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Discussion Starter #1
Hello,

Our Vizsla Largo turned 9 months last week. Our breeder recommends cutting down his food to 1 meal a day and to 1.5 / 2 cups a day. He is currently on 3-4 cups a day spread between 2/3 meals. He is definitively not overweight, some might even say that he is too thin as we can see his ribs from time to time.

He generally gets over 2 hours of off-leash time a day.

I have attached three pictures of him to get your opinion. Should we follow the breeders recommendation or should we keep him on the same volume of food.

Thanks for your help
 

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Not enough info.

How much does he now weigh? What are you feeding him?

A pic of him standing, profile and one from above looking down would help.

You should see a hint of rib from the side, and from above, a slight hour glass shape, with the thinnest part being just north of his hips.

Has the breeder seen him in person to make the feeding recommendation?

At 9 months, AJ was on puppy food, 2x/day..probably 4 cups total, with a lot of field work/exercise.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Sorry, he is currently 24kg/53lbs. We are feeding him dry food (Advance Puppy Plus Growth - All Breed).

No the breeder sent a document before we got him with recommendations:
CUTTING BACK ON MEALS
We suggest feeding your puppy - 3 meals up to 3 months, then start introducing

- 2 meals by 6 months
- 1 meal + treat by 9 months

- Between 3 and 9 months your puppy's dry food intake should be increased to
approximately 1 to 1 1/2 cups per meal. Regularly check whether you can feel the outline of your
puppy's ribs and adjust their dry food intake accordingly.
- From 9 months onwards, cut your puppy back to one meal of 1 1/2 - 2 cups dry food per
day plus a treat (a dry dog biscuit or similar).
I have attached a new picture (he is the boy on the right), will try to get a better one later today.

Thanks for the answer
 

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Well....

It's hard to tell from the pic, he looks ribby, and I can see hip bones, which would indicate he's underweight. Yet 53 lbs is a good weight.

Your breeder suggests cutting back yet adding treats as a supplement to his food, which doesn't make sense to me, it's like saying cut him back yet add more, and in the form of food that is far less nutritious.

Then there's the actual food you give him. I know its impolitic to rag on other's food choices, but nutrition is really important, especially for a developing pup. And yours is, by any standard, not the best choice.

You're in Oz? I do not know what the available choices are, but just as a comparison, look at the ingredients in your choice as compared to my favorite, Instinct Original Grain Free chicken/beef/salmon: https://www.dogfoodadvisor.com/dog-food-reviews/natures-variety-instinct-dog-food-dry/

So, my advice would be to transition him over to a food that is some identified meat/meat meal as the first, second and third ingredient and see how he does.
 

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Vizslas tend to be good at self regulating. At 9 months there is still a lot of muscle and joint development going on, so the cutting seems early. He is in a good age though to change from puppy food to adult one (recommendation is usually between 6-12 months). As for number of feeding there are different schools of thoughts, i was very much afraid of bloating if we switch to one meal a day, but then Bende decided to skip his kibble breakfast when he turned 2. He gets a bit of raw goat milk in the mornings, some slices of apples or carrots, or a very small, nutritious treat (like 100% salmon jerky) mid day and eats 2.75-3 cups of orijen or acana (alternating to be able to provide different types of amino acids) in the evening. he is 52 pounds, muscles only and shows ribs when working. when we have a lots of intense activity (more than the 2 hours per day) then i add a bit of salmon to his food in the evening. After feeding he stays in his crate for an hour, and when he comes out, he has chewing, velcoring and sleeping only.
The quality of food is very important, i am always keen to learn more and more about it myself.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks both for your answers. You can indeed see his ribs when is "working". As far as his dry food, we went with what the breeder recommended when we got him. We tried a couple of month back to change to a different brand. Although we gradually introduced the new food over 10 days, as soon as the proportion of new vs old got over 50%, he started having massive digestive issues. We decided to revert him back to his old food and since then no issues.

I am indeed in Oz, I will try changing his food again in a month or 2 to something similar to you Gingerling . In the meantime, I will keep him on 3-4 cups a day. He also gets 1/4 cup of human grade beef mince a day and real chicken as treats every day. We give him a bit of yogurt once a week and gets some apple slices few times a week.
 

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Salmon jerky?

Anyways, I'm a fairly basic guy and go with basic treats: A slice of apple, a carrot, some real chix..no additives, no salt, no hidden things like spices or Worcestershire sauce that they can't really handle nor need.

