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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi my girl will be 12 weeks on friday and she is only 12.5 lbs. I know she should be closer to 15 or 16 lbs. She is very active and seems healthy. You can't see her ribs, but shes so fluffy. There is a tiny layer of fat between her and her ribs. At 8 weeks she was only 6.4 lbs. So shes gained 6 lbs in less than 4 weeks which is good I think.

Ive been worrying about her lately becuase I want her to be as healthy as possible. She was eating Nutro Natural Puppy for Large Breed Lamb, thats what the breeder had her on. But just yesterday I mixed some BLUE Buffalo Brand Puppy Chicken (not large breed in hopes she would gain weight) with the Nutro Natural I was using. I also gave her a little bit of wet food (nutro natural puppy chicken, again not large breed). She poops about 3 times a day and they are solid. She had a little bit of the runs yesterday but that was probably due to the diet change.



Am I worrying for no reason. Ive been concerned since the vet at 8 weeks told me she was thin. The vet also recomended I gave her free reign to her food. So now she eats about 15 times a day but maybe 1/8th of a cup at a time. Daily she is eating between 2-3 cups and she has food available at all times as the vet recomended.

Any thoughts would be much appreciated. Sorry if this is a question that has been asked time and time again. Thanks for your time and help.



 

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She is at a perfectly appropriate weight for her age. There is no need to worry at all. If you can easily feel her ribs, but not see them, you are in good shape. Also remember that females are generally smaller than males and if her parents were smaller, then she most likely will be too. The last thing you want is for her to put weight on too quickly. Slow growth is best since that is much easier on their growing bones and joints.
 

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Now Caue's Dad Too!
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I agree with the above. No two golden puppies grow at the same rate. Also no two golden puppies coats develop at the same rate or even in the same stages. You are checking the right way so keep up the good work.
 

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I would definitely not worry if I were you - although I can completely understand you wanting to ensure that your baby is as healthy as possible :) It is actually better if her growth rate is on the slow side, as opposed to packing on the pounds too quickly. I'm not sure if once you get more comfortable with her weight, you might want to re-think the "grazing" style of feeding...but for now, whatever works :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
thank you all that was reassuring. I'm only 23 years old and this is the first dog I've had on my own it sort of feels like a child. Ive had another golden and have definately been doing my homework. Shes got a great home I just want her to be healthy! Thanks again. Well I still think I am going to switch to the blue buffalo brand because it seems so much better in comparison to Nutro Natural ingredient wise. For the same price I want her to have a higher quality food.
 

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mine was 14.2 at 12 weeks, 3 weeks later he is 22.7 and a tiny bit on the thin side, so they start growing like weeds as from 8 weeks to 12 he only put on about 4 to 5 lbs.

Steve
 

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thank you all that was reassuring. I'm only 23 years old and this is the first dog I've had on my own it sort of feels like a child. Ive had another golden and have definately been doing my homework. Shes got a great home I just want her to be healthy! Thanks again. Well I still think I am going to switch to the blue buffalo brand because it seems so much better in comparison to Nutro Natural ingredient wise. For the same price I want her to have a higher quality food.
Just be very careful about the switch, as several puppies on the forum have found the Blue Buffalo puppy food too rich for them, and have had problems with soft stools as a result.

Here's a great article on slow growth, written by very well respected breeder/judge/health authority Rhonda Hovan:

http://www.goldenretriever.lv/Rhonda Hovan Slow Grow 2002.doc
 

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Just be very careful about the switch, as several puppies on the forum have found the Blue Buffalo puppy food too rich for them, and have had problems with soft stools as a result.

Here's a great article on slow growth, written by very well respected breeder/judge/health authority Rhonda Hovan:

http://www.goldenretriever.lv/Rhonda Hovan Slow Grow 2002.doc
This article made me nervous. Jack is almost 14 weeks and weighed 25 pounds earlier this week...so he's probably slightly more now. He was one of the larger of the litter and weighed almost 14 (I think 13.7 lbs) at 9 weeks. We limit his food intake and he doesn't even eat all his food at any given meal time...usually only in the morning. And I've been worried because he seems skinny.

So realistically he gained about 11-12 pounds in 5 weeks. Any suggestion on how to slow it down? Should we cut down his food? We've been feeding according to the instructions on the food.
 

