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 Underweight husky help?

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Zephyr&Titan
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PostSubject: Underweight husky help?   Sat Mar 17, 2012 2:06 pm

In January, I got a husky-mix from a woman in Florida who had taken him in as a rescue. He was very underweight- his sides caved in and his hip bones protruding. I've been letting him free feed for about two months now- he always has a huge bowl of food, and because of this I have neglected to buy a pricier and healthier food. We've been going through almost 30 lbs a week.
Any suggestions for ways to help him gain weight?

(this is him a couple of weeks after we brought him home) http://27.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_lz1d2bmhjs1r81m1jo1_500.jpg
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Koda
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PostSubject: Re: Underweight husky help?   Sat Mar 17, 2012 2:20 pm

30lbs a week?! What do his stools look like? Are they mushy or firm and formed? How many times a day does he have a BM?

If you're feeding him a low quality food and his stools are mushy and he goes often, it's likely he's not retaining any nutrients from the food at all. I need more information (the answers to those questions) to know for sure, but off the bat, I'd suggest switching him to a better quality food first.

ETA: I have TWO huskies and they go through 30 lbs in a month.

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arooroomom
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PostSubject: Re: Underweight husky help?   Sat Mar 17, 2012 3:40 pm

Feeding kibble we went through 30lbs a week. For 5 Huskies....

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SabakaMom
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PostSubject: Re: Underweight husky help?   Sat Mar 17, 2012 3:44 pm

He's beautiful! Contrary to popular belief huskies are not a HUSKY breed. Under all the fur they should remain quite slim. You can always feel the spine and hips. Of course hips should not protrude nor should the ribs show.

I'm assuming you have tested him for worms.

You would save SO much money by using a better quality food! Our 50lb male eats 2-3 cups a day depending on his mood. So we are probably in line with Tori's estimated dog food usage, but having only one dog our 30 lb bag will probably last a couple months.
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Tiff&Kya
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PostSubject: Re: Underweight husky help?   Sat Mar 17, 2012 3:45 pm

We go through about 40 pounds a month, with 2 huskies, 2 poms and a great pyrenees.

What kind of kibble is it? When we had them on puppy chow they went through about 75 pounds a month. Now that we have partially raw and kibble mixed, we go through about 40 pounds a month.
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cmanding
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Female Join date : 2010-10-12
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PostSubject: Re: Underweight husky help?   Sat Mar 17, 2012 5:00 pm

My 74 lb husky maintains his weight with 1.5 cups of food a day of good food, plus a few healthy treats. Of course his metabolism isn't that of a normal large husky as he is borderline hypotyroid, albeit within normal range but on the high side, close to being on the very low end of the hypothyroid spectrum.

My female 51 lb husky maintains her weight with 1.25 cups of good food, plus a few healthy treats a day.

As stated by others, you'll get more nutrition out of a higher quality food in a smaller amount, which in turn will give your husky more nutrition it needs to get to a healthy weight. The price point may be sticker shock to you at first, but it will last you longer and be a lot healthier for your husky.

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Zephyr&Titan
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PostSubject: Re: Underweight husky help?   Sat Mar 17, 2012 8:22 pm

Oh wow! That helps soo much!
I went by Pet Smart today and got a few cans of Blue Wilderness.

I went through a lot of feeding issues with my female, Zephyr. She was so picky that she would only eat cat food for a while. It took a really long time to get her on straight dog food.
I feel so bad about the bad food D:
But thank you all sooo much for the feed back!
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SabakaMom
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PostSubject: Re: Underweight husky help?   Sat Mar 17, 2012 10:56 pm

You can research dog food quality at www.dogfoodadvisor.com .

I have found that you can get a decent (4-star) dry kibble that has some healthy grains in it for about $1 per pound. You can get an even better quality (5-star) kibble that is grain free for a little more than $1.50 per pound.

There are SO many foods to choose from! It can all be so overwhelming... There are many folks here who know so much about pet nutrition and love sharing their knowledge!

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Huskyluv
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Female Join date : 2009-06-23
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PostSubject: Re: Underweight husky help?   Sun Mar 18, 2012 9:15 am

@SabakaMom wrote:
I have found that you can get a decent (4-star) dry kibble that has some healthy grains in it for about $1 per pound. You can get an even better quality (5-star) kibble that is grain free for a little more than $1.50 per pound.

This is not directed at you specifically Lisa, but with some good shopping you can get really great deals on EXCELLENT foods. I feed partial raw and I buy Grandma Lucy's grain free, freeze dried raw food which is, in my opinion, a much better option than any kibble yet I just bought 2 bags of it for 90 cents a pound. Yep, I spent $99 and some change for 110 lbs worth of prepared food. It makes me cringe sometimes to know people spend over a dollar a pound on much lower quality kibbles, but to each his own.

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cmanding
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PostSubject: Re: Underweight husky help?   Sun Mar 18, 2012 10:29 am

@Huskyluv wrote:
...and I buy Grandma Lucy's grain free, freeze dried raw food which is, in my opinion, a much better option than any kibble yet I just bought 2 bags of it for 90 cents a pound. Yep, I spent $99 and some change for 110 lbs worth of prepared food...

Where did you find that deal?? And is it available all the time?

