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Raising energy levels

May 9th, 2007, 08:25 PM
Does anyone have any suggestions on how to raise Ben's energy level?

I recently switched him from a high quality grainy food, to a high quality more meat / less grain food. The difference is lower energy, 3x the poop (both in frequency and size), and a slightly duller coat (however, his sister seems to be blowing hers, so I'm not concerned at this point).

My dog's always been a happy go lucky, lower energy boy, which is great most of the time. But now that it's warm out, I want to go out in the backyard and run around with him... which he does, for short periods of time.

Yesterday he was seemingly happy and wanting to go out, so the roommie and I grabbed a chuck-it and went out back. My dog is BORING. He's happy as can be, but he's quite possibly the most low energy golden I've ever seen, trotting around, doing his own thing. RUN, YOU SLOTH!

I was concidering switching to grain free, but I'm afraid he might become comatose (LOL). He loves to play, but he keeps his energy level at a happy medium.

Any ideas on how to raise it? As an energy booseter, I was debating adding cooked potatoes to his kibble, or even going raw (:eek:), but I'm afraid it'll just slow him down more. lol

Any dietatians (is that a word?) out there? What foods boost energy (and what slows it down)?

May 9th, 2007, 09:09 PM
How recently is recent. Its like a kid coming down off a sugary diet :D it can take time. I find my JRTs have lots of 'good' energy when fed raw or grain free kibble. Personally I love Raw-just don't have the freezer space as my dog freezer broke (with all my dog food in it..and I didn't notice till I could smell it...:yuck: )

If it has been over a month or so, maybe try raw, or a different grain free product. One of my dogs does great on EVO RM but not on Orijin. The other 4 do just great on either.

May 9th, 2007, 09:12 PM
He's happy as can be, but he's quite possibly the most low energy golden I've ever seen, trotting around, doing his own thing. RUN, YOU SLOTH!

:laughing: :laughing: :laughing: That just made me laugh. :)

How long has it been since you switched his food? He may still be adjusting. But I'm not sure about foods that raise energy, hopefully someone does - my couch-potato-in-a-beagle's-body could use it! lol

May 9th, 2007, 09:19 PM
I feed half and half high protein with Canidae lamb and rice... Just because grain free is supposedly the "best", it might not be the best for your beasty. :shrug: Maybe he needs some veg.:D

May 9th, 2007, 09:28 PM
There are many reasons why your pup's energy level is low. When pups mature they tend to slow down a bit. If they have arthritis or pain they may need a bit of a push to get going. Have you noticed a reduction in activity level compared to last year? Goldens are susceptible to hypothyroidism. Does your dog gain weight easily? Are they loosing hair?
Perhaps you may wish to try supplimenting with Sea Greens by Holistic Blends or Seameal by Solid Gold to help stimulate the thyroid! (If that's what the problem is.)
BTW a good diet does make a difference in activity level. My senior sammy really responded to a better diet. If your dog is overweight they may tire easily. Good luck!:goodvibes:

May 9th, 2007, 09:49 PM
Prin...EVO has lots of veggies and so does Orijin..just no grains. ;)

May 10th, 2007, 09:33 AM
Hi Spirit - it looks like you and I may have similar-type dogs! Bobby - who will be 3 yrs old on June 15th, is the most laid-back dog I have ever met in my life! He has been like that since he was born. I am now transferring him to grain free kibble to see if that will help with his digestion and energy level and general well-being.

I've found with Bobby that mind games are much more interesting for him - playing hide and seek is a good one - he likes to figure things out for himself.

Good luck!

May 10th, 2007, 10:28 AM
haha! Ben's always been lower energy too. He lived (lives) for play, but he was sooooo calm as a puppy.

He gets the zoomies every day but they never last for long (a minute in the backyard and it's out of his system), and he LOVES to play with other dogs. He's 58lbs but quite small, has a good waist and some very slight "padding" on his ribs (he stand could lose 1 or 2lbs, so he's by no means under or overweight), so overall he's in excellent shape. He just won't chase a damn ball! Maybe he's bored?

