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Wellie the black spoo
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Another day, another question.

Due to some growing pains issues with Wellie last week I brought him to the vet on Tuesday. The vet said he was extremely skinny. I did not get much more advice on that point. She is used to many many doodles though (I live in London, it's mostly only doodles) and obviously they are usually much broader than my spoo so that's something to take into account and which she mentioned herself.

At the moment, W eats a mix of raw food and kibbles (half raw/half kibbles). I wonder if I have not been giving him too little kibbles all this time. He was born 14/06/2021 so he is 6 months and a half and is 60 cm (23.6 inch) at the withers and 16.5kg (36.4 pounds). According to the chart which I have been following since the beginning, he is going to be just under 25kg (55 pounds). The kibble pack unhelpfully gives indication based on the weight they will be, not the weight they are. At the moment I am giving him the equivalent of 300 g per day (in reality 150g because the rest if raw) because he is very high energy (at least 1.5 hours of playing in the park per day usually). Do you think I should be giving 410g per day instead because he could be 25kg one day if I fed him more? I would add a picture so that you can see his body but he does not have a typical poodle clip so it might hard for you to ascertain. Maybe I should ask to be referred to a dietician. My partner is of the mind that we should move to 410g and if he gains too much weight then we will go down again.

I appreciate you might not be able to give me any definitive answer, but if you could give me an indication as to whether you think his weight might be abnormal for his size/age, that would be pawsome.

PS: May I add that he is always hungry.

PPS: The kibble he is eating are what the breeder used to give him as a baby, they are not for big dogs especially.
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They are very good in terms of quality, I would like to stay in these.

Many thanks guys 馃惄
 

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That does sound a bit thin for that height and age to me. At 24 weeks, Phoebe was 40.2 lbs and at 30 weeks, she was at 45.4 lbs. Different dogs from different lines are going to track differently though. (And I would assume there is variation even within the same lines as well!) More importantly, how is his body condition? Can you feel his hip bones? Do they protrude or are they 鈥榮harp鈥? I have never restricted food for growing puppies, and I don鈥檛 trust the bag as an end all be all. I view it as a guideline. A standard poodle and a bulldog might end up the same weight as adults at around 50 lbs, but they鈥檙e going to have wildly different lifestyles and caloric needs.
 

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I only have Ev to compare to, and every vet has told me he's in excellent condition and his weight is appropriate. At 2.5 y/o Ev is 25" tall (if I measured correctly) and typically weighs between 48 and 51lbs. He is very lean and intentionally so.
 
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I have always given my young dogs as much as they can eat in 15 minutes. Adults are given as much as will not cause unwanted weight gain (very difficult with the Labrador retriever, very easy with the poodle).

Recently I stumbled on jars of bouillon concentrate. I mix up a teaspoon of it in 1/2 cup of water and pour that over the dogs' kibble. They love it, and it's far better than the canned meat I previously used. The bouillon comes in chicken and beef so I have a jar of each. I like it myself - it's very tasty. The brand name is "Better than Bouillon". It has tiny bits of meat in it.
 

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That does sound thin. Cody is a smallish male standard, about 24" tall (though he HATES the yardstick, so it's hard to tell for sure!) and has been around 46-50 lbs since he was around 9 months (he's 20 months now). And he is definitely poodle-appropriately thin, and according to our vet, in great shape.
 

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One more thought--if your puppy is already nearly 24" at 6 months, I think 55 lbs might be a low estimate of adult weight? I feel like Cody grew a couple inches between 6 - 9 months, and a 26" dog may weigh more like 65lbs. Just a thought - I am by no means a poodle/dog growth expert.
 

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Is there anyone within a reasonable range who knows poodles who could put hands and eyes on your dog? It sounds like your vet wasn't hugely confident in her assessment...

Also I noticed that you mentioned your dog isn't on a large breed puppy food. Poodles are tall, he may not be getting the calcium he needs. But I don't know anything about feeding raw so is he getting the additional calcium from that?
 

