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 Weight Gain Needed & Food Swapping Help

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jesselpark
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PostSubject: Weight Gain Needed & Food Swapping Help   Wed Aug 05, 2015 11:32 am

Hi all,

I have posted here before about Aspen's tummy's problems and soft stools etc, I read a post about THK Perfect Form and that has been my savior and lifeline. If any husky has soft stool, that is THE cure.

My two questions today are:

1) Can anyone give me advice on how to get Aspen to gain weight?
He is 3 years old, male, I think 57 lbs last time I recall from the vet. He looks great, coat is amazing, and appearance is good but lately when you run your hand over his back you can noticeably feel all his bones protrude on the top and now I'm starting to be able to feel his side ribs easier than before. Granted, I have furminated the crap out of him and his undercoat is pretty much all out, but I feel like he is skinny/a bit underweight

2) How often do people switch their dog food flavors? I have been through everything under the sun, went from Orijen , to Acana, then to TOTW, then back to Acana now. Thought his soft stools were due to the too high protein, then went to Acana Pacifica the fish one, went well for awhile, then feel like he didn't like it anymore, then went to TOTW Pacific stream, same thing, at first liked it but after several bags he wasn't eager to eat it at all, then went back to Acana.. I have been alternating a bit with Acana Grasslands and Pacifica but I'm wondering-- how often do people switch the flavors? every couple bags? never?

Aspen used to crush food when the bowl hit the ground ASAP, idk if that was because he was a puppy/younger or what, but now when he eats, he like slowly slowly eats his food,sometimes picking up some kibbles and spitting them out and eating other areas, might leave some alone. Is that because he's older now?

Any help on how to help a husky gain weight would be great. Read one post about Satin Balls, so might give that a try. I haven't really explored the raw food option because I don't even want to chance dooming myself with his diarrhea escapades. I feed him 1 cup, 3x a day. Breakfast, lunch, dinner. Are there any treats or etc that people know can add weight quickly?

THANK YOU!
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RedFlashFire05
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PostSubject: Re: Weight Gain Needed & Food Swapping Help   Wed Aug 05, 2015 3:24 pm

some time they do skip meals, but lose or not firm stool could be a sign of over feeding, had to decrease food for my guy every so often. pumpkin will also help firm up the stool. um... if you thinking of raw i there is a good place to start http://www.k9instinct.com/store/c1/Featured_Products.html they have easy to fallow recipe books, i bought one for home made food. my boys love it. Leo gets a mix of Dr. Tim's Kinesis All Life Stages and home made food.
hope it helps, and he gets better.
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MiyasMomma
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PostSubject: Re: Weight Gain Needed & Food Swapping Help   Wed Aug 05, 2015 3:46 pm

Hey Jessel....glad you gave us an update.

Aspen is over a year now, right? 3 cups of food is a lot for a husky. Typically huskies eat 20-25% less than what is recommended on the bag. So his lack of interest may be do to not requiring as much. Also it is summertime, and the requirements are less as well, especially if it's hot and exercise has decreased.

Many people rotate brands, many rotate flavors. Since Aspen has had such a hard time with food, I would suggest sticking to one brand and rotate flavors within the brand, that works best for his tummy. With Miya I have fed her TOTW Bison flavor exclusively, since that is the only brand and flavor she has liked and is pretty consistent at eating, and doesn't upset her tummy. What I have done for her is to include raw, or my own homemade food. The forum has a great raw section as well as what Ronin, posted above me, posted. For Miya to increase her weight.....I feed 1-2 cups kibble and include 3-6 ounces cooked 85/15 hamburger or cooked turkey burger, and mixed it in her kibble. I have also given her cooked chicken. I will feed the cooked, not so much for the nutritional value, but more for the fat and protein to gain weight. I never include bone, but always include fat and grizzle. You can also include any beef or chicken scraps from your dinner, just to bulk up his food. Word to the wise on table scraps.....firstly never feed scraps while you are eating your meal, do not want to encourage begging. And Secondly make sure there is no added spices to scraps, pepper, onion, salt, etc, are not safe for dogs. I will include garlic in extreme small doses, since I feel it is beneficial, (small as in less than 1/8 teaspoon every 3 days or so), larger quantities of garlic may not be safe for dogs.

As far as raw.....I wouldn't worry so much on the loose stools, raw when bone is included actually firms up stool, i have never seen Miya have loose stools when she eats raw.
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jesselpark
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PostSubject: Re: Weight Gain Needed & Food Swapping Help   Thu Aug 06, 2015 10:27 am

Yeah I'm not too concerned about the stool issues anymore.. mainly just the weight gain. Over the past couple days he has actually been vomitting which is odd, but his stools are still pretty hard/decent.

Yeah Aspen is 3 years now, time sure flies. I feel as though if I feed him less (what normal huskies eat / what I used to..) he will definitely be losing weight much quicker than he is now?? Perhaps it is the summertime and it's hot around here, but he's super lazy/lethargic/doesn't even move when he's laying down in his corner. (I know this is a husky thing, and Aspen in particular has always been a pretty calm/relaxed/lazy guy, so this doesn't necessarily alarm me too much).

Question about adding the cooked hamburger etc... isn't this going to be a flavor shock to him? i.e. if I'm adding all this tasty delicious cooked hamburger meat on top of his kibble, isn't that going to deter him from his kibble even more?  Question What if he starts to always expect the cooked hamburger meat and then never really likes to eat kibble? --> I don't expect this to be the case, but just curious.

