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    1. #1
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      Hypnotist's Avatar
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      Black Lab Losing Weight

      Greetings!

      I am new to this forum. I have a pure bred black lab that is around 6 years old. I was running one day with my German Shorthair and he (Marley) joined up with us. I searched a few days for his rightful owners and finally found them. Oddly enough, they did not want him back, so I became a reluctant owner of two dogs. That was over four years ago.

      My reason for locating this forum is that Marley is losing serious weight. I do exercise him many miles each day. Today, for instance, we covered 10 miles. Some of it was jogged, while a majority was walked. So he does get massive exercise. I feed him Taste of the Wild (grain free) dog food. In December 2016 he weighed 60 lbs. This last December, he weighed 52 lbs. We now give him 4 cups of food per day. All blood tests and his recent checkup show he is healthy. The vet thought he looked thinner than most labs he sees in his practice but otherwise was not concerned. People that see Marley believe we are starving him. He acts ravenous most of the time...doing many naughty things. All food has to be in drawers or cupboards or Marley will eat it. Weight has only been an issue during the last 1 to 1 1/2 years.

      Apparently I’m not allowed to post a pic yet. You can text me at (563) 468-3328 if you want to see a pic of Marley.

      I welcome any suggestions you have to offer concerning Marley’s health! Thanks!

    2. #2
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      lovemylabby's Avatar
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      Hello and welcome.

      Perhaps you are not feeding him enough food compared to all the exercise he is getting?

      That's an awful lot of exercise in one day.

      Have you considered feeding him more?

      My 80 pound Lab was eating about 4 cups of food per day to maintain his weight and he was not getting that kind of exercise.

      If his recent Vet check was good, I would assume he is not getting enough food or exercising too much.

    3. #3
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      I have had to feed all my dogs more food in winter, we are more active in winter. Cold weather alone means they need more food, if they are outside a lot. Same as your car burns up more fuel in the cold than in summer. Plus, when I rotated three foods one of them was a Taste of the Wild grain free (the pacific something one) and it had a lower kcal/cup count than the other two foods so I had to feed more yet, of it. Sounds like you are more active winter and summer if you do ten miles a day, every day. We only did 10 km (~6 miles) in winter and not every day.

    4. #4
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      I'd say if he's acting like he's starving and he's losing weight, then that sounds like he needs more food. If you don't want to give more volume of food, check the calorie content and see if you can find one with higher calories. I don't know which formula you feed but a quick look at the foods on the TOTW website say they're about 335-380 calories per cup. Maybe your dog just has higher calorie needs based on the amount of exercise you guys get. One brand that I looked at for comparison was Purina ProPlan Sport that some on here feed, that runs more like 475 calories per cup and has 30% protein and 20% fat. It is a grain inclusive food but all foods have carbohydrates, whether from grains or peas or potatoes or some other source, so grain free is not necessarily superior as long as your dog tolerates the food.

    5. The Following User Says Thank You to smartrock For This Useful Post:

      Snowshoe (01-20-2018)

    6. #5
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      Thanks for Your Help!

      Thanks for your replies! Marley was receiving 3 cups before...about six months ago. That’s when we increased it to no avail. I’ll definitely look to increase/switch foods. I also did not realize I could get the calorie count information on the bag. I’ll search for that info. Thanks again for the awesome replies!
      Last edited by Hypnotist; 01-21-2018 at 12:14 AM. Reason: Responding to “all” replies

    7. #6
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      Berna's Avatar
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      Have you checked for intestinal parasites?

    8. #7
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      Quote Originally Posted by Berna View Post
      Have you checked for intestinal parasites?
      Yes - that was my first thought as well - tapeworms. Also, did they do any kind of ultrasound? Hate to say it but cancer can cause weight loss and won't always show up on blood work.

      Hopefully he just needs a more caloric food, but adding a full cup of food seems like it should make more of a difference. I think I would pursue a more thorough vet check if it were mine.
      Annette

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    9. #8
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      Keep posting, and then you can add photos.

      Look for a SPORT formula. And a super active dog can also benefit from carbs, so I personally would take him off grain free and put him on a regular food. Carbs provides energy which the dog needs for all the exercise.

    10. #9
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      Berna's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by JenC View Post
      Keep posting, and then you can add photos.

      Look for a SPORT formula. And a super active dog can also benefit from carbs, so I personally would take him off grain free and put him on a regular food. Carbs provides energy which the dog needs for all the exercise.
      Grain-free doesn't mean carb-free and grain-free foods are still full of carbs.

      Dogs don't use carbs for energy, but fat. However, carbs can be made into fat and then used for energy.

      When my dog was younger and very active (like the OP's dog) during the summer months, I added rice to his food (he was on a BARF diet) to help him not to lose weight. It helped. But he also ate almost 1kg of meat!

    11. #10
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      Try adding coconut oil to his food for extra fat calories. That was suggested to me (by my dogs breeder) if extra food didn't fix my skinny dogs skinny issues (extra food did work for us). I don't think 10 mIles is too much for a fit dog, I used to run one of mine up to 15 .... but mainly up to 10 on a regular basis - she is 13 now and still goes on walks.

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