Depending on the food used and switched, they can have stomach upset not so much b/c the switch is bad.....your food lists "Animal by products" which is unnamed, unknown, generic meat (or animal parts) that can include road kill or body parts of political prisoners from nearby hermit kingdoms and the like..I exaggerate, somewhat, but many of the ingredients there consist of waste products that would cause many dogs to have issues even when switching over.

Consider doing that sooner.
 

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This forum really needs a sticky guide to "How much should I feed my dog" with some example pics of what to look for.


Your breeder's advice is quite frankly ridiculous. It makes no allowance for the size or the amount of exercise your dog gets. Again, weight is not much of a guide as size and build vary as well. The only way to judge how much to feed is to look at your dog and compare them against guidelines as to how they should look. If they are too fat you feed them less, if they are too skinny you feed them more :) Talking about weight and how many cups to feed them is meaningless as every dog is different. As an example, we have two adult girls who are very different in size (height), one weighs 17.5KG the other 23KG (and I only know their weights from their last visits to the vets, I never weigh them. The smaller girl gets about 2/3 the amount of food the larger does, I have no idea how many cups it is, I just know where to fill the bowl to!


With regards to feeding routine, we feed ours twice a day. We did move to a single feed but found that one of the girls in particular got bilious vomiting. It is thought this is caused by irritation of the stomach and more frequent feeding reduces this. We went back to feeding twice and it is much improved.


Timing of meals is also important. Bloat is more prevalent in deep chested dogs like Vizslas. It is caused by a twisting of the gut and can lead to rapid death if not treated very quickly. One way to reduce the chances is to not feed you dog within a few hours before exercising it and smaller meals (i.e. more regular feeding may also help). Our girls main exercise is at lunchtime so their first meal is when we get back and then they get their second meal about 9:00 pm.
 

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In terms of digestive upset when changing food raw good milk (we can buy it here in the freezer section of our local pet store) and raw goat cheese seem to be life saver for us with any gastro upset challenges. Both of my boys love raw veggies and fruits. I use cucumber as a soft treat with Bende for certain type of training instead of the commercial ones and once we got carried away giving him 2 times of the usual amount leading into terrible diarrhea. None of the usual methods would help for days and then we tried the raw goat milk, his stomach was back to normal in 12 hours. Important though that pasteurizing is not good for dogs, so the human grade goat products are really not the best. And then again careful storage of the raw version is important, but it is worth it, we have it now regularly. Not sure how much possible it is to get it in OZ, but if not you may try the dried, powered version which you can sprinkle over the food or dilute with water.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Thanks a lot for all your answer. I will start transitioning him to new kibbles. I did a bit of research last night and I have my eyes on 3:
Fontier Pet or Kiwi Kitchen (crazy expensive though) and Canidae Pure (more affordable and great reviews). What do you think?

I agree with your comment Lyra and that's why I posted here. It is hard to know what to feed him. Last Vet visit (about 3 weeks ago), the vet said he was a very healthy boy and I want him to remain as is.

I also now realise that I made a mistake on having him on one brand and type of dry food since we got him. I think that's the reason why he got sick when we introduced something different.
 

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As I re read this thread, you're getting bombarded with opinions, all of which I agree with, btw.

I do not know Oz dog food, but looking up those two reveals freeze dried, which given what your baby is accustomed to will almost certainly cause major tummy issues! Yes, he should be switched over to a high quality food, and it's good you see that wisdom to that.

How about this, it's a fave of mine, available down under, and available in many proteins for rotation: https://www.amazon.com.au/Annamaet-6893-Manitok-Red-Meat/dp/B016V2CKSU/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1542766832&sr=8-1&keywords=annamaet

At his age, start with about 1.5 or 2 cups 2x/day, add warm H20, and adjust based on how he looks. if you are uncertain, check out the review and look at the ingredients: https://www.dogfoodadvisor.com/dog-food-reviews/annamaet-grain-free-dry/

Vizslas are high performnce animals and require the best food out there, and this is one of them. Use with confidence.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
That's the beauty of this forum. Everyone wants the well-being of Vizslas. I do believe that whatever I will give him he will get an upset stomach so that's why I want to transition over a fairly long period of time.

Will check Annamaet and I agree that Vs need the best food.

Thanks all
 
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