Poodle Forum banner
1 - 18 of 18 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
4 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Has anyone else had trouble keeping their spoo puppy up to a weight their vet is happy with? Our older poodles didnt have any trouble keeping up with their expected growth but our new poodle (10 weeks old 16.2lbs) is struggling to keep weight on. Hes growing steadily but he is very skinny, he gets 2 cups a day of purina pro plan puppy kibble in 4 small meals a day. Our vet recommended upping his food to 2.5 cups but I dont want to overfeed either and were at the highest recommended feeding based on calories currently. I also think we may be allowing too much play time, he doesnt sleep unless he's in his pen or crate.

Anyone else struggle with this? Ive never had issues keeping weight on a puppy before. He could just be a lean dog, but our vet is concerned he is too skinny.
 

·
Premium Member
Mia, Christmas in June 2010
Joined
·
3,510 Posts
Poodles should be slightly underweight, which will make more traditional vets uncomfortable. On the typical 1-10 scale, poodles should be a 4, and you should be able to feel their ribs easily. Using the hand scale, if you make a fist, their ribs should feel like the backs of your fingers (not as bony as your knuckles, and not as fleshy as your hand). For most young spoos, it means putting on about 1.5-2 lbs/week for most of their first 6 months (it will vary, and even up to 3 lbs isn't cause for alarm unless it endures). At 10 weeks and 16 lbs, he sounds to be about right. That said, I wouldn't worry about being too lax with feeding, as it's hard to over feed a growing dog. Spoos, especially, are known to walk away from a food bowl when they've had enough. Moving from 2 to 2.5 cups will likely be fine, just keep an eye on his growth.

For a different perspective, talk to conformation lab owners. I've been shocked to see overweight puppies in the show rings, their owners happily chirping about how the judges like their dogs fat and happy!
 

·
Premium Member
Mia, Christmas in June 2010
Joined
·
3,510 Posts
Fwiw, part of the problem was me projecting my insecurities on my poodle, and that wasn't fair good furparenting since she's a different species.
Hugs, Basil. This is more common than one might think. You're not alone.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9,174 Posts
. Our vet recommended upping his food to 2.5 cups but I dont want to overfeed either and were at the highest recommended feeding based on calories currently. I also think we may be allowing too much play time, he doesnt sleep unless he's in his pen or crate.
I'm not sure what you are using as the "recommended feeding" - but those are estimates and may not apply to your dog. Add the additional food as suggested by your vet and keep an eye on your puppy.

When you up the volume of food either your dog will eat more or it won't.

If it won't, it will probably be because it's eating enough for it's growth. If your dog does eat more it may be because it's the amount it needs. Or your dog will be overeating and adding fat. Rub your hand along the ribs - you should be able to feel the ribs with a nice layer over them.... but if you can't feel them then you know you need to cut back on the food. You won't see a change immediately - check every few days. and adjust as needed.



Puppies do need a lot of sleep. I noticed when my puppy became a biting monster and wild it was time for a nap in the crate.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Caitlyn Murphy

·
Registered
Elroy: Standard Poodle
Joined
·
2,015 Posts
For my Elroy, 2 cups wasn't enough. I upped it to 2½ cups after having him only a couple of weeks. He was about 14 lbs at 10 weeks, and is now 54 lbs and quite fit at 8 months. Over time I increased his daily serving size by about 5 grams/week. My breeder suggested gradually increasing from 2 to 4 cups (PPP-Puppy) over the course of a year. My dog is quite active and is eating 3¼-3½ cups/day plus training treats (another 100-150 calories or so). I would increase his portion size for sure. At a "skinny" 16 lbs at 10 weeks, be prepared for a big dog!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
364 Posts
Topper has rarely eaten the full amount recommended on the package, no matter what food we're feeding. He always eats less. When he was in a growth spurt, he ate more, but rarely the full amount. Our training treats are dehydrated turkey, tripe, and Bill-Jacks, Nulo or other high-quality training treats. High-value treats are all-beef hot dogs and string cheese. He's very thin - 1-year old mini, 13.5 inches tall and just under 10 pounds. My local vet, whose practice has seen him since he was 9 weeks old, isn't concerned about his growth, weight or diet (The Honest Kitchen). A vet in a rural area who we saw for an emergency was shocked at Topper's "loss of muscle tone" and recommended that we switch to Purina Pro Plan. He may not be accustomed to seeing poodles in his practice. FWIW, my late Papillon was also a lightweight, and a light eater. The cats, on the other hand, were perfectly plump.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,201 Posts
Annie was a bit underweight as a puppy, even sometimes eating significantly more than what the bag suggested. I try to feed based on the dog in front of me, not the bag, and basically free fed her for her first year.n
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
989 Posts
Zephyr is my first poodle, and I always thought he was way underweight as a puppy. He would not eat more, and I finally decided that as long as he was healthy and active I would stop worrying about it. He is five now, still walks away from his food bowl, but is a healthy slim trim weight. I think "very skinny" is common and not unhealthy for poodles. Agree vets don't always know this.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
917 Posts
Why do you say he is “struggling to keep weight on”? A poodle puppy should not look like a roly poly lab puppy. As long as he is growing, which you say he is, I wouldn’t be too worried about it.