Maybe I just need to find another game to play with him outside (or work on a motivational retrieve)? He goes nutty when I get on the ground with him (pouncing, running around me, etc), but I don't want to buy "grass pants". lol

I'll look into the sea greens. We do sell seameal at my work, so I'll have to read up on it a little more, and maybe give that a try. :thumbs up I did ask my vet if we should do a test and she said that he appeared to be in optimal health, and thyroid tests won't show up with any accuracy until at least 4 years of age.

His happy-go-lucky 'tra la la' attitude is fantastic most of the time, but can be a huge pain in the butt for me, when I want to outside and play (and he just wants to sniff things). :laughing: :frustrated:

May 10th, 2007, 10:32 AM
Spirit, can we switch dogs for awhile Bree has sooo much energie that i don't know what to do with her, she run and run but not for the ball either,eats everything in site !! but is no way calm out doors !! :laughing: :laughing: It would be nice if she was for a little while, so that i can do some yard work :laughing:

May 10th, 2007, 06:07 PM
I sure wish Riley was a bit less energy these days :rolleyes: . Maybe he just isn't into retrieving and would be better with a different activity. What about working on something like tracking? I've done a first level class with Riley and he absolutely loves it and gets very excited. I'm just starting the second level which progresses from "tracking" a scent through various terrain to "searching" an area. We are currently "searching" for cookies but do progress to searching for people or items.

May 10th, 2007, 07:39 PM
Wow, a low energy Golden. I didn't know they existed. It is normal for them as they age but if he is really low energy now and young that is not normal.
I have one that is laid back but when we are outside he never stops playing. My other one, Chloe, is the Energizer Bunny. At 7 she has more stamina and energy than dogs half her age and she is hypothyroid.
One excuse we hear often when people surrender a dog to us is that they cannot handle their energy level.
Food may be a factor but I think I would have him checked out at the vet, just in case.
It doesn't matter what I have fed my dogs their energy levels has remained high. Currently mine are eating Canidae, All Life Stages supplemented with sardines, beef and chicken.

May 10th, 2007, 08:54 PM
I gave the Solid Gold Seameal to my two for a few days & they became really itchy, but that's not going to be applicable for every single dog.

Remember, that there are other ingredients from which dogs can obtain energy from, other than grains/carbs. Though carbohydrates in the diet can supply a large amount of energy, fats/lipids also provide a great deal of energy as well. So, switching to a grain-free food would not decrease the energy level as long as there is a sufficient amount of fat in the diet. Further, there are other ingredients within the food, other than grains, that are used as sources of carbohydrates, such as vegetables. Although carbohydrates are not essential in the diet, it is the nutrients derived from them that are essential.

When I refer to 'energy,' I am not only referring to physical activity, but I am also referring to activity within the body, whch needs energy that is derived from the food. Many factors can determine a dog's energy needs: environmental weather conditions, gender, spay/neuter status, overall health, stage in life, activity level, age, breed, etc. Plus, some dogs have faster metabolisms than others, which will also effect their activity levels. One of my goldens never quits, while the other is more laid back & would prefer to just lay in the grass & sunbathe. :) Nothing wrong with that! A lot of it also has to do with termperament. It sounds like your golden is like my sunbather & that's OK! As long as the dog keeps trim through regular walking or some other type of exercise, that's all that matters.

Plus, the activity/energy level of my two decreases dramatically in the summer-they hate the hot, humid weather (so do I). They will only play outside for a little bit, then come in & take a nap sleeping ontop of the air conditioning vent. Even going to walks early in the morning & later in the evening, they're a bit sluggish in the summer. We all come alive in Spring, Fall, & Winter, & hybernate in the summer.

May 10th, 2007, 09:18 PM
I don't believe there is a food that can raise energy levels, as excess energy in the form of food just get peed or pooped out.
Ginseng may work, however I would definitely get a blood test, if this is a recent occurrance, and not due to maturing etc

May 10th, 2007, 09:52 PM
I don't believe there is a food that can raise energy levels....

