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Getting weight onto a picky greyhound

(7 Posts)
emptyshell Mon 01-Aug-11 07:00:45

She's still a bag of bones - but the problem is she will not eat the amount I was told to feed her by the rescue - she just naturally seems to stop before then, you can make her eat a little bit more by giving her 5 minutes and walking her back to the foodbowl but she seems to be a naturally small eater tbh (I give it as long as I can before having to lift the foodbowl as scavengers-r-us would happily do a drive by).

Her coat's improved (she's starting to be all shiny, with a bald arse) and she's a lot happier in herself - but I'm struggling to get her to fill out a little bit - all her ribs are still very visible, her hip bones jut out more than the average supermodel - so she IS still underweight (don't worry - I'm not going to have fat dogs)!

I don't know if it's just that she doesn't like the food she came with from the rescue, I know she finds eating that little bit harder with missing most of her front teeth as food keeps falling back out, she's a food scavenging machine most of the time so the appetite seems to be there - just not sure what to do and how much to worry about it really.

DooinMeCleanin Mon 01-Aug-11 11:32:37

Picky greyhound? Are you sure she is a greyhound? wink

I give my dogs eggs when they look a bit skinny. Tripe is also good.

Scuttlebutter Mon 01-Aug-11 12:17:31

Hi Empty, glad she's settling. in. We estimate that for a skinny, scruffy dog you should allow 4- 6 months to get the condition right, and by that I mean, good muscle tone, healthy weight and a really glossy, shiny coat. So the first thing to say is that you should be continually telling yourself this is a long term project, and don't beat yourself up that she's not looking fantastic straight away.

Here's my patented greyhound rehab plan- wink - some of which you are already doing.

Make sure worming/parasite control is fully effective and up to date (this will help ensure what she does eat can be absorbed to the fullest extent)

Develop a good programme of exercise for her (this you are already doing)

Grooming - she will be losing that awful rusty "kennel coat". Give her a daily groom outdoors with a hound mitt - she will probably love it. Gentle, rhythmic, sweeping strokes. After around 5 minutes of this, you can finish off with silk polishing cloth. This will help accelerate the loss of her old coat and the coming in of the new, shiny,glossy coat. You haven't mentioned if you bathed her when she came home. If her stitches are healed, then I'd give her a bath using a good quality dog shampoo (we use the canine version of Paul Mitchell - really nice).

Food - what are you currently giving her? I think you feed both dogs twice a day? That's fine, but I'd give her slightly smaller meals at that time, made up of more nutrient rich food, PLUS I'd allow her to have a third small meal. Sometimes if a dog has a poor appetite and needs weight on, this can be the way to go. We have a similar dog who was too skinny following an illness, so we are giving him extra poached chicken. We buy the cheap frozen chicken boneless breasts from Tesco and I poach them in the slow cooker. These are then added as a supplement to his main meals and he gets an additional breast as an extra small meal. You could vary this with other meats or fish (say a bowl of sardines). Sardines and eggs are excellent - one friend swore by a bowl of scrambled eggs for her hound each morning to get them back up to speed.

Finally, perception. Racing weight greyhounds are very skinny. But, remember that even a retired greyhound should always be light, and if your dog is otherwise healthy and in good nick, it is FAR better for them to be underweight slightly than over. Most people see greys and think they are very thin, because they are so used to seeing fat dogs. Obesity is a much worse condition for any dog, because of the pressure it places on joints and the risk of things like diabetes, heart problems etc. I'm guessing you had her weighed when she first arrived - depending on size aim for her non racing weight to be between 2 - 4 kg above that, and review again when she reaches it. Eventually, you'll be aware of the hip bones but they won't be so prominent, and ribs will be less visible though you should always be able to see the last two or three.

Good luck!

emptyshell Mon 01-Aug-11 15:24:22

Thanks for that - tried giving her a tiny middle-day meal of the other-dog's food (JWB) as opposed to the stuff she came from the rescue with and woooosh vacuum cleaner (albeit a slightly dodgy one with a duff valve that spat half of it back up for re-hoovering) so I'm becoming increasingly inclined to switch her food over sooner rather than later as I think she just doesn't like the stuff the rescue had her on.

In herself she seems fine - we just had the first ever case of synchronised double-zoomies.

Mind you - if all else fails - are Sky remotes one of the food groups cos I've just caught her nicking it AGAIN!

higgle Mon 01-Aug-11 15:51:06

Personaly I would not take too much notice of what the rescue fed. I say this because when we got our rescue Staffy we were told he wasn't eating much because he was depressed and his lack of teeth caused problems. We were encouraged to give him 3 meals a day of the mush they provided a sample of. We soon discovered he wasn't eating much becuase he hated the food, couldn't stand mush and probably his teeth hurt. (maybe eating fish flavoured mush was making him depressed!) Anyway a swift move to nice kibble soon resulted in him having a decent apetite and once he had had his teeth done he was eating pigs ears and dog treats too.

Scuttlebutter Mon 01-Aug-11 17:12:54

Synchronised double zoomies - yay!!! She is feeling at home. grin

Yes, sounds like you should go right ahead with the switchover - JWB is a good kibble. I'd give her half kibble and half high value food till she is back up to right weight and then you can gradually drop down the additional stuff.

Higgle makes a good point about treats. Does she like pigs ears? A bit of cheese? These can also help get the calories down her, as well as being fun for her to eat/chew.

Am now thinking of Vimes with his BCBs (burnt crunchy bits). grin

emptyshell Mon 01-Aug-11 17:47:12

Tried her with 25JWB/75the stuff the rescue gave us this evening and she ate all of that so I think it IS just she doesn't like this other stuff (but since we got a huuuge bag of it she's going to eat it gradually anyway!)

She loves cheese - been using teensy chunks of it today to try to teach her "watch me" which she's getting the hang of... well, it means that if she ever sees the other dog getting a fuss or a biscuit she comes straight over and does the watch me with completely mournful pathetic eyes!

Just discovered she's a little kleptomaniac who likes to make piles of her ill-gotten gains on her downstairs bed... having spent 20 minutes hunting for the telly remote and found it there, then intercepted her ever so gently and sneakily trying to take the sofa cushions off and over there as well... by heck she's a character!

(Also makes a handy door prop since she's fond of sleeping holding doors open)

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