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 Crazy New Husky Mom Concerns

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lynnroth
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Location : Pennsylvania

PostSubject: Crazy New Husky Mom Concerns   Thu Feb 02, 2017 12:15 pm

Wasn't sure what topic to post these two questions under, and really just looking for reassurance that everything is good and my worries are just typical dog mom things.

I noticed while grooming Jethro that his tail hairs are 'disfigured' due to his constant chewing and chasing of his tail. He will occasionally rip his tail hairs out of the tip, and I didn't think much of it until I noticed the un evenness. I've attached a picture. Is he causing permanent damage or should I leave him be?

Also I've noticed him getting huskier. And no, not more like a husky, but rather bigger. I hesitate to say fatter because I don't believe he is fat, because when feeling him it is literally his rib cage is larger causing him to look fuller and heavier. This seemed to have happened overnight, so I'm sure its probably just an awkward growth stage where the rest of him hasn't caught up (also have attached pictures of him from above to make sure he isn't fat). He is 17 weeks old and eating everything, we've increased his food intake by half a cup per meal, because 1 cup per meal 3 times a day never seemed to satisfy him. He would scarf down the cup then beg for more. He hasn't had any problems with over eating, and until now had never fully finished a meal. Just making sure it is in fact a growth spurt and not something to be concerned with.

Thanks for easing this moms anxiety!



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MiyasMomma
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Location : west Texas

PostSubject: Re: Crazy New Husky Mom Concerns   Thu Feb 02, 2017 3:05 pm

Lynn, as far as the food thing, I can not remember what you are feeding? Overall, he is in a growing stage and sometime around 8 months his eating should slow down, unless you are feeding a grain based food I would just do as you are doing and just keep an eye on him. He looks good, and at the moment he is just an awkward stage of development, some days they may look huge and other days skinny. He looks fine in the pics. So as far as that question, don't worry so much. Smile

The second issue is the problem I would be focusing on...........If he is not overly scratching himself, isn't chewing on his feet or other body parts, then.......it is a common problem with gsds, tail chasing and biting, I assume any breed will do it, especially a high drive breed such as a husky. The issue is boredom and or lack of exercise and training. It may become obsessive, so you need to redirect, not punish for this behavior and then rethink what activities you are doing with Jethro. Is he getting enough training time, is he getting enough play and exercise and lastly are you working his mind? My gsd girl will do this from time to time, although never to the extent of Jethro, I ask her to stop and immediately do something with her, it is her way of saying she is bored. She is 18 months old and have seen her do it a handful of times, and again I find some outlet for her to mentally and physically get tired. If you are busy perhaps a toy that will work his mind, there are games that you can make for him, go for a walk, practice obedience, get a chew like a raw meaty bone and antler a cow ear, something to distract his mind away from his tail. You seriously have to work on this because it can be an obsessive behavior, and or can harm himself if too much biting.

Lastly as I mentioned earlier if he is doing this with other body parts like his feet for example then he may have an allergy to something. So now is the time to observe and redirect and work his mind.
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lynnroth
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PostSubject: Re: Crazy New Husky Mom Concerns   Thu Feb 02, 2017 3:19 pm

We are working on it, ever since he started we've been working on it, but it hasn't been an issue or even obsessive. I've only noticed that his tail looks this way recently, so he may be doing it at night when we aren't watching. I always try to redirect with toys and other things, he gets walked and a short run and plenty of exercise every day. He does occasionally chew on his feet and we've been trying to figure out if it's boredom or an allergy. Nothing points to allergy and I'm guessing it's boredom, but I'm at a loss as to what more to do. I'm home all day with him and I have to balance between giving him all of my attention 24/7 and getting him to be more independent, because I don't want him to learn that he gets whatever he wants all day every day, I have to be able to do things like clean and cook dinner. He has puzzle toys and gets a frozen Kong, but I'm figuring out what to fill it with that will keep him occupied longer than 10 minutes.

As far as food, we feed him Royal Canin and the recommended feeding for his age is 3 and 3/8 cup per day, and we've increased that to 4 1/2 cups per day because he was still hungry at the previous amount.
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MiyasMomma
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PostSubject: Re: Crazy New Husky Mom Concerns   Thu Feb 02, 2017 3:42 pm

Lynn, I would switch to a better quality grain free food. Most huskies do not do well on grain inclusive foods, and you have to feed a whole lot more to fill them. It may indeed then be an allergy and not an obsessive issue with his tail. the kong I would freeze it and use some kibble and greek yogurt that has real sugar and not fake sugar (fake sugars can be very bad for a dog so no saccherine (spelling) or anything with Xylitol again spelling, lol). What type of price range is the Royal in and what type of dog food places are near you and I will happily recommend a different food. Last thing do you block off his crate if you use one? Meaning his crate is just big enough for him to turn around? If it's too big then yep he probably is doing it when crated and you are not seeing it.
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lynnroth
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PostSubject: Re: Crazy New Husky Mom Concerns   Thu Feb 02, 2017 4:14 pm

Our vet recommended Royal Canin and it is $50+ per large bag. We switched him to that from Iams smart health puppy becuase he was needing to eat more of it. We want a good food that gives a good cost to portion ratio. It seems that the higher priced options at our pet stores have the dog eating twice as much to get the correct amount of food. We didn't like blue Buffalo or wilderness because of that reason. We have a PetSmart and petco. We also don't want to switch so quickly again and mess with his digestive system unless it is necessary.

