Help. My dog has been on a diet for almost a year. She is driving me nuts. She has been raiding the trash cans and finding things I know were in the trash. She is always hungry. This diet is because the vet said she was over weight. She has lost 4 pounds but then drives me nuts so I give her a treat every once in a while any ideas?
Sandy from Baltimore
I know the feeling of an over weight, starving dog. It's no fun! I can't suggest green beans enough! You can get them pretty cheap at aldis and other stores like that. Try to get the sodium free. Yes, I mean normal canned green beans that you usually store in your cupboard! They are fat free, low calorie, but pretty filling for the dog. Our dogs love them, no tricking involved! Any style bean will do, fancy, French, etc. You can either dump the can in their bowl between feedings, add it to his food during feedings, or feed it to the dog by the fork full if your dog can eat off a fork. I don't know how much your dog weighs, but one can a day helps our bull mastiff a lot, and half a can helps the 23 pound terrier mix. You can't really over feed green beans, so don't worry about that.
I assume you're using a low calorie dog kibble, not just cutting back the amount? I've used Authority dog food for over weight dogs, and it did pretty well. They can still have a good helping of food, but it's lower calorie and fat.
Treats for overweight dogs are tricky. It's the equivalent of a snack cake for a human, it may not be very big, but it packs a lot of calories and fat. Search for home made low fat dog treat recipies. Be sure to avoid those treats like beggin strips, t-bone shaped or hot dog shaped treats and things like that.
Also, give your dog something to chew on instead of the trash. Store bought leg bones are good b/c they don't actually eat it like raw hide, it takes them months if not years to chew it up, and it's not detrimental to their diet.
I feed my dogs a lot of low/no-call people food too. They eat apples, carrots, Meijer natural lower-cal popcorn, frozen carrots, grn. beans & peas, boiled chicken & lean beef. I make them a meal every other week & they eat it for 4 days. Just make sure you do a search for foods they shouldn't eat. Some of the animal orgs. have lists on their sites. Plus they have all natural human grade dog food. Cheaper food adds more calories because it's made from cheaper/less quality ingredients. Being hungry is frustrating for a human & we understand it. Think how frustrating it is to a dog & they DON'T understand it. So fill her up on no/low fat human foods.
Spray them with Raid...I am assuming these are indoor cans and your dog is not running the neighborhood and getting in the trash...take them outside, for the ventilation and lightly spray them. this taste awful, but not harmful. We used to do this to our outdoor cans years and years ago when dogs roamed free around our area. Thankfully laws and times have changed. Good luck
Not all dogs chew or dig cuz they need something, they smell, they like, they want, they try to get it. We have that problem periodically and we simply put ammonia on a napkin or paper towel or rag and lay it on in or near the trash can. They don't like the smell and it masks any smells that may be coming from the trash so they generally leave it alone. We did have one persistent big old girl years ago that would get past it to what she wanted. So we placed a small mouse trap near things we wanted her to leave alone, including the counter tops. She was never hurt but it scared her enough to leave it alone. Good Luck
My dad is a carpenter so he built me a wooden one and the dog can't tip it over. No more messes.
Just like in the game of chess, your options are only three: block, move or capture. You can block her access to the garbage with a barrier, you can move the dog or the garbage, or you can cage her.
You can give your dog all of the toys and snacks in the world, but unless you make the trash uncomfortable, she will always get in it. As a last resort, go to the dollar store for some inexpensive red pepper or chili powder and sprinkle a good amount on top of the most inviting morsels...meat, bones, etc. It won't take long. Just to show you how long ago I learned this, it was on Sgt. Preston of the Yukon (a 50's TV show) when he explained how he taught his sled dog, King, not to take food from anyone but him.
I wouldn't recommend the Raid approach- Dogs are notorious for eating things even tho they may not be good for them or are deadly- antifreeze is a good example. I would recommend making the garbage inaccessible by using a covered garbage.
Giving your dog healthy treats like green beans -or even better, a crunchy vegetable will help. I give my 2 rescued LH tweeny Dachshunds treats when I chop vegetables- brocoli, lettuce leaves, etc. I also feed them weight-control food. One of my guys came to me at over 20 lbs- he was down to around 17 lbs within about 3 months.
The red pepper/chili powder is a really good idea. I have never tried it though. What I do to make the trash distasteful for the neighbourhood dogs is every time I throw something like meat etc. in the garbage, I spray some ordinary fly spray. So it's, meat, a layer of fly spray, egg shells another layer so by the time I'm ready to throw the trash out it smells like fly spray and not appetizing, also, it has the added benefit of keeping all other bugs out too.
A couple of things. How often do you feed your dog? If she is only getting food once a day, she may be hungry and looking for more if she hasn't eaten in hours. Split the food she does get into 2-3 feedings, it might help if she is only eating one time a day. I sometimes add a little bit of non fat no/low sodium chicken, beef, or vegetable broth to their water, just to flavor it, drinking more water is good for them and makes them feel fuller. In hot weather I will freeze an ice cube tray with broth flavored water and the ice is a huge treat for them. (My crazy dogs line up for an ice cube as a treat all the time at the fridge door, saves me money buying them treats) I have successfully used the red pepper on the garbage and even sprinkled some in holes when my dog started digging with great success, they hate it and leave it alone.
I also give my dogs green beans, even frozen from a bag in the freezer, and they love them. I was told by my vet that green beans, solid pack canned pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling, no sugar or spices) natural organic plain yogurt (no sugar or flavorings) all are fantastic for dogs and their digestion. All add fiber and bulk and more than likely will fill her up and make her feel she is not so hungry. I will mix some or all of the above in with dry organic dog food and although it is absolutely disgusting to look at, my dogs go crazy over it instead of their plain dry food!
Even though it is now 2011, I learned from my mentor to pour a little Pine Sol into a plastic garbage bag and it will stop the dog from going through the trash.
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