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Discussion Starter #1
Hey everyone,

We noticed our dog had lost some weight when we got him back from hunt training and we were okay with that, but he seems to be continuing to lose weight. Is he too skinny? I have not seen a lot of vizslas in person, and it is hard to tell from the internet. We are currently feeding about 3 cups a day of Eukanuba Large breed puppy (this is what the breeder fed him, and we have not switched it yet) We have decided to up it to 4 cups a day. Splitting it up into 2 cups per feeding. Do we need a diet change, or just more of what we are giving him? I attached a weight chart, and a picture of him for reference.

Thanks,
 

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It's not uncommon for them to lose some weight, when away at training. It's the adjustment to being kenneled, and working in the field.
He is slightly underweight, if your not running him miles everyday. I would up the food a little bit, and have him checked for worms.
 

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A bit skinny yes
How old is your boy?
Bacchus would get pretty slim at times his first 2 years
We fed him "satin balls" when he started to get too slim
I could see a difference in about a week or so
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks everyone!

In all honesty, he probably does run miles each day. He gets at least 2 hours of off leash time while we are doing chores, or playing with the kids outside. It isn't uncommon for him to get 5 hours off leash time a few times a week. He spends the entire time chasing whatever unfortunate bird happens to land within a 150 yard radius.

I have noticed the last couple of days he is panting heavily and takes a while to recover after a long hard run. It is also getting warmer, so that might have something to do with it.

Trevor, he is 11 months old now.

Either way, better safe than sorry. I will make a vet visit znc increase his intake. I'll try to fatten him up with some extra treats like the satin balls.

I'll update in a few weeks when I have some time to see any results.
 

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They go through periods of being thin when younger. He might just need a few extra calories, with all the running he gets.
I'd rather see one a little thin than overweight.
 

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You will all probably think this is funny. June has always been my less active vizsla. Even when the other dogs are still running, she will come walk next to me after a little while. But spoiled girl has a big appetite, and thinks of treats constantly. Anytime I've tried cutting back on her food, she's became a counter surfer. So now I feed her a food named Fat Dog. Higher in fiber, and lower in calories. She gets to eat more, and weigh less. So everyone is happy.
 

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You will all probably think this is funny. June has always been my less active vizsla. Even when the other dogs are still running, she will come walk next to me after a little while. But spoiled girl has a big appetite, and thinks of treats constantly. Anytime I've tried cutting back on her food, she's became a counter surfer. So now I feed her a food named Fat Dog. Higher in fiber, and lower in calories. She gets to eat more, and weigh less. So everyone is happy.
I'm going to look into this for my beagle. Poor thing doesn't understand that she is only a 20lb dog. Maybe it will help her stop trying to get into everything constantly.
 

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I'm going to look into this for my beagle. Poor thing doesn't understand that she is only a 20lb dog. Maybe it will help her stop trying to get into everything constantly.
This is the full name, Natural Balance Fat Dogs
I haven't weighed her, but can tell she's lost some weight. I even had to tighten her collar a notch.
 
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The worst thing one can do is feed a Vizsla a low-calorie diet.

Canines (Vizslas especially) thrive when the burn fat as their primary energy source. Far better to feed a high-protein/high-fat diet (which will raise stamina) that to feed a diet high in carbohydrates (which rob dogs of stamina and endurance).

The Total cereal and molasses (sugar) in "Satin Balls" are really poor ingredients to feed to dogs.

Bill
 

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I used regular Cheerios when I made mine
I'm sure the 1/4 cup of unsulfured molasses spread out over a few weeks won't be too bad for them.
 

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Yeah, coming back from a trainer and having to live like an actual dog, the dogs can lose some weight. I, like TexasRed would MUCH rather see them a bit thin as opposed to fat. So many people have fat dogs, it depresses me. Just up the dog's feed and go from there. It will all even out in the end. Satin balls are a great short term solution, but not for the long term. (And besides, who could afford to feed that? :) )
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Update:
Well, It has been 3.5 weeks, and this is what we have done, and this is our progress.
Heart worm tested, came back neg.
Keep in mind he gets to free run for close to 4 hours a day (as in he has about 20 acres that he chases birds around), it is not uncommon for him to accompany us on a 30 minute bike ride as well.
We tried increasing his food to 4 cups a day for a week. He actually lost weight. We then upped it to closer to 5 cups, and gave treats freely I also threw in a couple satin balls for good measure. There was more than once in there that we actually double fed breakfast because my wife and I forgot to tell the other they had already fed him. Which means an extra 2 cups on those days. We were able to get him to gain a pound that week. We continued that same process (without the double feeding) of around 5-6 cups a day plus treats. We were able to put another pound on him.

So grand total after the three weeks, is he is 1.2 lbs up.
Our next step is we have ordered a higher calorie food for him to see if we can get him more calories with less cups of food.

Should I just ride this thing out and see if it is an age thing? He is a year old this week.
 

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You said heartworm test.
Did the vet actually test for other worms in a stool sample?
Think I would go with a higher calorie food. He's showing a little more hip bone, than what I like to see.
I had one foster dog that ate 6 cups of food a day. My dogs would look like a sausage if they ate that much, but each dog is different.
When looking at dog food, not only do you want to look at the percentage of protein, and fat. Also look at how many calories are in a cup.
 
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Discussion Starter #14
They did a blood draw, not stool sample.

We have ordered a bag of food that when compared to the old has:
+6% crude protein
+11% crude fat
-1% fiber
+133 kcal/cup

It should come next week, and we will slowly transition from the old to the new in hopes to not have digestive issues.
 

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Without a fecal float test, your vet wouldn't know if he has intestinal worms. They can make a dog skinny, and drag down their whole system. Some people just worm their dogs on a schedule. I would rather test, and only treat if they have them.
 

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Purina has a food that's 30% protein, and 20% fat. I know some don't care to feed Purina, but hunting, and field trialing dogs do very well on it.
 
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Discussion Starter #17
Final Update

Thanks again to everyone who offered advice. I considered all of it in making my final (for now) changes to his diet.

One final update for anyone who might be having the same problem and wondering how it all turned out.
Seven weeks later I feel like we have a good healthy dog.


1. We have increased food, and changed food brands.
-The old brand (per cup):Eukanuba puppy large breed
  • Calories: 337
  • Protein: 26% min
  • Crude Fat: 14% min
  • Fiber: 5% max
  • glucosamine, chondroitin, omega-3, omega-6
-The new brand (per cup): Diamond Naturals Extreme Athlete
  • Calories: 470
  • Protein: 32% Min.
  • Crude Fat: 25% Min.
  • Fiber: 4% Max.
  • Glucosamine, chondroitin, omega-6, omega-3
2. We were feeding about 4.5 cups a day, broken into two meals. This last couple of days he is having some left over, we don't pick it up, but instead let him eat it at his pleasure.
3. We did not hold back any treats if we felt like giving one.
4. He still gets 2-3 hours a day running outside.
 

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