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Hello, all,

Duke has been with me for five weeks now. He was born sometime around early December, so I guess about 4.5 months. At the pound, during the week before I got him, they reported he had gained 8 pounds.

He had tummy troubles when he came home and the food they were feeding him wasn't available. He gained about 5 pounds in a 9 days (when the vet weighed him). He was having tummy troubles and on chicken and rice. I finally got him over to dry food (Earthborn Primitive Natural). We had super soft stools, but now with increased pumpkin, he's pretty normal (as of the last 2 days).

Today, I went to PetSmart to get a new collar for him and to consider a harness. They weighed him, and in the exactly 2 weeks since he was last at the vet, he has LOST about 1/2 pound.

The manager said not to worry about it, that he looks great, has healthy skin and coat, isn't too skinny, etc. That said, I AM worried. I bought Blue Buffalo Basics Turkey and Potato puppy food (dry). I'm mixing that into what's left of his Earthborn and hoping that a different brand, and specifically a puppy formula, will help. Duke is supposed to get in the 70-90 pound range according to the vet, calculators, friends and family with puppy experience, etc.

Am I doing something wrong? Is it normal for puppies to go through pauses (or even minor reversals) in weight gain like this? I'm really, really concerned. :\
 

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I don't see how a 1/2 pound for a pup his size is a big deal. The dog has moved into a new environment, has had stomach problems, loose stool. All things that can cause a bit of stress which in turn can cause weight loss. Loose stool for an extended period of time can really effect weight in a short period too.

I wouldn't be worried unless he continues to drop weight while increasing his food. Then I would ask advice from the vet. Keep in mind some dogs are hard keepers and need a food higher in fat.

Is there a reason you think he should gain weight so quickly? Does he look underweight, lots of visible bones? If you can't see all of his ribs and looks like he has a good body condition, there's no reason to rush weight gain. It's always better for a dog to be a little slim than an a little overweight. Your dog will grow on his own time. I personally don't really pay attention to how much the scale says as opposed to my dog's body condition.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thank you for your quick reply. I guess the biggest reason for my concern is that I thought puppies were supposed to steadily gain weight. (This is the first dog I've ever raised on my own as an adult. The other two dogs I "helped raise" were when I was a child and my parents really did the raising.) I was afraid (am afraid?) that I was/am doing something wrong--maybe not feeding enough even though I'm feeding what the vet, company, and others have suggested, or that I need to feed more because we play so much and so long (e.g., 2-3 hours of intense play at the puppy park) plus lots of long walks, etc.

Duke does not look too skinny or underweight and doesn't have lots of visible bones, though I can see his lowest ribs kind of, where there's sort of a tuck at his waist. Sorry if I'm describing this horribly--I just don't want to do wrong by my little buddy and don't have much experience. :\ I'm reading from your answer, though, that there's no cause for alarm and this might be normal, right? Thank you again!
 

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He doesn't sound too skinny at all! Most dogs you see are slightly overweight and it's what we're accustom to seeing. Ever see police dogs? They are nice and lean and you can almost always see a rib or two.

I would just try increasing his food a bit if you feel he's a little bit too thin and is pretty active. If he still loses some weight even with added food I would start talking to my vet.

When I was fostering a puppy, I weighed her every week just because I liked tracking how fast she was growing. Some weeks she would gain quite a bit, some didn't change, sometimes she lost a little. If she lost I just slowly added a little more food until she was back on track. Last thing you want to do is over feed a growing pup though! I think you're doing just fine and it shows how great of an owner you are for worrying so much.
 

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Today, I went to PetSmart to get a new collar for him and to consider a harness. They weighed him, and in the exactly 2 weeks since he was last at the vet, he has LOST about 1/2 pound.
Different scales matter too. If the scale isn't zeroed or if it isn't on level ground or maybe if the scale is having a bad day, it can read 0.5 lbs different.

Heck, for a medium or large dog, how much water and food they drank and ate before being weighed can be a half pound easily.

You don't want him to gain too much weight too fast anyway, going by body condition is the key and it sounds like he has a nice tuck and that's a good thing. I'd rather see a lean, gangly puppy then an overweight one with all that extra weight stressing growing bones and joints.
 

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Heck, for a medium or large dog, how much water and food they drank and ate before being weighed can be a half pound easily.
Couldn't agree more with this. This doesn't just go for big dogs either. I have an 8 pound dog and I gave her a very big trachea chew. Weighed her the next day because I'm tracking her weight loss as she has a bit of extra weight that wouldn't hurt her to lose. Well she gained a few ounces. For a dog her a size, a few ounces matter so I was a little annoyed. Well she took a HUGE dump after that trachea lol weighed her again out of curiosity and she was right back to her normal weight.

When I go to the doctors and the nurse weighs me they tell me the same thing. What I ate, drank, and the last time I pooped can make a difference in weight haha.
 

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Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
I'd rather see a lean, gangly puppy then an overweight one with all that extra weight stressing growing bones and joints.
Thanks! That makes sense. The positive feedback from you is really helpful. :)

Well she took a HUGE dump after that trachea lol weighed her again out of curiosity and she was right back to her normal weight.
Hahaha. Well, Duke had pooped quite a bit before we left the house. :p
 
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