View Full Version : How small is too small

My Henry Boy
17th May 2012, 01:06 AM
I feel like my boy is just too tiny. He's 23 weeks tomorrow, and weighs 6 pounds 10 oz (4.7 kg, if I did the conversion right). Our vet didn't seem worried, but I'm a neurotic dog mama. This is the best side picture I could get. He never stays still for pictures... Silly boyhttp://img.tapatalk.com/408af24e-40f0-c3a9.jpg

17th May 2012, 01:30 AM
He's cute! He looks good to me. From what I've read both here and other places online that's is better if your cavalier is a little leaner then a little on the chubby side. My Fletcher is 13 weeks old and weights about 8 lbs (sorry for the no converting). As long as he's eating good and your feeding a good diet I would just go with it. I think someone else posted pictures no long ago asking the same thing. Just like some people are bigger that others I guess that's true with cavaliers too.


17th May 2012, 01:45 AM
He looks long and lanky, not at all unhealthy. He'll fill in as he matures. He will probably finish small, but he doesn't look or sound abnormal or unhealthy. My thistle is from quite large parents, and at 1.5 years she's a petite 13 pounds, I'm really not sure what happened there, but the worst health problem she's had is anal glands filling up quickly (touch wood).

My Henry Boy
17th May 2012, 01:48 AM
We feed him a high quality kibble rated at a 5 star food on dog food analysis. He's on Fromm grain free game bird recipe. We just switched from TOTW, we had a recalled bag :-/. He was the runt of the litter. But I thought he'd catch up a bit. I guess he's just going to be a small boned petit guy.

17th May 2012, 01:59 AM
He still might catch up. My 4 year old little boy only weighs 25 lbs. he wears a size 24 months pants and 2T shirts. We're hoping he grows one day. He eats alright... I try. For now I have him enrolled in gymnastic, little and brave/stupid gymastics sound good for him. My daughter was always small for your age (not as small as my son but...) now she's taller than me. Give him some more time, I'm sure he'll fill out some.


17th May 2012, 02:13 AM
He was the runt of the litter. But I thought he'd catch up a bit. I guess he's just going to be a small boned petit guy.

I think he will likely just be small. As a comparison, my Lucky was 7.5 lbs at 10 weeks, and 17 lbs at 7 months! But he's a larger dog. He's 20 lbs now at nearly 6 years and very fit - at his highest weight he was 24 lbs (pre-diet!). You'll find adult Cavaliers vary greatly in size it's really tough to try to compare them. I know several Cavaliers that are quite a bit larger than Lucky and also a few that are significantly more petite.

As long as he appears healthy to you and the vet has not issued any cause for alarm, that is the important thing. :-)

17th May 2012, 04:02 AM
I like to use this chart as my guideline. Not as useful for puppies--but it puts you as the decision maker about body condition and how much to feed, etc. http://www.purina.com/dog/weight-and-exercise/bodycondition.aspx

The directions on the food bags have such wide ranges and I think often people are genuinely confused as to how muchntomfeed, and what their dog should look and feel like. Is your puppy eating well? Do you think he could eat a bit more? He looks very healthy in the photo.

Kate H
17th May 2012, 12:53 PM
My black and tan, that I had in the 1990s, never weighed more than 15lb. In retrospect, I think he had quite severe SM, but this was in the days before scanning was available and vets knew very much, so it was never diagnosed - but otherwise he was a tough as old boots, never had tummy upsets or anything like that, and lived to 10.5. Your boy will fill out a bit as he gets older, but if he's healthy I shouldn't worry - he'll probably reach the breed standard minimum of 12lb, so he'll be official!

Kate, Oliver and Aled

My Henry Boy
17th May 2012, 12:55 PM
He's my first small dog, we have always had boxers, so the comparison of eating is strange for me. He is free fed and gets 3/4 cup of food in his bowl in the morning. He nibbles all day. Sone days he finishes it all, and others there is kibble left, but by 6:30 it gets dumped out. He gets training treats as we are potty training, so for every piddle he gets a small treat. He also gets some fresh veggies, depending on what I'm cooking that day. Broccoli seems to be a favorite. Carrots, not so much.
I feel like his hip bones could use a bit of padding, but he seems happy and he's really energetic, with a silky shiny coat.

17th May 2012, 01:46 PM
He's on the slim side but will likely fill out quite a bit more. By the general guidelines, he is likely to be about twice or a bit more his current weight at adulthood, which is breed standard weight. Runts often catch up to the rest of the litter gradually, too and end up the average size of the litter. He's at the very lanky puppy stage now! :D If your vet feels he's fine, he likely is! :D On the other hand -- is he up on worming etc? This can lead to a thin puppy. Better lean than fat however for puppies and adults. :thmbsup:

One note: trainers and vets really advise never to freefeed dogs but especially, this breed. It can create eating problems and lead to obesity (very common in this breed, which genetically seems to have no 'off' switch once adult age). But also it makes it very hard for an owner to be able to judge a valuable sign of illness -- lack of appetite, etc. Also, it makes it harder to use treats for rewards as the dog is just grazing all day -- and creates an expectation of food all day long. If such a dog goes into the vet for a stay or a kennel, they also will not get food left out all day for them and this can leave them hungry. It's also a real pain/issue when travelling and they don't have all day to meander with their food.

My Henry Boy
17th May 2012, 01:58 PM
He is up to date with worming, he had a fecal done at 12 weeks and just last month.
Karlin, is there any articles or advice on how to go about stopping free feeding? He came to us from the breeder @ 12 weeks and he was free fed there and we just continued to do so. I'm sure it will be a hungry few days until he realizes to eat when it's put out :-/

17th May 2012, 04:38 PM
It's easy -- most dogs learn in 24 hours and it doesn't harm them to go even a day or two without food unless they are sickly. People regularly have to do this with cavalier puppies who very very often become fussy eaters!!

