Anyone Ever Had A Dog That Just Seemed To Stay Thin, Even If They Receive More Than Adequate Nutrition?

I have a 7 month old hound mixed breed who is extremely active. She runs constantly when she’s outside, playing with our larger dog (a hound/Ridgeback mix), and she hates coming inside unless it’s to eat. After that, she’s ready to go back out and play until it’s time to come in for the afternoon.
The problem is, Daisy (the little dog), always looks underweight. She has long, skinny legs, and she has very little body fat. You can see her ribs a bit when she’s standing still, and even more so when she starts eating. I feed her approx 3.5 cups of dry puppy food per day, but she never seems to put on any weight. I’m a Humane Society volunteer, so my neighbors are used to seeing me walking the neighborhood w/ underweight foster dogs, but I don’t want anyone to think I’m mistreating my own dog by underfeeding her.
Should I give her more food to “fatten” her up, or could she just be a naturally “slender” dog and more food would make her unhealthy?

12 Responses to Anyone Ever Had A Dog That Just Seemed To Stay Thin, Even If They Receive More Than Adequate Nutrition?

  • It sounds like you have the same problem i had with my German shepherd. she was always skinny no matter how much she ate. we tested her for everything under the sun and could not figure it out.
    Then my vet figured that since she was so hyper and energetic maybe she was burning it off faster than she could take it in. So, I changed her schedule and started feeding her at night before bed time. Then i put her in her crate so she was forced to slow down for the night. After about a week she gained 10 lbs.
    Your dog probably has a high metabolism and needs to just chill after she eats. Give it a try.

  • Nora Explora says:

    She looks fine for a hound. They are usually a little on the lean side. Check her for worms and offer her food a little more often or while she is still a growing girl let her eat at will.

  • Kiss Me Deadly says:

    Some dogs (and certain breeds) are naturally lean. As long as she’s full of energy and seems healthy and happy, she’s probably fine.
    If you’re concerned, I’d ask your vet. He or she might advise you to increase her food, but she might just be going through a growth-stage where her height is increasing faster than her weight. At 7 months, she’s probably attained nearly her adult height, but still has some filling-out to do.
    I don’t think you have anything to worry about.

  • sugar_pi says:

    Wow, she is a gorgeous little girl!!
    Just like people, some dogs are just naturally thinner. However, she doesnt seem very underweight to me. I work with dogs and ive noticed hounds and hound mixes are always on the leaner side. And since shes so active she must burn off a lot of the fat.
    There could be a medical problem though. You should take her to the vet if you are really worried, and get a check up and blood test done. She might have an over-active thyroid or something. Medication could fix that. Or the vet might reccommend a different brand of food – for active dogs, for instance. But she doesnt seem to be sick, if shes always active and energetic.
    But you shouldnt just give her more food to “fatten her up”. Thats not healthy.
    Another reason she could be so thin is stress? Is she easily stressed? I had a friend who adopted a dog from the shelter who had severe separation anxiety and he just stressed himself out so much when he was left alone that he burned off all the calories he ate and was very skinny.
    Is she spayed? Usually once females are spayed they gain some weight. If shes not, i reccommend it so she can gain some weight, and also just to control the pet population and prevent any cancers and things like that.
    Id say shes fine, but id talk to the vet just to make sure. Plus,
    with her being 7 months old, she should be coming off the puppy food soon and onto an adult diet, especially with her high activity levels, and the vet should be the one to decide what shes eating. Good luck! She seems like an awesome dog 🙂

  • angel668 says:

    I have two boxers. One is a female and one is a male. The male seems to be gaining the proper weight, but the female seems to be staying the size as when we got her. We got them when they were three months old and now they are six months. They are indoor dogs, but we feed them indoor dog food that has all the nutrition and vitamins that they need. We take them to the park and they run and play. I talked to my vet and she said that there is nothing wrong with her. Its just who she is. I’m still worried about her. But some dogs just dont get as big as they are suppose to I guess.

  • sclmarm says:

    We have performance dogs and most people would think they are to thin, but that extra weight is killer when going over lots of jumps and other equipment. When you feel down her sides it should feel like the back of your hand. You should be able to feel her hip bones too. She’s a lean, mean running machine and I think she looks great!

  • Chiappon says:

    She doesn’t look overly skinny in those pics. She just looks like an active young dog that is slender. I’ve had a redbone coonhound (what your mix is…) and she too stayed fairly slender until she got older then she filled out quite a bit. Same thing with the Black and Tan coonhound my parents currently have. She’s a spazz, gets plenty of high quality food but b/c she’s so active she’s slender. I wouldn’t worry about it, she looks fine now, and will fill out when she’s out of her puppy stage.

  • has she been checked for worms, etc? do that, and if she’s healthy, then just feed her. she should be fed at least 2 times a day anyway. talk to the vet.

  • vicky l says:

    Some dogs are naturally slim, but there could be a medical reason for it as well. Some parasites can cause this. I would say take her to the vet and just do a chemistry panel (blood work), and a stool sample check. Puppy food is very high in calories, and 3.5 cups is more than an adequate amount. You are doing just fine with that. However, there is a food out there called Eukanuba High Performance. It is meant to be used on dogs that are very active. You might want to consult your vet about switching to that diet. It is an adult food, not a puppy food. Good luck.

  • Sweety_8513(Brooke H) says:

    my hound mix (daisy also) was really skinny until she reached her full height then she started filling out– so dont worry she just has excess puppy energy and it will calm after a while– as long as the vet says it checks out it checks out–

  • reneeinp says:

    Do you feed her mince, canned or dog roll food, as well as the dry food!
    I have found that the puppy pedigree poridge helps in putting on weight but only introduce it slightly so you dont cause diarohoea…
    She could just be naturally slender but normally this is noticable in adult dogs who are very active, not puppies…. But then again, she is growingg up and you said she is very active so it is a posility, some dogs are just meant to be thin!
    Puppies should have a decent amount of ‘puppy fat’
    More food wouldnt make her unhealthy, she would eat until she is filled up she wouldnt keep eating! maybe try a mix of foods and see how she goes…
    i feed my dogs cooked chicken mince, with frozen mixed veggies and cooked pasta- and rotate with that, dry food and dog rolls…. Variety is always good!

  • I have that problem with my Papillon. He’s a really light eater and very active. He seems to be excessively skinny but this hasn’t drawn any concern from his vet and he is in good health otherwise.