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MicroBrewer
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PostSubject: Re: Underweight husky help?   Sun Mar 18, 2012 3:19 pm

Our 53lb male sibe gets 2 cups of kibble along with a few treats per day. To date we have had good luck feeding kibble containing 35/20/35 ish dry matter nutrient content (protein / fat / carbs), with the favorite being TOTW Sierra Mountain Blend so far.
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Huskyluv
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PostSubject: Re: Underweight husky help?   Sun Mar 18, 2012 3:24 pm

@cmanding wrote:
Where did you find that deal?? And is it available all the time?

You figure a 10 lb bag of Chicken or Pork (Grandma Lucy's) runs about $54-$59 on average on certain sites like Natural K9 Supplies or Wag.com. If a 10 lb bag of GL makes 55 lbs of prepared food that puts you at $1/lb or pretty close to it already. Wait for a coupon code and combine it with free shipping and there you go. NK9 has had 10 lb GL pork on "sale" for $53 for at least the last 5 months. All you'd have to buy is 2 bags to get free shipping and that would still get you under $1/lb at $106 for 110 lbs. I bought last week for cheaper from Wag.com by combining free shipping and a coupon code.

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cmanding
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PostSubject: Re: Underweight husky help?   Sun Mar 18, 2012 4:06 pm

I think I never went with Grandma Lucy's because they don't have fish...I need to double check...

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SabakaMom
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PostSubject: Re: Underweight husky help?   Sun Mar 18, 2012 4:09 pm

@Huskyluv wrote:
@cmanding wrote:
Where did you find that deal?? And is it available all the time?

You figure a 10 lb bag of Chicken or Pork (Grandma Lucy's) runs about $54-$59 on average on certain sites like Natural K9 Supplies or Wag.com. If a 10 lb bag of GL makes 55 lbs of prepared food that puts you at $1/lb or pretty close to it already. Wait for a coupon code and combine it with free shipping and there you go. NK9 has had 10 lb GL pork on "sale" for $53 for at least the last 5 months. All you'd have to buy is 2 bags to get free shipping and that would still get you under $1/lb at $106 for 110 lbs. I bought last week for cheaper from Wag.com by combining free shipping and a coupon code.

Good grief! I have never even considered freeze dried as an option since I always thought it was out of my price range! I wonder if I can find samples or order samples since I would hate to commit to the product to the tune of $55-60 and then have it not work for Sabaka?
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arooroomom
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PostSubject: Re: Underweight husky help?   Sun Mar 18, 2012 4:48 pm

While it may be "cheaper" per lb you will have to feed more. For example:

Acana Pacifica is 430 cal/cup. Cheyenne eats 2 cups. Each cup is 115g making her serving 230g. About 1/2 lb.

Using the same caloric needs, eating Grandma Lucys.. Cheyenne would need to consume about 1.8 cups (which equates to 1.8lbs when the food is hydrated and fed.) So, she would need a little more than 3 times the "weight" to consume the same amount of calories.


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Huskyluv
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PostSubject: Re: Underweight husky help?   Sun Mar 18, 2012 8:34 pm

Claudia, I don't think GL has a fish formula off the top of my head.

I don't know Lisa, I've never seen samples offered but maybe you could email the company? I took a chance on it because with three dogs, I know at least one of them is bound to do well on it if I try a new food. Razz

Kristina, you're right in that the calories don't equal that in kibble when comparing them pound for pound. And I was concerned initially when I made the switch last year. However I don't feed any more Grandma Lucy's than I did kibble and my dogs maintain their weight beautifully. Perhaps because the GL's is more nutritionally available to the dog they don't need to eat as much of it? Like if the dog can derive more nutrition from a less processed food then you wouldn't need to feed as much of it? I mean, when feeding PMR most people don't calculate out how many calories their dog is eating at each meal to match it to how many calories their kibble meals had. And even if I did have to feed slightly more GL than kibble (which I personally don't), I'm positive it would even out in price when you consider how much more grain free kibble would cost (and I'm comparing better kibbles, not the cheaper TOTW that I know a lot of people feed...no offense to TOTW feeders, I just could not feed that to my dogs). And if the price evens out so that I'm spending as much as I would for quality kibble to feed more GL, then why not feed the better food at the same price? That's how I see it anyway.

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arooroomom
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PostSubject: Re: Underweight husky help?   Sun Mar 18, 2012 8:52 pm

Perhaps. I was scared away from dehydrated foods when we tried zeal and saw the increase in stool. Regardless I feed PMR and wouldn't switch. I also noticed some of GL varieties are very potato heavy..

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Huskyluv
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PostSubject: Re: Underweight husky help?   Sun Mar 18, 2012 9:34 pm

Yep, they do have a lot of potato which was somewhat of a concern of mine initially but I've been very happy with how my dogs have done on it so I'm willing to overlook it. Wish they'd have used sweet potato instead but it's not like I have a say in what they use.

Edited to add: Forgot to say that on GL the stools my dogs have are not as excessive as THK. Their GL stools are comparable to that of their stool when they used to eat kibble, not small but not huge either. Not saying this to get you to try it, just sharing my observation.

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cmanding
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PostSubject: Re: Underweight husky help?   Sun Mar 18, 2012 10:41 pm

my 2 are on THK and Orijen....I don't think my 2 have excessive stools on that combo at all....

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Zephyr&Titan
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PostSubject: Re: Underweight husky help?   Sun Mar 18, 2012 10:47 pm

We're going to try out Blue Wilderness for now and see how that goes. Glad I have a friend who'll let me use her employee discount ;D
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