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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
We’re wondering if our 20 week old is getting enough food and if we’re doing things right

Basil has never been particularly motivated by food unlike our previous two labs. He often needs coaxing to eat his 3 meals a day. He often eats about 2/3rd of his meal and then leaves it and will come back to it later He was 19 kg when we weighed him last week - he’s not a chunky lab nor does he look skinny.

We have him on James Wellbeloved and mix in a bit of cooked chicken. Last week he was sick one day and we put him on chicken and rice for the day and he seemed to recover although he has seemed off his food for a few days since, so I got him some Autarky puppy to gradually add to his usual kibble in case he’s gone off the JWB. Our other two labs were both on Autarky and it agreed with them. He also gets treats of mini bone shaped biscuits to encourage his lead walking and training.

Are we getting things right or should we try a different approach?
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Last night he’d picked at his dinner, then he finished it off before bed at 12, and because he’d not eaten that much all day I gave him a couple of handfuls of his kibble and he wolfed it down. I don’t know if that was the right thing to to do or not? Feed on demand or feed at set times, more or less.
 

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Remember that not all Labradors are gannets. If he looks well covered I personally would not be worried and would possibly reduce his food slightly to a level he is comfortable with. As the saying goes, "Feed to the dog, not to the food sack."
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thank you John. I’m so used to our previous two labs - Buster and Cal being gannets that when Basil doesn’t want to eat or just half of his meal I think there’s something wrong with him. We’ll take your advice and feed to him and his needs.
We’re going to take his treats from his proper food too and I’m cutting down the liver paste that we buy £10 a can for putting in his Kong every day to the occasional treat. We’ll see how things go.
 

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Labrador's metabolism, and activity level can vary so much. My Lucy and Beth were pretty much the same size but where Beth was 100mph Lucy was a couch potato so Beth needed half as much again to what I was giving Lucy just to avoid her looking like a fugitive from a concentration camp. Amy used to get the same as Chloe even though Amy was around 30kg against Chloe's 23kg.

As much as any feed by feel of the ribs. Ribs clear and hard edged as if feeling through a bed sheet and you need to feed more! Ribs able to feel, but well covered like feeling through a blanket is ideal. Ribs difficult to feel, as if covered by a duvet and the dog is getting fat!
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 · (Edited)
Thats a good way of assessing them, John. I would say Basils ribs feel like through a blanket, although a loose one as he’s still got a bit of room to grow into
He’s been sleeping a lot today and I notice theres a pattern, where some days he’s more lively and other days he’s sleepy, i suppose it’s all that growing he’s doing and his brain trying to process information.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 · (Edited)
Basil is still not quite himself. We’re giving him a mixture of kibble, rice and chicken three times a day. The only treats he’s getting is from his kibble. His poos are firmer, but slightly soft sometimes. He’s fine on his walks and is playing too. I might be overreacting but I wonder if he’s snoozing more than usual during the day. He sleeps on and off from 10 til 3 or 4pm then snoozes while we watch tv 8-12oc and then he sleeps all night til about 730 - 8 am. Is this ok?
 

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He sleeps on and off from 10 til 3 or 4pm then snoozes while we watch tv 8-12oc and then he sleeps all night til about 730 - 8 am. Is this ok?
Dont knock it. The perpetual machine is damn hard work!! 😉

But really, what you are looking for is not so much what he is doing as changes in what he's doing. If this is his normal behaviour then relax. But if it has changed then thats the time to start thinking about contacting the vet.

Earlier in the thread you were saying that you were worried that he was not clearing up his food. That could be linked to the loose motions. Being a bit loose is often a sign of over feeding. The tummy cannot handle the quantity of food and starts to push it through only partly digested.

But remember, I cant see your dog so I could be talking complete rubbish in his case.
 

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Looking at that, he does not look particularly overweight, but neither does he look underweight! I'd say you are not doing badly. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
🤣 true. Look what they give us in return. They make us laugh, loyalty, unconditional love, companionship etc etc
 

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So true. When anybody has a problem I can stand back and comment dispassionately on it, but if the same thing happens to my own dogs I'm in a panic! o_O
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 · (Edited)
Hi. poor Basil!! We came downstairs this morning to find his bed in his crate covered in diarrhoea- he’d tried hard to do it it in the places where he doesn’t lie, so it was over his toys and his blanket and he’d tried to aim it out of the crate through the bars at the sides of the crate. He’s never in all the time we’ve had him messed in his bed. He didn’t even cry out to get our attention in the night as far as we know. So we’ve made an appointment with the vets for this afternoon. It’s a big clean up job this morning, and Basil is trying to catch up on some sleep, the poor lad. I’ll let you know what the vet says.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Back from the vets and Basil has a bacterial infection he’s had an antibiotic injection- which he didn’t like one bit. He’s got probiotic paste, antibiotics and a wormer tab. He’s on light meals for a few days - rice scrambled egg chicken or fish. He’s lost a little bit of weight too, apart from all that, the vet thought he was in good condition and a good looking boy - proud parent😃
 

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I'm not surprised he did not like the injection. If it's the one I think it's quite painful. Amy had it when she had a gippy tummy. She squeaked, which is something she never normally does with injections.
 
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