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I wouldn't worry about her size, Josie was 11 pounds at 10 weeks, but yesterday, at 16 weeks, she was 28 pounds! Yikes! I tried to switch to Blue Buffalo too, but had to abandon it as it gave Josie diarrhea. I would advise going VERY slowly with the change. It took me two weeks to get her back to normal (on a diffferent food now - I had to mix with hamburger and rice - resulting in me totally overfeeding her and the humungous weight gain).
I'm a newbie at this too, the only other dog I've had was over 15 years ago!
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
well shes doing pretty good with the switch and I can see her eating more. I think she may like Chicken more, LOL. Picky pup. Her stool is definately not runny but not solid. Kinda right in between. I think she will adjust fine. Thanks for everyones replies. She is hating this Rainy weather in Northern California. We both have cabin fever.
 

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This article made me nervous. Jack is almost 14 weeks and weighed 25 pounds earlier this week...so he's probably slightly more now. He was one of the larger of the litter and weighed almost 14 (I think 13.7 lbs) at 9 weeks. We limit his food intake and he doesn't even eat all his food at any given meal time...usually only in the morning. And I've been worried because he seems skinny.

So realistically he gained about 11-12 pounds in 5 weeks. Any suggestion on how to slow it down? Should we cut down his food? We've been feeding according to the instructions on the food.
Part of the equation is overall size of the dog-ie, if he comes from very tall lines (more common in non-show bred lines), he may weigh a little more. The point of slow growth is to try to prevent hip and joint problems-OCD, pano, hip and elbow dysplasia-that can occur with rapid growth. Keeping him thinner until about 20 weeks is part of that equation. If he truly is on the thin side-you can feel but not see his ribs, when standing over him-I would not worry a lot. However, the instructions on dog food bags are usually a little over the top. I feed my puppies by feel :) If I can feel their ribs, good. If they get a little too thin, I slowly increase their food. If they get a little too plump (too much fat over their ribs), I slowly cut back on their food.

It's a very individual thing. My 2 youngest each went through a period when they were about 16 weeks to a little over a year, where 6 cups a day of Canidae was barely enough to hold their weight. They are both very active, very athletic and very muscular. Now, at 4 years and 15 months respectively, they are still eating about 5 cups a day but again, they are very active and it is cold out here (they spend about 4-5 hours a day outside). When spring comes, I generally have to cut back their food a little bit.
 

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I agree - many have found the Blue Buffalo to be awesome, but some of us, myself included, have discovered all it creates is a big nasty mess. :p: Go very slow with the change.
 

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Part of the equation is overall size of the dog-ie, if he comes from very tall lines (more common in non-show bred lines), he may weigh a little more. The point of slow growth is to try to prevent hip and joint problems-OCD, pano, hip and elbow dysplasia-that can occur with rapid growth. Keeping him thinner until about 20 weeks is part of that equation. If he truly is on the thin side-you can feel but not see his ribs, when standing over him-I would not worry a lot. However, the instructions on dog food bags are usually a little over the top. I feed my puppies by feel :) If I can feel their ribs, good. If they get a little too thin, I slowly increase their food. If they get a little too plump (too much fat over their ribs), I slowly cut back on their food.

It's a very individual thing. My 2 youngest each went through a period when they were about 16 weeks to a little over a year, where 6 cups a day of Canidae was barely enough to hold their weight. They are both very active, very athletic and very muscular. Now, at 4 years and 15 months respectively, they are still eating about 5 cups a day but again, they are very active and it is cold out here (they spend about 4-5 hours a day outside). When spring comes, I generally have to cut back their food a little bit.
He's not from taller lines so that can't be it...both parents are champions with impressive pedigrees. (We're planning to show Jack as well.) The dam is a bit on the smaller side, but the sire is a big boy and produces pups (particularly the males) with his structure. We anticipate Jack being pretty big but not gigantic (hopefully), about 80-85 pounds. I believe that's about how much his sire weighs.

