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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So if any of you have been following Shiloh's progress, you know she was grossly underweight when we got her and has suffered from coccidia and giardia. She is finally on track and eating and growing, for which we are so thankful!

But how much is too much? I feed her a ton just to help her catch up. Not quite free feeding, but almost. Probably 4-5 meals a day totaling maybe 3 cups of a kirkland/Taste of the Wild combo. She weighs around 15 pounds at 15 weeks. Maybe more, just going off our home scale and some math after weighing ourselves with her and without her. She's still small, but I don't want to make her grow too fast either.

Should we be feeding her more than the recommended amount to help her catch up, or feeding her as recommended? Also, we are in the process of switching her over from Kirkland brand food to A Taste of the Wild, hence the combo diet at the moment. The wetland flavor ToTW does not come in puppy formula, so do I just offer her the adult amount or a little more? The vet said it was fine to offer her the adult formula in that brand of food. I just want to give her the right amount - enough to grow properly but not so much that she gets overweight or grows too fast.

Here is a pic of her i just took this evening. Fresh out of the bath, which is why her fur looks odd. Not only is she not skin and bones anymore, I actually can't even see her ribs. Is that good or bad? I'm just so glad she looks healthy I haven't even thought about over feeding her until tonight when I noticed I couldn't see her ribs at all. She is 15 weeks old.
 

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I've been giving my 10 week old 2.5 cups. I feel like it might be too much but I can't not feed him when he licks the bottom of his bowl while we're still eating dinner. His stool is fine so I gave him 3 cups today. He gets a ton of exercise so maybe he just needs the energy
 

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Most puppies, given half a chance, will eat themselves into a coma. With large breed dogs, especially, you want slow growth, and a lean puppy for the health of their joints and their continued health into adulthood. What have your vets said about the amount being fed to these puppies?

To give our experience, at 9-12 weeks old, Bear was eating 0.75 - 1.00 cup of puppy food split into three meals. Bear wasn't getting 3 cups of food until about 6-8 months of age.


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I've looked up the feeding chart of my old food, b/c I remember we were always at the very bottom of the recommended feeding for his age and full-grown weight, it says 3-5 months to feed 2 cups a day (which would be split into three meals).

I also looked up the TOTW puppy food and it says for 15 lbs @ 15 weeks to feed 2-3.25 cups. I personally, would stop free feeding. Get the puppy on a meal schedule (3x a day if you can), and try for 2 cups a day and see how Shiloh reacts to that. I do remember that for a while (I think it was around 8 months), he was getting 4 cups of food a day and still looked perfectly lean. At that point he was going through an intense growth spurt.

In short - scale back the kibble a bit, don't rush the growth. Shiloh may grow slower for a bit longer than most but she WILL catch up in her own time. :)
 

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I compared the T of the Wild Pacific Stream Puppy formula to the Wetlands Adult formula. They appear to be very similar in nutrition content. I would suggest you follow their puppy feeding guidelines they suggest for their puppy formula. At Shiloh's age and weight, the recommendation is 2 to 3.25 cups per day. I think that because Shiloh is behind, you may need to feed the higher puppy amount for a little longer.

Because Shiloh is so far behind, I would not worry so much about slow growth. You are not supposed to see your dogs ribs; you should be able to feel them. I would keep an eye on her and monitor how she is doing. Shiloh has a lot of bone, muscle and brain tissue to grow and needs sufficient nutrition to make that happen.

It is great to hear that Shiloh is doing so much better. Here is a link to the Taste of the Wild feeding guidelines for puppies. I think 3 cups per day is a good amount.

Dry Food, Pacific Stream Puppy Formula - Taste of the Wild Pet Food
 

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First, what an absolutely adorable pup! :))

Second, way to go. She looks fabulous. I'm no golden expert but I have read that your suppose to be able to feel there ribs without pushing in and if you look at them from above you should see hip bones I believe. So as long as you steadily feed her, her growth with be awesome. So glad she is in a loving family <3

I'm not really the one to talk to about feeding amounts. At one point for a fee weeks Tanner was eating around 5-6 cups in three meals. Lately he has knocked him self down to 3-4 cups I think he was eating so much because we are really active and he was going through a growth spurt. Vet said he was doing great and if he was eating every last kibble to up him by 1/4 cup. And so we did. Haven't done that lately cause in trying to fade out the "lunch" but might have to keep it cause of how active we are.

