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How to put condition on a dog fast?

(10 Posts)
thelastwingedthing Wed 14-Dec-16 12:07:49

We have a new foster arriving tomorrow. She's a vizsla (maybe a mix with a similar breed), apparently healthy but neglected and very thin. I'd like to get her into proper athletic vizsla condition before she goes to a new home (if we don't foster fail, which is a distinct possibility) - weight up, glossy coat, fit, nicely muscled etc. Where do I start?

Migrant2 Wed 14-Dec-16 12:13:25

Watching with interest. I have an English Pointer who needs to gain 5-6kg. Hope someone has some great ideas. Thanks!

SecretPeanut Wed 14-Dec-16 12:22:44

If she has been neglected and underfed trying to speed up the conditioning process will do more harm than good. Also its not just about fattening her up, she will need to be gently worked to build her muscles back up.

Personally i would start on a light complete feed, no grain. Her digestive system will take time to get back to normal. When she starts to show a bit of covering you could try some linseed oil in her feed, this is a good slow release energy.

Consider getting her a coat to help her maintain the weight

Whitney168 Wed 14-Dec-16 12:24:20

As SP says, no quick fix really - good quality food, split over several meals. Decent exercise, including some road walking, but amount dependent on how fit she is in reality.

thelastwingedthing Wed 14-Dec-16 12:26:30

It's hot here (Australia) - surely she wouldn't need a coat?

Would she be better off on BARF than a dry food? I've not made BARF before but I have seen some diet plans that look doable.

CMOTDibbler Wed 14-Dec-16 12:32:00

The priority is that she gets well nourished - glossy coats and weight come from this. Muscle and an athletic look come later from off lead running but that can't happen till the dog is well.

Minced tripe, eggs, and sardines in oil plus a cod liver oil supplement in addition to a complete food will help to put weight on and supply the oils to make their coat glossy.

Brushing with a cactus mitt really helps the coat on thin coated dogs and gets rid of scurf and makes them shine. My foster pups are black and are looking lovely after a few days of brushing with one, and it doesn't scratch their skin

thelastwingedthing Wed 14-Dec-16 12:35:33

So nutrition first, then fitness. Got it.

The only reason I'm feeling pressured to get her right quickly is I'm concerned that the rescue will adopt her out before she's in top condition.

EasyToEatTiger Wed 14-Dec-16 18:46:10

I second tripe. You can get in as tinned food in the supermarket. I usually feed a complete dry food and add the tripe as extra.

thelastwingedthing Thu 15-Dec-16 03:05:20

She's arrived and isn't as thin as the photos made her appear. Her ribs are too obvious but she still has reasonable muscle mass around her haunches. I was concerned about muscle wastage so that's one less worry.

She's also absolutely massive! She is possibly half vizsla but the other half appears to be a very large mastiff breed, maybe a Dogue. She's like a vizsla on steroids with added jowls and wrinkles.

I've found a grain free dry food with very high protein and fat content, and I'll get onto the other suggestions above. I'll also have a chat with the rescue about holding back her adoption (and spaying) until I'm happy with her condition.

Thanks all.

Photo? I find big dogs fascinating.

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