I know this has been asked before, but I did and search and didn't find a ready answer. Not sure how much to be feeding 16 wk old pup - researched online and get a lot of differing answers. She is 16 wks, weighs 24 lbs, is thin, but doesn't seem TOO thin to me. Feeding 2.5 cups per day. Should I increase?
What amount/range are others feeding 16 wk old pups?
Really depends on the food you are using (and the calories) - but I would think that she should be closer to 3.5 cups a day.
Sharon, Blaise and Diesel.
Unfortunately, no one can give you an accurate answer.
That's because there's such a difference in the rates of growth and weight gain between different lines and litters of Labs. And adult Labs can vary between 50 and 150 lbs. or more.
Some Labs come from closely monitored/selected bench line Labs; some come from HT/FT line Labs; most come from BYB/PM mixes between the 2.
That said, my Puff was a "runt" (6 lbs @ 9 wks age) from an AKC HT/FT competitor.
At the beginning of 16 wks, Puff weighed 25 lbs.
I've been very fortunate with Puff -- she's always been a self-regulator consuming food.
Her consumption of food (350-400 kcals/cup) went from a cup a day shortly after she came to live with me to about 5 cups/day around 8 months. Then she began skipping any eating for a day or so before consuming a reduced amount. It's currently 2 cups/day divided between 2 servings.
When people have Labs that are NOT self-regulating, I don't know how they judge the point at which to reduce kcals at meals.
Last edited by Bob Pr.; 09-15-2009 at 08:42 PM.
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":
Hank is 18 wks now, but at 16 wks he was 29.6 lbs. I was still feeding him what the vet recommended - no more than 3/4 cup three times a day. However, he just looked way too ribby, too thin. One day it dawned on me that he looked like a stray! I hated going against what the vet said, but I felt he needed more, so I kept upping the amount of food. We are now at about 1 1/2 cups three times a day, and finally, I can only just barely see his ribs. If he starts getting plump, I'll just cut back a bit. But he's just growing so fast!
I was really hoping for more replies on this thread. I had a lot of food related concerns, and finally called my vet.
Hank is 5 mos, 44 lbs., and about 20" tall to the top of his shoulder (just so you can kind of compare with Maisy). I'm still feeding him the 1.5 cups 3x a day, plus about a TB of peanut butter in his toy, plus maybe another 1/4 cup (at most) of kibble in training treats throughout the day.
He is still at the point where you can just barely see his ribs, but is otherwise very healthy. I'm assuming it is normal for his belly to always be a bit concave on the sides.
When I called my vet yesterday, I asked to speak to/ or leave a message for someone who could really answer my questions about a large breed dog. Usuallly, the person who answers the phone tries to field the questions before they reach the vet, and I have found that once in a while, I would get slightly different advice from the two. This time was no different - "Well, let me see if I can help..." After I rattled off a few of my questions, she said that she would have a vet call me back.
These were my concerns, mostly based on info I had researched online:
Am I feeding too much?
When do I switch to adult food? I've read different things all over the internet, even on breeder and vet sites, from 4 mos to 1.5 years.
What kind of food? I thought the Iams brand was supposed to good, but recently saw it trashed by many posters one forum.
Is my puppy growing too quickly? I was reading that is bad for joints and results in less dense bones.
Here is what I was told:
Labs are so different, that your only real guide is your individual dog. Look at him. Observe him. Adjust his food amounts accordingly.
The switch to adult food should be complete right around the time of neutering, which is in one month for Hank. So we'll start now.
Iams is one of the better supermarket foods, but no supermarket foods are that great. Go to one of the smaller local pet stores (not a chain) and pretty much anything there will be good. One of the least expensive better foods is Canidae (something like that). It depends on your budget.
He's not growing too fast. Although, good food will be good for his growth rate.
Does that sound like good advice?
The breeder we got Wyatt from was feeding Innova.
We also had questions as to the proper daily feeding amount, so I Googled "Innova", and their website has recommended feeding amounts for their food products based on age. It has come in quite handy and we've referred to the site often.
Here's a link to the Innova website: http://www.naturapet.com/tools/feeding.asp
Covington, LA (New Orleans)
Thanks for the info, Bayou. I'll check it out.
We are just revisiting the when-to-switch question again.
How is Maisy doing?
I had gotten 6 of those free sample bags of Canidae to start introducing it to my then 5 month old pup. Never got past only a TBS or two a day mixed in to his old food. His stool became quite soft and never firmed up, even though we never increased the small mix-in amount. After about 2 weeks, I stopped giving it to him. It was so discouraging. As soon as I discontinued it, his stool firmed right up.
I'm not looking forward to the possibility of soft stools again, or the dreaded "traveling poop" where he goes a little, takes a step, goes some more, takes a step, etc, but I would like to try a different, better brand. I'll check out Innova.
I'm worried that maybe he is growing too quickly, he's at 6 mos, was neutered on Tuesday, and weighs 60 lbs. I've been told that this is the time to switch him off of puppy food anyway.