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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
So Pepper was dangerously underweight about a month ago. She was only 3.2 lbs, and she is a tall/larger chi. She is now up to a little over 4 lbs. I can no longer see any ribs but I can see a few vertabre of her spine and her belly looks thin to me. She is not full chi, or if she is she is terribly bred. She seems to look very italian greyhound-ish. I know they have a different look and can be very thin and still healthy. The vet was suggesting to just give her a ton of food whenever she wanted (they recomended SD of course which I will not give). I did not agree as Pepper will eat until she throws up, literally. I have her on wellness core. I have the puppies on ziwipeak and am going to switch the older ones soon as the wellness runs out.

Should I give Pepper ziwipeak now? Will it help her gain weight? I feel like I am starving my dogs because they are all thin (the others aren't underweight) and act as though they are starving everytime I feed them. Coco gets 1/4 cup twice a day (of wellness) and she is just right, if I fed her any less I think her bones would show through. They all get coconut oil and the missing link everyday with their food. I have taken them all in to the vet several times to be checked for worms and it is always negative.

I am just at a loss as to why I have such thin dogs when everyone else seems to have a problem keeping theirs from getting fat. Pepper does get more food than the others, but it seems to just make her poop more at a time and more often. I was giving half a cup twice a day, but I cut back to 1/4 cup twice a day.

One more question. I have been giving the little ones 1/8-1/4 cup of ziwipeak 3 times a day. Kashi is steadily gaining ounces and has a little layer of puppy fat just as she should. Moka isn't as fat as when I got her, but she is still gaining and now just a little bigger than her sister. Is this ok as long as they continue to gain weight? Do I need to free feed because they are puppies? They seem to be doing well on the schedual I have them on. They are the only ones who eat at a normal pace, not like its the last food they will ever see.

Sorry for the novel of a post. I am just super paranoid about Pepper. Any suggestions? Maybe I am just overreacting because she got so thin before.

Before:


Tonight:
 

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I have no idea about Z/P but just wanted to say the difference in the photos is amazing and the coat looks shiny now .
 

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First, she is just an absolute darling!

I have one who looks "normal" and one who looks a bit starved/pitiful but she is not. Some of her spine and certainly her hip bones have always been visible. She is still a puppy and has never had a puppy belly.

I switched her to a ZP/kibble mix a week or so ago and then all ZP mid week and the girl gained 1/2 pound in a week!

STILL can see some bones but that is how she is built.

She gets between 1/3 and 1/2 scoop of ZP 2x/day. I just have their scoop that I use. I should measure that in real measure now that I type this and realize that I should!

I sure wish my other could tolerate it because I'd have her on it as well!
 

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I wouldn't worry about sticking to any kind of exact portions. If they are underweight, feed them more. The feeding guidelines are there for an "average." Some need more, some need less. I would start out with whatever the guidelines are, and then feed more or less according to your pups body condition.

In the before pics of Pepper she is WAY underweight. She looks much better now. If you can still see ribs, feed her more. You don't have to free feed, just add more in at meal time. I would do this for all the dogs, adult or puppy. Once they are all at optimal body condition, that will be the portion you need to stick with.

If there isn't a medical reason that you can’t feed them all ZP, then I think you are good to go. Just go slow to make sure you don't end up with tummy upset.
 

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What a little sweetheart!.. It certainly is obvious that you have been taking wonderful care of this baby.. The before and after pics are nothing short of amazing.. Kudos to you! Blessings, Deb
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thank you all for your encouragement. Looking back at those pictures last night just broke my heart. Pepper lost almost 2 whole pounds after her spay and that was the result. Coco lost after hers, but bounced right back. I thought her coat looked better, but I'm so glad to have other opinions. I'll continue to monitor good amounts for all their meals. Everyone gets a different portion already anyways lol.

None of them are getting treats other than occasional extra kibbles/ZP right now. What is a good raw type treat? I am clicker training so I'd like something small that I can give several of. I don't do well handling actual raw meat, I wear latex gloves to cook Thanksgiving turkey lol.
 

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Pepper looks so good! Her coat is so glossy!

I struggle with the doggy weight issues. Ernie stayed looking so underweight the first three years of his life. Then he got sick and was taking those darn steroids and gained 2 1/2 lbs in just a few months!

Now Charlene looks underweight too, but really I know she isn't.

Bu is just a fatty who's weight we struggle with constantly.

Good luck with your plight, it can be frustrating!
 

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She might have a little Doxie. Jax does and he's thin. I give 1/4 cup taste of the wild twice a day and raw chicken for dinner. He would eat until he popped if he could though. Good luck!
 

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I give single ingredient dehydrated or freeze dried treats. Right now I have Pure Bites Freeze Dried chicken breast and Bravo Freeze Dried turkey bites. They are $10-$13 a bag but I break up the pieces so a bag lasts awhile but I have just 2 to feed/treat.
 

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Pepper looks a similar shape to our Bella who is a chi x mini foxy. She often looks a bit skinny too but I think it is just the build. She was in at the vet last month & they are very happy with her weight even though you can still see several of her vertebrae.

I find she is also very muscular compared to Holly & Yogi, but she is also a lot more active.

By the photos she looks a lot better so I would keep on with what you are doing :)
 
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