New to this forum, and am hoping to settle a dispute between myself and my older sibling.
I am the proud owner of a lovely 4 year old aussie named Sydney. Syd is a typical aussie in that he runs constantly allday in our huge fenced in yard, then when I get home at night we go for another run (couple of miles) through the woods.
I feed Syd once in the a.m., my wife feeds him around 3:30 when she gets home from work, again around supper time and then again as a type of midnight snack (around 9-9:30 pm) If we feed him more then a cup of food at a time he vomits.
We feed him with a mid grade dog food, we'd like to go with the high octane stuff, but it's not feesible with our budget right now.
Syd's coat is shiny and healthy looking, he has no lack of energy, is as smart as a whip. He appears to be quite content. He is between 50-55 lbs.
My sibling however is insisting that he is under fed. Our groomer also mentioned he looked "gaunt" to her, yet our vet has said Syd is quite healthy and happy. Syd does get regular visits to the vet. Our vet does run sled dogs and is used to lean fast dogs. My siblings concern is that you can easily feel Syd's ribs, and hip bones and his muscles through his coat.
I am of the mind that Syd is essentially a high output runner. He is young. He is designed to be this way. Perhaps the dogs my sibling and groomer have come across may not be as active as our Syd, and the fact that we are an active family may add to his lean appearance.
So, those of you with young aussies, how does your dog feel when your petting them. To me Syd feels fine, my sibling obviously feels otherwise. Should there be a little bit of cush, or does this come on with age. Do we need to find a better quality food? I'll submit pics if needed. Thanks in advance.
I have had Aussies all my life, and now breed the mini aussies. It is extremly normal for young aussies to look underfed to other people. My one female has the humane society called on me several times, and didn't really start putting on weight until she was 5. One of my mini girls just turned 4yrs, and is finally starting to fill out.
How old is your Syd. Boys(I am assumming here), can sometimes take up to 3 yrs to really look filled out and hefty. Neutering helps also most of the time.
If I may ask why does he throw up if feed over a cup of food? That is not a normal behavior. If he eats to fast there is bowl called a brake-fast bowl. It has bumps in it to make a dog slow down and eat around them.
I wouldn't worry about your groomer or family. Aussies tend to be a bit leaner, due to their high energy. If the vet says he is healthy and looks good, that is all that matters.
Another thing to consider is that most people wouldnt know what a healthy dog looked like if one bite them in the arse, they are just soo used to seeing fat dogs. I get it all the time with my Mastiff mix because he is 200lbs, he is a healthy lean 150lbs.
I too raise Australian Shepherds. They, like huskies and malamutes, are an athletic breed, and like to run. They are very active and have tons of energy, as you probably know.
As long as you can not SEE bones, then you should be fine. I can feel parts of the spine and hips in my dogs, but can't see them.
In the end, I would listen to your vet. Groomers typically see all kinds of dogs, most of which are not in the best of shape. Since your vet also does sleding dogs (?), then they have a much better perspective.
Thanks for the replies! Sydney just turned 4 years old on August 4th 2010.
I believe the reason why he vomits is because he eats so fast, and the food swells in his stomach and comes out in one big swollen clump within 10-15 minutes. We try to feed him around 1/2 to 3/4 of a cup per feeding, and he does fine with that.
I cannot see his bones by any means, and when he is soaking wet from a bath or dip in the lake, he just looks very lean and muscley (?). To me he looks the picture of health. I figure he will fatten up once he gets a bit older and less active. We play frisbee and he launches himself 4-5 feet in the air with no issue.
I will discuss another trip to the vet regarding the vomiting, he spends a good deal of time outside, and I'm wondering if there could be a possible worm issue, so I want to make sure.
Aussies also suffer from thyroid (sp?) issues from what I have read, so perhaps we should look into that as well.
This way we can know for sure all the bases are covered.