Hunting Dog Training & More    

Popular Searches: Garmin Astro | Dog Collars | Tri-Tronics | SPORTdog

Feeding Rules of Thumb?

Feeding Rules of Thumb?

Postby MNTrout68 » Wed Feb 14, 2018 5:07 pm

My 18-month old GSP just got back from the vet. They say he’s a little on the skinny side, and sure enough he’s lost a few pounds over the past three months or so. He just did 10 days of boarding/training at the training kennel where he has done all his training and boarding, and I noticed he did come back a little thin. But they worked with him every day, including in the field, so I think he just burned a lot of calories.

I feed him Victor High Energy and I like it - he’s never had a health problem, he performed well during hunting season, and his coat is in great shape. I give him 1.5 cups twice a day, which is a little over the recommended amount. He’s pretty active, including some good runs in open space on a regular basis.

So clearly I need to up his feed a bit, which is easy enough. My question is - how much more? How do I know when he’s at the “right” level? Is there a rule of thumb for “growing” or “active” dogs/breeds in terms of calories per day per pound or something like that?

Perhaps needless to say, this is my first gundog. I really appreciate your thoughts. Thanks!
User avatar
MNTrout68
Rank: Just A Pup
 
Posts: 5
Joined: Mon Oct 24, 2016 3:33 pm
Location: Please ADD LOCATION

Re: Feeding Rules of Thumb?

Postby shags » Wed Feb 14, 2018 8:09 pm

Just up it by another half cup or so. If he gets the squirts, back off and use a little less. It can take some weeks to gain especially if he’s in a heavy training/ conditioning routine, and may not gain until it slacks off.
IME it helps to go with the extra as an additional meal, rather than serving one great big one.
Remember that even some vets don’t know what a fit dog looks like - they see few dogs that aren’t pudgy.

Numbers on a bag don’t matter much in the real world. Each dog has different requirements and responds to different feeds in different ways.
shags
GDF Junkie
 
Posts: 2223
Joined: Wed Jan 02, 2008 4:57 pm
Location: Please ADD LOCATION

Re: Feeding Rules of Thumb?

Postby isonychia » Thu Feb 15, 2018 5:24 pm

High protein blends aren't really great for scenting dogs just FYI. I wonder how thin your dog really was, people are so used to seeing fat dogs anymore, including vets. I feed 50% less in the AM than the PM to make the NO FEEDING in the AM beofre working the dog a little easier. Don't feed your dog before working him.

My brittany weighs 38lbs and eats 1 cup FROMM adult in AM and 2 in PM, has been perfect. I up this to 4 cups a day when he has expended a lot in the field during recovery days.
User avatar
isonychia
Rank: 4X Champion
 
Posts: 694
Joined: Wed Mar 02, 2011 10:35 am
Location: Southwestern Colorado

Re: Feeding Rules of Thumb?

Postby slistoe » Thu Feb 15, 2018 5:52 pm

I would tend to question if your dog was actually too thin - better thin than fat. I haven't met a vet in years that had any idea what an "in-shape" dog would look like.
slistoe
GDF Junkie
 
Posts: 3578
Joined: Mon Jun 04, 2007 7:23 pm
Location: Please ADD LOCATION

Re: Feeding Rules of Thumb?

Postby reba » Sun Feb 18, 2018 10:39 am

My experience with GSP's is that young dogs under two years always look skinny. Seeing three ribs is OK.

Slowly feed just a little more every day and check weight monthly.

I stop by my Vets once a month just to weight my dogs.

It is not uncommon for them to loose weight during the 4 months we hunt.

The only way to control their weight is to measure every time you feed.

NO FAT DOGS ALLOWED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
reba
Rank: 3X Champion
 
Posts: 561
Joined: Wed Jul 01, 2009 8:50 am
Location: Central Coast of CA

Re: Feeding Rules of Thumb?

Postby CDN_Cocker » Sun Feb 18, 2018 6:53 pm

All I know is a young gun dog generally will be skinny if they're being worked regularly. I used to get flack all the time when mine was young because he was always skinny. I couldn't put weight on him and increasing food only gave him stomach issues. He's 5 years old now and only finally filled out to "normal" looking proportions over the past year. As long as he isn't just bones don't sweat it. They're athletes - they have a faster metabolism than the neighbor's cockapoo
User avatar
CDN_Cocker
Rank: 5X Champion
 
Posts: 1331
Joined: Wed Mar 06, 2013 5:59 pm
Location: ON, Canada

Re: Feeding Rules of Thumb?

Postby cjhills » Sun Feb 18, 2018 7:10 pm

isonychia wrote:High protein blends aren't really great for scenting dogs just FYI. I wonder how thin your dog really was, people are so used to seeing fat dogs anymore, including vets. I feed 50% less in the AM than the PM to make the NO FEEDING in the AM beofre working the dog a little easier. Don't feed your dog before working him.

My brittany weighs 38lbs and eats 1 cup FROMM adult in AM and 2 in PM, has been perfect. I up this to 4 cups a day when he has expended a lot in the field during recovery days.

Where does your information come from and what do you call hi protein blends. I would bet most really working scenting dog are fed 30/20.
Most pet vets will tell you a well conditioned dog is thin. But, he could be right. I do have a hard time keeping weight on my young working dogs. I do feed my dogs twice a day andI do feed in the morning on working days but it is probably 3 hours before working.........Cj
cjhills
GDF Junkie
 
Posts: 1833
Joined: Sat Jan 28, 2012 7:37 am
Location: aitkin,mn

Re: Feeding Rules of Thumb?