Tanner ( ruff ruff ) && Spirit


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Every puppy or dog needs a different amount there may be an average but you need to feed the puppy in front of you. You do want to make sure your not putting on extra weight to overwhelm the joints but she needs enough calories to feed all her systems and at some points along the way they just need more. Its hard to tell from the sitting picture but she definitely doesn't look over weight. look at her from the side while she is standing can you see her ribs? Run your hands down her sides you should feel a comfortable amount of fat that when you press lightly you will feel the ribs. You should not have to push hard to find them.
She may have to for awhile eat more calories to allow her to build a small reserve, so if she is doing well not heavy and maintaining a steady growth I would just continue. Puppies change quickly so just keep an eye on those ribs and how they feel and adjust as you go. Tink at that age was at 3 cups a day for about 8 weeks then she started to build a bit of chub and we slowly cut back. Activity level and their own metabolism makes how they burn calories different as well. If in doubt double check with your vet or the breeder.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thank you for the advice, everyone. Sounds like it's time to move her to three meals a day rather than 4-5. Still not sure about the amount to feed her, especially being on the mix as we phase out the old food and phase in the new, as they have differing amounts. So I guess I'll just keep watching her ribs and as long as they aren't too hard to find I'll use that as a good indication that she's eating a good amount for her age and size. When I feel her sides I can feel the shape of her ribs easily without digging to find them. She definitely isn't overweight if that is the guideline. I think I'll aim for about 2-2.5 cups a day plus treats (lots of treats for training through the day) and watch how that does for her shape and growth.

It's funny, for the month and a half we've had her we've just tried to get her to eat anything in any amount at any point in the day she was willing. We were lucky to get her to eat even half a cup a day at first! It felt like we were begging her to eat. Poor girl was clearly not well, and her poor system just wasn't working properly. :( But now I have to actually think about how much she eats and how often. It's so good to know she is finally on track and healthy.

To bring home a 2lbs 13oz eight week old, and to now have a 15 pound fifteen week old, I think she's doing pretty well! And seven of those pounds have been in the last three weeks. Grow Shiloh, grow!
 

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I think you are doing great, and I'll just echo you, "Grow Shiloh Grow!"

You know one day you will look at your 65 lb adult dog and wonder where the baby went, lol.
 

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Every puppy or dog needs a different amount there may be an average but you need to feed the puppy in front of you. You do want to make sure your not putting on extra weight to overwhelm the joints but she needs enough calories to feed all her systems and at some points along the way they just need more. Its hard to tell from the sitting picture but she definitely doesn't look over weight. look at her from the side while she is standing can you see her ribs? Run your hands down her sides you should feel a comfortable amount of fat that when you press lightly you will feel the ribs. You should not have to push hard to find them.
She may have to for awhile eat more calories to allow her to build a small reserve, so if she is doing well not heavy and maintaining a steady growth I would just continue. Puppies change quickly so just keep an eye on those ribs and how they feel and adjust as you go. Tink at that age was at 3 cups a day for about 8 weeks then she started to build a bit of chub and we slowly cut back. Activity level and their own metabolism makes how they burn calories different as well. If in doubt double check with your vet or the breeder.
This is great advice.
 

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I don't actually think she looks skinny. She's a little small, but she may always be a little small. Shala was 19 pounds at 15 weeks, so not that far off. I think you can probably be feeding her 2.5 cups of a large breed puppy food, either over 2 or 3 meals (I still feed Shala 1 cup morning and night, and she gets a little snack from her walker (between 1/4 and 1/2 cup). But honestly, I think Shiloh looks good - not at all sickly. She's just a little petite thing - and a total cutie pie.
 

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Ella is at 18 pounds at 15 weeks and 3 days. She was also small when I first got her at 9 weeks old. The vet said she had a bad case of parasites and worms. She was a bit small and underweight. She just had the last treatment treatment today for the parasites and has a vet appointment Friday for her last puppy vaccinations. When I was at the vet a few weeks ago they said she was still on the small side. Her mother was also a bit small for a golden though, 60 pounds. And her full sister from the same parents was 55 pounds. Don't remember her father's size. Right now Ella has long, lanky looking legs.

I've been feeding her Wellness Large Breed Puppy formula. I've been giving her 2.5 cups a day, but I think I'm going to be upping it to 3 cups a day soon. I'm going to check with the vet on Friday.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Ella is at 18 pounds at 15 weeks and 3 days. She was also small when I first got her at 9 weeks old.
When is Ella's bday? Shiloh is July 7. Sounds like they are almost exactly the same age.

Shiloh got really long and leggy about a week ago, and then all of a sudden she just looked more golden retriever shaped. Probably filling out as she gets ready for a growth spurt or something. And in response to other comments, yes, she is past the sickly and skinny look, finally! She really does look like she's a healthy weight now. Instead of worrying about being underweight, it seems she has caught up and is proportional, so it might be time to cut her feeding back to an amount appropriate for a normal puppy her age rather than an underweight one like she was at first. A good problem to have in my book!
 

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They're only one day apart. Ella's birthday is July 6. She's had the long leggy look for a couple of weeks.

It's good that Shiloh is caught up and proportional though. I'd give her the recommended feeding amount on the bag and feed her three times a day if she seems to be around the correct weight for the size. You don't want her gaining too much weight for her size.
 
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