Skinny Boston can he eat puppy food at age 6 years?

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I'm growling- bigger now
Barked: Fri Nov 9, '12 10:38pm PST 
A family friend asked me to care for his two dogs while he is in jail. One of them Diamond is a female min pin who is chunky and rather wide for her age. The other dog Psycho is a 6 year old male Boston. They eat the same food but Psycho will not gain weight. I recently got some sample bags of Taste Of The Wild puppy formulas as well as their adult dog formulas when I went to buy the cats food. I spilled some of the puppy food while getting a bowl ready for the pup of Psycho and Diamond's. Psycho ran over and gobbled it right up. Would it hurt for him to eat the puppy food? He has seen a vet and the vet said he is healthy just needs to gain weight, he has no worms of any kind and no problems health wise. He was being fed Old Yeller until they came to stay with me. My dogs always got really runny poos on that food. I want something that Psycho will eat to gain weight because you shouldnt be able to see his spine or his ribs. He and Diamond have food down all the time and they both eat out of the same bowl.

I'm triple- superior MAD- now!
Barked: Sat Nov 10, '12 7:08am PST 
Leaving food down when one dog is chunky isn't going to work well. If you increase the calories in that food it would only get worse for the chunky dog!

When I was feeding homecooked food I gave Sassy hard cooked egg whites mixed with a bit of yogurt for lunch and Max got the yolk mixed with a bit of yogurt. Max got really fat. Maybe you could offer the dogs a snack of that? Both are getting a treat but one treat is higher calories than the other. My two are medium sized, you could feed a single egg over a couple days for your boarders at least at first.
Ember FDX

Go Go Devil- Bunnies!
Barked: Sat Nov 10, '12 12:34pm PST 
How permanent is this arrangment? I always caution against changing up the routine for other people's dogs. It's nice to think you can find a fix for this thing or that, and the grateful owner will rejoyce over his dog's improved condition and carry forth with the cure you have found - but it really does not work like that. Your friend has been living with these two like this for 6 years. If he wanted to put work into this, he would have.

If this is a short term arrangement, I absolutely would not start messing around with different foods. You're going to cause stress on the dog's system that is already stressed from being away from home, only to have him go home in a few weeks and go back to living exactly as he was before staying with you. Not worth it.

If you simply must try to change things up, keep a dialogue with the owner if possible. If not, stay within the bounds of things he is likely to actually stick with. In this case, I'd put money cost is a huge issue or he wouldn't be feeding a food that costs $13.99 for 50lb. Switching to TOTW is just not gonna happen.

That being said, most of the time when I see an overweight dog living with a skinny dog who both share a bowl, the problem is that the overweight dog is pushing the skinny dog out. He may be very interested in the food he has, but because his housemate said "it's mine," it's socially unacceptable for him to keep trying to eat. Splitting them up and giving set meal times may be all you need to do.


Go Get 'Em
Barked: Fri Nov 30, '12 4:04am PST 
If this dog is underweight, it would probably be a smart idea to visit a veterinarian. If the dog is emaciated, begin increasing the amount of food he is eating slowly. If the dog is underweight, try feeding three small meals per day. If the dog is only midly underweight, just switch to a canned food. Make sure the dog is drinking enough, no matter what condition he is in. Once the dog is at an ideal weight, you can put the dog back on it's regular feeding schedule.
Ellie CGC

Born to be Wild
Barked: Sat Dec 1, '12 11:05am PST 
Would a skinny Boston 6 yr old gain weight on puppy food...yes, but PLEASE consider Maxwell's point about the possibility of both dogs gaining weight when only one dog is scrawny. While using puppy food to help a dog gain weight has been done, there's a couple of possible problems, the immediate one being the other dog's going to gain weight too if you put puppy food out for free feeding. The other is that if the dogs get a taste for the puppy food, which is usually higher in fat and more palatble, transitioning back to an adult formula might take a little work.

Give some thought to getting away from the free feeding regimen and see if you can get them on a schedule and eating out of separate bowls. Then you can try the diet adjustment for the thin dog without the other one gaining weight.