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Discussion Starter #1
BACKGROUND:

I just got a Boxer puppy who is now 9 weeks old. He was being fed Innova Large Breed Puppy (LBP) food with the breeder and she sent a small bag of the food home with us to feed him.

We have noticed that he is not holding weight as well as we would like; you can see the last 4 ribs and easily feel all of them and his vertebral processes.

I looked up the NRC recommendations for feeding canines, calculated a few numbers and he needs about 1100 kcal/day. In order to meet this requirement, he needs to eat 3 cups of the kibble a day. Unfortunately, even though he is being fed 3/4 cup four times a day, he simply can't/won't eat enough of the kibble to meet that requirement as usually leaves about 1/2 the kibble from each meal.

In the past, I have felt no need to feed puppy food; I have him on puppy food now simply because we were given the small bag of kibble from the breeder.

We were thinking of transitions him over to Taste of the Wild since that is what we feed our other dogs, but it seems to still be too low in energy at only 365-375 kcal/cup (depending on the flavor). Innova LBP is 367 kcal/cup. We are also considering EVO kibbles.

QUESTIONS:

1) Would 35%-42% CP be too high for a puppy? I can't find any peer-reviewed journal articles supporting the idea that high CP is detrimental, but maybe I was looking in the wrong databases.

2) What do you consider a "good" Ca:p ratio? Innova LBP is 1.25:1. EVO is about 1.6:1. Taste of the Wild doesn't have that info available. I have learned that 1:1 is best for growth.

3) Do you recommend any other kibbles that would be appropriate and preferably higher in calories?

4) Isn't he cute? :D


Thank you in advance. :)
 

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With raw, you would definitely get the calories and nutrients that he needs. If you're not comfortable with raw, try looking at Innova Evo or Orijen. I would not use the large breed formula. Large breed and regula.r formulas are really the same if you take a look at the bag. Large breed bag is just more expensive. I would go with regular puppy formula. Are you giving him 3/4 for the entire day, or split into three meals...?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
With raw, you would definitely get the calories and nutrients that he needs. If you're not comfortable with raw, try looking at Innova Evo or Orijen. I would not use the large breed formula. Large breed and regula.r formulas are really the same if you take a look at the bag. Large breed bag is just more expensive. I would go with regular puppy formula. Are you giving him 3/4 for the entire day, or split into three meals...?
While raw has its benefits, I am sure, I'm not in a situation to feed raw.

He is getting 3 cups per day, split into 4 meals of 3/4 cups each.
 

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You are WAY overthinking the whole problem. Let's break it down into simpler terms. You have a slightly underweight 9 week old puppy who won't eat enough. Period. Thats the problem. Don't go over complicating it. There is nothing else to be concerned about at this time.

First, how long have you had him? If only a few days, give him a chance to settle in. It's not unusual for a dog/puppy to go off his food for a week or so when he moves into a new house. Unless you have had him for more than a couple of weeks and he has not just begun this behavior, that is most likely the problem. If so, just be patient and give him a few more days. Don't panic. Don't scare him by trying to get him to eat. Offer him the food, stand back and leave him alone.

He will eat enough as soon as he feels more comfortable and settles into his new life. He is scared and confused. He is away from Mama and brothers and sisters for the first time. He will be ok if you will just stop pushing him and let him work out his problems.
 

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boxers

I have an 11 month old boxer. They always look underweight and skinny up until six months or so. So many people use to question if I was feeding him enough. I was- he was gaining weight at a good pace and now at 11 months he is just under 60 pounds. According to my vet- its not uncommon for young boxers to look that way. He was very difficult to find a good food that did well with him. I found he did better on a low grain and lower protein type food.

And congrats to you- they are one of the coolest breeds of dogs out there. Its hard to walk him anywhere without people wanting to pet and play with him.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Evo is not formulated for puppies, the calcium/phosphorus levels are innapropriate, try something like orijen puppy or horizon legacy puppy, acana provincial is also an ALS food that you can try.
For my own knowledge, define "inappropriate" Ca:p please. :)

You are WAY overthinking the whole problem. Let's break it down into simpler terms. You have a slightly underweight 9 week old puppy who won't eat enough. Period. Thats the problem. Don't go over complicating it. There is nothing else to be concerned about at this time.

