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 Underweight grazing dog

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PostSubject: Underweight grazing dog   Sat Feb 10, 2018 8:45 pm

My three year old husky is 56 lbs. hes supposed to be close to 80 lbs. However, we give him 5 cups a day to keep track of what he is eating. It will take him three days to finish it. Wet food, dry food, water in the food, even cooked meats he just wont eat. I need him to start putting wieght on so he can get to a healthy wieght. Is there any suggestions.
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PostSubject: Re: Underweight grazing dog   Sat Feb 10, 2018 9:20 pm

Randy, why do you think he should be closer to 80 pounds - that would be an exceptionally over sized husky. At his current 56 he's within normal range for a full grown Husky.

His eating pattern indicates that he's eating what he needs - which is a trait of many Huskies. Most of us feed 2 cups (one in the AM, one in the PM) so your boy's eating about what the rest of our dogs do.

Most vets do *NOT* realize what a Husky should be eating, they try to treat them like a Lab or other retriever - most of whom eat considerably more than most Huskies do. Also, most recommendation on bags of dog food are fine for other breeds, but, again, are considerably more (by about a third) than a Husky will want (or eat!)

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PostSubject: Underweight grazing dog   Sat Feb 10, 2018 9:28 pm

His build and stature is what got us there. I was wrong about the weight he’s supposed to be between 65 and 70 I misheard. At his current weight you can feel all of his bones and has too much of a hip. Also the five cups we give him takes him three days to go through. Anytime we see his bowl finally empty we fill it back up. Plus he can’t access it through the day because he is food aggressive and it stays in the kennel. Also he stands around 36 inches at his shoulders so he is a little larger than a normal sized husky.

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PostSubject: Re: Underweight grazing dog   Sat Feb 10, 2018 9:48 pm

Randy, I have three Huskies here; one of them is overweight and I can't feel her ribs. The other two I can distinctly feel their ribs and hips...

My comment about their ribs is that they should feel like a pack of beef ribs at the store - when you run your hand over the plastic, you can feel the ribs but you shouldn't be able to feel the bones. Hip joints shouldn't be pronounced but you should be able to feel them - it's just the structure of the beast.

Huskies, more than any other breed I've ever had (I'm 70 and have had a few dogs) are more apt to self-regulate. If they're hungry or need food, they eat; if they're not then the bowl just sets there. I have two who get fed on the front porch and more often than not, they'll leave food in their bowl - even though they're only getting about three-four cups between them for the day.

If you've had him checked by a vet who knows Huskies and he's otherwise in good health, I'd be inclined to suggest you let him eat when / where he wants. You'll all be happier.

And, yeh, at 36 inches at the shoulder, he is bigger than most of our pups.
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PostSubject: Re: Underweight grazing dog   Sat Feb 10, 2018 9:56 pm

His hips are very pronounced. And if he would eat three or four cups a day I wouldn’t be so worried. But it takes him days to eat even that.and our vet has been really good with our Scottish terroir. Stark is our first pure breed husky we have ever had. I found him in midland Texas a few months ago. He has been abused and mistreated. He had probably been stray for awhile when I found him. Also he had no owners registered to his chip and no one reported him missing. He was also intact and got neutered in December.

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PostSubject: Re: Underweight grazing dog   Sun Feb 11, 2018 12:35 pm

How long have you had him? If you've only had him a couple months it will take time for him to settle enough to begin eating properly. 36 inches at the shoulder is huge. My boy is not overweight at 75 pounds and is only 28 at the shoulder. He gets what would be around 2.5 cups a day of a good quality kibble a day for his weight. What food do you feed? Did the vet rule out digestion issues such as acid reflux that might be turning him off to food? As al said, feeling some ribs is actually good. Huskies should look svelte. Having sunken hips could actually be something wrong in the hips. As large as he is having his hips checked could be beneficial. I have two males with hip dysplasia. One has a form of HD where his hips don't sit in a socket. They float somewhat outside his pelvis which give his hips an odd look.

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PostSubject: Re: Underweight grazing dog   Sun Feb 11, 2018 2:00 pm

Thank you! I have had him since October just about. He seems pretty settled. One of my vet tech friends suggested better food to me. Her suggestion was victor hi pro dog food. We are on a budget brand food that hasn’t had issues with our other dogs that have been on it. And huge he his he fills up about half of a long XL kennel when laying down and he has to hunch in his normal 42 inch.

