I took Spot to his vet on 1/27 for his shots. He weighed 26 lbs that day and had gained 8 lbs in total since 1/13 (weighing 18 lbs at his 1st check-up). The vet examined him and said he is a bit on the chubby side and told me to watch for his food intake.
We feed him Nutro NB Lamb and Rice Large Breed Formula. Prior to 1/27, he was fed 3 cups a day plus occasional treats for house training (e.g., small pieces of chicken meat, baby carrots, bacon bits, dog biscuits, half cup of low fat yogurt, etc). We reduced his feeding to 2 cups a day (and much less treats) hoping this will slow down his weight gain, it seems to be working. He only gained 2 lbs the following week, weighing 28 lbs on 2/3.
The problem with feeding him 2 cups a day, is that he seems to be hungry all the time and is constantly looking for food in his bowls or around the house. Do you think I am not feeding him enough? What can I do to make him 'less' hungry?
Another question I have is if there is a dog food that is 'low-fat' or less caloric, but still nutritiously balanced for large breed puppies?
Thanks for your inputs!
He's a lab...you could feed him 5 cups a day and they'd still be scouring for food. I think you are fine.
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Hmm, I'd be really careful about cutting a puppy's food though. Talk to your breeder about how much to feed.
The thing is, Gabby and Maverick would get really chubby- and then shoot up like a weed and thin out. It's very similar to kids. I didn't start worrying about weight loss, etc, until they were older.
I wonder if maybe instead of reducing his food and treats too much maybe just give him an extra little walk or something to burn a few more calories, maybe then poor Spot won't feel like he's missing out! and you won't have to worry that he's not getting enough. i wouldn't go to low calorie foods or anything though, as they are i'm sure plum full of fillers too make the dog feel full. good luck
Can you feel his ribs?
Many puppies do go through a "chubby" phase. This is not necessarily fat, but part of their development. You may even find that in a few months time the coin flips and he goes through a gangly phase...it is all a part of growing up.
You don't say how old Spot is?
Like gabbys mom, I would also be a little leery of cutting back a puppies food. Getting the balance right is important of course and you don't want him to become overweight but equally, you want to make sure he is getting the proper amount of nutrition in this important time of growth. I think your first port of call is your breeder -- ask him/her for advice.
If I were you in your situation, what I would do is cut out all treats with the exception of healthy ones (baby carrots for example). That means all dog biscuits, scraps, etc, and stick to just the 3 cups.
Oh...and a big fat no to the low fat/low calorie foods...not suitable or necessary for a growing pup.
I agree with Trickster, and I don't think 2 cups of food per day is nearly enough for a growing puppy.
Also, my dogs are bench type labs, and I can't tell you how often people tell me that they think my dogs are fat - and they certainly are not fat.
Personally, if it were me and my pup (and there are a million ways to handle this...), I would probably just cut back each feeding by like 1/4 cup and limit treats a little. I wouldn't up the exercise because puppies should really just be self-regulated in that manner to avoid extra stress on the joints. An extra play session of tossing a ball or puppy-wrestling, but no walks (unless the pup is old enough, and then still keep them shorter).
And stay away from "diet" dog food, at ANY stage of life!!!! Never for a puppy and then later on as an adult, it's just filler...you'd be better off feeding less. We dropped all our dogs last year from 4 cups to 2 cups and they are much better for it. Sure, they will tell you they are still hungry...but what lab wouldn't. At least this way, they still can have treats.
How old is he?
Mine was chubby too, but now at 3months she is about 22lbs, and isn't chubby anymore
thanks so much for the replies! Spot is 3 months old (born 11/1/06). He is a English style pure-bred yellow lab, so yes, he is definitely more stocky than what people used to.
I can't really feel his ribs. The vet examined his belly and said he is a bit chubby. I took it that she couldn't feel them either.
I am hoping what he has is baby weight and he will lose it as he grows older. What made me concerned was he gained 8 lbs in 2 weeks. I think that is too fast, plus the vet thought he is a bit chubby.
Sounds like a normal. healthy puppy to me. Beware of vets, or anyone else, who isn't familiar with show bred labradors...they will always think they're "heavy" :