First, how long have you had him? If only a few days, give him a chance to settle in. It's not unusual for a dog/puppy to go off his food for a week or so when he moves into a new house. Unless you have had him for more than a couple of weeks and he has not just begun this behavior, that is most likely the problem. If so, just be patient and give him a few more days. Don't panic. Don't scare him by trying to get him to eat. Offer him the food, stand back and leave him alone.

He will eat enough as soon as he feels more comfortable and settles into his new life. He is scared and confused. He is away from Mama and brothers and sisters for the first time. He will be ok if you will just stop pushing him and let him work out his problems.
I must say that you are certainly one to quickly judge a situation. I must say I'm disappointed; I have seen many of your posts and was hoping that you would be able to bring valuable information to this dilemma. Apparently not.

Really, you make it seem like I am sitting their pulling out my hair with one hand as I attempt to force feed the pup with my other one. This is not the case. Rather, I have his bowl of kibble which is more than excited to receive, he sits and waits until I release him to eat, he eats (not scarfing and choking, but normal eating), and then leaves. When I pick the bowl up after about 30 minutes on the ground, there is about half of what I put in it left.

It also seems that you haven't had alot of experience with Boxers. This is my fourth one now and they can be difficult to keep weight on. Generally, they are not food-driven dogs. Of the dozens of Boxers I have met, only one has been food-driven. Even in training, it is usually inappropriate to try to treat-train a Boxer. They generally learn much better with human attention and praise as the reward than food.

I am looking for an appropriate high-calorie feed so he doesn't have to eat as much to get all the nutrients that he needs. I threw in extra questions for my own education. Sorry for being thorough.

I have an 11 month old boxer. They always look underweight and skinny up until six months or so. So many people use to question if I was feeding him enough. I was- he was gaining weight at a good pace and now at 11 months he is just under 60 pounds. According to my vet- its not uncommon for young boxers to look that way. He was very difficult to find a good food that did well with him. I found he did better on a low grain and lower protein type food.

And congrats to you- they are one of the coolest breeds of dogs out there. Its hard to walk him anywhere without people wanting to pet and play with him.
In the past, I have also discovered the low grain is better for them (and their gas!). I haven't noticed a correlation between low protein and better weight. How many low protein-low grain feeds are there out there? That seems like a tough combination!

I have had alot of success with TOTW in the past, but I'm just concerned that it doesn't have a high enough caloric-density to meet his needs.

Thank you for the congratulations! :smile: I'm very excited about him; he is certainly your typical goofball Boxer. :biggrin:
 

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I think RFD does bring up a valid point though. How long have you had your puppy? I'm guessing (hoping) not longer than a week since it is only 9 weeks old. It is very likely stress from switching homes. I have two boxers, one of which I got at about 12 weeks of age. Yes, they go through very ribby stages, this is normal. There were times when Felix's ribs and almost his spine was showing though he was eating as much as he wanted 4 times a day (this was before I switched to raw). It is much better for a young dog to be ribby than overweight.
Weight is also affected by genetics. Felix is still a lean dog at 2.5 years, whereas we met other boxer puppies that were of similar age but had much more substance, even without being overweight.
I have to tend to agree that stress from a new home has more to do with it than the type of food being given. I would give him a couple weeks to settle in and then think about changing foods if you still feel the need to. In the meantime, if you think he should be eating more try mixing in a little dallop of plain fat free yogurt or a raw egg.
Also, I'll have to disagree with the lack of food motivation! My two will still obey without food, but are perfect angels when food is involved and I get commands performed in split seconds! haha. They are also pretty laid back (for boxers) but I know better than to describe boxers as a laid back breed because i've seen many a crazy hyper representation of the breed. :eek:
Good luck with the new pup!
 

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I must say that you are certainly one to quickly judge a situation.
You say that like its a bad thing. Personally, I take it as a compliment :smile:

I must say I'm disappointed; I have seen many of your posts and was hoping that you would be able to bring valuable information to this dilemma. Apparently not.
Just because it's not the advice you wanted to see doesn't mean the advice is bad. Actually, I think it's pretty good advice. You should heed it.

