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amberrose22
31st July 2006, 02:12 AM
Hi All, I'm new and as soon as I get pics I will definately post them!! But I came here for a specific reason and that is my almost 11 month old blenheim boy, Charlie (yep another one! seems like a popular name!) only weighs around 10 pounds. The breeder we got him from says he was even one of the bigger pups when we got him at 8 weeks.

Does this sound unhealthy? He's active and a very loving little man... but I worry he doesn't eat enough so I've been giving him food I never thought a dog should eat (at the recommendation of a friend who used to be a vet)... so I've been giving him eggs, meats, and cheeses. (not a lot but every few days or so).

Any advice would be great! Thanks everyone and I look forward to getting to know more of you all :)

Kingofthehouse86
31st July 2006, 02:48 AM
How often are you feeding him?...also wat dog food are you feeding?

amberrose22
31st July 2006, 02:53 AM
I've changed a couple times to see if it would help. The breeder was feeding him purina, then I switched him to science diet by vet's recommendation, that didn't go so well so I tried an adult purina, and lastly I'm on purina one for puppies.

The problem is he only seems interested in the pup food when he is in his kennel at night time. During the day he's so busy with us or playing, that he only drinks and doesn't eat.

Pam Smith
31st July 2006, 03:19 AM
Do you know the weights of your dogs parents?

amberrose22
31st July 2006, 03:20 AM
No I don't.

judy
31st July 2006, 03:26 AM
Hi. generally, i would think if he's healthy and if he is the right weight for his frame, his bones don't stick out on his butt above his tail, his ribs aren't sticking out, his activity level is normal, he acts happy, then i would not want to make extra efforts to fatten him or make him larger because overweight is a serious health problem, and i would worry about high cholesterol too, although i'm not sure if dogs have a problem with that. Autopsies of young soldiers have shown that by the late teens, many young people already have the beginnings of artherosclerosis/hardening of the arteries, attributed to high fat diet.

On the other hand if Charlie is too then, bony, and showing other signs of malnutrition, you might talk to a nutritionist and get some healthy ideas.

A vet can tell you if he is healthy, and if he is, then i think he is probably getting just the right amount of food. Rather than go by how many times a day he eats, or even how much, I would go by whether he is the right weight for his frame, his energy level, etc.

You might find it interesting to read through some ratings of dog foods. Some well known brands, possibly Purina, don't use a very high grade of ingredients--unfit for human consumption, which can mean diseased among other things. There are people who have rated dog foods based on things like that. Here's a link to a site that you might be interested in.

http://www.roycroftcavaliers.com/manualfeeding.htm

Get those photos coming, all Charlies are welcome :D

Pam Smith
31st July 2006, 03:51 AM
Thanks Judy for the information about the dog food website, that is great information. :thmbsup: My vet is very focused on keeping a Cavalier at a good weight for many reasons. Rudy has a small frame and she wants me to be careful to keep his weight in check for the sake of his knees among other Cavalier issues. He weighs a little over 14 pounds.

Kingofthehouse86
31st July 2006, 04:07 AM
King is at his minimal weight which is 18lbs...My vet says he good be heavier cuz he built will allow it...so I kno King can gain a couple lbs without becoming overweight... I would take him off Purina One get him on a diet that doesn't have any by-products or fillers...like Innova:EVO, Chicken Soup for the Pet Lover's Soul, Solid Gold, Wellness, Merrick, Natural Balance...try some of these you'll prob see a big difference with him on a natural diet then on Purina One...but just a suggestion

Karlin
31st July 2006, 01:14 PM
I don't think there should never be a couple of pounds leeway on weight for a cavalier, as they are small dogs. Most vets IMHO allow dogs to be quite FAT before they even mention it might be good to lose weight! So I tend to listen to well informed breeders on this particular breed and not my vets, as much as I like and respect them. Every extra ounce on a cavalier means the heart works harder, which means the mitral valve has to work harder, which means *it gives out sooner*. As almost all cavaliers will die from MVD and half have a murmur by age 5, it is very important to keep your cavalier in good, lean weight if you want as much time as possible with him or her. An extra pound on a cavalier is like us carrying two 10lb bags of flour under our arms!!