I have always free fed my puppies; I particularly like what others have mentioned here where they feed what the pup wants (so essentially free feeding), but track how much they’re putting down when. I’m not that detail oriented, but it sounds like the best of both worlds to me. Like Basil’s dad said, it’s so easy to put our own issues on our pets.
 
  • Like
Reactions: cowpony

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
11,670 Posts
Peggy was also free fed (and still is). I carefully track how much she eats and marvel at how it varies. If she has an active day, she’s almost guaranteed to eat double the next. But other days she’s fine with just a few mouthfuls plus hand-fed kibble for training. This was even more pronounced during her first 18 months, when hormones and growth spurts had her intake all over the map.

She’s excellent at self-regulating, which seems to be a common poodle trait.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
3,728 Posts
My boy Galen definitely needed more food than the amount recommended on the Purina label. He came to me underweight, and he was a very playful active pup. It was quite common for him to eat 3-4 cups per day. During one of his final growth spurts he ate 6 cups one day. (The amount was spread over 4 meals.) He is now a lean and active 50 pounds. He eats what he wants and then walks away.

Ritter shared Galen's hearty appetite, but he's not as active. He has always carried a bit more padding on his ribs as a result. He is now a well padded 65 pounds. I suspect I may need to watch his diet when he stops growing. Galen runs and burns calories like a European football player, while Ritter runs and burns calories like an American football player.;)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
641 Posts
At 2 years old, Raffi has finally stopped inhaling everything he can.
He was eating as much as my mastiff (who is twice his weight) by the time he was 6 months or so- about 4-5 cups per day of Royal Canin or Science Diet.
He was always skinny, his spine was easily felt, but he was happy and healthy.
I did try PPP this spring, and Raffi was eating 5 or more cups and actually lost weight. As did the mastiff. I had to put them both on puppy food for a month or two to get the muscle back.
I'm a pretty strong believer in restricting food to a healthy amount but feeding guidelines don't fit standard poodles!
 

·
Registered
Leo (GSD), Lily (APBT), and Simon (SPoo)
Joined
·
496 Posts
Simon is very lean. At twelve-ish weeks, he weighed 14 pounds, and both myself and my vet considered him to be too thin. He'll be eight months old in ten days, and weighs a bit under 40 pounds and is about 24" tall. He eats two cups of food that is 430-ish calories per cup daily, plus usually has some training treats (Charlee Bears and/or freeze-dried chicken).
 
  • Like
Reactions: Caitlyn Murphy

·
Registered
Joined
·
4 Posts
Discussion Starter · #16 ·
For my Elroy, 2 cups wasn't enough. I upped it to 2½ cups after having him only a couple of weeks. He was about 14 lbs at 10 weeks, and is now 54 lbs and quite fit at 8 months. Over time I increased his daily serving size by about 5 grams/week. My breeder suggested gradually increasing from 2 to 4 cups (PPP-Puppy) over the course of a year. My dog is quite active and is eating 3¼-3½ cups/day plus training treats (another 100-150 calories or so). I would increase his portion size for sure. At a "skinny" 16 lbs at 10 weeks, be prepared for a big dog!
His great grandad was 75lbs so were interested to see how big he gets, his parents are 29 inches at the shoulder too. Thankfully he eats everything we give him.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4 Posts
Discussion Starter · #17 ·
At 2 years old, Raffi has finally stopped inhaling everything he can.
He was eating as much as my mastiff (who is twice his weight) by the time he was 6 months or so- about 4-5 cups per day of Royal Canin or Science Diet.
He was always skinny, his spine was easily felt, but he was happy and healthy.
I did try PPP this spring, and Raffi was eating 5 or more cups and actually lost weight. As did the mastiff. I had to put them both on puppy food for a month or two to get the muscle back.
I'm a pretty strong believer in restricting food to a healthy amount but feeding guidelines don't fit standard poodles!
Yeah I pulled his actual estimated calorie requirements against what a cup of kibble has plus what our vet is recommending, hes on the high end for feeding but when he is awake he tears around the house. His mom is very lean too, our other poodle Benson always been a bit heavier.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4 Posts
Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Zephyr is my first poodle, and I always thought he was way underweight as a puppy. He would not eat more, and I finally decided that as long as he was healthy and active I would stop worrying about it. He is five now, still walks away from his food bowl, but is a healthy slim trim weight. I think "very skinny" is common and not unhealthy for poodles. Agree vets don't always know this.
Yeah, they wanted our older standard to be a bit heavier but hes a working dog and needs to be in shape, they rate him at a 5 but were working to loose a lb or two.
 
1 - 18 of 18 Posts
Top