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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My dog Melo turned two in September and only weighs 61.6 lbs. This might be normal for some Goldens, but Melo is very tall and his ribs show and his waist is small. People have even stopped us on the street accusing us of malnourishment, which was humiliating and extremely upsetting. He's very active and has never been an enthusiastic eater. He refuses to eat dry food and has many allergies that manifest in ear infections and hot spots. Up until last week (when he decided he no longer liked his food), we were feeding him five cans a day of Merrick (Venison Holiday Feast and Wilderness Blend). Our vet did blood work looking for an enzyme disorder or something that might explain what Melo refers to as his "skinnyz" but came up nil. I'm now feeding him ground beef, sweet potatoes, carrots, apples, and peas that I make in a slow cooker. We also put Purina Fortiflora (probiotic--our vet recommended it) on the food. As I don't agree with the ethics of Purina, I'm going to be switching him to Probiotic Miracle as soon as we use up all the Fortiflora. I understand that being underweight is quite a unique problem for Golden Retrievers, but I was wondering if anyone might have any suggestions. Thanks for your time!

(The below picture should show his "girlish" waist)


4,129 Posts
I'm assuming your vet did a fecal check for parasites?

For me, the go to for a dog that won't eat is green tripe. You can buy cans of the stuff at a good pet store. When my last golden had cancer and lost her (always great!) appetite, I was at a loss until someone here mentioned tripe. I added it to her favorite kibble, well mixed in with some water, and she ate it all and even licked the bowl.
Might be worth a try.
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Well.... that was just extremely rude of those people on the street. :(

The things I would want to check and rule out:

Kidney function - I think his numbers would have been off, but I would have gone as far as asking for an ultrasound to check things out based on our experience with a golden who likely was born with a failing kidney. Charmy did not show any outward signs of illness besides never being an eater. Sometimes he'd eat well (if we mixed ground beef, gravy, lunchmeat, wet food, etc) into his food. And even that did not always work.

Thyroid function - if his thyroid were messed up (hyperthyroid)

The other thing to... and this is something I went through with Bertie the last 4 weeks or so. Basically, he went through a phase where he did not want to eat his food and showed zero interest in eating. He would sniff his food and walk away.

I initially thought it was a bad bag of food - and bought a new bag. Same thing.

I contacted friends from here who have helped me in the past, and then contacted his breeders as well to check on his littermates to see if they were going through the same phase. The answer was no and they were concerned as well.

Fast forward to last week, he suddenly started eating again and right through today, he's back to gobbling up his food in less than a minute.

The only thing I did different - and it was very hard, was if he didn't eat - pick the bowls up and put the food back into the bag. Even though it led to him only eating 1/2 - 3/4 cup of food a day, I stuck to it to keep him from turning into a picky eater or learning that he didn't have to eat his food when I put it down for him.
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