Certain nutrients can provide more energy, if needed. That is why lacating dogs, working dogs, etc. require a food that provides a higher level of certain nutrients within a food to provide energy to meet those demands.

May 11th, 2007, 10:15 AM
Well maybe I should try grain free then... it would be in a couple months anyway before I finish what I have here. I'm not at all worried, because he will play all day long if I let him (ie. dog park, friends house, etc). He's just not a high runner. His cousin runs, and runs, and runs (and fast!), then he runs some more. It's SO funny to watch Ben. He'll sort of follow around at a slow run, but he never tries to catch up. And after a while, he'll come over to me and give me a big smily face look as if to say "What the heck is up with my cousin over there? I want to play and all he wants to do is run! I'm just gonna hang out here. Got a treat?" It's cute. :lovestruck:

May 12th, 2007, 03:07 PM
Certain foods do give more "energy", but this equates to "calories" not increased energy levels, or increase in excess energy. Energy in its simpliest terms is equal to the amount of fuel each nutrient provides, excess energy (calories) to a certain extent may be stored as fat, and the residual excreted in the urine sometimes as ammonia or nitrogen ( as in the case of excess protein) or simply flushed away.

May 13th, 2007, 10:34 AM
But because meat takes more energy to digest, wouldn't that mean that I need a diet higher in carbs or veggies? (In Evo, for example) How much of it is meat protein, and how much is from other sources? Even NB vegetarian food is 18% protein...

May 14th, 2007, 08:10 AM
its like giving candy to a kid. The simple carbs break down fast and give a 'sugar' high, followed by a crash. (due to a spike in insulin) Where as a good meal of complex carbs, fats and proteins give a steady even 'normal energy level, and no crash.

Evo is high in fat, which is where your dog will derive most of their energy from. Dogs have not evolved like humans to use carbs for energy. I do speed sports with my dogs. I need lots of energy to race or do agility. Its basically a day of sprints. I want my dogs to have enough in 'the tank' to be able to sprint at top speed multiple times per day, not just once. They get extra fat in the dinner the night before and a light breakfast (the don't normally get a breakfast) with a dolop of good fats early in the AM the morning of.

Maybe your dog just isn't a high energy dogs. I have met a few goldens (conformation breeding not field) that once they matured (3+) just weren't into running around. They liked being with their ppl and going for hikes, but weren't crazy running around kinda dogs. So if your dog has no medical issues, and is on a good diet, just accept your dog they way he is! Not every human is a driven athlete :D

*edited to add*
Your dog food should be at least 30% protein if you are trying to mimic a 'natural' diet. You must remember kibble is dried. If you were to take a raw diet and dehydrate it the protein would be be upwards of 40%

May 14th, 2007, 10:16 AM
They liked being with their ppl and going for hikes, but weren't crazy running around kinda dogs. So if your dog has no medical issues, and is on a good diet, just accept your dog they way he is! Not every human is a driven athlete :D

I can't even tell you how many people have said this to me. We go hiking all the time and he loves to run up and down the trails when we're on the mountains, but in my back yard (or even at the park - big open areas) it's a different story.

My manager at work has his 2.5 year old (unneutered male) cousin. A customer was commenting on how calm they both are, especially the older one. And my manager said "But guess which one runs laps when we go to the park" (the calm one, of course). Ben's energy level is pretty stable, no matter where we are (except on the trails). He's just a calmer happy go lucky dog. He LIVES to play, and that big ol' beluga smile never leaves his face, but when we do speed challenges in class, he (most of the time) comes in last and is more than happy to have just been a part of the group. LOL

I definitely sometimes regret buying a dog from show lines instead of working lines, but I do love my boy. Even if I do sometimes wish he was a border collie. :laughing: :lovestruck: :cloud9:

May 14th, 2007, 07:23 PM
I am very familiar with Ben's pedigree, being the owner of his father who has field titles, and can say there several dogs in his pedigree that have working titles, in various disciplines. His paternal grandfather, CH Suntory Loveit a Cherrybrook has multiple titles in obedience, agility and field. His maternal great grandfather, CH Rush Hills Haagen Daaz, also has similar titles. BOTH these dogs are well know stud dogs and were heavily used for stud because they proved their versatility. there are other dogs in the pedigree that have working titles too so I'm not sure why you think Ben comes from "show" lines? The breeding that produced Ben was carefully thought out so as to produce VERSATILE goldens that could easily move from the show ring to the field and also have the "golden temperment". Both myself and Ben's breeder believe we were successful in this endeavour as proven by the other pups in the litter now competing in the show ring and also training for agility, obedience and field work.
It's not always about being first in the race, rather it's about how well adjusted the dog is and can they do the work and have fun while doing it.

May 14th, 2007, 09:03 PM
Spirit the amount of calories supplied by protein and carbs are the same, however the body does have to work somewhat "harder" to turn protein into glucose.
In terms if the percentage of protein that is coming from meat versus plant, I would ask the manufacturer of the food, some will tell, some not....

May 19th, 2007, 11:21 AM
Well he's 58 lbs, but could stand to lose about 3 lbs, so I'm not going to mess with his diet for now, but I am going to reduce it slightly and maybe try some raw in the evenings (thanks, Inna). Some dogs are like "Gotta go! Gotta go! Gotta go!", and Ben's just... not. LOL! We went to the park the other day and he ran/played for 5 straight hours. Though when we threw the ball, all the other dogs would run after it and my little dork would just stand there and smile like "What are we doing?". He finally did get the ball though, only instead of bringing it to us, he decided to play a little game of pushing it under the water and watching it bounce back up (hitting all the other dogs in the face). :laughing:

I'm not at all worried, but I would love it if he showed some enthusiasm in our backyard, or even at work. When the other dogs gets up and excitedly greets someone, Ben will roll over onto his back and smile. "I'm cute too! Rub my belly". :lovestruck: Silly dog.

Dustyrd2: This thread is about how food related to energy levels. I know all I need to know about Ben's pedigree (he is my dog). Please stay on topic if you wish to reply.

May 19th, 2007, 11:46 PM
Ben sounds like he's pretty smart to me....doesn't see the point in chasing a ball, but likes to watch other dogs get smacked in the face with it. :laughing: . I'm wondering if you've ever had his thyroid level checked....sometimes that can make a dog a little less than energetic. Usually goes along with a few skin problems (hot spots) and a tendency to overweight if the thyroid function is low, although you've said he's not pudgy. Just a blood test to check it.
None of my previous keeshonds would fetch either. You could throw a stick or a ball and they'd just look at you like you had two heads. Little Baxter on the otherhand is quite the live wire and will chase after a ball or a stick if you throw it, must be the different breed lines :rolleyes: . I could use a low energy dog for a couple of days to recoup.


May 22nd, 2007, 11:14 AM
He's not boring, that's for sure! I did ask the vet a couple months ago about his thyroid, and she said that she saw absolutely NO reason to assume that he had a problem, but that even if I wanted to test him, the test wouldn't be accurate until he's about 4 years of age. He also has no skin problems, and his weight came from plain and simple inactivity. He has that neck injury, he was neutered, then we had months and months of rain, so a combination of all of the above mixed with lack of exercise (resting the limp) and going from puppy to adult food, is what caused the extra pounds. I think he looks great though. He's still a little thick on the ribs, but he's got a nice waist, a shiny coat, and he lives for play (even if it isn't at top speed).

We haven't been to our regular dog park in MONTHS, but we have been driving out of town more for dayhikes to build muscle. He loooooooves the trails. :lovestruck:

June 22nd, 2007, 10:40 AM

Someone should've warned me about this raw thing. I've decided to keep him on his regular kibble (easier, cheaper, works just fine), but since Ben can eat just about anything without getting the runs, I decided to occasionally give him raw on training days, and hoooolllyyy smokes. ZOOOOOOOOOOOOOM.

What do they put IN that stuff? :laughing:

PS. We have a new dog here too, which has helped a great deal with his daily activity levels (playing outside, etc). I don't care what anyone says... Two is definitely easier. :thumbs up