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Need to put weight on Irish Setter

Discuss ways to improve the quality of your dog's life and longevity through proper nutrition; a place for all of your questions and answers about feeding your pooch!

Please keep discussions fun, friendly, and helpful at all times. Non-informative posts criticizing a particular brand or another poster’s choice of food are not allowed in this Forum. References to any brand of food as "junk," "garbage," or other harsh names will be removed.

  
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Shiver Me- Timbers- "Charlie"

My Little Dog, a- heartbeat at my- feet.<3
 
 
Barked: Sun Feb 10, '13 4:21pm PST 
So... this dog is approximately a year and two months old or so.

She's, sadly, quite underweight, even for her breed.

I can SEE her ribs and hips protruding, and feel her bones all too well. I know what a healthy weight on a dog is... But this is not healthy.

I'm wondering if they weren't feeding her ENOUGH perhaps? Maybe they underestimated how much food she would need for being such a highly active farm dog? They just moved back to the city, and I want to help them do the best they can for her.

She's currently fed Acana - is there anything that can be added to it to help pack on a few calories in a healthy way?

I'm aware she should be filling out until about two years old or so, but instead of filling out, she's lost a lot of weight while on the farm.

Maybe canned food? Or anything human grade that can be added?
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Conker

OBEY ME!
 
 
Barked: Sun Feb 10, '13 4:28pm PST 
Crack an egg over her kibble, and/or mix in a bit of raw beef or other meat. Give her a meaty bone to munch on every now and then, maybe a small bowl of plain oatmeal. Stuff like that. You can increase her overall kibble intake as long as it doesn't cause digestive upset. How many times a day is she fed? If only once, maybe switch to twice a day instead.
Make sure she doesn't put weight on too quickly by overfeeding her. You want her to gain muscle, not fat, and too much food will cause fat to build up and that's a whole other issue.
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Mulder

Spooky Mulder
 
 
Barked: Sun Feb 10, '13 5:03pm PST 
Might want to consider bumping up the carbs a little in the diet.

If they are already on a high-ish protein/fat diet like Acana, but aren't maintaining good weight, then lets look at whats missing... try adding something like chickpeas (or most other beans) and sweet potatoes, along with fattier cuts of meat like chicken thighs (with skin) or (as mentioned) a higher fat ground beef. Fatty cuts of pork at also good, things like whole pig feet would be great.

Unless there is an allergy, not an outright EVIL idea to add in a grain like some whole oats, millet, or quinoa.
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Shiver Me- Timbers- "Charlie"

My Little Dog, a- heartbeat at my- feet.<3
 
 
Barked: Sun Feb 10, '13 6:40pm PST 
Thanks so much guys. I'll pass on the suggestions. She's so scrawny right now. I thought my friend was exaggerating when she said she was too skinny because they're a very lean breed as it is, but she's looking like a scrawny Ibizan hound with Irish Setter fur right now. She has gotten a little depressed too, though, as her best friend and companion recently died. But, I mean, she's eating fine. I fed her a bowl of food and she mowed right through it. I've got some raw bones they can take home for her, and I'll pass along the suggestions too.
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Mitchell- Rapp "Black- Ops"

1207085
 
 
Barked: Sun Feb 10, '13 7:40pm PST 
Hi there, has your friend had blood work done on her Irish to make sure there is nothing medically going on that may interfere with her getting to a proper weight? Not gaining weight can be caused by a few medical problems such as protein malabsorbtion to name one.
My 18 month old Golden, Mitchell, is on the slender side which I worry about all the time, he is eating raw for the most part along with Acana at times. He is not neutered and is extremely active, he hunts, hikes at least 4 miles a day, does tracking weekly along with his regular playtime with Madison. I have done full chemistry panels, CBC's and have seen our holistic Vet for their thoughts. All the Vets I work with have come to the same conclusion, Mitchell is very healthy, he is just an intact male who is very active. I am the one with the worry.
Mitchell is fed 3% of his ideal body wt with raw and I supplement with Acana, extra meats, raw meaty bones, lots of great foods, so I do consider his diet to be complete and he still is slim.
I agree with the posters who suggest adding more throughout the day. But I would consider having the Vet get some borderline bloodwork to make sure nothing is going on that the eye does not see. Certainly can't hurt and may help.
Best wishes and happy wt gain for the Irish.
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Shiver Me- Timbers- "Charlie"

My Little Dog, a- heartbeat at my- feet.<3
 
 
Barked: Sun Feb 10, '13 9:03pm PST 
She was planning to make a Vet appointment for her soon, so I'll mention that to her too.

This dog isn't just 'slim'. This dog, the more I look at her, the more she looks to me like the severe neglect cases that come into rescues, a skeleton with fur. It's terribly depressing and clearly unhealthy. She is/was extremely highly active though, and just gradually lost the weight as she got more and more exercise. I do think part of it was them underestimating how much of the dog food to feed her per her activity level too though.

My friend did mention adding chicken, but I pointed out that it's a lean meat, not a fatty one and wouldn't add much in terms of caloric potential and passed on the food additive suggestions. I'll talk more about it with her tomorrow, as it was extremely late when they got in and unloaded the truck.
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Conker

OBEY ME!
 
 
Barked: Sun Feb 10, '13 10:42pm PST 
Wow, that sounds terrible. Poor dog.

Chicken would be fine if it had skin on it. Chicken skin basically is fat, high caloric density there. Skin-on thighs or quarters would work. If they were bone-in, just adding a bit of liver would help round out the nutrients so it matched the kibble better. This is currently what I do with my Shiba who has a problem keeping weight on. He gets about 1 cup of kibble with a chunk of turkey neck, some ground beef, and a small bit of beef liver each day. That way the raw portion of his daily meals is balanced so nothing gets thrown off.
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Member Since
12/31/1969
 
 
Barked: Mon Feb 11, '13 9:53pm PST 
Thanks for share this information..little angel
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Uno

I'm huntin'- wabbits
 
 
Barked: Mon Feb 11, '13 10:00pm PST 
Do you know how much the dog eats? Maybe she can try Orijen instead
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Shiver Me- Timbers- "Charlie"

My Little Dog, a- heartbeat at my- feet.<3
 
 
Barked: Mon Feb 11, '13 11:01pm PST 
I just asked her today and she said she feeds four cups a day split into two cups twice a day. I don't think they could afford the extra expense of Orijen, as it's quite a bit pricier than Acana and her husband is already complaining about feeding Acana as is. Going off a rough guess because I don't know her dogs actual weight to size ratio - she looks like she should be a healthy 55 lbs for her height, but she's only probably about 40ish lbs. She's feeding almost double what the guidelines say, twice a day, and she has begun adding other things to supplement too. Today she added some canned food to the food, and she'll be giving some raw bones I'll be passing off her way as well. And she was very open to the beef, pork and carb suggestions too. She really wants to help this pup get to a healthy weight again. And she's booking a Vet appointment to check for underlying issues too.

You guys are all always so helpful. Thanks for all the suggestions and input!
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