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Up Topic Dog Boards / Feeding / Dog noticeably under weight
- By dogmad1 [gb] Date 09.01.17 01:04 GMT
My 8month old Mini Schnauzer won't gain weight and people at ring craft have commented on how thin she looks ☹. She isn't interested in food and will happily go days without eating. I changed her food and she wolfed it down day 1 but now day 2 didn't eat any thing. I feel I am being made to feel like I starve her, when this is not the case, I have tried little and often meals as I feel she gets too full.
- By Brainless [gb] Date 09.01.17 02:22 GMT Edited 09.01.17 02:26 GMT
I had a bitch like this,  and she only improved after maturity and a litter.

The trick is not to be tempted to give a bigger meal when they choose to eat,  as then they are not hungry and refuse next meal until you offer something novel.

Giving several meals of a high quality nutrient dense easily digested food.

Do not give treats between meals,  offer the food for 15 minutes,  and pick up until next meal time.

Do not make a big deal of meals, leave the room so she doesn't pick up on your stress.

Has she had a season yet? Mine was worse during and just after seasons.

She had a litter at 2, ate really well while rearing pups, but back to pucking on next season.

I stopped fussing, did as above and she gradually improved by three years or so.
- By dogmad1 [gb] Date 09.01.17 08:11 GMT
Thanks... I do this already pick up etc.

Yes she had first season two month ago. She has always been this way.
- By St.Domingo Date 09.01.17 09:50 GMT Upvotes 1
I have a toy breed bitch who isn't a hungry dog. She would go all day without eating then usually, but not always, after her last wee, eat everything on her plate and run up to bed.
I tried feeding kibble, canned, raw. Just like yours, she would eat it for a day or two then stop eating it.
I was concerned about hypoglycaemia, and she would frequently vomit bile in the morning so I wanted her to eat twice a day.
I found that if I put kibble down she will ignore it, but  If I put it in a Kong or use it as training treats she will eat it.
So now I put kibble in a Kong in the morning and she usually eats home cooked food for tea ( but sometimes leaves it).

I tried different foods but she settled on Royal Canin for breakfast and home cooked chicken/beef, pasta/rice/potato and veg for tea.
Sometimes I have to get her bowl and pretend to eat it myself, and share it with her, to get her to eat.
- By dogmad1 [gb] Date 09.01.17 11:42 GMT
Thanks, I think I will try a Kong. Do you just put her kibble in? Or something else as well? I do feed her Royal Canin but tried some wet food the other day in the hope she would eat it. She's really under weight ☹
- By St.Domingo Date 09.01.17 13:57 GMT
I just put the kibble in.
I have some of the better quality pouches for emergencies.

I think it's about tempting them to eat. I think that if they get used to eating it will stretch the stomach and they should then become more hungry.
Perhaps tempt her with a bit of plain yogurt or some cooked chicken in her bowl. Maybe put some cooked food from your tea on her food and she may be more inclined to eat it.

I have seen mention of satin balls on this forum, for putting weight on dogs. Perhaps google it.
- By debbo198 [gb] Date 09.01.17 14:03 GMT Upvotes 2
If she's seriously underweight I'd get her checked by a vet, sometimes they need a vitamin b12 injection/s.

I've also noticed that many dogs go through a fussy stage around this age, sometimes reducing the amount offered can help.
- By MamaBas Date 09.01.17 14:06 GMT
Just to ask whether your dog has been wormed recently?   Not that that should mean she's not keen on eating (quite the reverse?) but it may be why she's so thin although if she's not eating properly, she's not going to put on weight.    Dogs do go through growth phases but again not to want to eat shouldn't be happening.

It might help to go ahead with a spay.   Hormones can influence how a dog is.    Whatever is going on, I'd be back to my vet for a thorough check up, blood, scans and so on and if necessary, take a second opinion.   Clearly being on/off with eating is far from normal - are her stools normal?

ps    Mine did tend to 'go off' their puppy food by around 8 months at which point I'd either switch to a Junior version of the same brand, or straight to adult.  Also have you spoken to her breeder - often an experienced breeder best knows their own breed, and bloodlines. and could offer some advice about what may be going on.
- By Nova Date 09.01.17 14:16 GMT Upvotes 2
Once had a pup that would not eat till I threw it out for the birds, then he would eat so till he was about 18months that is how I served his food thrown from his bowl onto the grass, it worked.
- By Schnauday [gg] Date 09.01.17 16:25 GMT
I too have a non food orientated schnauzer. If I put food down for him half the time he just looks at it and won't even approach it. He likes to hunt/ play to get his food. We have empty 1 liter coke bottles (funny shape so harder to get food out), food dispensing ball that he knocks about, empty egg boxes fastened back up to knock bits out and open, throwing food outside on the lawn in the summer while I water plants, playing hide and seek with little piles of food, cardboard tubes sealed at either end, and a couple of Nina ottenson food puzzle toys.

