View Full Version : Weight Gain & Diet - Need suggestions

23rd July 2007, 05:30 PM
I have complained for some time that Sophie, my 9 year old ruby, has had a weight problem. She is on Natural Balance Reduced Calorie 1/4 cup 2x day.

She seems to have gained more weight - i am scheduling a vet visit to discuss any other medical problems - diabetes, thyroid. If those all check out negative (she doesn't seem to have any signs of either of those) I am at a loss regarding what type of diet to put her on.

She has a heart murmur and takes daily medication for that. Exercising her is near impossible - she is so out of breath by the first block which of course, just makes her want to head for home. She has a very slow metabolism - exercise to her is climbing the little stairs to my bed!!!

Any advice or suggestions would be welcome!!


23rd July 2007, 06:02 PM
What is her current weight? Is it definitely weight and not coat?

If she is still gaining weight I'd feed her half what you are feeding now -- exactly measure 1/4th or 1/3rd a cup dry and put it in a treat ball once a day. That way, she will at least get some exercise getting at her food. Make sure she has no access to any food, anywhere, no cat litter boxes, no free access to a garden where she could be digging up cat poops, etc.

I'd be doing what you are doing though -- checking for medical reasons.

23rd July 2007, 06:56 PM
Thanx Karlin. No it isn't coat - actually she was totally shaved down for summer, so she looks like a cocker w/a tail!!

I've had a foster boy for a month, so she's getting in on his chew stix, etc. when she can steal one or two. And sadly, yes, her biggest thrill in life is getting any kind of treat she can find to eat (well, guess that's a thrill for a number of us, isn't it??).

Good Lord, maybe she takes after me more than I ever thought!! She does have red hair with gray in it and as she is aging, her belly is getting bigger!!

And I was so hoping my "kids" didn't all grow up to look like me :)


23rd July 2007, 07:32 PM
Our Buddy is at a very good weight right now (at 22 lbs. ribs can be easily felt and you can see his little waist) but it has been a struggle as he loves getting treats better than anything. He gets a little less than a 1/4 cup twice a day of Nutro Ultra to which I add a few green beans or carrots or apple slices and a tablespoon on nonfat yogurt (evening only). I then put aside each day in a little jar another little less than 1/4 cup of the Nutro Ultra; we use this kibble as treats/rewards throughout the day. He get a small greenie or a bully stick a couple nights a week. Buddy is moderately active, gets two 1/2 to 3/4 mile walks in most days, loves to run and retrieve his little tennis ball as much as you will throw it and takes Fun Agility (when he get better treats) once a week, but if I did not watch his intake he would be overweight in a flash! Wish someone would control my diet and exercise so well!!!

23rd July 2007, 07:45 PM
My Sam sounds very much like ur Sophie. Sam is 8 yrs old and on heart medication. I had him at vet about 3 weeks ago his meds needed to be increased and also to lose weight, but to me Sam doesnt eat much, he is on R.C. weight controll less than what the packet says. Dosent get treats even though he really begs. Also i cant bring him any further than around the block either as he is not able.
So sorry i cant be much help but just to let u know ur not alone in this.

23rd July 2007, 07:59 PM
Sounds like Sam & Sophie need to go to Weight Watchers together!!

Sophie is getting a diet consultation at our vets on Wed. Then we'll proceed from there. Once my foster boy is gone (he is so skinny, it's embarrasing) I will definitely have to limit Sophie (and my own) kibble treats :)

Giving her kibble for a snack vs. half a biscuit, etc. is a great idea! Of course, let's face it , a McDonald's french fry that my daughter occasionally brings home is probably a better treat!! Who can turn down a couple of those??? (plus my daughter works in fast food)


23rd July 2007, 09:35 PM
The treats are likely what is pushing her well over her limit. I'd halve her kibble ration if you can;t resist the treats and try to substitute carrots and things like that. A lot of the commercial treats, dog biscuits etc have *sugar* in them and other things that are very fattening. Also many treats are larger dog size -- for example a single milk bone or Bonio (depending on if you are in US or Europe) would easily be Lily's entire daily calorie ration! Some treats like pig's ears are extremely fattening. A cavalier sized treat shouldn;t be larger than thumb sized for something once a day (eg a biscuit) or for something a few times a day, fingernail size.

Dogs of the same size can have very differing metabolisms, too. We all have that friend who can eat anything while we look at a burger and the hips widen. :lol: Well if you have a weight gainer and there isn;t a medical reason why, the only answer is fewer calories/more exercise. If the dog can;t do exercise than lower the amount of food and bulk it out with low cal items like green beans, minced carrot, etc. And shift treats to veggies or fruit, in SMALL pieces. Some dogs at first will turn these down but they tend to get religion when they realise the former gravy train has ended. :)

Lily is ony a pound smaller than Leo but has a lower metabolism and needs half his amount of food or she gains weight.

24th July 2007, 02:56 PM
we have been putting cookie on a vetinary prescription diet since last october and she has a can of royal canine 'obesity management' a day. Cookie is the same, she LOVES her treats and if she dusnt get ne she starts scratching the cupboard as if to say 'hint hint'. All she gets is u know those pedigree low fat biscuits and a pedigree joint chew. The vet said that if the diets don't seem to be working then cut the amount by 10%

24th July 2007, 03:35 PM
Willow is my piggy. She's the most submissive, calm dog until food is around. She'll try to get her share and everyone else's! Luckily, though, I've managed her weight pretty much. She's "softer" than Cedar and Holly still, but she's within a healthy weight. She only gets 1/3 cup a day of Merrick's kibble. She does get Old Mother Hubbard biscuits and carrots now and then.g

Her real addiction, however, is popcorn--and not the plain, unsalted unbuttered not-too-bad-for-you-popcorn, either. It's the movie butter microwave popcorn that she sometimes gets. Of course, she wouldn't eat this stuff if I didn't make it--there's NO ONE who should be eating this stuff in my house :o. Still, when she hears that pop pop pop out of the microwave, she comes running!! She'll spin around and around with excitement and anticipation.

If we reduced the extra unhealthy treats like popcorn, she wouldn't be as soft. She's not fat or unhealthy -- yet -- but I am!!

26th July 2007, 12:47 PM
Try frozen green beans as a tasty low fat treat - my two love them (even Merlin the fussier one)

26th July 2007, 03:06 PM
We went through the whole weight loss with Lucy as well. We had great news at her recent check up for her heart (thread in MVD forum if you're interested) and a big factor the cardiologist said, was all the work we'd done in keeping her weight bang on. It takes a lot of willpower - but it really does help. Of course you know this anyway LOL.

We started measuring Lucy's food and restricting treats. She doesn't get any exercise either other than following me around. We watched the carbs - true - instead of giving her all dried food, we mixed a can of pedigree chum (the gravy kind) with a cup of mixer and that does two days. It made a big difference. Also we really clamped down on others - my Mum and the inlaws were the worst - and it was difficult (with the inlaws, my Mum was great, although she does need watching!) but eventually we won. The treats are a killer, honestly. Another tip is to work out how many she can have a day, and put them in a little zip lock bag. