Why is my dog so thin? Fuck you, that's why.

I have said here before I have a Pharaoh Hound. They are, like Afghans, greyhounds, whippets, salukis, etc., very thin as a breed. He is a rescue (I’m not that rich).

Now greyhounds usually have some muscles going on due to mostly being bred for racing, so no one really remarks on those if they happen to show up at the dog park. But my dog is thin. He is not as big as a greyhound; he’s kind of in between a greyhound and a whippet. He has a tuck-up that is very high and his ribs are narrow, not rounded (the vet said this wasn’t a problem and in fact a benefit so he wouldn’t get bloat). My dog’s ribs show and many backbones show. His hip bones show.


He is free-fed. Four cups a day in his food bowl (more than is required for his 40 lb body which the vet said is a good weight for him); two more in his Kong toy. He eats when he wants, as much as he wants. He gets human food regularly (I make sure it’s nothing poisonous to dogs), and many treats. I fed him last night at 2:00 a.m. because he got out of bed, never came back, and I worried he was hungry. He very often will eat in the middle of the night. That bowl still has all that food in it, now at 8:00 p.m. the next day.

He can leap over a 5 foot fence. Because of this he’s seen his vet three times in the last two weeks. Not a single person commented on his weight, and it took three people to hold him down to bandage his paws.

I can hear and understand the difference in tone of voice and inflection between the terms “Wow he’s thin!” and “Why is he so thin?!” When you make the first remark; I try to explain. When you say it the other way, I want to strangle you. Especially the one of you who said “you need to take better care of your dog.” (To which I replied “you need to mind your own business.”)


I’m sorry I don’t have a sausage dog like almost everyone else in the world. My dog isn’t fat. Don’t get haughty with me because my dog is a good weight for his breed.

“He is a Pharoah Hound, they are all thin.”
“Typical for the breed.”
“He has a big appetite and he is spoiled rotten, the breed just runs lean.”
Since your pup came from a rescue, surely you understand concern? It’s possible some of the inquisitive people assume he was mistreated by a previous owner, and want to join you, his hero, in some recreational outrage? The comments, while rude, are probably due to concern and ignorance rather than meanness.

that would annoy! :mad: damn people.

I think your thread title speaks for itself! Ha ha ha. Just use that next time. :slight_smile:

You didn’t say how old your dog it. Large dogs who have been underfed long term have trouble putting on weight (so I’ve read). Apparently they eat just enough and no more because of their background. I have two that should carry more weight and do not put on weight with free choice food.

I use a recipe for satin balls for them. I get the cheapest ground meat available from my butcher (usually ground pork) and actually add in lard to bring up the calories (so I’ll add 1 pound of lard to 9 pounds of ground meat). I also a whole dozen eggs in. I put a glucosamine pill in each ball. The recipe basically triples the calories in a pound of ‘hamburger’. I use them as treats for training and average about 1 pound/day for each dog.


It is possible that your guy is like mine and he isn’t going to put on weight without you tricking him into eating more calories for a long enough time that his body learns to want the extra calories on his own. My guys need nearly 4000 calories per day, and I try to make sure they get at least 2000 calories through the satin balls. You can use this site to work out the calories in your recipe, then divide it according to how you divide up the balls:

Just make a free account, then create a recipe with the amounts of what ever stuff you’re using. Then you can divide it into ‘servings’. http://nutritiondata.self.com/

Look right at them and say, “Oh, I rarely feed him.”

Damn, that dog is pretty!

“You’re supposed to feed them? I just open the front door and let him go forage for himself.”

Clearly you need to feed your dog until he reincarnates as a different breed.

Um, six cups of kibble, plus treats, into a forty pound dog? Doesn’t sound like he needs to be tricked into eating. Like the OP said, Pharaoh Hounds are SUPPOSED to be skinny. Really, really skinny. He couldn’t clear a five foot fence if he weren’t.

This is what I came to say.

I’d love the OP forever if she got a recording of herself being asked the offending question and giving the appropriate response.

I’ve always through the fabricated Maltese Pharao dog name was missing an excellent opportunity for a proper Falcon joke. (And lean dogs are lean dogs, that’s how they’re bred.)

Enkel, the dog is thin because that’s the way those dogs are, it’s not overly thin. It is not a large dog and has no need to gain weight. Your well-intentioned advice is as misplaced as the questions the OP is offended by.

In Spanish, all those “lean runner” type dogs are called galgos; asking why a galgo is thin is like asking why a Saint Bernard is hairy or why a chihuahua is small - “because it says so in the blueprint”.

Short version of your OP:

I have a dog that naturally looks unusually thin. Sometimes people ask “why is he so thin?” I get really upset about this for no apparent reason. Sometimes people assume the worst and give me unwarranted criticism. This annoys me.

If you’d stuck to the latter occurrence, your OP would be a whole lot more coherent.

We had a Pharaoh Hound (among various other dogs) when I was growing up. Your description could fit him, and while we didn’t free-feed, he got an appropriate amount of food for his size, including treats such as Milk-Bones.

I don’t think his mental health issues had anything to do with his diet. :slight_smile:

One thing about that general category of dog: watch out for that tail! The PH we had could leave welts on unprotected skin.

“Because I like my *gaegogi *lean.”

I’ve heard you can reply “Sorry, no.”



I had an Ibizan hound, and I got the same remarks.

Somewhat unrelated, but this reminded me.

We lost our dog a few months ago — an elderly lab/chow mix, not the slightest bit wiry, although she was pretty thin by the end of her life. Despite owning (and loving) a stout dog my SO loves greyhounds; she had rescued one as a teenager and would have one again, except they’re not so great with the smaller animals we like to keep around. Anyway.

Soon after our dog died we were in a Petsmart, and noticed some people walking their Greyhound through the store, currently in the reptile section. We had to stop to meet him. During the conversation his owners mentioned they were getting food — and then we noticed the bag of crickets they were buying.

Well, that’s one way to keep ‘em thin. Maybe the first genuine laugh my SO had since Princess died.

I love the thread title, too, and would love to see it used IRL.