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2bc4me

Underweight Dog

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I think my 1 1/2 year old smooth coat bc Bard is too thin.  His hip bones are so prominent, they can be seen from a distance.    I have never had problems keeping weight on a dog before.  I am feeding him Acana.  I can get him to eat about 2 cups a day.  He is a very slow eater and gets distracted from eating easily.  I offer him food twice a day, as much as he wants for about 15 minutes each time.  He does not have parasites.  He is very active.  At what point do you get concerned about a dog being too lean?  What do you feed to help put weight on him?   B25ECE4C-215D-411C-8FF5-AEFFAEE52992.thumb.jpeg.e30f6f0cbf995fb375b0abd6df2f0e25.jpeg68DA038B-E875-4510-8CB5-948A85652D03.thumb.jpeg.58684453049ca2fa29d5e17c9986254f.jpeg

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As long as he's active and not showing any signs of illness I think he's probably fine, especially given his age. At that age many healthy border collies are practically skeletal. I've had several like this and the only way I could've gotten them to eat more than they did would've been to force feed them. My ex in-laws used to panic over the 1st one but when I asked the vet he said he was fine.

The weight score charts the vets use really aren't accurate for young border collies and some other breeds, notably sighthounds. :rolleyes:

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No advice on feeding, but I had to comment that you are obviously a person of exquisite taste - you have the same style cover over your heater vent as I have, as well as having a border collie.:D

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Agree withe GentleLake - I think he looks great.  He will likely fill out a bit as he matures.

Gorgeous dog!  Enjoy!

Amy

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I agree also. He looks fine to me, and if he is healthy he will eat what he needs. These dogs always fill out a bit as they mature, but you want him to stay slim.

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Thanks for the responses.  Maybe my other bcs had a coats long enough that I did not notice exactly how thin they were.  I will give him more time to mature.  He cannot be starving because he leaves food in his bowl.  

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On 12/4/2018 at 9:57 PM, 2bc4me said:

He cannot be starving because he leaves food in his bowl.  

Is this your only dog? I have two who gobble up their two meals a day with a healthy vigor. They *never* pass up food but I think if one of them wasn't feeling like they didn't want to finish that they would just so the other dog won't get any extra! Both dogs are at optimum weight but my Mom and wife don't buy it and are often harrassing me to feed them more. Don't succum to peer pressure and good luck!

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I have three at this time.  My oldest boy, Quin, eats everything that is, or might be, food.  I watch what I feed him as he has a tendency to be fat. My girl will eat when she is hungry and leaves the food when not.  My young boy, Bard,  is the one that leaves food.  I have to police the bowls because I do not want Quin to ‘help’ by finishing what Bard leaves.  All of bcs have been thin when young, but Bard is a bit thinner than the others had been.  

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Thanks for adding me to the forum .  First post.  While waiting for approval, I've been watching several topics.  This being one I was most concerned about.  

I have a 20 month old female.  Had her since July.  First BC but always had herding dogs.  Initially had issues holding quality food down. It thought that was due to new environment.  

Also concerned lack of gaining weight.  Initially diagnosed as IBD and EPI.  Blood work at Texas A&M eliminated EPI.  She's now on a prescription diet.  

She goes to Doggie Day Camp 5 days a week where she runs 8+ hours daily.  Eats 2.5 cups in morning .5 snack and 2 cups at night.  Weight stable at 35.5 lbs.  

According to your posts, although she appears skinny (especially the hips) she's right in the middle of the weight spread for her age.  

Thank you.  I'm grateful for the information shared here.  Not sure how much I can contribute to this group but I'll at least try not to take more than I give.  

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@2bc4me- your Bard is a handsome boy, looks like our Liam (under “Pics” in the Photo Gallery). I was concerned about him as well, right about that age- hips prominent, ribs palpable, I thought, too easily. We have 3 dogs also- yes, staying visible so one dog doesn’t decide to finish what another one leaves... now that the brothers have passed the age of 2, however, they’ve really filled out, muscled to smooth those bony prominences.

@Series6- running 8+ hrs a day will surely burn the calories. There may be no need to worry if she has the energy and stamina to do that, while still maintaining her weight :)  Most BC’s would give their eyeteeth to have that luxury!

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During the summer and fall I'd take her alternate days.  Other owners would schedule their days around that so their dogs would get exercise and sleep at night.  Mhairi gets 2-30 minute time outs daily.   

I wish my schedule allowed for training.  But Camp is the next best thing I suppose.  I got her late so there was no formal training done as she was fostered. 

 

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Welcome to the boards, Series6.

Training doesn't have to be intensive all the time. Taking 5 minutes here and there a couple, three times a day can yield great results and definitely help strengthen the bond between you and your dog. She needs mental as well as physical stimulation, and not giving that to any dog is doing it a great disservice. It's never too late to do some training with your dog.

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^^^ What GL says about training. It makes a huge difference in the human/canine relationship. Border collies are a breed that needs to work in partnership. A few minutes in the morning before you go to work, then another few minutes after work and you'll see the difference. If you take her on any walks, do a couple minutes of simple stuff on the walks. Sit, wait, shake, spin and several more are easy enough to do with just a few small treats for rewards.

Ruth & Gibbs

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Thank you GL and Urge.  I had an Aussie Shepherd then a Queensland Heeler mix that were wonderful pals.  And were successfully trained.  Takes time. And trust.  And patience.  I'm wondering who's training who here.  

Due to their need for physical and mental requirements are Borders good travelers? When we do go somewhere 3-4 hour drives she's fine in the cab but explodes with energy when we get home.  No idea what to expect on a 3500 mile 9 day round trip with limited closed fenced areas for her to burn off. Not a problem for the other two girls.  

Suggestions? 

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Hi my BC is the same. I got so worried by his leanness and asked my vet was there anything i was doing wrong. He only now weights 19kg, very picky with his foods and is very active. I cant feed him wet food or we have bowel issues:rolleyes: so we feed him dry food. My vet said she wasn't worried due to him having good rib coverage and good muscle mass  in general hes very fit.  she recommended i put him on a worker diet to try and keep what weight he does have on him x

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15 hours ago, Series6 said:

 I'm wondering who's training who here.  

Due to their need for physical and mental requirements are Borders good travelers? When we do go somewhere 3-4 hour drives she's fine in the cab but explodes with energy when we get home.  No idea what to expect on a 3500 mile 9 day round trip with limited closed fenced areas for her to burn off. Not a problem for the other two girls.  

Suggestions? 

As to your first question, I think it's a two way street. We train them to do what we need/want them to do and to be civilized companions, (eliminating outside only, waiting patiently while we do human stuff, etc. They train US to fall in love with them.

I've never taken a dog on that long of a trip, for your second question. Hopefully someone else will share some experiences.

Ruth & Gibbs

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4 hours ago, Pam Robinson said:

she recommended i put him on a worker diet to try and keep what weight he does have on him

What's a "worker diet"?

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18 hours ago, Series6 said:

...are Borders good travelers?

I think most border collies are good travelers as long as they enjoy riding in the car and accommodations are made to meet their need for exercise after being idle in the vehicle for a long time.

Mine have always traveled well, though I did have one I had to bring water from home along for.Water from different places gave him the runs.

 

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