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Happy is 20 months old and she鈥檚 only filled out in the last six weeks. I was concerned she was bit too skinny as I could easily feel her ribs and hip bones. She鈥檚 always been offered two meals a day consisting of chicken or beef on top of a quality kibble (which she seems to like). She rarely finishes all her kibble during one setting, opting to return an hour or so later to finish at her leisure. Because of this, I figured she was getting enough and not hungry. I haven鈥檛 had her on the scale for some time but her ribs and hip bones are much less prominent. Maybe it鈥檚 just a matter of maturity and Wellie will fill out as his growth slows.
 

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Based on what you wrote it sounds like he isn鈥檛 getting as many calories as he needs. I鈥檝e noticed a theme here on PF since I joined: poodles often will regulate their own eating and don鈥檛 (generally) tend to overeat. My guy is entirely free-fed and he is a perfect weight, no effort or thought on my part. My dog is almost never truly 鈥榟ungry鈥 in the sense of gobbling a bowl of food as soon as it鈥檚 put down.
I鈥檇 leave a bowl of dry kibble out between his feedings and see how that goes over a week or two. Wait and see if he gains a few pounds & displays fewer signs of being really hungry. I also agree with a poster above that a large breed puppy food would be ideal due to him being a standard.
 

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Have you reached out to his breeder (if possible)? See what his siblings weigh at right now. That might give you an indication if he's lagging or not. He's also still got a lot of growing to do over the next couple months, so he may just be late or slower to gain weight. Big dogs also tend to fill out well up until 1.5-2 years of age, so....

Were there any complications during his birth? Any medical problems before you got him that could have affected his growth? Dublin is a tiny Spoo at only 43 pounds, he didn't even reach 40 until near his second birthday if not after. His mom had to have an emergency c-section and most of the litter didn't survive (i almost didn't get him, that's how bad it was). His two surviving brothers are around the same size and mom was retired from breeding. We figure his smaller size has more to do with that than anything - his mom and dad were "normal" range of size. He was free fed, puppy food the first couple months then all life stages after.

I'm not an expert on feeding mixed raw/kibble, but one of the things i read early on when i want looking at different foods was that kibble and raw digest differently and feeding both at the same time could be problematic with digestion? Not sure how true that is, but maybe something to look into? I'd be interested to know if that's true, considering i see a lot of people feed both raw and kibble to some degree.

Feeding guides on the bags are just recommendations, too. Dogs may need more or less depending on the dog and circumstances (energy level, and so on). You can always increase the food little by little and see what happens, see when/if he stops being "hungry all the time". Or if you're feeding twice a day, increase a little and feed a third meal.

I'm assuming you've also done extensive research on raw feeding, and know how to properly prepare and portion raw food so you're feeding the right nutrition? One of the reasons i passed on raw was because of how much more work went into preparing the food - i don't have the time to make sure they get x-ingredient and y-ingredient on x-days and then a-ingredient and b-ingredient on d-days and what not. It would be very easy to not be feeding enough of something, or too much of something else, which COULD result in a dog that's always hungry or not gaining weight.

I free feed my dogs. None of my dogs have ever been the type to eat what i put down, when i put it down (canned food aside). They graze when they want. So far i have never had a dog that over ate. I put a scoop down in both bowls in the morning and when both bowls are nearly empty i put another scoop per bowl. Usually three scoops per bowl between the two dogs (so six cups a day). The bowls are never actually empty, so i know they're not hungry.

Limerick (different breeder/parents) is 43 pounds at 7.5 months old, in comparison to Dublin. The vet is not concerned about either of their weights (though i would love to add some weight to Dublin.)
 

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It does sound like your boy is underweight. Peggy is 23.5鈥 and just under 50 lbs.

I would shift over to free-feeding, or at least significantly increase his portions and divide them between three meals and a few snacks. Some days he may be hungrier than others, especially during a growth spurt.

If I鈥檓 remembering correctly, @94Magna_Tom made the switch to free-feeding Elroy who also had a huge appetite at that age. Maybe he can share a little about that experience?
 