You should be able to see a *distinct* waist when viewed from above.

Excellent guidelines on feeding and images of cavalier waists:

http://roycroftcavaliers.com/manualfeeding.htm

10 lbs is on the small side but he will likely add a couple of lbs yet as he fills out -- boys mature more slowly that girls and also fill out for the next year or so as well. Knowing parents AND grandparents weights and size are the best option for guessing what size your own cavalier will be. Some naturally fall under the breed standard and over the breed standard -- the worry is when breeders breed with NO regard for breed standard. Unfortunately a lot are breeding so called teacup cavaliers that are very small -- all under breed standard -- and they tend to get these sizes by breeding runts to runts, which means starting with what was likely the least healthiest cavalier in the litter. if they are breeding undersized cavaliers -- which no good breeder would do -- you can be very sure they do not follow any other health guidelines for hearts, hips, eyes or patellas much less syringomyelia. Not to say your fellow was at all deliberately bred to be small -- but people really need to watch for breeders who say they specially breed small lines and absolutely grill them for proof that they have proper cardiac clearences etc. You can bet they will have none of these very basic health clearances and could care less whether the puppies turn into adults that live til 6 or 12. By then they have made their money.

Now -- as for undereating -- please follow Laura's guidelines on her feeding page -- do not feed puppy food especially at this dog's age as it is too rich, though he no doubt loves getting it! Get him on a good healthy quality food, consider supplementing as you already are with something interesting like boiled chicken, some grilled hamburger, eggs, one of the dog stews in the Caring for your Cavalier section, some veg, etc -- lots of suggestions there. You don;t want to overfeed him for his size and metabolism.

Breed standard in the US is 13-18lbs, and in UK is 12-18 lb. But indivudals vary.

As long as your vet doesn't feel he is too thin and that he is otherwise healthy, don't worry about his size. Also get him on a regular schedule -- food down at regular feeding times, then lifted -- so he isn't picking and choosing his mealtimes. That way feeding fussiness and headaches lie!! :)

By the way I have people comment that my dogs look *thin* all the time, simply because they have a waist!! This is very worrying and indicates that people have forgotten what a healthy dog actually looks like I think -- most dogs I see are FAT and some are obese! Obesity in pets is a very serious problem just as it is in people and creats all sorts of serious health issues over time, from arthritis, fast-onset MVD and heart failure, bad hips, knees and backs, diabetes, respiratory problems...

Moviedust
31st July 2006, 01:49 PM
Both of my dogs are small for cavaliers. One is 11.4 (12 mo old), the other is 9.9 (16 mo old). Some cavaliers will simply be small, just like some people are small.

Check out the advice on the link Karlin and Judy provided to give you an idea of what a good weight should look like.

Waiting for pictures!!

Cathy Moon
1st August 2006, 12:34 AM
I know someone who has a little 12 lb male cav (maybe 2 yrs old), and he is healthy.

If it were me, I'd find one of the highest quality dog foods I could afford and feed him that. With dogs you really have to be careful about feeding rich and fatty foods like cheese, or they can get pancreatitis, which is very serious! Plus he really needs a healthy, well balanced diet. :flwr:

Pam Smith
1st August 2006, 01:30 AM
Wow, I am learning a lot. I knew to feed only quality food but I hadn't heard the information on keeping the weight low. I have had all my dogs on Flint River Ranch which is a good food but Rudy started having some type of reflux so I tried Hill's Science Diets for sensitive stomachs. I shudder at the Hills Science Diets but I have had to use it twice with Rudy. I used it when he was a puppy and had loose stools and just recently with reflux. I am open to other foods if anyone wants to recommend. I have tried canadae but it gave real loose stools both times I tried.

Maxwell&me
1st August 2006, 02:37 AM
I feed Maxwell Wellness, the fish formula with plenty of fresh veggies as treats with very good results....Diet can be confusing, but grocery store brands are not good for puppy.

