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post #1 of 41 (permalink) Old 07-28-2010, 02:27 PM Thread Starter
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Ethical Question?

My husband and I have an 11 month old Havanese. Our downstairs neighbors have a 6 month old Yorkie who is staying with us for the week while his parents are away for a wedding. The Yorkie seems like a very happy dog and I know his parents completely adore him but my husband and I are very concerned about how skinny he is and how little we were told to feed him--1/4 cup scoop twice a day.

Now I know that he's not a Havanese, which means he actually likes food, but he wolfs down his meals so quickly it's shocking. And he is SO skinny. He's not even enjoyable to pet because you can feel all his bones poking out.

We don't know what to do. We are so tempted to feed him more because it seems like he really needs it. But, he's not our dog and we know his parents do care about him and probably think they are doing everything right. At the same time, we feel like we're participating in this little guy's malnourishment.

What is the ethical way to handle this? Should we just turn a blind eye? Call his vet behind his parents' backs? Email his parents while they're on vacation and tell them our concerns? Any thoughts or suggestions would be much appreciated. Thanks!
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post #2 of 41 (permalink) Old 07-28-2010, 02:42 PM
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Well having two naturally thin dogs myself (they are that way physically), I will answer in the way I would prefer someone who was concerned about my dog handle it Feed him more if you really feel like he needs it while he is at your house. He is a young pup and maybe the excitement of being in a new place and with a new dog to play with he might need more food. I wouldn't go so far as to call their vet but have a conversation with them about him acting really hungry and maybe play dumb and say you forgot how much and read he should be getting X amount. A white lie is probably better as if someone approached me saying they called my vet because my dogs were malnourished, I would probably be pretty reactive.

I have a girlfriend who teases me (I would say all of her dogs are overweight!) that if my dogs skip a meal animal control is coming. She also couldn't believe how picky they are! And after staying with me for a week, I think she is rest assured my dogs just eat as much as they need and they just burn it off. The run everywhere her big dogs do.

On the otherhand, I don't worry about my dogs (well one) overeating. Also structurally a yorkie should feel lighter and thinner than a hav so you could just not be used to having a tiny dog.

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post #3 of 41 (permalink) Old 07-28-2010, 02:45 PM
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Okay it has been awhile since I fed kibble so I went and looked at NV's feeding guide and a 5lb (just guessing here) puppy should get 1 and 1/8th cup of kibble per day. So I would read the bag and then maybe have a conversation. Maybe they forgot to consider more food as the dog got older!?!?

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post #4 of 41 (permalink) Old 07-28-2010, 02:47 PM
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I try to keep my dogs quite thin because they are agility dogs. My Carin only gets 1/4 of a cup twice a day (and he's 16 pounds). My border collie, on the other hand, had discovered the cat food and is now fat. (Although my vet commented that it was nice to see her put on some weight. <G>) I would just mention when they return that he seems a little skinny. As long as he's active and alert, its probably better for him to be on the thin side.


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post #5 of 41 (permalink) Old 07-28-2010, 03:03 PM
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this is a tough one. I would certainly not call the vet or write them on vacation unless you really think it is a case of abuse. Especially if you know and like them and feel they are good pup-parents. I know our vet likes dogs to be on the very thin side. And I have felt some very skinny and healthy Havanese (which our dogs are not)

But I also think they have entrusted you with his care, so a few more treats here and there (or 1/8 of a cup of kibble as treats ) probably would not hurt him for a week. It would also help you to gauge if he is happier, has more energy, seems better in anyway and if so you could then broach it gently with his parents. That you noticed he seemed so hungry so you gave him a bit more... ask them if perhaps he should be getting more? (But then again, my boys are not skinny.)

I know a lot of people don't really know how much they feed. where you may be feeding a level 1/4 cup they may be feeding a heaping.

Do you have the kibble bag? how much is supposed to get? recommended amounts are just a ball park.




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post #6 of 41 (permalink) Old 07-28-2010, 03:26 PM
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My 8 pound havanese gets 1/4 cup kibble twice a day and she is 2 years old- she frequently does not eat it all and many times skips a meal-BUT every kibble bag I've seen usually suggests a puppy get almost double what a mature dog gets. Only you can decide, but what about a "heaping" 1/4 cup and extra treats.

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post #7 of 41 (permalink) Old 07-28-2010, 03:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ama0722 View Post
Okay it has been awhile since I fed kibble so I went and looked at NV's feeding guide and a 5lb (just guessing here) puppy should get 1 and 1/8th cup of kibble per day. So I would read the bag and then maybe have a conversation. Maybe they forgot to consider more food as the dog got older!?!?
OTOH, Kodi is 17 lbs, and a good weight (you can feel his ribs, but he has a good layer of flesh, and lots of muscle) and he gets only a rounded 1/4 cup measure twice a day. He's been eating that since I got him. When he was younger, he would skip a lot of meals. Now he might skip one meal per week.


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post #8 of 41 (permalink) Old 07-28-2010, 03:47 PM
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I think 1/4th cup twice a day is about right myself. I take care of dogs that are boarded at the vet clinic and I have taken care of many tiny dogs...That is about the amount I'd feed if we had no owner instructions.

If you can feel the ribs...that is a good thing...

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post #9 of 41 (permalink) Old 07-28-2010, 04:06 PM
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I don't know if the brand of kibble he's getting makes a difference or not, but Tucker eats Orijen and he gets 1/2 cup twice a day. He's 18 lbs. and it's easy to feel his ribs. His vet says he's just a good, healthy weight for his size. So, I would think a little Yorkie getting 1/4 cup twice a day would be sufficient.
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post #10 of 41 (permalink) Old 07-28-2010, 04:21 PM
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On the other hand, Kate, you say "He's not even enjoyable to pet because you can feel all his bones poking out." That's way beyond just being able to feel his ribs. I'd say while you are keeping him it wouldn't hurt to give him a little more, see how he does, and then gently talk to his parents about your concern, (phrases gently and non-aggresively.)

If someone was watching my Tucker, I'd want them to be comfortable in doing so. If they felt he needed a little more food for a week, that certainly wouldn't harm him.

Sheri, Tucker's Mom
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