advice please on dog food

Hi there

I have a very energetic 18 month old, flat coat retriever. We live in the French Alps, at altitude, my dog has two 45 minute walks per day, generally involving mountain walking, plus he roams in the garden as he sees fit to.

He weighs approx 32kgs.

Jeff, my dog, is struggling to put weight on and according to the breeder is underweight, I agree, until a month ago I was feeding as per manufacturers guidelines, however, I’ve just increased that.

I currently feed:
Simpsons 80/20 - 500g per day plus Pure Pet Food, Duck Delight - 4 scoops per day plus a daily carrot. No treats and perhaps once a week a piece of steak.

Bowel habits fairly normal, occasional runny stool.

An feeding advice?

I have heard that adding coconut oil can help with weight gain and it has tons of health benefits. That is if your dog can tolerate it given his occassional runny stools.

My dog was also underweight for a long time, but he had digestive issues. Nevertheless, I wouldn’t be that concerned about it unless it is extreme. He is still very young and may very well still be growing (even if we do not see it). As long as he seems fit and healthy otherwise.

Thank you very much. Could you recommend a coconut oil?

Flatcoats are known for their sensitive stomachs - but so far, we’ve had no issues with him.

I forgot to mention that I’ve just started using Nutrivet salmon oil.

My terrier has a tendency to lose weight. We do tend to give her a few extra treats on top of her food. She gets the highest RDA but at times the treats may be less than others and the weight can come off pretty quickly. She is less active than she used to be but still has a 45 minutes walk daily plus a shorter walk in the morning. She has longer walks at the weekend.
Activity seems to be a big factor with her. If we go away on walking breaks, she has to have extras or the weight falls off. Her food is low carb so I am adding a little brown rice to see if this helps her hold her weight. Your dog sounds like he is active so this might be the reason he is slim.
Simpsons doesn’t seem to be low in carbohydrates. If the increase in amounts doesn’t help him gain, it may be worth checking in with the vet and making sure it is nothing medical.

Thank you. My breeder did recommend a vet trip, if within 6-8 weeks, he’s not put any weight on. He’s put a small amount on recently. Perhaps, I could top up with more raw meat?

I am sorry Claire but I don’t agree with your breeder. I have two FCR, both 6 years old with one 34kg and the other 32kg. They are not small in stature and my vet says they are the perfect weight. FCR are very active dogs and at 18 months your dog is someway off maturity and natural muscle weight will not have peaked yet. Check out Flat Coated Retrievers - Discussions on Breed, Science and Nature on Facebook. Post a question there for a reply from other Flat Coat owners. Also on Facebook there is a brilliant Flat Coat owners site (Flat Coated Retrievers) where you will see the vast majority of these magnificent dogs are in the 32-35kg range and the members are always happy to answer questions and help.


Thanks Neil, I am members of both the Facebook groups that you mention.

I do think he’s underweight as you can see his ribs, not as much now I’ve started feeding more. He is very active and perhaps I just need to account for that.

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