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dreizehn

He can't eat enough?!

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Hi guys! I made a few posts back in September when I got Splash! He is now 9 months and doing amazing.

One thing I'm having trouble with is how much to feed him. He currently eats Acana fish for all life stages... and about 3 cups (or more) per day. BUT he is so so skinny. I can easily feel his ribs and the vertebrae. I'm not worried per se, but still, its kind of unnerving that no matter how much I feed him (it seems), he stays thin. And it's putting a financial strain on me as he goes through his food nearly twice as fast as 'normal'. He is very active - daily +hour long offleash runs, frisbee, fetch, etc. Also, he's 38 pounds. And its really all bones and muscle - he really has no fat on him. And he is not yet neutered.

Anybody have any advice on what I should do? Feed him more and see if he gains? Or stick to the recommendations on the bag?

Thanks!

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He looks fine to me in the photos but it is hard to tell from a picture. If you are concerned, why don't you take him to the vet?

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My boy at 9 months was 33 lbs and all legs and skinny. He gets 500 grams of food a day, plus a few treats and biscuits. I go by you should only be able to feel the first 2 ribs from the bottom. He also had a growth spurt at 10 months as he certainly was heavier. His brother and sister from the same litter are far heavier than my puppy. They are on similar amounts of food at 11 months old.

3 cups is 375 grams, so you could feed more, I mix wet food with dry food, which is cheaper.

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Don't fret it, this is generally normal..active growing pup. The bag recommendations, they are not a good idea to follow, each pup will differ. He'll be mature when he's as old as he has legs..I've a yearling who is just starting to work. She is 10# lighter than him and eats as much!

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When I fed commercial food I never went by recommendations on the bag. Maybe for a starting point, but that was all. No matter what kind of food you feed a dog you should always go by the dog's condition and adjust the amount of food accordingly regardless of feeding recommendations for other dogs or even the average dog. Even with the same exercise levels, which themselves can alter how much a dog requires, some dogs are easy keepers and would become seriously obese on feeding recommendations while others have higher metabolisms and require more.

Also avoid generalizations such as my dog eats X amount so your dog may need more. For one thing unless X amount is the identical dog food it may be an invalid comparison as different foods have different calories for the same measure amount. And the dog's individual needs may not mesh either. Even if the dog's the same breed, sex, age, activity level, etc., one may need more or less food that the other.

That said, I'd second the recommendation to make sure he doesn't have any parasites that could be competing for the food he's eating.

But also be aware that at this age and often for a fair while longer, youngsters, like human adolescents, tend to be leaner and need more food than adults.

 

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The dog's ribs should feel something like making a a fist with one hand and running the fingers of the other over your knuckles.  You can get more padding than that and be okay, but as long as you have at least that and not so much that you have to apply much pressure to the dog to feel the ribs, you're ok.


Lots of people want their dogs WAY too fat. 

If you can't see the shape of the rib cage and feel ALL the ribs, the dog's overweight.

 

And yes, absolutely, the bag recommendations are way, way high for 99% of dogs.  Remember, they're in the business of selling food!  

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Thanks for all the replies.

I'm not super worried, which is why I haven't brought him to his vet (I actually work at the clinic so its no strain). I just thought I'd ask you fellow border collie owners if you have experienced this with any of your pups :-) I'm gonna try to feed him a bit more and see how he goes. I'll also bring a fecal sample into the vet :)

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At 16 months Levi is still rail thin despite having as much food as he wants.  He was recently checked and cleared for parasites, and has boundless energy.  I don't think your boy is unusual.

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I feed our boy as much as he wants, he is also very lean and I can feel his ribs and spine. If he starts gobbling his food and asking for more I treat him for worms, then he gets back to his picky self again. 

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My pup is 11 months old and eats a perfectly healthy amount but is very lean. He doesn't seem hungry - he never begs or searches for food in the park, so I've put it down to skinny adolescence. 

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