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Skinny puppy! please help I'm desperate!


New Member
Hello all! I'll try and make this post as short as possible as I am at my wits end.I have a 4 month old great dane who is WAY too skinny! I'm feeding her FROMM gold large breed puppy formula and she is eating about 3.75 cups a day. She has been stuck at 27/28lbs for a little over a month now which isn't good. She did great on her food up until she swallowed one of my socks (which she puked up, no surgery required) ever since that day though she has had a hard battle with diarrhea and has lost a lot of weight.I have seen the vet several times and have had her on medication to help stop the diarrhea and have had her x-rayed to ensure there were no other articles of clothing lodged in there. She is happy, active and healthy and I understand Danes are no stranger to diarrhea but what can I do!? I'm getting terrible looks and comments from people when we go to the park and It makes me break down and cry. I have tried everything but she always ends up with stomach issues. Veterinarians say she is fine and just needs to eat more.Things I've tried:Giving extra food (No diarrhea but It didn't seem to help.)Science diet gastro intestinal puppy formula (didn't do anything for her weight, I feed it only while she has diarrhea)Adding tripe to her food (LOTS of stomach issues with that one)giving her a calorie booster, the one you can pick up from your pet store by GNC pets.currently I'm giving her Satin balls because I'm DESPERATE...she was fine up until today (no diarrhea for the past 2 days) I'm so lost, this is my first dane pup and have not dealt with this before!


Well-Known Member
Most of the Great Danes I've had have some type of issue with eating. I've had dogs that ate a ton but didn't gain weight, dogs that wouldn't eat, dogs with food sensitivity. My current Dane can't handle grain or dairy, and if he doesn't eat frequently enough will vomit bile. However, most of these things self correct on the right food, especially once they finish the bulk of their growing.Here are some things that might help:1) Feed more frequently. At 4 months old, I was feeding my Dane puppy 3-4 times a day2) Try grain free food3) Use an adult food (I never feed Danes puppy feed, even large breed puppy food)4) Try only using your kibble as treats. My Dane can't handle dairy or grain, but it took me a while to figure that out. He had bad gas and extremely soft stools, and its hard to tell what is causing it if you are giving them lots of different things to eat.5) Try adding pumpkin6) Try adding a probiotic


Well-Known Member
Your pup looks like my 6yo boxer. He eats 6 cups of any kind of food I give him and can't break 53lbs.You can count all his ribs, see his hips and his spine. He's kind of gross. Haha. He's healthy though. Dr. B has tested everything. He's just skinny. I recently made a switch to a higher calorie food hoping to see some improvement, but it hasn't been long enough yet. I did see a little improvement when I added digestive enzymes to his food. It's so frustrating, I know. I hope you can find something that works for you. Glad to have you here. We'd love to see more pics!


Well-Known Member
When Kryten (EM) was a puppy I discovered that he couldn't have food that had any form of poultry in it. His symptoms were quite similar to what you are describing. I found that I had to switch him to food and treats that had absolutely no ingredients from a bird in it. Once I did that the diarrhea stopped and he started to gain weight again. Perhaps changing to a chicken free food (I'm guessing Fromm puppy is chicken based) might help her.
My other dog is an Irish Setter mix who is prone to being underweight. The one thing that I've found helps him when he starts loosing weight to the point his bones stick out are satin balls. Good luck and I hope you find the solution soon.

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Well-Known Member
Welcome! I know it's distressing...I had a GSDx who was similarly skinny and I also had people asking if she was sick or giving me disapproving looks...but she lived to be 14 or 15 years old and was always really healthy. On the other hand, a good friend of mine had a female Dane who was the same way as a young dog, and she switched to a raw diet and her girl finally bulked up. In addition to the above suggestions, you might incorporate some raw meals, I think it would be worth a try. I wouldn't freak out, your pup is thin but I'm not seeing spine or hip bones. And she is at an age where they get really gangly and ugly LOL. My EM pup is almost five months old and is all legs and ribs (and visible ribs, like your pup) right now but I know he is getting good nutrition, thin is better, and a dog will grow to its genetically-programmed weight eventually as long as it gets adequate nutrition, which you are providing. My pup gets a combination of raw and kibble meals. Basically though, if she is healthy and happy, I would most certainly not be breaking down and crying over what uninformed strangers might think about your dog. Their problem, not yours. :p Yeah she's a bit thin but nothing to worry about and she'll fill out in time.


Well-Known Member
Some dogs go through a boney phase, but combined with loose stools makes me think the food you're using, although a good one for some dogs, may not be the best fit for your pup.

Tali went through a bit of a boney phase around the same age, but that's also when we were discovering Our DDB can't handle chicken or grains, and on the advice of others here and friends with mastiff experience, we had never had her on puppy food from the day we took her home.

We use Acana Pacifica now, and she's slim and fit. Others here swear by raw, and it really seems to work well for them - it's just not something I can do, but there's great threads here on the subject.

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Well-Known Member
Assuming said dog is healthy go to store. Buy a inexpensive weight gainer for bodybuilding. Mix in with regular food WITH WATER SO IT'S SOUPY. If that dog don't gain weight something wrong... I can put 10 lbs on my dogs in two weeks..

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Well-Known Member
I would add in the digestive enzymes and some probiotics. / I get a bunch of stuff at onlynaturalpet.com / They have a few items that might help: Vital Digest and GI Support. GI support has a bunch of intestinal soothing herbs (like slippery elm bark) that might help if she has a slow-healing issue due to the sock incident.


Well-Known Member
I agree with others to get her off chicken. I fed the same food as you, and found my dog has issues with chicken and I now feed Fromm Prairie gold large breed puppy food. It is red meat (no poultry) grain, soy, wheat etc. free. I would try that or the Acana Pacifica as mentioned. My Lillie borders on looking too thin most of the time, but honestly, it's really hard to keep weight on them as they grow. Every time it seems like she's filling out just a little she shoots up and gets real thin again. She pretty much stays at a point where you can see her ribs and she's eating 4 1/2 cups a day of the Fromms, plus I feed duck feet, meat grind/tripe and smelt in addition. In comparison, my 70 pound adult male eats 2/3 cup, twice a day...