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I've been getting wildly different answers as to how many daily calories my 17 week toy needs, and I honestly can't tell if he's getting a little pudgy or not. I can feel his ribs on his chest fine but not on his back. The vet who thinks I should be feeding him way more hasn't really been helpful, and his currently silly hospital haircut from weeks ago isn't making it easier to tell. Hoping y'all can help me out. 馃樀
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Honestly I can't tell in part because of the harness/vest thing and the long wild hair, but I think you should use the portion recommended on the food you are using. Also be aware that poodles are rarely gluttonous so if he leaves a tiny bit over and walks away you are just that amount over what your pup needs. None of our dogs are gluttons with the possible exception of Javelin who really won't overeat either, but has a very high metabolism and is rather active, so I had to up his portion when I switched from a kibble based to a home cooked diet. He was always really hungry and fore I knew it he had dropped off about 4 pounds so I gave him more food. He ravenous state declined and then I used satin balls to put weight back on him.
 
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Yep. What Lily cd re said.

Calories for puppies are based on current age and weight. What does your puppy currently weigh? And what brand/formula are you feeding? There should be a guide on the bag, giving you at least a rough idea of how much to serve.

Why does your vet feel your puppy needs to eat more? If their recommendation is based on a physical exam, and they have experience with toy poodles, I'd take their concerns seriously.
 

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It鈥檚 hard to tell but he looks more on the skinny side to me. As Kathryn and PTP said, poodles aren鈥檛 like labs or goldens; they tend to eat just enough. Let him eat as much as he wants of a good healthy food and that鈥檚 most probably what he needs.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
The vet's recommendation was just based on height/weight calculation but the company who makes his food recommends considerably less. He rarely finishes his food anyway. It's fresh food, not kibble, so maybe that's the difference? This is the first time I've had such a tiny dog and I think I'm just overthinking everything 馃槄
 

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I get it. And poodle proportions can be misleading at any age/size. Their long legs, deep chests, and small waists can make them look extremely skinny to an unfamiliar eye.

If it's yummy, nutrient-dense food and your puppy's been given a clean bill of health by your vet, I probably wouldn't stress too much. If, however, your vet is feeling signs of malnourishment during a hands-on exam, I would take that seriously.

Peggy came to me underweight because she wasn't digesting the breeder's food properly. It was largely masked by her puppy fluff, but there was an obvious dip between her hip bones that even I could feel. She was also anxious and (in retrospect) a little lethargic. In that case, our vet's concern was warranted.

If a puppy is eating enough and still showing signs of being underweight or malnourished, in addition to recommending dietary changes, a vet will also typically prescribe an immediate deworming to rule out parasites.
 

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Peggy you brought up a good point about hands on evaluation of weight which is that feeling the dip between the crest of the hip pones that really means the dog is skinny, more than feeling ribs. I like to feel little shallows between ribs, not between hips.
 

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Basil's a 21 week old SPOO, but she was underweight by the first vet visit with me @ 9 weeks. I had a lot of concerns about overfeeding Basil due to my own personal journey and insecurities. Anywho, like it's been mentioned above and by my vet, poodles tend to "nose up" (stop eating) when they're full so her bowl always has food. She said Basil's in good health when she has a little puppy belly. Lastly, I don't really need to worry about her weight until she's about a year old.

When I give her belly rubs, I feel to sure she's got a little fat on her. Hopefully this helps.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks guys, he just had a checkup with the vet and other than a little ear infection they said he's doing great. Definitely no hip dips and he's a bundle of energy, thanks for giving me some perspective and putting my worries to rest.
 

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I've never had a problem with any of my spoos overeating. I let Galen have more than the recommended amount when he was small. He was the runt of his litter and was ribby when I got him. He vacuumed up everything I offered and dove into Pogo's dinner for more. He started slowing down around 5 months. Now, at 8 months, he just grazes.

Something you might see is a cycle of your puppy eating madly, getting a little plump, and then going on a growth spurt and ending ribby again.
 
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