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 Koda has some food problems

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tyler.jenkins.125
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PostSubject: Koda has some food problems   Mon Jul 13, 2015 2:05 pm

Ok, this is something I've been wanting to ask, but haven't yet. So koda is super skinny. I know huskies are skinny dogs, but she's REALLY skinny. I feed her Orijen puppy food and she eats it just fine. I had her at the vet, and he said leave food down all the time; However, he also told that to two of my friends that have beagles. Should I be regulating her food intake or should I let her self regulate?
My vet is a great vet, and he knows what he is doing, but he is a farm vet so he is very country. Like, He wears overalls to the office country...

Do any of you have opinions of orijen? I used blue wilderness for a few weeks and Koda hated it, and she didn't do too well on it. Since I've switched, Her coat is silky soft and she has good "bathroom habits". I just wanted to know if any of you have used it, and how you feel about it?

I dealt with a little food aggression when she was about 10 - 14 weeks old, but I've been working with her a lot and she wags her tail when I touch her while she is eating! She doesn't get food aggressive with me anymore, but with other people she isn't great. She isn't bad; She doesn't show her teeth, She just gives a low growl and stops eating. Kind of like her saying "Leave me alone". It's a very moderate food, and sometimes toy aggression, but it's with other people. It's not that I want random strangers to love on her while she is chowing down, but I do have roommates, a dog walker, and ( as all of you know already) huskies are a trigger for people having cute aggression, and sometimes those people will just start petting her without asking if it's okay. I don't feed her around strangers, but I want to train for the off chance she finds something while I'm not looking. If she found something tasty in the grass, who's to say she won't get snappy? So i guess the question is, How do I start training her to trust strangers more?

Sorry for doing three questions in one, but I figured it would save some time.
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PostSubject: Re: Koda has some food problems   Mon Jul 13, 2015 2:18 pm

I'll try to answer some of your questions...

In terms of weight, what does your vet say about it? How much are you feeding her currently? I personally am not a fan of free feeding, particularly puppies. I know my older boy when he was little would eat whatever was in front of him and my 6 month old is still in that phase. A huge benefit other than weight management to scheduled feedings is staying on a schedule! It's particularly good with puppies to keep a pretty consistent routine and for you to know when they generally have to potty.

I have never feed Orijen, but from what I can tell, there is nothing questionable about it as long as your dog likes it and does well on it.

The training the possessiveness out around strangers is tougher, because you can't control strangers. The best way to start that I can think of is to always have small treats (we prefer Zuke's minis) on you and anytime a stranger wants to interact with Koda, have them give him a small treat first. That will at least start positive association with strange situations.
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PostSubject: Re: Koda has some food problems   Mon Jul 13, 2015 2:58 pm

He agreed she was pretty skinny. He also told me I could put some cat food with her food to fatten her up, but I'm not worried about how she looks, more that she is getting enough nourishment.

Probably around a cup and a half. I have been free feeding her, but she's a grazer. She will eat a tiny bit, then go play with a toy. I can fill her bowl up and she won't finish it for two or three days, and it's a little bowl.

That's is a good idea! I'll have to start trying that. She is normally great, but people rush her so much, it just makes me nervous...
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PostSubject: Re: Koda has some food problems   Mon Jul 13, 2015 3:02 pm

A cup and a half does not sound like enough to me, what is that compared to Orijen's feeding recommendations? It is said a lot here, a healthy do will not starve itself. So to get on a scheduled feeding, put the food down at a specific time(s) and leave it down for a set amount of time (half hour, hour, whatever you want). At the end of that time, pick it up. If she hasn't eaten, oh well. Maybe she will be hungry enough to eat at her next opportunity. She will learn quickly that she should eat the food when it is offered.

I would tend to disagree about the cat food. There are different ingredients in cat food that aren't particularly meant for dogs (ash). If you want to add weight, look up recipes for Satin Balls. Many people here have used/recommended them.
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PostSubject: Re: Koda has some food problems   Mon Jul 13, 2015 3:25 pm

Yeah, when he said cat food I thought that was off.

I thought maybe it being available from 4-10 probably makes her not feel like she needs it.

It looks like she should be getting 2-2 1/2 cups a day, but I've been just refilling her bowl when its empty so I can't accurately tell you it's a certain amount.

I'm going to start feeding on a schedule and see what changes. Thank you for your advice!
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PostSubject: Re: Koda has some food problems   Mon Jul 13, 2015 3:27 pm

Tyler, Sara's managed to pre-empt a couple of my messages (she types faster, obviously) and I don't disagree with anything she's said so there's no sense in duplicating her responses.