He also has mixed flavours of Aatu, lukallus, and nature menu country hunter dry cubes. He'll eat wet food but only if hand fed, doesn't like getting his beard dirty:grin: He's nearly 4 and has been the same since he was a puppy. He also refuses food treats when out and about and at training class.
- By JeanSW Date 09.01.17 17:32 GMT

> I served his food thrown from his bowl onto the grass, it worked

Marvellous!  :grin:
- By Brainless [gb] Date 09.01.17 17:42 GMT
I have done that with dogs that bolt their food, or are on a diet, so that they have to take time to eat it.
- By Agility tervs [gb] Date 09.01.17 19:11 GMT
I had a similar problem with Fleur when she was younger. As she is a fluffy breed it did not show too much. She was fed on Royal Canin  when I got her and ate some days but not enough and then have days when she hardly ate at all. I tried several other kibbles but she would eat them for a couple of days and then stop completely. I tried mixing them with the RC but she would pick the pieces of other kibble out and literally spit them across the floor. Mixing with yogurt worked for a few days only, the same with chappie mixed in. Then I got Tayo. He had been raw fed so I gave her a bit of raw with her kibble so she didn't feel left out. She wolfed it down but no kibble. She's now raw fed and hasn't looked back. The vet won, he had been trying to get me to feed raw for ages!
- By Jessica B Date 10.01.17 22:26 GMT
My Cocker (neutered) has always been a fussy eater. She licks up her food instead of biting chunks. A while ago she went off food altogether so we had to quickly change her diet to something 'special' ie expensive!! Then she settled down so we switched both dogs to grain-free both wet & dry, and she loves it. So I'd say look at her diet and try a selection of different foods.
- By dogmad1 [gb] Date 10.01.17 23:13 GMT
Thanks, I hadn't thought about a Kong. I have added chicken etc to her bowl and she will eat it just not loads.
- By dogmad1 [gb] Date 10.01.17 23:20 GMT
Schnauzers are the best aren't they.

She has many bags of opened kibble ranging from cheap to expensive and wet food but isn't bothered much. She will happily take treats on a walk but only if of high value. I have a treat ball which I but some kibble in and I have ordered a Kong. I try to make it like I'm not bothered if she eats or not so she doesn't pick on it.

I also throw food on the floor usually one by one otherwise she won't eat them.
- By dogmad1 [gb] Date 10.01.17 23:28 GMT
She was wormed last month. I know they go through different growth stages.

I won't be having her spayed until she's mature so from about 18 months, I do not feel she is old enough at the moment.

Yes her stools are perfectly normal. I have no concerns other than her bring under weight.

Her breeder has seen her at ring craft and wants her to gain weight, their advice was feed more!!
- By Merrypaws [gb] Date 11.01.17 14:42 GMT Upvotes 1
If she is otherwise perfectly healthy and happy, I wonder if she is just a naturally "rangy" dog.  My youngest (different breed) was almost thin and bony - I could feel the bumps along his spine, and he was very  gangly and rangy, although within the normal weight range - until he hit 3, when he filled out. 

Interestingly, he didn't actually put on weight, just seemed to "redistribute" it.

Do you know how her siblings compare in this respect?  And has her breeder seen it anywhere else in her line and how did it resolve?
- By dogmad1 [gb] Date 11.01.17 22:18 GMT Upvotes 1
Hopefully just that but she would look so much better for more weight on.

Her breeder kept a male to show and someone else is showing a female. The breeders dog has much more weight on than mine and the other dog, mine has less weight and is a bit smaller. I had first pick of the females. I have no idea about the other female, though as she is in a pet home.

Her breeder I feel puts it down to me not feeding enough which is hurts a little, they haven't mentioned about seeing it before in their breed line.
- By dogmad1 [gb] Date 11.01.17 22:18 GMT
Hopefully just that but she would look so much better for more weight on.

Her breeder kept a male to show and someone else is showing a female. The breeders dog has much more weight on than mine and the other dog, mine has less weight and is a bit smaller. I had first pick of the females. I have no idea about the other female, though as she is in a pet home.

Her breeder I feel puts it down to me not feeding enough which hurts a little, they haven't mentioned about seeing it before in their breed line.
- By Merrypaws [gb] Date 12.01.17 16:17 GMT Edited 12.01.17 16:20 GMT Upvotes 1
Perhaps it's not the amount you are feeding but the type of food - tripe is often suggested as a good way of putting weight on a dog.  Easy to do if you feed raw as there are various prepacked tripe minces available for dogs. If you feed kibble, you could consider adding a small amount of tinned tripe (Butchers brand do one which is mostly tripe) as a topping and see how she does.