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If your dog is always hungry, I would certainly feed more. Also, take into consideration that often when you feed raw, dogs end up needing a lot more than what the package says. I think your boy needs to eat more.
 

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Elroy: Standard Poodle 02/20/21
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Elroy has never been underweight or overweight, IMO. I learned immediately that Elroy was an enthusiastic eater. After a week or so I ordered a slow feed bowl to help fend off issue from eating too fast (bloat). My breeder recommended feeding him 1陆 now, increasing to 2 cups by 2 weeks, Purina Pro Plan - Puppy (kibble), wetted with water. This is more than any labels recommended, by a lot. It's actually (2x112g/cup) 938 calories worth, which is quite close to what a small adult human would need. I thought it was way too much, but I followed her advice and it worked out perfectly fine. Additionally she said to increase the 2 cups/day to 4 cups/day by 1 year old.
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I think by 5陆 months he was eating 3陆 cups/day. 3陆 x 470kcal/cup = 1645 calories! Wow! This amount was Elroy's peak in terms of how much he ate/day. He's eaten less ever since 6 month old (and he stopped eating ferociously at 5 陆 months). Today he eats between 1陆 and 3 cups/day. Never eats it in a hurry either. Some days 1陆, some days 3. Probably an average of 2录/day (really it's 4陆 cups every 2 days).
My thoughts are that your pup needs more food. Measure out your daily ration of kibble each morning into a "daily use container". When that container is empty, he's had enough kibble nutrition. I did 2 cups/day, and added 5g more to it each week, ending up with 3 陆 by 6 months (reminder...he was never overweight!) For my Elroy, the recommended amounts were so far off, it was useless.
I was amazed at how much he ate! Keep us posted on how you make out!

Edit: Note that Elroy is a very active puppy. In addition to kibble, he got (still gets) a generous portion of treats daily. Probably 100-200 calories worth depending on the daily activity.
 

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Leo (GSD), Lily (APBT), and Simon (SPoo)
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The amount recommended on the package is just that, a recommendation. If you can easily feel his ribs, and he looks boney, then give him a bit more. If he looks pudgy, cut back a bit.

At ten months, Simon is about 25" tall, and weighed 43.5 pounds last Friday. He's very lean, but not thin, like he used to be. The kibble he is on has 432 kcal/cup, and he gets two cups a day, plus treats. As far as self-regulating goes, I think he would eat until he threw up, and then eat some more because he would have room for it.... I only ever had one dog that could be free-fed.
 

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Raffi is 26" and 55lbs, his hops do stick out but that's just how he is built.
I would say he was particularly skinny looking at 6-8months, as he was nearly full height but still had filling out to do.
I agree with the others though, that poodles (at least standards) do NOT follow feeding guidelines. Raffi was eating 5 cups a day by 6 months old, and went up to 6 cups for quite a while. Now he usually eats 5 cups but does skip a meal here and there. What's crazy is that he eats nearly as much as my (very athletic) mastiff, who is nearly twice his weight and is right on the feeding guide.
I would suggest that you could increase his feeding, up to maybe what a 90lb dog would weigh.
I do encourage you to be particularly careful of his nutrient levels- calcium and potassium ratio being the big one, and should be calculated as for a large breed puppy (as others said, he may not weigh that much but is certainly tall enough to be considered as such), especially since you said he probably has growing pains.
A consult with a vet nutritionist would be nice to make sure his diet is properly balanced for him.
 

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Wellie the black spoo
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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Thanks for all the reply everyone. I have decided to double his kibble amount from this morning onwards. I will update in 2 weeks. I'm really grateful for all the advice, I thought a poodle (because they are so thin) would not need more than the package says.... how wrong I was! Hopefully I did not mess up too badly.

Have you reached out to his breeder (if possible)? See what his siblings weigh at right now. That might give you an indication if he's lagging or not. He's also still got a lot of growing to do over the next couple months, so he may just be late or slower to gain weight. Big dogs also tend to fill out well up until 1.5-2 years of age, so....