Maxwell has looser stools than a raw diet, but Ive never had any problems, nothing runny, just not as hard or firm as grocery diet or raw.....

judy
1st August 2006, 02:42 AM
... I shudder at the Hills Science Diets but I have had to use it twice with Rudy. I used it when he was a puppy and had loose stools and just recently with reflux. I am open to other foods if anyone wants to recommend. I have tried canadae but it gave real loose stools both times I tried.

Hi Pam--when you switched to Canadae, did you gradually transition him from his other food to the Canadae by putting just a small amount of the new food mixed with the old foods, and shifting the ratio over a week or more, or did you just change overnight? I've received advice to make gradual transitions several times. I switched Zack from one kibble to another without any loose stool about three times, but on the 4th time i switched him to Innova Evo which is far more different in composittion than all the others, and he got gas and loose stool, apparently from the abrupt switch. Because he really liked the Evo, i went back to his old food and mixed a little Evo in, and then over the past week, have increased the proportion of Evo, now it's little more than half Evo, and stools are fine, no looseness, no gas. Cathy Moon reports a similar experience or process with going to Evo.

Karlin has said that Royal Canin is a fairly bland food.

When there is gastro-intestinal distress, a good thing to feed is skinless boneless boiled chicken breast and white rice. It's very gentle and good protein, feeding small amounts several times a day. I fed it to Zack when he was having diarrhea and vomiting when i first got him, he loved it. I made enough so that all i had to do was heat it at meal time, and i made it in the morning and evening, and came home from work at lunch to give him some, but soon i found i could give him larger amounts twice a day. It was easy to make, just boil the chicken and use minute rice.

I have heard quite a few people say their dogs could eat Natural Balance Duck and Potato when they couldn't eat anything else.

Jen114
1st August 2006, 12:07 PM
Kayla is only 11 pounds and she is tiny... 15months old

take a look i mean the others all look huge near here....

Even Abby looks bigger and she is 13 weeks old

http://i80.photobucket.com/albums/j161/Jen114_2006/105_0568.jpg

joanna
1st August 2006, 01:30 PM
Daisy Boo is 11.5 pounds at 13 months old. The vet said her weight is perfect.

Joanna

Finns Family
18th August 2006, 07:24 PM
Thanks Karlin for the info on feeding. I went to the Roycroft article which led me to yet another article which also contained info that may change the way I feed my dog.

Finn is not a large cavalier but he weighs 21 lbs (just weighed him). I have been feeding him Canidae twice per day...1/2 cup with a quarter container Caesar mixed in. We go for a 6 km hike every morning though and he is definitelly on the "svelte" side. Very pronounced waist, easily feel his ribs under his skin but not boney.

I went to the two feedings from three when he was about 7 months, but is it better to be feeding him once a day? I have not found his exhaustion point yet and he is always energetic, but I read that they can actually be "hungry" more easily if you feed them twice per day rather than once?

Anyone have any advice?

Thanks!

Robyn

Karlin
18th August 2006, 10:07 PM
Lots of opinions in a current thread on this topic:

http://www.cavaliertalk.com/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=3176

kabooki19
19th August 2006, 03:21 AM
Kayla is only 11 pounds and she is tiny... 15months old

take a look i mean the others all look huge near here....

Even Abby looks bigger and she is 13 weeks old

http://i80.photobucket.com/albums/j161/Jen114_2006/105_0568.jpg

my dog (named Kayla too) weighs 16 pounds and i feel the same way about her being "small" looking at how her mother and father were she just seems much smaller then them... she is over a year now so she is definitly done growing...

merlinsmum
20th August 2006, 04:25 PM
Kayla may be tiny but she is gorgeous....... - I could just see Kayla and Merlin making friends they have very similar expressions...

:luv: :luv: :luv:

amberrose22
20th August 2006, 07:26 PM
I want to thank everyone for their replies on this subject. I have taken Charlie off the purina and have found a pet store not too far that carries many of the brands recommended. I picked up chicken soup for the dog lovers soul and Charlie absolutely loves it!! I started by mixing it in with the little bit of food I had left and he has changed nicely to accepting just the new food.

PS. We just purchased a digital camera online a few days ago! (Finally!) as soon as I get it... I'll take tons of pics to show you all... I can't wait!