Our friends recommend Orajen but we don't have that brand available in our city. We gave him a Kong filled with plain yogurt and a few blueberries (we avoid the artificial sweeteners and other dangerous stuff for dogs) and today he has had runny stool and lots of gas so I am not giving him yogurt anymore because he could be lactose intolerant. We give him peanut butter but it doesn't freeze well in the Kong and he eats it too quickly to offer mind stimulation.

I'm frustrated because it feels like everything we do is always wrong. We research everything and make the best decision for our dog, yet it is still wrong. We monitored his chewing to check for fleas and allergies and there is no redness or skin irritation, we redirect with toys and yet it's still wrong. His crate was divided but he got too big and was uncomfortable with it because he gets hot and likes to move around in his sleep, so we put the crate in the coldest part of the house and removed the divider and he was doing well, but now that's wrong too. And if we don't crate him at night we are terrible because he could destroy things and get into things and could hurt himself. I'm just at a loss.
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MiyasMomma
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PostSubject: Re: Crazy New Husky Mom Concerns   Thu Feb 02, 2017 4:59 pm

Oh Lynn i am sorry, you are not doing anything wrong you are just new to huskies and maybe puppies. vets promote the foods they sell, they are not educated well in feeding and nutrition, and huskies are a unique breed, most do not process grains correctly. The kong try plain can pumpkin not pie filling, and see how he does with that, very healthy to give. It could be the kibble that is causing digestive issues, grains for huskies will cause loose poop. I can assure you feeding a grain free food you will feed less, it is more dense so the cost factor needs to be ignored some. In the $50 range Victor, Earthborn, Acana, Fromm, Merrick, Wellness, Canidae, Taste of the Wild. I believe that Petsmart or Petco makes their own grain free food, look at the labels, if it has corn in it, soy, wheat stay away. Potatoes, sweet potatoes seem to be digested better for huskies. Some of the kibble's I mentioned have a grain line and a grain free, just look at the label. Royal is not a high quality, grain free food. and is over priced. Any of the grain free's I mentioned I will safely say you will never have to feed more than 3 cups in a day, and at 8 months or so will be feeding between 1-2 cups a day, so a significant less amount than you are currently feeding and the poops will be less in size and in frequency. You are not doing anything wrong at all, when switching food do it slowly, if you need help ask. This group is more than happy to help you in everything, we have all been there done that, so please don't beat yourself up so much. Smile
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TwisterII
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PostSubject: Re: Crazy New Husky Mom Concerns   Thu Feb 02, 2017 6:15 pm

Don't think of anything you do as being 'wrong'. Every dog is different and it takes some trial and error on some dogs part to figure out what works for them. At the end of the day what is right for one, may not be right for yours and it's up to you to do what it takes to figure that out. Huskies are also different than many other breeds so you kinda gotta weed through info that may include other breeds that doesn't really apply to this one. You will get there and you are not alone. We have all been at that point where we feel like we've tried everything and then more stuff pops up.

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lynnroth
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PostSubject: Re: Crazy New Husky Mom Concerns   Thu Feb 02, 2017 10:15 pm

It can all just be overwhelming, especially on days like today. He's had grain food his whole life and only today had issues with his stool and the only difference had been feeding him yogurt. I will definitely try pumpkin and sweet potatoes for him, and I think we may find a better quality food to transition to. I know he is also teething like crazy this past week with gaining three new ones and losing one, so his behavior has been different too which makes things hard. Thank you all though for your input and suggestions, I really do appreciate them
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TwisterII
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PostSubject: Re: Crazy New Husky Mom Concerns   Thu Feb 02, 2017 11:59 pm

Teething could cause stool issues. Sore gums and dropping teeth can cause excess bile and blood being swallowed which can cause stomach upset or loose stools. Puppihood is a crazy time. They change every day and every change comes with something new to puzzle us.

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dropsofjuniper
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PostSubject: Re: Crazy New Husky Mom Concerns   Mon Feb 06, 2017 6:14 pm

Just wanted to add that Juno bites his tail and legs out of boredom and anxiety. Usually if he's getting enough exercise and attention, he won't do it out of boredom. But I catch him doing it sometimes when he gets worked up. It's pretty infrequent though, so I'm not too worried about it. I figure it's similar to the shoulder-licking thing our cat does. She sometimes stops mid-stride to lick her shoulder. As long as it's not an allergy issue, just focus on giving Jethro enough attention and exercise, and he should be fine.

Don't worry too much about overfeeding him. Juno eats a ton too, but I know he's not overeating because he's very good at self-regulating. The few times he didn't get as much exercise he didn't finish his food. You know your dog the best, so just go with your instincts on how much to feed him. It's also normal for their bodies to change a lot at this age. Juno had a bit of a belly when we first got him at 8 weeks. Since then it seems like his chest grows every week while his waist gets trimmer and trimmer. It's really cool to watch!
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