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Trying to get German Shep x to gain weight

Discussion in 'Dog Health' started by Badger999, May 24, 2018.

  1. Badger999

    Badger999 New Member Registered

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    Hi, I have just joined the forum as I am looking for some diet advise.

    I rescued a very thin german shepherd x 6 months ago and despite high calorie diets I am unable to get her to gain any weight. She is very underweight 24kg and is a big shepherd.

    Any advise on any other food/diet I can give her would be appreciated.

    I have had many investigations at the vets most recently an ultrasound and everything comes back clear other than a B12 deficiency which has been rectified.

    Other than the weight she has no other symptoms, good coat and eyes, toilets all ok (apart from the size.. geeez). So my challenge is to research and try different diets to beef this beautiful girl out a bit.

    Any tips would be great.

    Thanks
     
  2. Sezzy

    Sezzy Well-Known Member Registered

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    Sorry I can’t offer any advice on gaining weight as I’ve got a Springer x Poodle who weighed 24kg in January and was put on a diet! :eek::D Someone will be along soon with some advice I’m sure, good luck :)
     
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  3. JoanneF

    JoanneF Well-Known Member Registered

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    Can i ask what you are feeding her at the moment?
     
  4. leashedForLife

    leashedForLife Well-Known Member Registered

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    .

    GSDs are prone to many gut-issues, & GSD-crosses can also have them, unfortunately. :(

    Is she a particularly anxious dog? - does she pace from window to door, or walk around the house without apparent purpose, unable to settle & relax?
    there's a particular temp in GSDs that is wound way-too tight, & the temp goes along with anxious behaviors, a tendency to be clingy, & a particular physique - they look like perpetual teenagers, leggy & slab-sided, like colts. They don't fill out with adult musculature.

    If she's not a nervous-Nellie with a colt-like build, that's a plus - it might be mostly gut issues, which is simpler, as opposed to a complex package of emotional, physical, & mental quirks, which is much harder to cope with. :thumbsup:

    I wouldn't change her diet - unless U think it's not a good one, & then i'd do it across a week, minimum, or possibly 10-days time. // The best diet in the world can't help, if she cannot properly break down & absorb the nutrients in it, & that's where GSDs often have problems: 1st digesting, & then absorbing needed nutrients thru the gut-wall.
    If all the good stuff just goes thru her & out in her feces, it's wasted. :(

    Personally, i'd add both a high-potency probiotic with BILLIONS of live-critters per capsule, plus a good digestive-enzymes capsule with every enzyme imaginable in it. // The digestive enzymes need to be given with every meal, & they supplement any she herself makes, plus fill-in for the ones she lacks; the probiotics help her absorb nutrients, & will also both improve immune-function & soothe her gut.

    GSDs can be extremely emotional, & some get diarrhea when they're emotionally upset, which can also cause wt-loss; the anxious ones burn a lot of calories by pacing around & fussing endlessly. Teaching them to settle by use of a short tether & lie-down busywork to gnaw, such as a full-diameter antler, a hoof, sterilized thick-walled bone, etc, can really help them hold their body-condition.
    Chewing is a great self-soothing activity for dogs, & the dogs who don't know how to relax need more chew-time than the average dog. ;)

    Do U live alone? - spread the love, if at all possible. Don't let her get overattached - it's powerfully attractive to have a dog who literally longs for U, but it's not good for the dog. :( Share her with other ppl, so she's not too dependent & isn't anguished when U leave her for work, to shop, or to go out for lunch... she needs to have a support network, just like a human.
    Of course U want her to bond to U, but it's crucial that she have friends she trusts, too - GSDs are very prone to getting glommed to one human like a limpet to a rock, & it's bad for their heads. If U're not there, even for a few hours, such overly-attached dogs fall apart, & God forbid U get hurt or sick!

    also, we need pictures... :D Lots of pictures! :)
    - terry

    .
     
  5. leashedForLife

    leashedForLife Well-Known Member Registered

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    assuming U are in the UK, these are excellent products -

    https://www.amazon.co.uk/Renew-Life-Ultimate-Critical-Capsules/dp/B07CNZZDDP/

    note: the bottle must be refrigerated, to keep the critters alive.

    https://www.amazon.co.uk/Renew-Life-DigestMORE-Ultra-Capsules/dp/B009B2Q6QA/

    that's 60 capsules - there's a bottle of 90, but for some dumb reason, they charge more per capsule for the bigger bottle. :rolleyes:

    Of course, U might find the same products for sale elsewhere, at a lower price - or with a coupon, or a BOGO deal.
    In any case, they are very high-quality - i've used 'em with very good results in humans & nonhumans alike.

    I don't get a dime or any consideration whatever from the maker or the seller - i wish i did. :p
    Neither of them is tested on animals, & both are vegetarian - no animal products.

    cheers,
    - terry

    .
     
  6. Violet Turner

    Violet Turner Well-Known Member Registered

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    so a high in fat diet would be good, such as Royal Canin German Shepherd Adult i know that royal canin is not a brilliant brand but the fat content is quite high. You could also add in wet food such as pedigree, i know this is also a not so great brand but has a high fat content. Or you could feed puppy food. What brand do you feed your GSX ?
    I would recommend feeding your dog 4 times a day with a small amount of food each time. also you can use dog food as treats and this should help him put on weight. Speak with your vet about the diet he requires as i have not done an exam or test etc. The vets should be really helpful. - Hope this information helps Violet
     
  7. leashedForLife

    leashedForLife Well-Known Member Registered

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    @Violet Turner - i wouldn't "just add fat". :D
    We don't want our dogs to gain fat, when they're too thin; we want them to gain muscle tissue - which won't be fueled by eating fat.

    A scrawny dog with too little muscle & too many bony prominences isn't improved by feeding them butter, suet, or peanut butter - & in a dog with gut issues, a very rich diet can trigger nasty diarrhea, which depletes not only nutrients, but electrolytes, & can be downright dangerous.
    [As someone who is sensitive to excess fats in all forms, including veg-oils, i can state categorically that racing to the toilet after eating greasy French-fries is not something i want to repeat, & i'd bet dogs with diarrhea aren't too happy with it, either. :oops: ]

    - terry

    .
     
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  8. leashedForLife

    leashedForLife Well-Known Member Registered

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  9. merlina

    merlina Well-Known Member Registered

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    If there's no medical reason that's come up you could try a raw diet- it's the most natural and should be easily digested so long as you change over slowly. Also do look at probiotics for good gut health. (Fat is an obvious source of calories but I believe too much can lead to pancreatitis.)
     
  10. Violet Turner

    Violet Turner Well-Known Member Registered

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    Yes it can @merlina that's why i also said puppy food as its balanced.
     
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  11. leashedForLife

    leashedForLife Well-Known Member Registered

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  12. Badger999

    Badger999 New Member Registered

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    Thanks guys some great advise.

    She is not overly anxious thankfully and a fairly confident GS.

    I will look into the nutrients and see if this helps.

    She is definitely currently underweight o would put her at the top of the chart. You can see all of her ribs. People comment.

    Regardless of that she is amazing loving and loyal and sociable. She is well socialised and have a big family and friend. She is not left as goes to dog sitter when I work. I have 2 other dogs who she has bonded with.
    I will post photos when I can work out how
     
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  13. excuseme

    excuseme Well-Known Member Registered

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    As @merlina has suggested try a raw diet, it is easier than grain based kibbles to digest, if you can bare the thought of using raw tripe too this will help tremendously with a huge amount of good bacteria. Also your poo's will be greatly reduced in size and the smell will not be as nasty.
    There is no difference between adult and puppy, only the size of minces and number of times fed.
    If you should be interested in trying the raw method, there is a fantastic little book to help you understand this method. "Honeys Natural Feeding Handbook for Dogs". It can be purchased from Amazon for as little as 1p, or register with the "Honeys" website, where you can order a book totally FREE of charge, and you never get any follow up emails to purchase any of their products. (it's easy to read and understand).
     
    Last edited: May 25, 2018
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  14. JudyN

    JudyN Well-Known Member Registered

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    What do you feed now? You comment that her poos are large - that suggests either that she's on a food that's full of filler or she's just not digesting it well. When I fed my dog kibble (of any variety) I swear more came out than went in... So another plug here for raw feeding :)
     
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  15. Badger999

    Badger999 New Member Registered

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    She is currently on natures diet puppy and junior food along with 400gr of complete grain free wainwrights.

    I am moving her to a working dogs kibble food with higher calories and then start intro of more raw food and see how that goes.
     
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