Postby setterpoint » Mon Feb 19, 2018 10:22 am

i wouldnt change you said he came back from training skinner than when you sent him there .what were they feeding mayby it was there food. but i bet it was the dog was working his weight off. keep feeding what you were feeding he should pick his weight back up unless your going to work him like they did. and i will add i bet your dog was in better shape when you got him back than when you sent him to the trainer
setterpoint
Rank: Champion
 
Posts: 350
Joined: Tue Sep 23, 2014 7:10 pm
Location: jellico tn

Re: Feeding Rules of Thumb?

Postby MNTrout68 » Mon Feb 19, 2018 4:02 pm

Thanks for all the input. Just to clarify a couple points:

First, I hear what you're saying about a young GSP always looking skinny. In this case, however, our vet is a serious upland hunter - like 50+ days a year - with decades of experience owning, training, treating and working gun dogs like ours. So, when he says the pup looks skinny, I pay attention.

Second, the "tell" wasn't ribs showing. It was apparently that his hips were looking a little too bony. That was a new one on me, but okay...

It's only been four full days since he got back from the vet. We added an extra half cup at each of the morning and afternoon feedings for the first couple days, and then tapered to an extra cup only once per day. Thus far, no signs of digestive intolerance. I can already notice a difference - his coat looks shinier (not that it was that dull before). I might be imagining it, but I think he looks less skinny too. At this point, I'm going to stick with the current levels for a while and monitor his weight. He's 53 lbs, so he's pretty close to full weight, but his parents were both on the big side for GSP's, so he may end up in the high 50's/low 60's.

Incidentally, I've seen some research on high protein foods for gun dogs too. The papers I read suggested that high fat (on a relative basis) is a little more important than high protein, which is one reason we switched him to Victor from Orijen. He seems to tolerate the Victor (which also has a grain component) than the Orijen (which is grain-free) too.
User avatar
MNTrout68
Rank: Just A Pup
 
Posts: 5
Joined: Mon Oct 24, 2016 3:33 pm
Location: Please ADD LOCATION

Re: Feeding Rules of Thumb?

Postby shags » Mon Feb 19, 2018 4:13 pm

Great that you see improvements already :)

IME some dogs are built so different bones show when they lose a little weight. My older setter can have covered ribs, but show some spine. My younger dog shows rib, which is ok with me, then hip, which isn't. years gone by, had a dog whose hip bones jutted out while everything else looked good.

As long as you're happy, and your vet pretty much agrees, all's good, right?
shags
GDF Junkie
 
Posts: 2223
Joined: Wed Jan 02, 2008 4:57 pm
Location: Please ADD LOCATION

Re: Feeding Rules of Thumb?

Postby greg jacobs » Mon Feb 19, 2018 9:25 pm

I like to feed twice a day. Less in the morning. And feed some before hunts.
One eats 4 cups, total
Two eat 2.5 cups, total
Measure the food
Weigh the dog
the bag is a guide line, but all dogs are different.
User avatar
greg jacobs
Rank: 5X Champion
 
Posts: 815
Joined: Tue Nov 26, 2013 11:04 am
Location: selah washington

Re: Feeding Rules of Thumb?

Postby ezzy333 » Mon Feb 19, 2018 9:55 pm

The dog is the only one that can tell you how much to feed. it is your job to pay attention .
User avatar
ezzy333
GDF Junkie
 
Posts: 16587
Joined: Fri Aug 20, 2004 3:14 pm
Location: Dixon IL

Re: Feeding Rules of Thumb?

Postby Grange » Tue Feb 27, 2018 9:37 am

MNTrout68 wrote:
Second, the "tell" wasn't ribs showing. It was apparently that his hips were looking a little too bony. That was a new one on me, but okay...



My vet also looked at the hips when we discussed if my setter was too skinny when she was training, trialing and hunting heavily. We could see her ribs, but he wasn't concerned with that as long as her hips looked good.

Unfortunately since she's been spade due to pyometra I now struggle to keep my setter's weight under control.
User avatar
Grange
Rank: 5X Champion
 
Posts: 1003
Joined: Fri Mar 30, 2007 5:24 pm
Location: Green Bay, WI

Re: Feeding Rules of Thumb?

Postby MikeB » Tue Feb 27, 2018 11:21 pm

MNTrout68,
When your dogs food alone is not working to keep weight on your dog I highly recommend add a digestive enzyme to each meal.
Products like Prozyme, K9 Power Digest Forte, Petenzymes.com Total-Zymes.
The difference is amazing depending on the dog. Do your research and give one a try.
MikeB
Rank: 5X Champion
 
Posts: 850
Joined: Thu Jan 04, 2007 2:20 pm
Location: So. California

Re: Feeding Rules of Thumb?

Postby Timewise65 » Wed Feb 28, 2018 9:59 am

My dogs have spent time with Trainers off and on! They always come back in great shape and look a bit thin, but they gain it back when at home because I cannot run them every day. I always use the general guidelines on the instructions on the food we are using. I then over time make minor adjustments from time to time based my observations and the amount of work they are doing. I keep my dogs a bit thin as it helps as they get older, less joint pain as they age and delays the onset of hip dysplasia if your dog has that problem...
I feed the twice a day....

I avoid all additives or supplements, as far to many cause allergy problems....sometime these allergic reactions are somewhat hidden... If my dogs food does not have all they need, I will change foods.....

Good Luck
Timewise65
Rank: 2X Champion
 
Posts: 408
Joined: Sun Aug 09, 2015 11:30 am
Location: Missouri


Return to Health and Nutrition

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests

| Pedigrees

THIS POST : Feeding Rules of Thumb? brought to you by Gun Dog Supply: Dog Training Collars & Hunting Dog Supplies

Click here to tweet this post

  • NOT logged in
  • Feeding Rules of Thumb?
  • ./viewtopic.php?f=88&t=52811&start=0&sid=d06c8a0dbe2e90271e6534f265cee01d