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 We feed less, but she gains weight!?!

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Thomas Brorsen Smidt
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PostSubject: We feed less, but she gains weight!?!   Fri Sep 11, 2015 6:05 pm

When we got Rjúpa she was 6 years old and 24 kg. Since her ideal weight is 23 kg we decided to put her on a "diet", i.e. feeding her less than her weight prescribed. We're feeding only raw and the guidelines that we found indicate that a dog should be eating about 2.5-3% of its body weight daily to maintain present weight. This meant 575 gr per day, but instead we fed her 460 gr per day so that she might lose some weight. After 5 weeks we put her on a scale and BAMM, 24.3 kg. How did that happen? We walk her minimum 2-3 hours per day and several times per week she's been going on 10 km runs, so she definitely gets her exercise... or what? We're first time owners, you tell us:) Did she maybe gain muscle? If she gets more muscular is it then ok that she is 24 kg and not her ideal weight? We heard somewhere that huskies can control their metabolism, but still... gaining weight from feeding less just seems ridiculous.

Anyone wanna tell us how much their dog weighs and how much they feed per day and how much they exercise, just so we get a feel for what's "normal"? Also, any info on that whole metabolism thing? Should we actually be feeding her 60% of what a dog her size should be getting? We've heard that, but it sounds crazy to us.

Right now we are feeding her just 300 gr per day and she seems fine, but I'd still like some input on this. Thanks a million in advance :-D

Here's our girl:
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MGoBlue
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PostSubject: Re: We feed less, but she gains weight!?!   Fri Sep 11, 2015 6:24 pm

Weight is just a number. It matters less than what they actually Look and Feel like. Ideal body condition includes the following (some of these can be difficult because of how much fur our babies have):
-Ribs easily felt but not seen. Thin layer of fat should be felt
-Waist (from above) and abdominal tuck (from the side) should be evident

If the above are met, I don't see the need to lose weight. The picture you provided looks like a healthy weight husky, though the angle is tough to tell. Where are you getting her ideal weight from?
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RedFlashFire05
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PostSubject: Re: We feed less, but she gains weight!?!   Fri Sep 11, 2015 7:21 pm

well said Sara. she look very beautiful and look like she is at a good weight but hard to tell in the picture.
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aljones
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PostSubject: Re: We feed less, but she gains weight!?!   Fri Sep 11, 2015 7:25 pm

I won't comment on her weight but that picture is absolutely beautiful!!!

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Artic_Wind
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PostSubject: Re: We feed less, but she gains weight!?!   Sat Sep 12, 2015 1:33 am

In that pic (STUNNING pic btw) she looks quite lean, and the fact she is wet underneath it brings up her coat some so her body lines show even more, I think personally that she is perfect. I just LOVE that pic!

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Thomas Brorsen Smidt
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PostSubject: Re: We feed less, but she gains weight!?!   Sat Sep 12, 2015 7:02 am

Thank you so much for answers... and the compliments, Rjúpa is blushing here next to me;) We got her ideal weight through her previous owner, who got it through the vet. However, it might be that the vet just felt she needed to lose a little and the owner mistook it for there being an ideal weight, who knows. Your answers really helped, thanks.

Last question: Does 300 gr of raw sound like way too little for a dog her size or just about right?
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MiyasMomma
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PostSubject: Re: We feed less, but she gains weight!?!   Sat Sep 12, 2015 2:56 pm

Welcome to the forum. You have a beautiful girl, and that pic is amazing. I agree with the others she looks great. Breed standard is just a base line, some dogs may be larger and some smaller, it really is based on activities that you do and what her parents were like in size. We do have a wonderful raw feed section here in the forum, which should help you. I did look up conversions for you, since I do feed a partial raw diet, and wanted to see how much you were feeding. Your numbers are a little off, to lose weight, indeed it is 2%, but that number would be 480 gr. I just think 300 gr is not enough, especially for a very active husky. I would strive to maintain her weight vs losing weight. So I would up that back to the 460-480 gr. Now to her weight, she is approximately 53 pounds, do you know her height at the withers? If she is a tall girl 53 pounds is not over weight, and more importantly it may be what works best for her. As I believe Sara mentioned, you want to feel a light layer of fat at the spine and hips, a shapely waist, and a good tuck. Huskies quite often appear to be large because of their fur. For example of weight and dogs....my Miya is somewhere around 25 inches tall and weighs between 60-70 pounds, and she is far from being fat, in fact I struggle to add weight, and I have decided that she prefers being in this weight range. Most huskies will self regulate. I hope that helped you out some, and again take a look at the raw feed section, it offers a wealth of knowledge.
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Thomas Brorsen Smidt
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PostSubject: Re: We feed less, but she gains weight!?!   Mon Sep 14, 2015 7:40 am

Thanks for the tip on feeding. I want to try upping her daily amount to 460 gr., but I am a bit reluctant. The reason is that she is suuuuper picky and the only way I have actually gotten her to eat things like bones, liver or fish is by letting her go hungry enough that she'll eat it. As a result she has eaten fairly little over the last month, which is why I thought she must have lost weight, but no, she actually gained 300 gr., which is what is so puzzling to me. So I'm afraid that if I up her daily intake that she'll just get fat.