Some people say that feeding raw will regulate the weight naturally.  Otherwise I have seen "satin balls" recommended on here in earlier threads, for example

I can't say too much about it because the only feeding problems I've had with any of my dogs have been the other way - tendency to gain too much weight.  My rangy youngster's show career never got off the ground (a damaged tail stopped him going to his first shows, and was followed by a growth spurt which made him too tall :sad:), so because he was otherwise fit and healthy and the vet was very happy with his general body condition I just waited for him to fill out naturally.
- By Nikita [gb] Date 15.01.17 15:50 GMT Upvotes 1
Do you have a picture of her from above?  Remember that show dogs are often on the heavier side (apologies to the showers here, but it is what I've seen) and dogs in general are often overweight in this country so it may be that she's actually a good weight and doesn't need to gain.  I've seen this a lot, where owners think their dogs are underweight when they're actuall perfect, because many surrounding dogs are heavy.
- By Brainless [gb] Date 15.01.17 16:21 GMT

> owners think their dogs are underweight when they're actuall perfect, because many surrounding dogs are heavy.

Absolutely, I have this conversation a lot with owners stopping me (the mad dog lady with 6 dogs being walked).

I demonstrate on my own dogs, who are a full coated breed that under the coat they have a good waist, and that their skeletal anatomy can be felt but not see, other than the last rib.  I probably still keep my dogs better covered than they might be after a hunting season in their native country.
- By RozzieRetriever Date 15.01.17 17:28 GMT
I'm finding this with my boy. He's fifteen months old, 31kg and looks like a racing snake next to much younger dogs. My vet says he is a perfect weight for his age, but all the advice given at shows is he needs to 'body up/put some weight on'. I can't help thinking some of the others are going to have joint/weight problems in later life, but what do I know, I'm a rookie. He eats like a horse and isn't deprived, but is just really athletic and loves to run.
- By Brainless [gb] Date 15.01.17 20:06 GMT

> he needs to 'body up/put some weight on'.

What they mean is he needs to be more mature before he can be competitive.  Well health comes before any wins, and he is likely to be a laster once he does mature and be winning and fit once his competitiors have 'gone over' and are overdone, heavy and flabby, and not fit to be seen as veterans.

My breed are slow maturers and I expect to be able to show them competitively until at least 10 years and normally continue in veteran classes to 12 and club shows to the end.

Many don't do very much in the ring until 3 or 4, and are at their peak at 4 - 6..
- By RozzieRetriever Date 15.01.17 20:19 GMT
Thank you for those encouraging words, they have made me feel much more optimistic. We are enjoying the shows, but sometimes the weight difference is very noticeable!
- By dogmad1 [gb] Date 16.01.17 22:27 GMT
The thing is she is under weight, her ideal weight is quite a lot more than she weighs at the moment. She is small for her breed, obviously I have took this into account. I don't believe in over feeding and it certainly doesn't do the dogs any good.
- By Brainless [gb] Date 17.01.17 04:37 GMT Edited 17.01.17 04:39 GMT
Is she clinically under weight or just unfashionably slim?

A bitch will not normally have a first season until she reaches 85% of her genetic adult weight.
- By dogmad1 [gb] Date 19.01.17 00:46 GMT
Unfortunately, clinically under weight.

I have taken everyone's advice onboard.
- By Nikita [gb] Date 22.01.17 20:08 GMT Upvotes 1
Clinically by weight chart or body score?  The latter is much more reliable than the former and if it's a vet that's said it, I've known a lot of dogs lately who the vets have described as 'ideal' when they are fat as heck!
- By dogmad1 [gb] Date 29.01.17 21:14 GMT
Pleased to report to has gained 0.5kg still a bit to go, but its a start.

I bought a Kong and she wouldn't touch it no matter what was put in it. We put a handful of her kibble in her crate every night plus her meals. Obviously we will stop this when she looks "ideal".
- By Gundog Girl [gb] Date 11.02.17 14:55 GMT
Hi DogMad, I completely understand your anguish. My Flat Coat ate well until  about 4 or 5 months old and then refused all food no matter what I presented her with and it is so stressful when an apparently healthy dog just won't eat. My friends all said no healthy dog will starve itself, well she would have! I eventually discovered the only way I could get her to eat was to poach a whole chicken and then pick off all the meat and mix it in with the stock liquid and add this to her dry food. My sly girl would often eat and lick off the chicken meat and stock and leave the dry food but mostly she did eat it all with the chicken. However it was a constant battle with her to get her to eat. It really stressed me out to have a dog that wouldn't eat having never experienced this before and she did get skinny but never was without energy or ill in any way (frequent vet trips for various checks ruled any clinical reason out for being picky/no appetite). It wasn't until she was spayed that she found her inner labrador and since will now eat anything. Her dietary reluctance has done her no harm and she always gets comments on her good bone and conformation. Try not to get stressed around feeding time as your pup may be picking up on that (easier said than done I know) so may put her off her food. It's really good that your pup has now gained weight (and 0.5kg is a lot relatively speaking). I hope her appetite improves and she starts to eat with enthusiasm.
- By dogmad1 [gb] Date 11.02.17 22:17 GMT

>My friends said no healthy dog will starve itself, she would have.

