Adding suet/fat

I have an Irish Setter who’s almost 11 months old, she’s been on raw food for most of the time we’ve had her.
She has always been a slim dog, this improved when she initially changed onto raw, however we’re now finding she’s struggling to put weight on again.
She was on free flow chicken & vegetable nuggets. I’ve recently swapped her onto the lamb following a brief discussion with NM as it has a high fat content. Our vet has suggested possibly trying a working dog mix but I’m reluctant to put her back onto a dry mix.
A gun dog trainer friend has suggested adding a little suet to help add weight, has anyone feed suet? What ratio, did they source it from the butchers of use the suet you can get from the supermarket for puddings?!
She’s healthy in every other respect, wormed, vacs and has bundles of energy as you would expect from a Setter!

Hello and welcome to the forum, Is your setter holding her weight? Also is she a healthy weight or underweight. I know setters can be on the thin side. It might be worth asking the vet if you are worried.

I haven’t had any experience adding suet or extra fat. When my dog started to loose weight on raw, I changed to a different raw complete but I added a little of whatever carb we were having for dinner, until her weight went back to what is was. She would have cooked oats, brown rice, whole wheat pasta, quinoa. This worked well for me and didn’t seem to upset her digestion. I still add a bit sometimes just because she seems to enjoy it.

Hi Tinyplanets, thanks for the welcome.

She’s currently maintaining her weight but is certainly underweight! I’ve always fed her more than the “recommended” quantities as she’s always been skinny but this has maintained her weight. She’s currently on 1200grams a day across 3 meals with a balanced mix of lamb & veg & starch (rice or potatoes)

She was seen by the vet last week with regards to her weight, we both agreed she’s underweight and the vet is happy for her to try a higher calorie food such as a working dog mix. She’s got another appointment with the vet for an unrelated matter in 2 weeks so we will be monitoring her weight.

I almost wonder if she looks worse following a growth spurt?!

Hello and welcome to the forum. In the absence of illness, I can only surmise that for some reason your dog has a fast metabolic rate. I have never heard of adding suet or fat to a dog’s diet to add weight. I feel that if your raw diet is properly balanced and suitable for your dog then it should have enough fat in it already.

Like Tinyplanets, I gave NM Country Hunter nuggets to my dogs and they lost weight so I had to keep increasing the quantity which had a dramatic effect on the cost - it was getting very expensive for three dogs, albeit small ones. However, these are lower in fat so maybe I was giving the wrong product. I agree with Tinyplanets about adding good quality carbohydrate but it seems that you are already doing this. BTW sweet potato is better nutritionally than white potato.

In some ways I agree with the vet in that a dry working food might help your dog but it is a big step to go from raw to dry food. You need to ask yourself if this is what you really want. If you would prefer to keep your dog on raw then you could look at other complete meal products such as Natural Instinct, Nutriment - there are more and these can be found on the Dog Food Directory. Cold pressed food goes well with raw and you could quite easily top up with that. Visit our Markus Muhle/cold pressed thread for more information if you are interested. This can be given as a separate meal alongside raw and can be soaked or given dry.

Edit: Diets that are high in fat can cause pancreatitis. I would therefore urge caution in adding more fat to raw meat as it is probably already has an above average percentage of fat.