Pets.ca - Pet forum for dogs cats and humans 

-->

Skinny German Shepherd

riafish
April 18th, 2005, 09:56 PM
Hi All,
This is my first post to the board. I am the proud, loving owner of a purebred White German Shepherd named Murphy who will turn 3 on May 10th. He's a stinker, but we love him. My question is regarding diet. We have tried a number of foods, but he just doesn't gain weight on typical dog food. His vet said his metabolism is burning his food too fast, but that he is healthy. I just don't like how skinny he is. He's very ribby and his back hips stick out. I'm afraid people will start to think that we are starving him. Just about every new person we meat comments on how skinny he is. We tried him on a mixture of commercial dog food & a raw diet(raw meaty bones, veggie pulp, egg, fish oil, etc...) & he seemed to respond really well. Unfortunatly, we ran into extreme financial problems and were unable to continue this method of feeding. Any suggestion of a dog food that will give him more nutrients, but won't break the bank? Unfortunatly, I don't have any recent pictures of him. Any help you can give is appreciated

Safyre
April 18th, 2005, 10:39 PM
We as with humans, balanced diet is always the best. You don't want to start feeding him tons of fatty foods.
What has your vet said about yuor concerns? have they suggested anything?
I have the opposite problem, my baby is a lil tubby right now, so i'm nto sure what to suggest

Prin
April 18th, 2005, 11:54 PM
The only thing I can suggest is Wellness- it seems to be more rich than regular foods, but it is more expensive. Any bargain food will be lower in nutrients and energy per cup and in the end you'll feed more and ususally have higher vet bills, too. If you're feeding a cheap food, the majority of it will come out in the stool and not be absorbed, so it may seem like you're feeding a lot but really, your dog is getting around 1/2 of it..

What about puppy food or food for small dogs? I would talk to your vet about it. If your dog's metabolism is that fast, those foods can supply enough calories per cup. But be sure to talk to your vet first.

BMDLuver
April 19th, 2005, 08:13 AM
Quite often we get a rescue in that is very slim and we wish to help him/her gain weight. Usually we do the following:
Feed 2 cups of Nutro Natural Choice along with this 1 cup of the following mixture:
2 cups rice cooked according to pkg
1 lb ground beef cooked
5 eggs scrambled
4 cups frozen veg cooked
1 head broccoli cooked and chopped
Freeze half the mixture and use the other half to feed daily.

It doesn't break the bank and it has helped many of our dogs to gain weight and have better hair coats.

riafish
April 19th, 2005, 08:51 AM
The only thing I can suggest is Wellness- it seems to be more rich than regular foods, but it is more expensive. Any bargain food will be lower in nutrients and energy per cup and in the end you'll feed more and ususally have higher vet bills, too. If you're feeding a cheap food, the majority of it will come out in the stool and not be absorbed, so it may seem like you're feeding a lot but really, your dog is getting around 1/2 of it..

What about puppy food or food for small dogs? I would talk to your vet about it. If your dog's metabolism is that fast, those foods can supply enough calories per cup. But be sure to talk to your vet first.


I did talk to his vet but wasn't given much in the way of suggestions( other than to use Iams or Eukanuba). We also tried switching him back to large breed puppy food, and that hasn't helped either.

riafish
April 19th, 2005, 08:53 AM
Quite often we get a rescue in that is very slim and we wish to help him/her gain weight. Usually we do the following:
Feed 2 cups of Nutro Natural Choice along with this 1 cup of the following mixture:
2 cups rice cooked according to pkg
1 lb ground beef cooked
5 eggs scrambled
4 cups frozen veg cooked
1 head broccoli cooked and chopped
Freeze half the mixture and use the other half to feed daily.

It doesn't break the bank and it has helped many of our dogs to gain weight and have better hair coats.


My sister used Nutro for her rott/lab mix, and he looks pretty good so maybe that will work for Murphy too. This recipe is per day, correct?

BMDLuver
April 19th, 2005, 09:08 AM
My sister used Nutro for her rott/lab mix, and he looks pretty good so maybe that will work for Murphy too. This recipe is per day, correct?

Depends on the size of your Shepherd but if he is not large in weight then I would start out with this per day and try to up it gradually. Most GSD's I know would eat this twice a day.

Karin
April 19th, 2005, 10:06 PM
Diet is very important but some shepards are lean and lanky. Have your vet do a complete check up, (I'm sure they already do).
Otherwise if all systems are go, ride with it. My neighbor has a 13 year old shepard that she expressed the same worries to me...Liza has seen many vet's and is still doing fine, she has always been a picky eater.
They are either picky or gobblers. No middle of the road. Have a chat with your vet.


Kinda like Great Danes ...brindles tend to be lanky also. Fawns tend to gain weight. Bostons are the smallest, but tend to get round and harliquans (sp?) are the largest of Danes, maintains weight,as a rule.

Rule out any medical reason first.

Toonces
April 23rd, 2005, 06:41 PM
Please ask your vet to do a TLI to test to rule out EPI, which is genetic in German Shepherds.

toni
April 29th, 2005, 06:02 PM
Hi
I was just reading your post and thought it sounds alot like my friend's rescue GSD. She has a type of Pancreatic Insufficiency which makes her really thin. The food metabolizes very fast. They had her on a special food from the vet but it was too expensive. They found a suitable and comparable food (they say) at a Co-Op store. Also the Vet has her on special Pancreatic Enzymes for this. She will still lead a healthy life but she has to stay on these enzymes that are mixed in with her food. So maybe ask your vet about this. Hope this helps you.

Prin
April 30th, 2005, 02:06 AM
That's true Toni-- GSD's can be prone to pancreatic insufficiency among MANY other genetic diseases associated with the digestive system. Good idea to get this checked out.

.unknown.
May 1st, 2005, 07:51 PM
I tried to help a GS mix, he was very thin as well. His cute head looked huge for his body. We fed him the same as our dog and he started to gain wieght slowly... He was surrendered on behalf of the owner, and later euthanized due to agression. So i can't say whether it would have fattened him up. I was supplementing his meals with diluted canned puppy food... The dogs seem to LOVE it when you make this gravy-ish goop.

but it's probably not good for an everyday thing.