I am new to this forum. I need opinions both expert (and not)
I have a two year old lab that swims and swims and swims..well you get the picture. His vet has raised 5 labs and is not concerned but he drops 5-10 lbs in the summer and his ribs show a bit. And recently he started having cow patty poop.
I would like to increase his ability to hold weight during the summer months. He is currently on diamond natural LB pupply (per Diamond vet recommendation for extra calories. Don't know whether to add extreme athlete, performance or hi energy. Ingredients are better in extreme athlete, but both protein and fat are high 32/25.
Also thinking about going to pro plan after this food is gone just to see if switching foods puts more weight on him.
What does everyone think. His spirits are great (especially in water) just needs to keep weight on without getting cow patty poop.
I've been finding myself increasing Caleb's food by a 1/2 cup during the summer months to get him to hold his weight. Honestly, tho- ribs showing a little isn't a bad thing. If your vet isn't concerned, I wouldn't worry about it. As for the cow pie poops- is there a connection in timing to when he's been swimming? If it's only once or twice after swimming, it could be from ingesting water. My old guy used to have one or two cow pie poops after swimming. If it's more often, it could be the dog food- I'm no expert, but I wouldn't be feeding a 2 year old healthy dog a puppy formula. I'm also not so sure something with higher fat and protein are a good idea, either. I like the "normal" formulas (not LB, Performance, etc).
Great points. I am doing the 1.5 cups puppy and .5 cup extreme twice a day as instructed by Diamond vet. She seems to know what she is talking about but I am moving away from puppy at end of this bag. Probably will go away from even large breed adult and use their natural adult food.
I know I need to add something with higher kcal/cup but thinking the higher protein or fat might be causing the cow patty poops. No question swimming doesnt help that either.
I know seeing the ribs is not necessarily bad in the summer active months but he appears a little too boney all the way around. Really the challenge is adding the kcal/cup without disrupting anything else.
Maybe you could supplement the food you're giving now with some cooked hamburger?
I wouldn't be too concerned about his dropping 5-10 lbs with all that exercise (BTW, what's his normal weight?). If he's normally 70-80 lbs, that's not a lot to lose; if he's normally 50 lbs, then it may be something to worry about.
A number of fairly recent long term scientific canine nutritional studies -- in this country and in Europe -- have demonstrated again and again that dogs eating 75% of a "normal" diet live significantly longer plus have significantly fewer health problems.
Littermates were chosen as subjects, and of 2 males (same for females) that weighed the same, one was assigned to a control group and one to the experimental group. The dogs in the control group ate a "normal" ration while the dogs in the experimental group were given 75% of whatever amount their littermate ate.
Of the 5 or so studies I've read or seen summaries of, IIRC all dogs were Labradors.
So losing 5-10 lbs. may not be as unhealthy as gaining 5-10 lbs.
I'll see if I can google up some references to some of these reports. If I find some, I'll ETA them.
ETA: I found one reference that mentioned one of the studies on Labs. I'll look for others: Live Longer: The One Anti-Aging Trick That Works | LiveScience
Last edited by Bob Pr.; 07-06-2010 at 09:28 PM. Reason: ETA link
Puff [YF, AKC field line (from competing HT/FT breeder) 62 lbs, dob: 8-'01]
Bess [BF, AKC bench line (from competing show breeder) 55 lbs., 1967-1981] "Poor Bess, the Wonder Dog":
You might try Satin Balls as a way to add calories and put on some weight. You can search the net for recipes.
Here is what I am trying to figure out.
1. He clearly needs more calories. What is best way to achieve this without too much food (producing runny poop). High protein, high fat, both??
2. Should I feed large breed adult, regular adult, or a performance?
3. Should I stick with Diamond Natural or move to different brand to see if brand makes difference in putting more weight on.
I have not had good success with the richer, higher end foods. This is why we went Diamond Natural.
On the Satin Balls. Are these served raw? Do you not have same e coli concern as you would with human eating ground hamburger?
Re the satin balls - I have used them when my dogs were sick and needed to put weight back on them. As a result I fed only cooked meat since I did not want to add any ingredients to their diet that might compromise their immune systems. Both of my dogs are therapy dogs. If I were to use satin balls today they would have to be cooked since new regulations effective this year do not allow dogs who are fed BARF to do therapy visits.
I think if this were my dog, I might look at adding the High Performance as a part of your dog's daily ration.
You mention your dog does not do good on the richer higher end foods - was that on one brand only that you tried or a couple different brands and how long did you feed that brand? Evo's Turkey and Rice is high protein, fat, low carb. I think around 500+ calories a cup. You might want to talk to their customer service and see what they say about feeding that to your dog. I think I would consider that a high end food. However, because the Kcals are much greater you would not feed anywhere near as much food and in the end it could cost less and possibly work for you.
If this is a constant problem then I think long term you have to resolve it with your choice of foods. Short term or for maintenance purposes the satin balls might work by adding them a couple times a week to his diet. How much does your lab weigh? Do you know what the parents weighed? Some labs are built lean and stay that way their entire life. You might be one of the lucky people who won’t ever have to worry about joint or other health issues because your dog was never burdened with problems caused by being overweight.
There is a retriever training board at:
Contaminated Fish Oils - RetrieverTraining.Net - the RTF
where you might want to try posting this question. There might be people on there who have addressed this issue and could share their results with you. Good luck to you.
Bruno (3) had soft poop on Diamond Naturals L&R and I changed him to Taste of the Wild (someone here recommended it) for firm poops. Usually, putting weight on a Lab isn't a problem, but you can always just feed him more and let him swim and exercise less until you get his desired weight.
It was the fish in a Labs coat that got my attention. I have one too. He looks healthy, but so skinny. I have trouble keeping wieght on him. He's 8 and used to look like a small coffee table until he was diagnosed with IBD. He can only have a prescription food which we know isn't right, but no other choice. So what he eats and your dogs eats will be diffeerent. All dogs are different so each react to different foods. It is trial and error to see what suits. If you try a new one don't give anything else soo you know if it suits or it could be the treats.
Ernie also has allergies and sensitivity to foods so I tried different ones until I got the right one.If it were me I would try a different brand is he has runny poops even when not swimming. Satin balls are great and you can feed raw or cooked. Raw meat doesn't harm a dog. Just don't feed with the kibble at the same meal.
I feed him tofu to keep his weight up as it has been a concern. He hurt his knee so was not allowed at the beach for 6 weeks and gained weight. After all this time we think it could be the swimming and excersise that is burning the weight off. Perhaps this is the same for your dog.?? Just a thought.
A someone says often the swimming will give him runny poops. Vets told me it is called purging.