Underweight golden retriever

My female retriever will be one in a couple of weeks and I’m worried as she is too slim and am also surprised she hasn’t come into season yet. She’s happy, bouncy, playful and well balanced, calm and well behaved for her age.

As a puppy she arrived on eukanuba, she was scratching a little & also her anal glands were full & having had retrievers before I know the food can make them sensitive to both of these. So because of this & the fact they’re owned by Procter & Gamble I decided to change. I did quite a lot of research & chose Burns chicken & Rice and was really happy I felt I was doing the best for her. She grew & put weight on. At 9 months she started getting a little ‘loose’ in the afternoons. So I stopped her lunch & then transferred her gradually to the equivalent burns adult food. She doesn’t seem to have gained any weight (& is losing it) since then. Currently she is 24.8kg. (Having been over 27). She is wormed. The vet says she’s ok to be slim if I’m going to have her spayed as she will put weight on afterwards.This week I’ve been supplementing her food with a Natures menu pouch a day and my friendly pet shop have suggested I give her some Skinners Track & Field Muesli as it has molasses to feed her up so I’m about to test that.

I don’t want to keep switching around her food & cause any upset, I’m happy to pay for the best food for her and this site suggests Akela. I was considering mixing this with Natural instinct real meat.

I’d be interested if any of you have any thoughts, experience or suggestions on this?

Thank you

Just increase the current food by 10%?

Sorry, forgot to say that I did that - by 10%, then 20% & she started getting an upset tummy. I’m guessing that it isn’t having any impact because it’s 62% rice (only dawned on me today).

Also didn’t explain that everyone is saying she’s too thin as you can see her bones on her haunches & she matches the underweight diagrams in all the books.


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Hello Woofty - welcome to the forum. I have a friend who fed Burns for a very long time and she had the same observations as you ie her dogs were quite slim. In some of the products there is as much as approx 75% carbohydrates in the form of rice, oats etc. Some dogs would do OK on this but it seems that it doesn’t suit yours. Adding the NM pouches is a good idea because it increases the protein and fat. There is some rice in them but not a great deal AFAIK.

Your dog is young and active and I have a feeling that she might be better off on a higher protein/fat product. Fortunately these are nearly always rated highly on here so all you have to do is go to the Dog Food Directory and, using the filters on the left, move the slider to 4 to 5 stars. There are a lot of really good ones in that category. Products that come to mind are Aatu, Acana, Canagan, Eden, Evolution, Orijen, Millie’s Wolfheart. You won’t be short of choice.

It might be worth considering going grain free and this can be added into a tick box in the Directory. Sweet potato is a good source of carbohydrate so maybe look for foods containing that. When I use the Dog Food Directory I usually also tick the boxes for All Red Ingredients, Clearly Labelled.

Please let us know how you get on.

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Hello and welcome to the forum Woofy. If the vet says she is okay and you have tried increasing her portions, it does seem like changing her food may be helpful. I can’t really add to what Dottie has suggested but I wish you luck finding a suitable food for your dog.

Dottie has nailed it in her reply, good luck in your choice, and please let us know how you get on

Thank you all, I’m going to trial one of the foods Dottie recommends - although I note that doesn’t include Akela which is the one I’d considered as the ingredients look good - has anyone any experience of this?

Will let you know how she gets on.



Just looked at Akela and it certainly looks good. If you go ahead and give it a go, I reckon it would be best to introduce it gradually as it is quite different from the food you are currently giving and you don’t want an upset tum and/or loose poo. Good luck with it and I hope that you soon see an improvement in your dog’s condition. Would be interested to know how you get on.