I have a dog that is overweight and the vet tries to get me to use an expensive prescription food that I don't feel is necessary. Does anyone out there have any suggestions on what I might give her to help her lose weight?
Cosy from Columbia, SC
I am so glad you are taking your dog's weight problem seriously. This way your dog will live longer & be healthier & happier with less damage to his joints from excess weight as he ages. Several yeas back we found out that our cat was overweight but that it's actually dangerous for cats to have their calories reduced to quickly because it can damage their kidneys or liver (I forgot which)... Anyway, he resisted our efforts to reduce his calories (by 15% the vet said) & was always trying to get into the garbage or trying to break into the food cupboard (which has a child-safe lock on it!) to get food any way he could...
We figured it was because he lived in a parking lot & was always hungry when he was young. Then my partner realized something that greatly helped us reduce our cats calories with less problems. He figured Smokey was always hungry because of the type of food we were feeding him (we were feeding him a cheapie-brand dried food) You see, dried cat & dog food is mostly carbohydrates which causes their insulin to go up then crash after a meal so they feel hungry faster. What we did, was switch him to a canned cat food that had the most protein & the least fat & no carbs in it. I started reading cat food labels. We now only give him dried cat food once in a while for an occasional treat (now that he's down to the right size) & rely on canned food for his meals. We also feed him twice a day at about 12 hours apart. This way he's not hungry all day & just waiting for his one meal. When he was on his "diet" we used to feed him 3 times a day. Another thing that helps is to use a measuring cup & measure out his meals.
I realize that dogs have different nutritional needs than cats... But I still think that it will help if you can reduce your dogs carbohydrates by feeding him the best food you can afford... (Or ANY food that has less or no carbs in it) If you can't afford to buy canned dog food, then look for a brand that says "Weight management" because it will have more protein & less filler carbohydrates.
The other thing that helps is exercise. If you can't walk your dog, then at least go to the back yard & throw him a ball to fetch & he'll not only burn off more calories, he'll be happier, in better shape too! ...I recently read online the results of a study of overweight cats & dogs & they found that people who used "playing" as a reward instead of "food" as a reward had animals who were of a healthier weight. We DO give our cat treats... We like "Greenies" because the have mineral that binds with calcium that keeps their teeth healthy, but they have less than 2 calories a piece & we only give him 2 at a time. We find it's not "How many" we give him, it's just "the act" of us giving him the treat that seems to make his day... Lastly, we keep tract of his waistline (from above looking down) & anytime he looks even a bit like he's loosing his waistline, we'll reduce his calories & nip his weight gain in the bud!
You might try this for snacks and mix with his food. My dog LOVE, LOVE, LOVES carrots sliced small he is a small doggie loves small nibbles, canned green beans, he loves bananas for treats I slice them up for him the carrots I usually give him fresh in the winter I give him canned and no sugar or rinse them very well he thinks those are great my Vet said it is the best thing for my dog those treats at the store look so good but so much junk in them I do buy him lil special tiny dog cookies he prefers his veggies and apples too and peanut butter on carrots is the taste of heaven to him he even likes lettuce in his food with peas good luck.
OMG go I ever...feed 1/2 the amount of dog food you usually do and supplement the other half with can pumpkin..(not pie filliing)...see what is recommended for your dog and adjust to that amount slowly. continue with the 1/2 pumpkin mixture until it's weight is proper....then no other people food...the pumpkin has lots of nutrients, and fiber with no fat and very little calories..the fiber fills them up and they don't realize they aren't getting as much food..mine loved it...
even works for humans but I need to add cinnamon to mine..Penny
By Debbie- also from Columbia : ) (Guest Post) 09/10/2008
I have a friend who was a professor of veterinary medicine at University of Florida. She told me canned chicken and green beans. It depends on the dogs weight if they have one or two cans a day. If the dog is a large breed, 2 cans and split one can of green beans between and one can split for small breed. Aldi on St. Andrews road has cheap green beans and canned chicken. : )
Aim for high protein in the diet. The store bought snacks are mostly carby junk. Read labels. Compare products.
Go to the pet store, check out the nutritional analysis on the 'diet' dog food and then see if you can duplicate it with a less expensive brand.
Our Dalmation has lost nearly 8 lbs in 10 months. We started cutting up carrot & red apples into bits for her snacks, before this snacks seemed to be crusts & sweet things. Pretty well every thing we ate, we shared with her. For meals she gets pasta or rice mixwd with cooked veges. She has this meal at about 6pm & has 1 peice of toast, mostly with vegemite, for breakfast. She is back to running heaps again, far more active than she was. Try this & good luck
By Sandy (Guest Post) 09/11/2008
We had the same problem, our vet told us to replace one of her meals with beans and carrots(right from the can, nothing added). You can serve seperately or combine them. You don't have to purchase expensive ones. Dogs love vegetables! Hope this helps.
I have an overweight small breed dog. He's also a senior so can't eat lots of the junky dog food on the market. The vet's dog food is out of my price range.
I feed my dog Purina Fit & Trim dry food now and he's lost quite a bit of weight. The chart on the back of the bag gives the amount to feed. I feed my dog half - 3/4's that amount twice a day.
When I give my dog treats, they are most often raw veggies from whatever I'm cooking that day. For example, he gets small pieces of carrots, broccoli, lettuce, celery, squash or sometimes apples, etc. He loves these "treats".
When you are looking for dog food, check the labels on the containers just like you do for your own food. Find the dog food with the most protein and the least fat and moisture content.
Good luck with your dog's weight. It's important to keep them as healthy as you can!
Bluealt: Your vet needs to tell you that high protein levels are bad for senior dogs. It's hard on the kidneys. Ask him.
My fat little beagle gets dry food & raw vegetables. He loves carrots & he will eat green beans, & most fruits.
I was advised to give my dog brown rice mixed in his food. It is very filling and good for them. I halved his canned food and filled him up with the rice and he loved it. He lost the weight and was much happier!
By robin (Guest Post) 10/14/2008
My 7 yr. old yorkie is about 2#'s over-weight. She only gets 1/4 cup dry- premium weight loss food per day and low fat high protein treats 2x's per day. She has a unusually huge belly (bloated) help I've tried everything. Thinking of home made food. She acts like shes starving all the time. She also has a small trachea and does a lot of choking so we can't exercise like I want. Help? Sunni and Robin- robin4908 AT aol.com
What kind of portions should i feel my 8# yorkie. She's at least 2#'s overweight. Dry food bag (blue buffalo weight control) recommends 1/2 cup per day, which is not very much but shes little (except for her belly). Should I use the same measurement for homemade food? I started giving her brown rice and veggies. 1/4 cup 2 x's a day. She still acts like she's starving with a Buddha belly! Any suggestions? Robin and Sunni