Will not gain weight.

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Princess of- Hyrule
Barked: Mon Aug 22, '11 11:38am PST 
I adopted Zelda last December and she hasn't gained a single ounce since then. She looks a bit more muscular, which is typical of a dog switched to a raw food diet, but her weight still reads between 25 and 26 pounds each time we weigh her in.

I like my dogs to be nice and slim, but she's just a little TOO slim. Her last few ribs are easy to see from overhead, same with her pelvic bones from any angle. Her ribs and pelvic bones are felt with very minimal pressure, you don't have to press down at all. It's not enough that you'd think she was malnourished, but I've gotten comments lately like people think I'm starving her. I assure you, she gets plenty to eat! When we first adopted her, I was feeding her double her daily requirement in raw food. Instead of gaining weight, she just pooped more. I tried to for about a month before putting her back on her regular requirements.

I could say that she keeps herself slim, but she really is not an active dog. She's a real couch-potato, and enjoys cuddling with people over exercise. She plays with our other dog, but nothing vigorous. She is not interested in toys at all, and I admit that she doesn't get regularly walked.

I don't mind taking a trip to the vet, I just wanted to check in online first and see what people had to say. Do some dogs just not put on weight? Can being slightly underweight cause health problems?

Thank you for any feedback.

I dig in mud- puddles!
Barked: Mon Aug 22, '11 12:17pm PST 
Rexy's metabolism didn't slow down until she was almost 3....
Before then, I could feed 3% without her gaining anything at all. Now she's at 2% and I'm watching her carefully to make sure she stays at 70ish lbs (she gained 8lbs without us noticing last winter, oops!).

I prefer her to be on the very lean side as she does a lot of running and some agility as well.

My understanding that is lean, even slightly underweight dogs live longer, are less likely to develop joint issues, and are generally overall healthier. The downside is that if a very lean dog gets sick and stops eating, then every pound they lose becomes a big deal...
Bella and- Daisy CGC

I'm a Meanie
Barked: Mon Aug 22, '11 1:10pm PST 
Have you tried like 1.5 times her food requirement, split into 3 meals instead of two (or two instead of three)?

Double what she needs, raw or kibble is going to make any dog poop more. Plus, a smaller amount each time might give her body time to digest the food easier.

Bella (10 pounds lighter than Daisy) eats 300-350 calories more than Daisy a day typically and she is less active than Daisy. So I don't think you can go by what a dog "should" be eating. That is just a guideline to start at them you adjust from there.

With a small food increase I would wait 4 weeks before deciding if it is working or not-gains might be very slow and she might need time to adjust to new food amounts.


Bonzaiiiiiiii!!!- !!!
Barked: Mon Aug 22, '11 1:22pm PST 
One of our dogs was like that. It didn't matter if he was on kibble or raw he just NEVER gained weight. With raw, he did get a bit more muscular and 'capable' looking, though. He was one of those dogs that wasn't super energetic, too. With Gaius, you could easily his las few ribs, and you could feel his spine quite easily too. I talked to the vet about it, and we ran some bloodwork just to be sure, but everything came back textbook perfect. He explained that some dogs just have naturally fast metabolisms and that for his body shape he looked great.

Noise Police
Barked: Mon Aug 22, '11 1:52pm PST 
B&D's suggestion to split it up into 3 meals is a good one. Another thing to try is to give her high-calorie snacks - like a tablespoon of peanut butter.
Hazel is naturally a thin dog too. She's always been thin, and plus we found that she had lost a few pounds over the past 6 months when we went in for a dental cleaning. confused We've been giving her extra peanut butter and other treats to put that weight back on. She went for her annual exam on Saturday and the vet and tech both commented on how thin she is, but they said her muscle tone is great and I'm feeding her well, so they aren't concerned. They said she is a lucky dog to not be battling easy weight gain! It seems to be natural for some dogs and not something to stress about unless they suddenly lose weight.

Edited by author Mon Aug 22, '11 1:54pm PST


All legs and no- tail
Barked: Mon Aug 22, '11 2:05pm PST 
Gunner has been this way his entire life. He hit his maximum weight (52 pounds) at about two years old and has never surpassed that. Typically, he weighs about 46 to 48 pounds which is a bit skinnier than I'd like, but I've learned that's just how he is. I worried about it for a long time. We actually did a thyroid test on him a few years ago to make sure he wasn't one of the very, very few dogs to have hyperthyroidism. He doesn't, he's just active and burns off calories like a machine. At nearly eleven years of age he still hasn't been able to gain weight and I have tried many tricks.

Of all of the dogs we've owned during his lifetime, he's always been the one to eat the most, despite all of them but Miles weighing at least ten pounds more than Gunner. To put it in perspective, Gunner eats about 1500 to 1700 calories a day depending on what extras he gets. Miles eats only 700 to 900 calories and usually weighs right at 47 pounds.

I guess my point is some dogs remain skinny no matter what you do. If she isn't losing weight or showing other medical symptoms I wouldn't be overly concerned.
Ziva *RIP*

Ruff N Tuff Diva
Barked: Mon Aug 22, '11 2:07pm PST 
Ziva has to eat 6-8% of her weight or she loses weight/won't gain weight. She is such a skinny minnie. She is super duper active, and is go go go all the time so it's tough keeping weight on her as well. I have found she does better with 1 large meal a day rather than 2 smaller ones....but that could be just her.
Toto, CD, RN, CGC

We don't do- doodles!!!
Barked: Mon Aug 22, '11 2:44pm PST 
Toto is another skinny but healthy. He just doesn't eat one ounce more than he needs, be it raw or kibble. I actually quit showing him years ago because it was embarassing when judges put their hands on his spine and ribs.
He was neutered at three, no change in weight at all, and he is NOT terribly active... snoozes most all day and evening.
But, he has the shinest coat, perfectly white, shiny teeth, bright eyes and clean ears. Blood work is GREAT, so how can I complain too much???
He did seem to gain two pounds this Summer, went from 18 to 20, but he has now slowed down eating again so I am sure it will be gone soon. I was really encouraged when he gained that two pounds cuz, while he is still thin, he is not quite so bony and you can't see the vertebrae on his spine. I had switched to a completely grain free kibble when he started to gain a bit but I guess he's now figured out how much he can eat and stay skinny, BOL!!

Princess of- Hyrule
Barked: Mon Aug 22, '11 3:34pm PST 
Thanks for all the responses guys!

I have never thought of doing multiple meals, but we could definitely try. I'll probably do twice a day instead of three, simply because a lot of our raw foods are hard to break up into multiple pieces without becoming a choking hazard.

The peanut butter is a good idea too. I'm sure Zelda will be happy with that plan laugh out loud.