The general rule is: put food down for 10-15 minutes, without making a big deal about it or encouraging the dog in any way. After 10-15 minutes, lift the dish without any comment or fussing, and put away until the next scheduled eating time. Dont feed any treats between meals (a few little training treats are fine).

They learn very quickly. I have had all sorts of fussy dogs and rescues come into the house that people told me had to have their food crushed, be hand fed, be fed on plates, be spoon fed :yikes. What a surprise to find that the above method has dogs eating normally within days... :lol:. Having a couple of other dogs happy to eat the ignored food also helps fussy dogs convert to normal eaters, too! :)

I actually have been going through exactly such a transition with my formerly free-feeding cats. One had become chubby and another heading that way. Two others, I wanted to put on a raw diet. So now everyone is on raw and fed in the morning and that is it. For one (the chubby boy) it took a couple of days of picking briefly at the raw food, which he didn't much like. three or four days later, he eats all his raw food in the morning. :) Switching cats is I think probably a lot more difficult than switching a dog -- they are a lot more fixed in feeding routines and free-feeding.

I do know people who leave food down during the day and it can work for a solo dog but generally it is easier, more hygienic and more useful in many different ways to have a dog that eats within a timeframe.

We had a cavalier that came into rescue (eventually -- and unfortunately -- reclaimed by a really stupid owner) who was skeletal thin and matted... given to scavenging on the estate... vet was quite alarmed at how thin he was. Turned out the owners were freefeeding him unwatched in the back garden with their husky who was clearly eating ALL the food. Idiots didn't even notice their dog was in a dire state -- clearly a dog dumped all day and night in the garden and hardly cared for. Wish the woman who found him had never put up posters in the area as that dog sure needed a better home. :(

My Henry Boy
17th May 2012, 07:07 PM
Karlin, thank you! Tomorrow we will begin a more set routine. He's the only dog here for now, we have considered a rescue in the next year though.
How sad for that poor starving baby :-(. It really breaks my heart to hear such awful things!

17th May 2012, 08:44 PM
Before we got Fletcher our older poodle was free-feeding....ok mostly because we were lazy about it. I knew I had to change that with a new puppy coming in the house. So even tho he's old he had to learn a new trick, especially since the 2 dogs were going to be on different foods. I started feeding him 2 meals a day morning and night. He got it within the second day. Since Fletcher is eating 3 times a day I decided to keep the old poodle on am/pm feeding schedule. Both eat in their crates.

Its shouldn't be a big deal to switch. Good luck.


17th May 2012, 09:08 PM
My Alfie is about 13lbs and he's 25 weeks old I think he's quite solid now!!

17th May 2012, 09:21 PM
Oh Henry looks so sweet, very gangly legs just like my Alfie!

19th May 2012, 08:07 PM
My 2 year old girl is 9ish lbs and the vet always says she is very healthy - just small!

Flutie Patootie
25th May 2012, 02:49 PM
My little baby was 5.7 pounds last time I took her to the vet... She is nearly 10 months old!! She just won't grow. She eats, the vet always says she will healthy... she is just a little miniature!!

4th June 2012, 07:37 PM
Wow 9 and 5.7 pounds! thats very small, and i thought emma was petite! I always get comments on Emmas small size. She weighs 14 pounds now at 18 months. She developed fairly slowly though (idk if thats because she was a single litter or what). I got her at 8 weeks and she weighed 3 pounds and very slowly gained weight and is still continuing to do so. My breeder said that they fill out for a few years though, idk how true that is or not.

4th June 2012, 08:09 PM
I agree w/ everyone. :thmbsup:
Also agree "not" to leave food out all day for him to nibble when he likes. Just give him small portions maybe 3X a day...
and if he doesn't eat it within say 10 min...take it away.
Our Wrigley is on the small side as well... as he is only 11.8 lbs. @ 7 mo's old.
Cavalier's ( from all I have read) are prone to gain weight easy...so keeping them lean ( esp. since they too are more susceptible to MVD)...is the best thing you can do for them. If he is eating well...full of energy...and all his tests have come back good...I wouldn't worry too much. ;)
I did have to laugh....you saying you had Boxers and ..lol.. the difference in eating habits !
I know I am repeating myself ( *blush)...but we have always had BIG dogs. Our lab will gobble down 2 cups of his food in the morning so fast it's as if a fire alarm just went off !! And he would eat all day long if I allowed him to!! :rolleyes:
In fact when he was only 6 mo.'s old...we had to rush him to the Vet as I thought he had BLOAT! His stomach was HUGE...and I was so scared it had flipped. They took X-rays...and the Vet came out laughing. ( I thought..okay???....why is this so funny???) She then asked me to come look. She said.. " Okay..this is Zeb's stomach...do you see this huge mass right here? And I said.."yes". She then goes on to say...." Well..that is all FOOD. I would go home and check your pantry"! ..as looks as though he ate over 10 lbs. of food !! :shock:
( Btw~ they kept him a few hours & made him vomit it all up)
Well..sure enough when we got home...he had managed to flip the lid off the dog bin & all the food was gone. We now keep it on lock down ...!! :lol:
Anyway...Wrigley..our little Cavalier...I have to sit w/ him and he takes FOREVER to eat ! He goes grabs a bite..comes back to me for a few hugs & kisses :lotsaluv:..goes eat some more. This goes on for about 5+ minutes before he is finally done.
He "does" eat it all...it is just the difference in breeds. I love it. So interesting watching their personalities. God sure has blessed us w/ amazing animals ! :)