I can definitely feel his ribs but they don't protrude from his sides. I don't think he's too thin but he doesn't have a layer of fat over his ribs. He seems to self regulate pretty well on food right now, like this morning he only ate half of his food. We pull it up after about 10 minutes. So maybe I should just see how he's doing and regulate based on "feel" as you mentioned. We're going to the vet tomorrow so I'll ask him how he feels about his weight.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Well honey is finally eating like I thought she should have been all along. We abandoned the Blue Buffalo and now she is eating about 3 cups a day of food. She weighs 16 pounds and is just shy of 14 weeks. She is still somewhat thin but not unhealthy. She has got the longest little chicken legs its so cute. I've also been giving her some canned unsweetened pumpkin, which helps regualte her stool. Yesterday she ate so much and took about 5 solid stools. I was so proud of her. Shes getting plenty of excersize and her coat looks great. I wish she weighed a few more pounds, but if she keeps eating like she is she'll be up there in no time. Im gonna let her bulk up just a little more and then switch her to a 3 times a day feeding schedule. My Vet said to give her free reign to the bowl 5 weeks ago...
 

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Finn was 22 lbs at his 12 week check up and the vet still felt he was a little thin. I'm pretty sure he's up to 27-28 now. I'm not feeling his ribs as much, but he still looks like a drowned rat when wet! They're all so different, and bone structure is a big deal too- if you look at my Finn, ("hopefully") pics on the puppy page you can see that Finn's feet at 12 weeks are three times the size of your pretty baby!
 

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This article made me nervous. Jack is almost 14 weeks and weighed 25 pounds earlier this week...so he's probably slightly more now. He was one of the larger of the litter and weighed almost 14 (I think 13.7 lbs) at 9 weeks. We limit his food intake and he doesn't even eat all his food at any given meal time...usually only in the morning. And I've been worried because he seems skinny.

So realistically he gained about 11-12 pounds in 5 weeks. Any suggestion on how to slow it down? Should we cut down his food? We've been feeding according to the instructions on the food.
He's not from taller lines so that can't be it...both parents are champions with impressive pedigrees. (We're planning to show Jack as well.) The dam is a bit on the smaller side, but the sire is a big boy and produces pups (particularly the males) with his structure. We anticipate Jack being pretty big but not gigantic (hopefully), about 80-85 pounds. I believe that's about how much his sire weighs.

I can definitely feel his ribs but they don't protrude from his sides. I don't think he's too thin but he doesn't have a layer of fat over his ribs. He seems to self regulate pretty well on food right now, like this morning he only ate half of his food. We pull it up after about 10 minutes. So maybe I should just see how he's doing and regulate based on "feel" as you mentioned. We're going to the vet tomorrow so I'll ask him how he feels about his weight.
Well from both of your posts I would say you are over feeding. If your pup is not eating everything you put down then you are putting down too much. A Golden will eat till he is full not stop when he has had enough. Just like people if we were to eat this way we will get over weight. Now I can not tell if your pup is overweight from here but I definitely would cut back the food. AS others have said you can not go by the "guidelines" on the dog food packaging and you can not go by what amount others are feeding especially if they are not feeding the same food.

My dogs always are looking for more immediately after eating and are very excited when it is time to be fed. And needless to say they eat with great gusto from first bite to last.
 

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She's gorgeous and looks a lot like our Maggie, who was about that weight at 12 weeks. People have said she looks "petite"; vet says she looks great. She's now 25 lbs. at four months. A male golden in her puppy class is more than twice her size so I'm OK with slow growth! Enjoy!
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
well Honey's stool is still not where it should be so inconsistent. It seems to me that she has really solid ones during the day then at night it is the opposite, especially in the evenings. It is so hard to predict whats going on. Im thinking since she has been eating so much the last few days thats whats causing this round. Im so confused and probably gonna set a vet appt. for thursday since she already has to get her 3rd shots that day. She had diahrrea really bad but it has gotten way better after I stopped with her diet change. I have some other concerns so Im leaning towards a vet appointment. Any thoughts?
 

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I'm glad Honey's tummy is improving - what is it with the Blue Buffalo??? What did you switch to, out of curiousity? Josie's stool isn't always firm, either, but I'm pretty sure its from the leaves, sticks, dirt, grass, snow, and everything else she gobbles down when we are outside! But I can definately see the change in her energy level since we got off the BB. You can just tell she feels good!
Love the pictures, she's beautiful!!
 
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