Puppy Forum and Dog Forums banner

1 - 16 of 16 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
3 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I have a four-year-old Husky. He's a very active, athletic dog with a very high metabolism. As a result, it's difficult for him to maintain his weight. We've taken him to the vet to make sure he's not ill and he received a perfect bill of health. All the vet could really tell us is that we needed to put him on a high-calorie food.

So, what would you suggest? We need a high quality, high calorie food that we can keep our dog on long term. Suggestions?
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
1,765 Posts
um....just feed more? All of the higher quality foods have higher kcal/cup since they're higher in meat content and lower in fillers. So stuff like Orijen, Evo, NV Instinct, Wellness CORE, etc would all work fine. You just have to feed an amount appropriate to your dog's activity level. What are you feeding now?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
17,917 Posts
um....just feed more? All of the higher quality foods have higher kcal/cup since they're higher in meat content and lower in fillers. So stuff like Orijen, Evo, NV Instinct, Wellness CORE, etc would all work fine. You just have to feed an amount appropriate to your dog's activity level. What are you feeding now?
Sometimes it's not quite that easy. My rat terrier is COMPLETELY disinterested in food. Getting him to eat enough to maintain a healthy weight is a pain in the BUTT. For me, the solution was raw - it's all food, no filler. Also gets around his 'picky', neatly.

OP, try google for a 'calories per cup' comparison. I know there's one out there, somewhere, but I can't for the life of me remember where and I can't search from my mobile internet. I was looking for similar things before I decided to just go raw.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
246 Posts
um....just feed more? All of the higher quality foods have higher kcal/cup since they're higher in meat content and lower in fillers. So stuff like Orijen, Evo, NV Instinct, Wellness CORE, etc would all work fine. You just have to feed an amount appropriate to your dog's activity level. What are you feeding now?

Huskies don't work like that - They eat very little.

I would recommend Blue Wilderness, Acana, Zero/G or Earthborn Holistic. All are high quality and high protein. If I were still feeding kibble, I would be feeding that in a rotation to my huskies. Now, mine eat raw.

Huskies are generally very slim. Your dog may just be lanky.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,849 Posts
If you want to stay with kibble, Mheath0429 gave good suggestions. My foster boxer dog put on weight nicely with Earthborn and is holding it well.

My huskies are few prey model raw. When I got my rescue girl last year she was about 25% underweight. She gained weight at a good healthy pace, about a lb+ a week, and in about 2 months was at her ideal weight and hasn't gone back down (or continued up) since.
ETA pic, she gained a few more lbs since the second pic to fill out to her ideal weight. This was a 6 week difference.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
For the last few months, he was on Natural Balance Ultra, and it was doing a great job of keeping his weight steady. BUT - he's a picky eater and he decided out of the blue that he didn't like it anymore. His change of taste happened right as we were preparing to leave for a week-long vacation without him, and he quickly decided not to eat anything at all (not even boiled chicken or hamburger!).

A week of inappetance and stress brought on an almost ten-pound weight loss. Given the short period of time and the fact that he was BARELY at a healthy weight to begin with, and that ten pounds made a BIG difference.

We were able to find a food that he likes (Nutro, for sensitive stomachs) but he can't eat enough of it to gain what he lost. And if I try to add things like canned dog food, eggs or meat to the dry food, he'll turn his nose up at it until I put down a bowl of plain dry food.

As some of you said - Huskies have a different relationship with food than other dogs do. I can't just "feed him more." When he was on Natural Balance, he was getting four cups of dry a day. With the Nutro that he is on now, we're basically letting him eat as much as he wants. But we need another solution.

I just bought a bag of Evo, at the recommendation of the clerk in our local feed store. It's supposed to have one of the highest percentages of fat and protein, so we're going to start mixing it in with his Nutro and we'll see what happens. I also just purchased a bag of Blue Buffalo puppy food (for our new puppy) and I may incorporate that into my Husky's diet, as well.

I'm not sure there is anything more frustrating, though, than a Husky with a sensitive stomach and picky tastes. But I love him to death! =)

Thanks for your suggestions, guys!
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
1,765 Posts
That's interesting to know about huskies. I guess the couple of huskies I know fit that description too. What are they? Doggy super models? :p

Anyways natural balance is a fairly low protein food and fairly average on kcals, somewhere around 350kcal/cup I think. I've never really looked at Nutro but the caloric content is probably fairly average for that too. Most of the high quality grain free foods are in the 400-500 kcals /cup range. Evo I think is one of the only ones with over 500kcal/cup iirc. So yeah you picked up one of the highest calorie kibble you can get.

Good luck with it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
246 Posts
For the last few months, he was on Natural Balance Ultra, and it was doing a great job of keeping his weight steady. BUT - he's a picky eater and he decided out of the blue that he didn't like it anymore. His change of taste happened right as we were preparing to leave for a week-long vacation without him, and he quickly decided not to eat anything at all (not even boiled chicken or hamburger!).

A week of inappetance and stress brought on an almost ten-pound weight loss. Given the short period of time and the fact that he was BARELY at a healthy weight to begin with, and that ten pounds made a BIG difference.