Really, you make it seem like I am sitting their pulling out my hair with one hand as I attempt to force feed the pup with my other one. This is not the case. Rather, I have his bowl of kibble which is more than excited to receive, he sits and waits until I release him to eat, he eats (not scarfing and choking, but normal eating), and then leaves. When I pick the bowl up after about 30 minutes on the ground, there is about half of what I put in it left.
I have 2 points to make:
1. I can see you saying, "come here, eat some more. Try just a little more. One more bite? Eat it its good for you and you need it. Come here now ... eat it." :smile:

2. Perhaps you are feeding him twice the amount he should eat at this stage of his life.

It also seems that you haven't had alot of experience with Boxers.
I have A LOT and I mean A LOT of experience with dogs. Boxers are dogs. Many dog owners seem to think their particular breed is different than all the other breeds and only somewhat akin to dogs in general. Let me assure you that the nutritional needs of boxers are the same as all the other dogs.

This is my fourth one now and they can be difficult to keep weight on.
It may be difficult for you but not for most boxer owners. I know a lot of boxer owners and you are the first one I have run across with this problem.

Generally, they are not food-driven dogs. Of the dozens of Boxers I have met, only one has been food-driven. Even in training, it is usually inappropriate to try to treat-train a Boxer.
I was a professisonal dog trainer for 15 years and trained many boxers using food rewards as a teaching tool. I had no more problem with them than any other breed.

They generally learn much better with human attention and praise as the reward than food.
Thats not my experience with the many I have trained.

I am looking for an appropriate high-calorie feed so he doesn't have to eat as much to get all the nutrients that he needs. I threw in extra questions for my own education. Sorry for being thorough.
Again, you are over compicating the problem IF you even have a problem. I tend to beleive you don't.

If all you want is a high calorie dog food, its not difficult to go to the web pages off the manufacturing companies and see what the caloric content of their food is. In all honesty, I never paid attention to that.

In the past, I have also discovered the low grain is better for them (and their gas!). I haven't noticed a correlation between low protein and better weight. How many low protein-low grain feeds are there out there? That seems like a tough combination!
You're right. It's almost impossible. Protein is the building block of muscle. You need to feed as much protein as you can.
 

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You say that like its a bad thing. Personally, I take it as a compliment :smile:
You're such a jerk sometimes. lol. :rolleyes:

I have A LOT and I mean A LOT of experience with dogs. Boxers are dogs. Many dog owners seem to think their particular breed is different than all the other breeds and only somewhat akin to dogs in general. Let me assure you that the nutritional needs of boxers are the same as all the other dogs.
Nutritional are no different, however, temperments and personalities can be. Just a tought.

It may be difficult for you but not for most boxer owners. I know a lot of boxer owners and you are the first one I have run across with this problem.
Erhhh... make that the second. I would love to wake up one day and have Annie eat enough that her hip bones aren't sticking out. Little monkey won't eat. I don't give in. I let her eat as much as she wants, four times a day. Rarely does she eat more than 1/4- 1/2 cup. Usually none at one or two feedings.

I was a professisonal dog trainer for 15 years and trained many boxers using food rewards as a teaching tool. I had no more problem with them than any other breed.
You have me totally beat in years of experience, however, I MUST agree with the previous poster in that Boxers GENERALLY are NOT food motivated. I use caps to stress that this is a generalization, and that there are many exceptions. I am not claiming this is a trait of every Boxer.

Thats not my experience with the many I have trained.
I'm a member of a breed specific forum. boxerforums.com made up of HUNDREDS of boxer owners. This is a topic that comes up often on that forum,(and NEVER on the Corgi forum, and very rarely on the GSD forum ironicly) so I do know it is an issue that a lot of Boxer owners have.




