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How quickly should an underweight dog gain weight?


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Hi friends,

 

We recently adopted a rescue dog. Rosie is a 2.5 years old (or around so, at least according to the vet) Bull Arab X (at least according to the rescue group; though she's way smaller and leaner than most Bull Arabs that I've seen). About a month ago when we first got her she weighed 22.2 kg. She's about 55cm tall at the withers and 55cm long (from base of neck to base of tail). The vet said she was underweight, and her ideal weight should be around 26kg. See photos to see her body. So we've been feeding her LOTS. For the first two weeks, she had quite a few health problems (and not to mention the stress and digestive problems that she had because of new environment and new food), so her weight didn't change (or perhaps even decreased slightly). In the past 2 weeks, she's been gaining about 200g per week. We've been weighing her up every Monday. Last Monday she weighed 22.4 kg, and today 22.6–22.7kg.

 

Is this considered a normal/healthy weight gain? How long should we expect until she reaches 26kg?

 

Would appreciate any comment or advice to gain her weight. Thanks.

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it's hard with brindle dogs to be able to see the ribs. You can think you see them then realise it's a stripe. I have a brindle and I have to run my hands over her sides. Of course no knowing what cross she is does not help. If she has a fair bit of hound in her the she will be slender with a good tuck up. From the photo's I think she looks ok and might be too heavy with another 4 kilos on her. Don't get locked on numbers but rather on what you can see and feel. Depending what you are feeding her, if she had previously been food deprived, then the weight will come. Go slow so her system can adjust to all this new stuff.

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I agree with Rebanne.  She looks good in the photos so I would think with another 4 kg she would be overweight.  Can you just feel her ribs if you lightly run your hands over them?  If you need pressure to feel them then she is definitely not underweight, if you can feel a lot of rib then she is underweight.  And if she's recently been desexed she will start to put on weight when her hormones settle.

 

She is a lovely looking dog.  :)

Edited by jemappelle
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Rushing weight gain will often end up with the runs .
Putting weight on depends on what your even feeding,how many meals.
The dog in the photo kinda looks long in loin which means it may never appear fat no matter how much you feed it but also hard to tell from the photo off the side .
The other issue is with cross breeds is sometimes the front & the rear never match in looks

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Put your hands on her body and check against this score chart: https://wsava.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/01/Body-Condition-Score-Dog.pdf
 

When I first got my dog, who needed to lose weight, the vet gave me a rough figure and then we saw how he went. That figure ended up being a sort of ‘pet weight’ as show/dog sports people would say. Not fit, but not exactly overweight. He looks better at 200g less (this is a tiny dog lol).

 

In terms or how quickly a dog should gain or lose weight, I would ask a vet. Just like losing weight too quickly can cause health issues, so can gaining too fast.

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Thank you everyone for the replies!

 

I've attached here more photos showing her ribs. We're feeding her 3–4 times, perhaps even more, in smaller portions.

 

@Rebanne We do think that there's a bit of hound (probably scent hound) in her; both from appearance and habits.

 

@jemappelleI can definitely feel her ribs without trying. See photos below. She has just been desexed prior to our adopting her (around end of August).

 

@Papillon Kisses From the photo, it looks like she's a bit underweight?

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What is she being fed exactly ? Yes, these photos do show her ribs clearer- she's in about the same condition as my Koolie, Clive - who will leave his dinner /treats if he feels he's had enough, and who exercises like mad ...so I'm not concerned about him - I know he's fit and healthy , he enjoys his food , his toast crusts, his chicken pieces etc ....and if I try & feed him extra , he just leaves it. 

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yes those are better photo's and yes your girl could do with another couple of kilo's based on those pics. But she's not emaciated by any means. It's up to you how often you feed her but I'd only be feeding twice a day and about 10% more then "normal". Regular, good food should get her back to a good weight but as Perse said above some dogs never look a good weight.

 

Would love to see a follow up pic in 4 weeks time, one from above like your last one. She's a lucky girl your Rosie.

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I dont think the dog will ever appear to look fat from the photo taken above so you need to decide the dogs actual construction to what is reality

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Yes she could do with a little more weight but just go slowly.  Her hormones will be settling now so you may find you are battling a weight problem if not careful.

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@persephone her regular food is just Taste of the Wild. Consulted the vet about this. And some regular fruits and veggies during the day; raw carrot, pumpkin, sometimes broccoli or strawberries. She particularly needs more fibre than normal because her stools tend to be soft, and she's had a problem with her anal glands in the past. Also as occasional treats sometimes cooked chicken, lamb, or a bit of cheese.

 

@Rebanne will post another pic in 4 weeks time.

 

Thanks everyone for the comments! Hopefully we'll see progress with her weight soon. But regardless, she's happy, healthy, and fit!

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Just had to  look back at the photos again to admire her :) Soft stools CAN also be the result of pushing extra amounts of food thru ....have you tried Psyllium husks for the fibre content ? :)

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2 hours ago, Papillon Kisses said:

You might want to rethink TOTW re diet-associated dilated cardiomyopathy.

It’s actually not been proven either way a lot of false info given.

 

I feed this brand and have kept very update to date with the correct info from the proven vet sources and more than happy to feed it .

 

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