We were able to find a food that he likes (Nutro, for sensitive stomachs) but he can't eat enough of it to gain what he lost. And if I try to add things like canned dog food, eggs or meat to the dry food, he'll turn his nose up at it until I put down a bowl of plain dry food.

As some of you said - Huskies have a different relationship with food than other dogs do. I can't just "feed him more." When he was on Natural Balance, he was getting four cups of dry a day. With the Nutro that he is on now, we're basically letting him eat as much as he wants. But we need another solution.

I just bought a bag of Evo, at the recommendation of the clerk in our local feed store. It's supposed to have one of the highest percentages of fat and protein, so we're going to start mixing it in with his Nutro and we'll see what happens. I also just purchased a bag of Blue Buffalo puppy food (for our new puppy) and I may incorporate that into my Husky's diet, as well.

I'm not sure there is anything more frustrating, though, than a Husky with a sensitive stomach and picky tastes. But I love him to death! =)

Thanks for your suggestions, guys!
Im going to be 100%honest with you. I would never feed nutro anything. They are owned by mars (melamine recall and deaths) and until two weeks ago still had synthetic vitamin k in their foods and various other questionable preservatives. I also couldn't get anyone to tell me what their fish was preserved with.

Go with something owned by a smaller company. It will be worth it in the long run.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
438 Posts
Canned food has more calories than dry, but may also have more fat. Whichever dog food you choose, be sure that there are no fats listed in the first four ingredients. Excess fat in your dog's diet may lead to pancreatitis. You may choose to supplement his dry chow by mixing some canned food into it at mealtimes. Feed your dog three or four medium-sized meals a day instead of giving him extra food during a once-daily feeding. Overeating may lead to bloat in dogs who are predisposed to the condition.

Adding some high-protein "people food" to his diet can help him put on weight, too. Meat scraps with the fat trimmed off, cheese, eggs and cooked vegetables (easier on the dog's digestive system than raw) are recommended. Not all people foods are good for dogs, though, and some may even be harmful. Avoid feeding your dog onions, garlic, grapes, chocolate, and fruit pits or seeds, among others.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,074 Posts
I also have a hard to keep weight on dog that is also a picky eater right now she is eating NV prairie but I want to switch to grain free again, I have a bag of earth born primitive naturals that I am going to try next

Slightly related question ... How long does dog food stay fresh in the unopened bag?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,248 Posts
Slightly related question ... How long does dog food stay fresh in the unopened bag?
I'd say until the expiration date on the bag, under normal conditions. It'll go bad in no time at all if it's kept in the heat, though.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2 Posts
If you want to stay with kibble, Mheath0429 gave good suggestions. My foster boxer dog put on weight nicely with Earthborn and is holding it well.

My huskies are few prey model raw. When I got my rescue girl last year she was about 25% underweight. She gained weight at a good healthy pace, about a lb+ a week, and in about 2 months was at her ideal weight and hasn't gone back down (or continued up) since.
ETA pic, she gained a few more lbs since the second pic to fill out to her ideal weight. This was a 6 week difference.
Wow, you did a beautiful job with that rescue! It's incredible what the prey model raw diet can do. My dogs are eating prey model raw and after the initial transition I felt they needed to gain weight. Since you usually start with chicken, the dogs were just as lean as white meat and they needed to gain a little. :) I found fatty sheep hearts and now they look great with the extra meat on their bones.

Animal fats are good for dogs. The OP might try adding raw sheep hearts or other fatty red meats to the diet to increase the calorie intake healthily. It worked for my finicky fussy eaters :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,849 Posts
Wow, you did a beautiful job with that rescue! It's incredible what the prey model raw diet can do. My dogs are eating prey model raw and after the initial transition I felt they needed to gain weight. Since you usually start with chicken, the dogs were just as lean as white meat and they needed to gain a little. :) I found fatty sheep hearts and now they look great with the extra meat on their bones.

Animal fats are good for dogs. The OP might try adding raw sheep hearts or other fatty red meats to the diet to increase the calorie intake healthily. It worked for my finicky fussy eaters :)
Thanks :)

Fat are definitely good, they improve skin and coat as well as other things. Heart itself is very lean, unless you get it with the "fat cap" still on it. According to the USDA site, beef heart is almost 4% fat and pork heart is barely over 4%. For comparison, a more fatty meat cut like pork roast (arm/picnic or Boston butt) is just over 12% fat. But a chicken leg quarter is almost 16% so give the chicken some credit too ;)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9,131 Posts
I have a hard keeper, doesn't care for food much of any sort and burns calories like a marathon runner. I switched him to Native Performance Dog Food: Level 3 and he has maintained a healthy weight on that. it's 500 calories per cup they also have a level 4 that's 550 calories per cup. He gets about 3.5 cups per day of the level 3
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,849 Posts
I just want to say thanks for that link. I've been looking for something like that. It's very useful for estimating out specific amounts of protein fat and all the nutrients for a diet.
You're welcome! I use it often. If you look up a certain item and then click "Full Report" it will also tell you what % "refuse" there is, and what that refuse is. For example, a raw chicken drumstick will say Refuse: 33% Refuse Description: Bone and cartilage 33%. That tells you it's 33% bone. Great info since it's pretty much impossible to calculate out bone % on your own!
 
1 - 16 of 16 Posts
Top