Do you cook the hamburger meat all the way through? Use any oil for the skillet or just straight meat?

Thanks!!
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MiyasMomma
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PostSubject: Re: Weight Gain Needed & Food Swapping Help   Thu Aug 06, 2015 2:24 pm

Jessel,

With Miya, she was fed the cooked meat for many months. I would say the last 3 months I may give her the cooked meat once or twice a week. so she did not get picky with kibble only. Miya has never been a huge kibble fan, so for her to eat kibble with nothing added surprised me. I do cook it in variations, so some days I cook in water and make a gravy, some days I cook with a teeny bit of butter, just enough to not let meat stick, but it does yummy up the meat (I know butter may not seem a good choice, but, imho, it seems less processed than oil and margarine. I do feel certain olive oil and coconut oils have benefits, so that would work, they are just way too expensive and hard to get where I live). The cooking well it is only 4-6 ounces I would lightly cook, to cooked through not burnt, I tend to leave it pink, btw, raw hamburger is totally safe, so cook until you are happy, again I would judge how Aspen eats it. I would stick to 85/15 or 80/20 hamburger(The 85 is protein content, and the 15 is fat). I wanted to share this, my mother fed our gsd, some 20+ years ago, a hamburger mixed with his kibble daily. Back then you could not find grain free kibble, and she felt he needed more protein. He was a beautiful, glossy haired, healthy dog. The memory of how she fed him, is what made me think that this would encourage my girl to eat. I too could feel every bone in her body, and I hated that feeling, and knowing she was missing something. I do feed cooked meat about twice a week, and raw about 3 times a week, and then I let her chill and feed kibble only about twice a week. For me it was a rotation based feeding, no boredom, no getting used to something. Her coat is the shiniest I have ever seen on a dog(I don't want to sound like I am bragging, and I can not get a pic to show justice to her coat), it is also the softest coat(again not bragging, lol), and I can no longer feel her bones, yet she is still very sleek, so at a good weight. There are days where she may skip a meal(I feed once a day), but over all, no more tummy issues, and her meal skipping is one day compared to several days in a row, so I am happy with that. One last thing I do mix it in her kibble vs just topping off, that way meat juice/gravy/smaller pieces will coat her kibble, that way she won't just pick off the good stuff. I hope this helps, and again thank you for the update.
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RedFlashFire05
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PostSubject: Re: Weight Gain Needed & Food Swapping Help   Thu Aug 06, 2015 3:51 pm

i agree with Renee, the meat juices will mix with the kibble and they will defiantly eat it. best of luck keep us posted.
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jesselpark
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PostSubject: Re: Weight Gain Needed & Food Swapping Help   Thu Aug 06, 2015 7:38 pm

Great I'll give that a try. Thank you Renee and everyone else !! Very Happy

So you said that you only feed her once a day. In that case, I want aspen to gain weight and continue to feed him 3x a day (1 cup 3x a day), or at least 2x a day because some meals he doesn't eat. Should I just load up the hamburger into one meal, or spread that out over each meal?

Do you recommend feeding him the hamburger meat in the morning, afternoon, evening? Does it matter?

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RedFlashFire05
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PostSubject: Re: Weight Gain Needed & Food Swapping Help   Fri Aug 07, 2015 4:01 pm

i usually feed Leo twice a day and he get home cook food mix with kibble both times. he eats about 1 1/2 cups total for the day. it depends if want to feed smaller meals vs to bigger meals.
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MiyasMomma
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PostSubject: Re: Weight Gain Needed & Food Swapping Help   Fri Aug 07, 2015 4:14 pm

Jessel, I agree with Ronin. It doesn't really matter. With Miya she doesn't have much of an appetite in the morning, so I give her a treat, and the evening when we sit for dinner is when she gets her big meal. It's really what type of mood he is in and what is convenient for you. With his lack of interest, it may be best to go with the twice a day feeding, perhaps he will have a better appetite that way. Also with the addition of the meat and fat, you can cut back some on the kibble, and that may increase his desire to eat. It is a long process to get them to gain, especially in the summer, so be patient and I would assume in a couple of months you will notice an improvement on his weight. Smile I wish you continued luck, I know it has been a long and difficult road with Aspen, so please continue with the updates!
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loudlucky
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PostSubject: Re: Weight Gain Needed & Food Swapping Help   Tue Aug 11, 2015 12:58 pm

I have to free feed Smokey her kibble as per vets instructions because she is only 19kg and you can clearly feel her bones! The vet said she is underweight for her size, but there is nothing wrong with her... he believes her to be from a racing bloodline and she will rarely eat more than 1.5 cups per day ;-) it does not matter if I put 5 cups in her bowl, she will either not eat anything for 2-3 days or only eat about a cup of food. I have tried mixing the same brand's different flavours or alternating flavours every day, but that makes no difference to her! Mixing a bit of canned food (same brand as kibble) does get her to eat more times, but not more food than usual... also she rarely eats when it's warm weather (which we have most of the time). I have given up on bulking her up, but she gets hurt really easily because of this seeing that there's no fat to protect her!
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loudlucky
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PostSubject: Re: Weight Gain Needed & Food Swapping Help   Tue Aug 11, 2015 1:01 pm

Also, Smokey prefers to eat between 2 and 4am! The breeder worked shifts so he fed the pups at weird times and I guess she got used to it... its when I actually get food into her, so I make sure there's a bowl of kibble in her crate every evening!
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