WITH THAT SAID,
I think RFD kind of hit the nail on the head in that there probably isn't a huge issue here. Boxers are a lean breed. Many older Boxers become overweight as thyroid issues develop/ are more of an issue, but in reality, a Boxer should be slim. Puppies go through awkward lanky stages, and that might be what you're seeing now.
If you REALLY want to pack on pounds, look up recipies for "satin balls" and feed some of those along with a high quality kibble. Personally I don't think they are totally species appropriate and only really serve a purpose of putting weight on. Most dogs love them.
AND congratulations on the puppy! I have a Boxer too, a 16 week old female, and is the first of many Boxers that I'm sure I will bring home. :biggrin:
 

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Discussion Starter #12
:sigh: I must be just another ignorant pet owner and veterinary student. Let's not even begin to wonder about my own experiences, credentials and degrees in the field of Animal Science. And that little wink implying how wise you were and how well you know my wiley ways was quite misplaced. My dogs are not underweight, however, I have had other Boxer owners ask me what I feed my Boxers to keep such good condition since THEY have trouble keeping weight on their pooches. It also doesn't make sense how the same person would be overfeeding their dogs twice over but still have a problem with keeping weight on?

You have very significant influence on this forum; please don't abuse it.



I purchased Orijen puppy today. He enjoyed some of it mixed with the Innova puppy and we will be switching him over to that as it is a no-grain diet with a higher caloric density. Thank you to malluver and Unosmom for suggesting it. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #14
CorgiPaws, I want to thank you for showing that this isn't just a one-household problem. :smile:

No, it isn't a big problem. And I don't want it to become a big problem hence me trying to nip it in the bud. I don't feel like we need to pack on the pounds at this point, but I will keep the satin balls in mind in case I feel like any of my dogs need some extra groceries later on. Yup, the Boxer is definitely a slimmer, more refined breed, especially when compared to other bully breeds.

I have had him for just under two weeks and he is nearly 10 weeks now. He came to us a bit thinner than I remember my other pups being.
 

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You're such a jerk sometimes. lol. :rolleyes:
I'm falling down on the job. Only sometimes?? :smile:

Nutritional are no different, however, temperments and personalities can be. Just a tought.
You're right but this conversation is about nutrition.

Erhhh... make that the second. I would love to wake up one day and have
Annie eat enough that her hip bones aren't sticking out. Little monkey won't eat. I don't give in. I let her eat as much as she wants, four times a day. Rarely does she eat more than 1/4- 1/2 cup. Usually none at one or two feedings.
Thats easy. You aren't letting her go long enough between meals to get hungry. Feed her once or twice a day and she will eat more.

You have me totally beat in years of experience, however, I MUST agree with the previous poster in that Boxers GENERALLY are NOT food motivated. I use caps to stress that this is a generalization, and that there are many exceptions. I am not claiming this is a trait of every Boxer.
I guess I just never ran into those. I never had a problem with ANY dog taking food with only one or two exceptions.

I'm a member of a breed specific forum. boxerforums.com made up of HUNDREDS of boxer owners. This is a topic that comes up often on that forum,(and NEVER on the Corgi forum, and very rarely on the GSD forum ironicly) so I do know it is an issue that a lot of Boxer owners have.
Perhaps boxer owners have unrealistic expectations. Can you imagine how a gray hound owner would feel if he wanted his dog to be built like a mastif? :smile:

If you REALLY want to pack on pounds, look up recipies for "satin balls" and feed some of those along with a high quality kibble. Personally I don't think they are totally species appropriate and only really serve a purpose of putting weight on. Most dogs love them.
You really don't want to pack on the pounds, particularly on a pup this age. It could cause a lifetime of health problems.
 

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SuzzieQ,
I have an English Field Setter, a working gun dog, thin as a rail for the first 3 years. She has been eating the same diet since about 3 months old (now 7) with no variation and that food is 800 cals per cup. It did not matter (with my dog) high how I pushed the calories, she remained thin regardless of caloric intake.
It takes time for some dogs to fill out. If you see the hips visibly showing, you have a problem. If you run your hand across the back and can feel the hips, that's OK but again they should not be visible. Visible rib is quite normal IMO during the early years and she had routine Vet visits during those years and the Vet never mentioned any concern about the ribs showing. You can try to force them to eat more, but with my experience they eat enough to meet their caloric intake needs then they stop eating. If your dog is leaving kibble behind in the bowls to me all that means is they are satisfied for the time being and are no longer hungry. That is not a bad thing IMO. Good luck with the new pup!
 

