ever since–even though he eats a ridiculous amount of treats every day and gets more than his fair share of smart bones and the like, plus human food when appropriate/when we can’t resist his face.

    he surely is not anywhere near as active as shiva, but he still hasn’t put on any extra weight–and because of his wonky legs and his greyhound DNA, we do have to pay attention to that in case. it’s amazing, the metabolism he has.

    we’re going to the vet today and i guarantee he will weigh in at 55 pounds, yet again. so not fair, considering none of my pants fit. desmond’s a jerk! i guess shiva is, too. lol

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  32. I don’t think you have to worry. Most people have dogs that are too fat. They should be worried.

    I feed my dog a grain-free food called Orijen. Sometimes I feed him Evo or Blue Buffalo just to mix it up. Those are the three brands I will rotate. I have tried pre-prepared raw food from Stella and Chewy’s for him. It wasn’t complex at all. Just thaw and serve! I just thought it was too expensive, and even though I know raw food is safe … I’m still a worrier. And raw food is a pain when you travel. Some people have success switching from raw to kibble to raw to kibble from day to day or week to week if they are traveling. Ace gets an upset tummy when I switch him back and forth. So for now, Orijen is our food. Seems like the best dry food out there.

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  33. I’m a little late to the discussion but I know where you’re coming from. Mufaasa had lots of trouble keeping weight on (high metabolism + 2 hours at the park + agility training = skinny dog for sure). I eventually switched him to Go!’s endurance food (they changed the packaging but it’s essentially the same thing). He was up to 4 cups a day on their regular food and with this he sits between 2 and 3 cups a day (depending on the weather and if we get out as much as usual). He friggin’ loves it and his coat looks gorgeous and his poop is nice and firm (and not much of it!). It’s grain free and the first six ingredients are meat (some of those are whole with the water still included so they should actually be lower on the list, but the first three are meals and actually belong at the top).
    I’ve thought about going to a raw diet, but it’s more expensive even than quality kibble, and frankly I don’t think I have the freezer space or the time. I’d rather spend the extra time playing with him or training, I think he appreciates it more.

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  34. And to add to my last comment: when I just fed him more of his regular kibble, he just pooped out more. With the Go! endurance stuff that doesn’t seem to happen. And if you read online reviews of it nutritionists all seem to agree it’s one of the top foods on the market (most say top two or three). Sometimes it’s hard to get a good food recommendation you can trust out of your vet since they’re usually trying to sell something they get commission on (and the nutrition part of their degree is like 1% of what they study), so when the dog nutritionists say they like the food it gives me a bit more confidence.

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  35. Pingback: Speaking of Food… More Adventures in Canine Cuisine | Rescued Insanity

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