Just measured her height and she is is 22 inches at the withers, minus the fur. Does that sound reasonable for a 53 pound girl?

Thanks again for all your help. This is a super nice forum:) Here's another picture of Rjúpa chilling on the mountain by our home town Vík on the Icelandic South Coast:
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Thomas Brorsen Smidt
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PostSubject: Re: We feed less, but she gains weight!?!   Mon Sep 14, 2015 7:42 am

P.S. we rarely feed conventional treats like cheese and other potential weight gainers
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MiyasMomma
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PostSubject: Re: We feed less, but she gains weight!?!   Mon Sep 14, 2015 2:40 pm

At 22 inches she is at the top of breed standard for a female. 23 kg is the top on weight for breed standard female. So she is at the top of breed standard for height and weight. I don't think there is much difference between 23 kg and 24kg. My girl is the epitome of picky, lol. So I do understand. I am more successful at feeding once a day, in the evening. You may want to try her bones at a different time of day as a treat vs any other type of treats. As far as fish, I opt for sardines packed in water, again can be used as treats vs a meal. Bones should not be a significant source of calories, meat and fat is where most calories come from. It does sound like you do give her ample exercise, I also think that the 460 g food should be a good amount for her, 300 just seems too light. I also think maintaining her weight is better than to try and lose. It is also dependent on weather, so if it's warm out she may not eat as much, and corresponds to her activity level. When it is cool out she may eat more, but is also more active. Miya is not thrilled with liver, so I do have to trick her and give as a treat. A lot of the feeding has to be a trial and error situation, especially with picky eaters. I am wondering if you feed home made raw? Vs prepackage. I feed homemade raw, and perhaps, if that is what you do, grinding up liver with a ground meat may entice her to eat organ meat for you. On the weight gain, it could be from her activity level, like you said gaining muscle. She may not have had as much exercise before you got her, and this would make sense that she has converted her weight some. Do you know what her background is? As far as exercise and food before you got her?
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Thomas Brorsen Smidt
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PostSubject: Re: We feed less, but she gains weight!?!   Mon Sep 14, 2015 6:25 pm

Yeah, I also just feed in the evening, seems to work quite well. Except bones, she gets those right after a long hike or something; then she eats half, buries the rest and – get this – never finds them again, lol. Unfortunately, sardines are not available on these parts. I do get fresh water arctic char straight out of the river though and she really dislikes it, which is just puzzling. However, she has been eating slightly more of it on the days when she realised that it was the only thing on the menu.

all of the raw is home made. There really is no other option out here. You can feed Pedigree or you can feed homemade raw, so most go for the sensible last solution:) Just fed her a half hour ago after a day of pretty heavy exercise. She had a 1.5 hour walk in the morning, an hour at noon and then we went on a 2.5 hour combined caniclimb and hike. She got raw lamb and chicken necks, as well as liver fried for 5 seconds and mixed with a bit of peanut butter. She ate a lot until suddenly...she just stopped. Didn't even help encouraging her or hand feeding her. Weighed the left-overs and she had eaten 350 gr. I'm gonna continue offering her 460 gr., but if it continues like this I should probably just accept that she is an individual with slow metabolism or something.

As far as her history goes, she was used to being fed a mix of commercial and raw and I don't think exercise was always a daily routine
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amymeme
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PostSubject: Re: We feed less, but she gains weight!?!   Tue Sep 15, 2015 12:12 am

@Thomas Brorsen Smidt wrote:

liver fried for 5 seconds and mixed with a bit of peanut butter.


lol! Now that just sounds plain gross... lol! lol!

At least from a human point of view.
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Thomas Brorsen Smidt
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PostSubject: Re: We feed less, but she gains weight!?!   Tue Sep 15, 2015 5:36 am

@amymeme wrote:

lol!  Now that just sounds plain gross... lol! lol!

At least from a human point of view.


Hahaha, you'd be surprised the effect it has on a pooch that never gets near raw liver :-D omnomnomnomnom
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amymeme
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PostSubject: Re: We feed less, but she gains weight!?!   Tue Sep 15, 2015 11:50 am

@Thomas Brorsen Smidt wrote:

@amymeme wrote:

lol!  Now that just sounds plain gross... lol! lol!

At least from a human point of view.



Hahaha, you'd be surprised the effect it has on a pooch that never gets near raw liver :-D omnomnomnomnom

I can well imagine - Ami and Archer have eaten some fairly awful things and looked very happy doing it Rolling Eyes
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