Some vets will look at a greyhound and think "that's one skinny dog!" but they also know that the breed is sleek. Some vets look at a Husky and think "That's one skinny dog!" no knowing that it's more common for a healthy Husky to be svelte - I think most expect the working dogs to be heavier.

What would help here, do you know how tall Koda is and how much she weighs? Having some idea, we might agree with the vet or we might disagree since we know the breed better than he might.

My other comment that Sara kind of mentions in passing, you said that Koda has had a tendency to be possessive in the past - free feeding her is probably only going to encourage that predilection. In your case Sara's first paragraph above definitely applies.

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tyler.jenkins.125
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PostSubject: Re: Koda has some food problems   Mon Jul 13, 2015 3:40 pm

I'm not sure of her height or height right now, but I'll update with them soon.

Like I said he's a farm doctor so he does a lot of farm animals, but has a vet office for a few hours a day for WAY cheaper than any vet around. He knows a lot about dogs, but I highly doubt he has dealt with huskies in the past so you are probably very correct.

I guess I never thought of it that way, but now that I think about it, It would make sense for the free feeding to encourage food aggression.
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PostSubject: Re: Koda has some food problems   Mon Jul 13, 2015 4:10 pm

Tyler, Koda may be in a little growth spurt, and may look lanky. There was a significant difference in looks on Miya going from 4 months to 5 months and then again at around 8 months. I agree you are not feeding her enough. A good thing to look for, overfeeding = pudding poop. If her poop is solid and formed she isn't being overfed. So with that said, as a pup I would say anywhere between 2-3 cups a day is fine, Orijen is one of the best brands out there. If you get pudding poop, reduce by an 1/8 of a cup at a time, until solid poops.

As far as vets are concerned. I grew up with country vets, and currently have country vets, they do not necessarily know the latest and greatest vet medicine, however, if you are comfortable still go to him, what I have decided in my situation is pick one you like and stick with that one only. Then gather as much info through the forum, and by reading, so you know how to deal with keeping a healthy pet. My current vet was very pleased with my knowledge about feeding, he admitted that they are so busy dealing with farm animals, and sheep dogs, that they do not have a lot of time to spend on new research, and they get very limited training in vet schools on proper feeding. So coming here and asking is probably your better bet.

As far as strangers, Sara and Al are right on with advice. Through good training with your girl, as she ages, she will be better, the reality with huskies, you have to train and know your dog, some become accepting of strangers, and some have to be worked with diligently to get your dog ok with strangers. Every dog is different. Knowing your dog and how she reacts to people, and then training your dog and people is best. Right now she is cute and everybody wants to see her and pet her, as she grows older and bigger, hopefully people respect her and ask first. With my girl I put her in a sit and have her next to me, so that people have to ask to pet her, because of her size, but also, because they would invade my space as well.
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PostSubject: Re: Koda has some food problems   Mon Jul 13, 2015 4:37 pm

I thought it might be a growth spurt as well because she looks like a gazelle.lol!  The cup and a half is less that I'm only feeding her that much and more that she just doesn't eat. There are some days she eats more, and some days she will only eat about that much.

I do love my vet, and will continue to use him because he does know what he's doing, but I think feeding is a grey area with dogs. I needed to ask because I have never been around someone who regulates their dog's intake (To get where my family is from, drive south until you hear a banjo...), but I have read that I'm supposed to. I want whats best for her, so if it's better to schedule I will start doing that.

She's good with strangers loving on her. The little social butterfly causes way more people to approach me than I'm comfortable with. So it's not necessarily that she doesn't relate well to them, I just worry she will find something tasty right when someone rushes her to love on her.
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MiyasMomma
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PostSubject: Re: Koda has some food problems   Mon Jul 13, 2015 5:02 pm

Control your controllables Tyler, be aware of your surroundings. We went to a training facility yesterday and their were dog treats all over, my girl at 2.5 years old never paid attention to the treats, yet all 4 of the gsd's stopped what they were doing to pick up stray pieces. Same at Petsmart, went there to to treat Miya for being such a good girl. The cashier asked if she could give Miya a treat, sure we tell her, Miya did the sit for her and she went to give her a treat and Miya just walked away. Miya is very picky with food, and can be at times a little possessive of her food bowl. She regulates herself well, she can go a few days with barely eating a thing. I do a little combo of what Al and Sara mentions. She is fed once a day, but under a year I fed her twice a day. I did put down, but picked back up say about a half hour. I do however, now that she is older, allow her to graze, since she is skinny most of the time. I also hand fed, and still hand feed most of the food she eats, her kibble, she must wait until one of us releases her. So imho, I would try and work on her waiting to eat and hand feed with her bowl.
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PostSubject: Re: Koda has some food problems   Mon Jul 13, 2015 7:00 pm