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My dogs are not underweight, however, I have had other Boxer owners ask me what I feed my Boxers to keep such good condition since THEY have trouble keeping weight on their pooches.
As I sit in the waiting room of my vet's office I see most dogs are overweight as are most people in today's world. It has gotten to the point that many people think an overweight dog is the norm and if their dog doesn't look like that, it is too thin. On a boxer you should be able to see the last 2 or 3 ribs and see a definate waste line behind the rib cage when viewed from above. I'm not saying your dogs were/are overweight, just saying that in general people don't know what a dog should look like.

It also doesn't make sense how the same person would be overfeeding their dogs twice over but still have a problem with keeping weight on?
I guess it was poorly worded. The meaning was very clear in my mind when I wrote it. What I am saying is maybe you are feeding your dog 1/2 a cup when she should be eating 1/4 cup/meal. So offering 1/2 a cup is over feeding. Eating the 1/4 cup as this pup is doing is normal eating. At this age, unless you can easily see her spine and all her ribs, I wouldn't worry about it. Thin his healthy. Fat at this age points towards health problems later in life.

You have very significant influence on this forum; please don't abuse it.
Hehe, when I don't abuse it and get people's dander up, people stop posting and the board dies. Controversy keeps the posters posting and the board interesting. :smile:
 

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I have a beautiful reversed brindle boxer that would do back flips for her food or treats! :biggrin: You should see her clear the kitchen of cats when it's breakfast and/or dinner time. hehe She'll be a year old on 12/27 and I only feed her twice a day but she harrasses me when I eat like no one's business. She's not starving but just wants a taste. I don't feed her alot of prepared people food though because it will give her the runs. :eek: The only thing that I have found that doesn't upset her tummy is RAW and it it has put weight <not alot> on her to where she doesn't look like a skeleton. She was real ribby the first several months before we started RAW.

That pig ate a whole turkey leg and then ate the rest of Casey's turkey wing this evening. :biggrin: She is one satisfied boxer though. I don't have to call her twice to the dinner bowl.

Oh and your link doesn't work! I'd love to see a pic of your baby!
 
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Discussion Starter #19
One thing that doesn't make sense to me, RFD, is that you are suggesting to feed only 1/4c to 1/2c at each feeding. That would mean that a pup, such as my own, would need 6 to 12 feedings a day to meet their caloric needs on a 370kcal/cup diet such as Innova LBP. Or is the NRC wrong on what's good for a pup?

Thank you everyone.

While I realize that raw works for some, I don't feel comfortable with it. I used to feed raw to my cats for years, but there was an incident and I no longer do so.

Pictures. :smile:







The last picture shows him with his "big sis." She is just shy of two years and I feel she is a good weight. You can also see Tobi. No, he isn't a rescue case by any means. He is starting to develop the tuck, which is good and normal. But, you can see how is a touch hollowed at his hip/croup area and, in person, you can easily see his ribs and easily feel his vertebral processes. No, it's not a huge problem. Yes, he is now on a grain-free diet that is higher in calories than TOTW.
 

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One thing that doesn't make sense to me, RFD, is that you are suggesting to feed only 1/4c to 1/2c at each feeding. That would mean that a pup, such as my own, would need 6 to 12 feedings a day to meet their caloric needs on a 370kcal/cup diet such as Innova LBP. Or is the NRC wrong on what's good for a pup?

Thank you everyone.

While I realize that raw works for some, I don't feel comfortable with it. I used to feed raw to my cats for years, but there was an incident and I no longer do so.

Pictures. :smile:







The last picture shows him with his "big sis." She is just shy of two years and I feel she is a good weight. You can also see Tobi. No, he isn't a rescue case by any means. He is starting to develop the tuck, which is good and normal. But, you can see how is a touch hollowed at his hip/croup area and, in person, you can easily see his ribs and easily feel his vertebral processes. No, it's not a huge problem. Yes, he is now on a grain-free diet that is higher in calories than TOTW.
I love how they are both running with the exact same movements!!
 
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