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PostSubject: Re: Underweight grazing dog   Sun Feb 11, 2018 4:51 pm

Hi Randy welcome to the forum........Firstly, there is no way he is 36 inches at the shoulder, that is even enormous for a great dane, which is the tallest dog breed, your dog would be the size of a small pony. Is there any way you can post up some pics of him? My female husky x gsd x ? Is around 26-27 inches at the withers, she is very tall, especially for a husky mix female, she is mostly husky. She eats max 2.5 cups of high quality food a day, and a few snacks and is seen as underweight at around 70 pounds, so I really do understand. Victor is an awesome food, if that is out of your range maybe try Tractor Supply 4 Health grain free food. I did notice with my girl, and many huskies in general, do not do well on grain inclusive foods, and it's very hard to keep weight on them. If you are not feeding grain free that is where I would start. Find a grain free food, and try 2-3 cups fed per day and see how that goes. Back to his height, measure him on a flat hard surface, measure from the floor to the top of his shoulder blades. Most crates, even the largest of the large are no more than 30-32 inches tall, and then they have to duck because there is usually a lip that is several inches. My best guess is you boy is around the height of my girl or Jenn's boy. If he is a pure husky I have never seen one any taller than 28 inches for a male, and that is very extreme, and rare, as in Jenn's case to see a pure male even 28 inches, even the poorer byb breeders that do breed for size do not produce dogs any larger than 27-28 inches for their males. I am not harping on this to be mean, negative or anything like that, but this is why most people believe their husky is deformed when they actually have a breed standard male. Breed standard is 55 pounds and 24 inches tall max. They are a medium sized breed, so over sized is only going to be 2-4 inches over, physically, unless a mixed breed, it just can't happen. The breed itself are self regulators, they are prone to eat only when hungry. They eat 25% less than what other breeds eat, do best on grain free, high protein kibbles. They can burn off more than they eat. Many tend to be on the lean side vs at a good pet weight. With an over sized husky it is best for them to be lean vs pet weight, in order to keep their hips and joints safe as they age. At 5 years old, Miya is underweight, she should be around 75 pounds, she is very long, coming from the gsd that she is part of, 80 pounds she would be at a pet weight. I can easily feel her hip bones, spine, shoulder blades, ribs, it's just how she is made. I worried for years, because she was in the 55-60 pound range when she was under 3 years old. With having a second dog, and her being fully mature, she has gained some weight, which I am happy about. Imagine if your boy is under 3 years old, it is just his age and metabolism, and eventually he will naturally gain weight. I would love to see pics of him, and that way we can assess if he is drastically underweight.
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PostSubject: Re: Underweight grazing dog   Mon Feb 12, 2018 4:31 am

I’m working on information given to me. Our vet has said he is bigger than breed standard but he is pure bread all the same. So I’m guessing he’s between 28 and up I know he stands to my youngest a shoulders and he is at least 40 inches he almost stands to my hip and I’m 6’4”. He’s huge for a husky.

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PostSubject: Re: Underweight grazing dog   Mon Feb 12, 2018 4:38 am




That section of couch is a little over 6 foot

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PostSubject: Re: Underweight grazing dog   Mon Feb 12, 2018 11:22 am

He looks more "filled out" than Misty does.  We got Misty early September from a shelter that had found her in the woods as a starved stray.  When we first got her, she was very gaunt and her ribs were sticking out.  We later found out she has some serious food/gastrointestinal issues, but we're getting a handle on them.  She has put on some weight since we got her, and though she still looks a bit scrawny, her ribs don't stick out anymore and she's very healthy. We had the vet run a gazillion tests on Misty (much to her dismay) the last time she had stomach issues, and yeah she's pretty darned healthy for being so lean and for having to be on a restricted diet.  Looks like your Husky is a lot like Misty -- Naturally just very long and lean. Some dogs are just like that.  No need to "fatten them up" and risk them getting other health issues.
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PostSubject: Re: Underweight grazing dog   Mon Feb 12, 2018 11:37 am

Ok thank you we have just been concerned. Our other dog is having health problems right now and I guess we just don’t want to have both dogs being sick.

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PostSubject: Re: Underweight grazing dog   Mon Feb 12, 2018 12:53 pm

Standing pictures from top and side help evaluate better but he looks pretty good from the angles you have offered. My husband is 6'7" and my boy's head is close to his hip height as well so they do sound similar in size. I wouldn't be too concerned. Street dogs that hadn't had consistent food for a while have shrunken stomachs. Packing weight on fast isn't healthy and can make them sick. They also get more exercise when running wild so when they become house dogs their body has an adjustment period where rate of burn drops with the less stress. My boy came to me at 56 pounds. He was thin but not in danger of organ failure. I would make a slow transition to a food that meets the suggested above and see if he gains any. I didn't see any real metabolism changes out of my first rescue for at least 6 months then she slowly started to change.

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PostSubject: Re: Underweight grazing dog   Mon Feb 12, 2018 2:25 pm

Thanks again. He doesn’t like to stand poor old man has back problems. He is super lazy most days. But every once in awhile will get a hair up his butt and catch the zoomies from the cats. ( we think he is one in disguise). It all just has us a little worried that he isn’t taking enough calories and isn’t putting the weight on that he needs to be a happy healthy pupper.

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