Thank you so much for the advice Renee! I'm going to put all that was said into practice and see how it goes!
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tyler.jenkins.125
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PostSubject: Re: Koda has some food problems   Wed Sep 23, 2015 10:48 am

So, I'm resurrecting this topic because my Koda is eating two cups a day at 7 1/2 months. Orijen says on the bag to feed 2 1/4 cup a day and Koda is back to 2 cups, sometimes less. Other people posting about food are feeding WAY more than I am. She looks VERY skinny to me, but you guys might know better.







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MiyasMomma
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PostSubject: Re: Koda has some food problems   Wed Sep 23, 2015 12:08 pm

Tyler, Most of the huskies here on the forum would be considered show lines. Koda, Miya, and Al's Avalanche would be considered working lines. They will have longer legs, shorter hair, and a more svelte, sleek line to them. Miya was and still is thin. Al will attest that Avalanche is no where near the shape of his Sasha. If you haven't already take a look at Miya's scrapbook(make sure you find mine and not any of the other Miya's), and take a look at Al's latest post, Avalanche, Sasha, And me.....

Huskies in general eat 20-25% less food than other breeds, and therefore that amount as prescribed on dog food packages may be less. I know she is still under a year, but Miya looked more adult at that age, just like Koda. Let her eat what she wants, I know most pups her age will eat 3 cups, but that is not her body shape. She is designed to be sleek. She looks good, her back end is thin, but will fill out as she matures.

If you really want her to get a little meat on her bones, then you need to add more fat and meat. Since you feed a good amount of kibble, you can add 2-3 ounces of turkey burger, or 85/15 hamburger to her meal once a day. Cooked and added into her kibble, or raw. since you are not relying on the meat for nutritional purposes cooking it is fine. Miya has never been a big kibble eater, that's why I do supplement with raw, but to vary taste and texture I have done the cooking up of turkey and hamburger, and mix it in, to entice her to complete her meal.

I know it is frustrating. In time she will fill out. I love the looks of a husky, but I do prefer the look of a working line, the svelte, sleek look appeals to me. It may take time for you to get used to and understand or accept, I know it did for me, but as long as the vet says she is 100% healthy, I would not worry much on how she looks. Smile
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PostSubject: Re: Koda has some food problems   Wed Sep 23, 2015 1:09 pm

I thought I had the issue from before fixed, but alas it has begun again. I think I'm just going to have to switch all together (Which I hate). I've been entertaining the idea of switching to raw. I've read many of the topics on here about doing raw including Valerie's describing in detail how to make it work, but I struggle with finding a way to buy all of this stuff, or if it is financially possible. I may make a post in the raw feeding forum to inquire where to purchase all of the meats.
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PostSubject: Re: Koda has some food problems   Wed Sep 23, 2015 1:20 pm

Tyler, I don't know why, but it does seem to be that more of the females have this issue over the males. I remember Liz's dog Layla having similar issues at the 8 month old mark. I also posted a thread back in January, because everyone who met Miya would say she was so skinny.

For me I don't have a dedicated freezer to do all raw. It may benefit you and Koda to do a partial raw, until funds are better for you. Raw, especially partial raw feeding can be as easy as buying chicken leg quarters and feeding her a leg quarter every couple of days and just lower the amount of her kibble, to about a cup. So you could try doing a partial raw feeding. Indeed read up and post a thread to get the rest who feed raw to help.
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PostSubject: Re: Koda has some food problems   Wed Sep 23, 2015 8:10 pm

Tyler, Koda looks fine to me, and even the show lines can appear *too* skinny. Koda is still growing, will still go thru little awkward phases, but to me, she looks great! When Mishka gets wet, she looks like a Chiuahuah Razz Koda has a bit shorter coat, so it hugs her lines more than a heavier, thicker coat. Don't worry! Smile

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PostSubject: Re: Koda has some food problems   Wed Sep 23, 2015 8:15 pm

she looks beautiful. i agree with Jimmy she might be going though that awkward stage.
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PostSubject: Re: Koda has some food problems   Thu Sep 24, 2015 11:01 am

Thanks guys! Nervous dad over here can't handle all the stress...
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PostSubject: Re: Koda has some food problems   Thu Sep 24, 2015 11:15 am

She looks fine, she looks just like my boy did when he went through his lanky teenage phase. He filled in nicely by the age of 3, but before 2.5 years he was very lean (but a healthy husky lean!).

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