Were there any complications during his birth? Any medical problems before you got him that could have affected his growth? Dublin is a tiny Spoo at only 43 pounds, he didn't even reach 40 until near his second birthday if not after. His mom had to have an emergency c-section and most of the litter didn't survive (i almost didn't get him, that's how bad it was). His two surviving brothers are around the same size and mom was retired from breeding. We figure his smaller size has more to do with that than anything - his mom and dad were "normal" range of size. He was free fed, puppy food the first couple months then all life stages after.

I'm not an expert on feeding mixed raw/kibble, but one of the things i read early on when i want looking at different foods was that kibble and raw digest differently and feeding both at the same time could be problematic with digestion? Not sure how true that is, but maybe something to look into? I'd be interested to know if that's true, considering i see a lot of people feed both raw and kibble to some degree.

I'm assuming you've also done extensive research on raw feeding, and know how to properly prepare and portion raw food so you're feeding the right nutrition? One of the reasons i passed on raw was because of how much more work went into preparing the food - i don't have the time to make sure they get x-ingredient and y-ingredient on x-days and then a-ingredient and b-ingredient on d-days and what not. It would be very easy to not be feeding enough of something, or too much of something else, which COULD result in a dog that's always hungry or not gaining weight.
Many thanks for the advice - I have a facebook group with his siblings (from this litter and from the previous one - with the same mom and day both times) and I just asked!

I'm glad yours is okay now. Mine did not have any issues at birth!

I'm buying "prepared" raw food. Unfortunately, I don't have the expertise (or time) to make raw food for a puppy. This is what he eats Puppy Nuggets I have only heard great things about this brand :) When he is no longer a puppy, maybe I'll make my own raw food but at the moment I'm too scared to mess up the nutriments he needs!

Thank you so much - I have watched the video and come too the conclusion that he is way too skinny.

Is there anyone within a reasonable range who knows poodles who could put hands and eyes on your dog? It sounds like your vet wasn't hugely confident in her assessment...

Also I noticed that you mentioned your dog isn't on a large breed puppy food. Poodles are tall, he may not be getting the calcium he needs. But I don't know anything about feeding raw so is he getting the additional calcium from that?
I will email his breeder and ask if I can come by for her to check. She is the only poodle person I know. I actually had never met one before I got W. We needed an hypoallergenic dog.

Yes - as for the nutriments, I'm sure he has enough. All the vitamins/probiotics etc... were checked my partner's dad who is a vet.

I have always given my young dogs as much as they can eat in 15 minutes. Adults are given as much as will not cause unwanted weight gain (very difficult with the Labrador retriever, very easy with the poodle).

Recently I stumbled on jars of bouillon concentrate. I mix up a teaspoon of it in 1/2 cup of water and pour that over the dogs' kibble. They love it, and it's far better than the canned meat I previously used. The bouillon comes in chicken and beef so I have a jar of each. I like it myself - it's very tasty. The brand name is "Better than Bouillon". It has tiny bits of meat in it.
I was keen to "free feed" him but that proved impossible, he just would not stop and would make him sick even with the slow feeders. He just eats non stop, I wonder if he is a real poodle honestly... he likes everything, least picky dog I have ever met. He is just stomach with legs. But that might also be because he is hungry because he is not eating enough. I will let you guys know if he eats less now that he will get more kibbles.
 

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Not all poodles are picky. Tbh, reading all the posts about people's picky poodles and comparing it to my boy was bewildering. I think one probably hears so much about picky poodles because those who do not have a picky poodle have no reason to bring it up.

Also be aware that even if a dog isn't over fed or sick they'll sometime regurgitate their food for other reasons. It's gross, but back when I was in the loft bed and Ev was in his crate he would sometimes regurgitate his very modest meal in the night and re-consume it to no ill effect. And he eats his kibble one pellet at a time so it wasn't that he ate too fast. Another poster mentioned it once and I think it had something to do with digestion, but I can't remember the exact reason they do it.
 
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