Yes I hear that all the time, yet she is healthy! We sometimes have to result to  hand feeding (honestly we have no choice). She has lots of energy bundles just very skinny. Since I posted she had gained 0.5kg, she has been turning her nose up at her food at most opportunities, even adding some kibble at night isn't working anymore. Yes it is easy said than done and we try. I feel like people think we starve her.
- By MamaBas Date 12.02.17 08:21 GMT
Just to add that frustratingly one of our males took his time to body up.   He wasn't not eating properly, just a slow maturer to the point that having shown him a bit in Minor Puppy, up against others from the big, heavy lines, he just looked ridiculous.   Even against his brother who I'd sold.   This was an outcross mating and clearly my boy favoured his father's line.   I waited (and waited) until towards 2, he finally bodied up and looked the part and did some decent winning - much as he was out at the time the Breed Record Holder (still!) was being shown and that dog was a totally different sort.
- By mixedpack [gb] Date 12.02.17 11:44 GMT
We had this with a homebred GSD bitch who just wasn't interested in food, she lived with her mum and 3 other dogs of different breeds and was quite happy to walk away and let everyone else scoff her food, we tried different types of wet, dry and raw with varying results and she would eat if my OH hand fed her, she would typically eat a new food and then refuse it after a couple of meals. She became better with age and gravy (made with meat not bisto) on her food was a blessing, I do understand if you want to show then this is so frustrating but if not then a slim dog is much healthier than a fatso and a lot of people's dogs are overweight and any slim dogs look thin.
- By lleonder [gb] Date 12.02.17 16:07 GMT
Ive had 2 bitches like this, a mother and daughter. It would start at the end of thier season and last about 6 weeks! When the mother was expecting her 2nd litter she went off her food at 21 days (as expected) but was like that until around 1 week post whelp which was a worry. I tried everything and spent a fortune so worried about her and pups.  The only thing she would eat was baked chicken breast or baked fish. It had to be baked dry, cut into pieces and fed like treats while out walking.
Eventually the vet suggested A/D which come in small tuna size tins and are like a mouse. Its very high in nutrients and calories. She did like it and it was what got her starting eating again. You can also mix it with some warm water and syringe it.
After she was spayed she never turned her nose up at food again so definitely worth thinking about if your girl is that bad.
Another wee tip I used to do was cook liver with some garlic on it. Cut into treat size and bake or grill until firm.  If you bag and freeze it then take just one piece out and grate it over her food using the finest grater you dont even need to defrost and it will sometimes be enough to get them interested. 
When I find something my dogs love I try to keep it from them until I need to use it otherwise it stops becomming a treat.
- By tatty-ead [gb] Date 12.02.17 17:02 GMT Upvotes 1

I used this for quite a few years with various dogs ............... magic powder............. they also do same thing without the garlic
- By LucyDogs [gb] Date 13.02.17 14:42 GMT
My 6 year old Cavalier was like that as a puppy, right from when I weaned her she was a nightmare. We tried putting it down and picking it up and she got so skinny you could see every knob on her spine! We tried dry food, wet food, tins, pouches, raw, tripe, human food, you name it! And not changing every day or anything, I know that can just cause problems, we gave everything a good trial. She would eat it for a few days, just long enough for us to relax and buy a large amount, then go off it again. She wouldn't even eat it if handfed! We eventually got her eating a super-expensive kibble with beef mince mixed in, and after about a year we managed to persuade her onto the good quality kibble the others all eat, still with the beef mince. She's happy and keen for her food now thank goodness, but I don't dare try to cut out the mince just in case! Her daughter is now 3 months old, and although an excellent eater while she was with her 4 sisters, is showing signs of similar silliness, though not nearly as bad thank goodness. But she often won't eat from the bowl, you have to throw it around the kitchen for her (and it's not the bowl, we've tried 4 or 5 different types). Some dogs are just silly like that - but I expect your girl will grow out of it eventually, I promise!
- By dogmad1 [gb] Date 17.02.17 20:39 GMT

>We tried dry food, wet food, tins, pouches, raw, tripe, human food, you name it! And not changing every day or anything, I know that can just cause problems

Just the same as us, gave everything a good try!

>I expect your dog will grow out of it eventually, I promise!

Up Topic Dog Boards / Feeding / Dog noticeably under weight

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