I got Luna when she was 8 weeks old. We brought her home and everything went really well. On week 9 I took her to the vet and she was 6.5 pounds. I took her again on week 11 and she was 8.6 pounds. A lot of people in the street has told me that she's the smallest 11-weeks-old lab they've ever seen. After hearing that multiple times I decided to do some research and I found out most of the labs at this age are 15-20 pounds.
I contacted the breeder and we identified one important problem: I'm feeding her with Natural Balance Limited Ingredients (which is a good thing) but I was only giving her 1 cup of food per day (three meals, 1 cup in total). I didn't read the little note in the food package saying that for puppies I should double the amount. The breeder told me he's giving the other puppies 3 to 4 cups per day. Now I understand why Luna was so hungry.
The question remains: is this weight (8.6 pounds) the consequence of not feeding her properly or she's also very tiny?
I've tried increasing the amount to 2-3 cups per day (we started yesterday) and she seems to lose her appetite at 1.5-2 cups. Should I keep increasing the amount progressively?
I called the vet who has checked Luna before and he said Luna is nor ribby and she's healthy and that I shouldn't give her more than 2 cups per day.
What do you guys think about her weight and the amount of food?
I read and have done since Rocky came home the following;
feed three times a day as much as puppy wants in 15-20 minutes, then pick it up till next meal,
I noticed my pup actually regulates himself, e.g.light lunch, bigger dinner.
sounds like Luna is doing the same, don't worry about how many cups,
if your vet says she looks alright, let her eat.
What was her size in comparison to littermates? 8lbs is the size of a 4-5wk old puppy here so it'd be VERY small for one of my puppies, but I guess it might be normal for her. Why are you feeding a limited ingredient food? They're not appropriate for a normal growing puppy. What did she come home on? I would get her up to 3cups, but again my puppies go home at 8wks on that amount.
My last pup was 12# at 8 weeks. But he was eating 1 cup a meal, and 3 meals a day. And I would NOT be feeding that food to a puppy. NB LID food was designed for dogs with problems. It's not a puppy food. Number one ingredient is sweet potatoes, not meat. That's probably part of the problem too.
I have another question for you. Do you have play biting issues? We are suffering from that and I wonder about your puppy as she reminds me my girl
Thanks for your answer Nicole.
The puppy came with Natural Balance LID from the breeder and the brand was recommended by the them. The vet has also confirmed that is a really good brand and the right type for a lab puppy since it's a large breed. Following the advice listed here, Natural Balance LID fits perfectly in all the recommendations.
She was the smallest of the litter but she wasn't way smaller than the rest. I'm feeding her 2-2.5 cups per day now and she seems to be growing more and healthy.
Why do you think NB LID was designed for dogs with problems? The description clearly states it's appropriate for puppies to and the main ingredient is fish, not sweet potato. This is the ingredient listing:
Crude Protein 21.0% minimum
Crude Fat 10.0% minimum
Crude Fiber 4.5% maximum
Moisture 10.0% maximum
Calcium 1.0% minimum
Phosphorus 0.8% minimum
Docosahexaenoic Acid (DHA)* 0.01% minimum
Omega-6 Fatty Acids* 1.4% minimum
Omega-3 Fatty Acids* 0.75% minimum
Thanks for your warm answer. Even if she's tiny she is healthy, playful and energetic. We don't have major issues with the biting, she loves chewing things but I've made the house puppy-friendly and have given her plenty of toys to play with. She loves playing tug of war with me and I'm trying to do reinforce with praise and treats that it's great to play as long as that doesn't include biting my hands while playing (unless I let her do it in a controlled way). Whenever she bites me I just say "No, no biting" with a low voice and move away from where we were playing so she understands the consequences of biting. Does that make sense? Can you describe the biting issues you're having?
I did the 'no biting and move away' thing. It seems to work but it only works when she is having time with me as I am not an excited person. When she is over excited and when I give her treats from my hand she has a very hard mouth. She also doesn't like (or likes it so she is play biting it) faces approaching her. My boyfriend has a huge wound on his lip I know this doesn't come from agression. I always control my energy level with her but other people don't control their excitement and they over excite her. That's why she needs to control her bite in exciting situations. How can I help her do this? I know this comes from excitement because after interacting those people, she bites me for a while.
Sipsi and arielcamus - hope all is well with your puppies!
Our Yellow Baby Girl "Dream A Little Dream" born December 16 2014
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Our Black Boy "Angus Demetrius" born April 26 2013
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Our TriPawd "King" - Shelter Rescue born late fall 2004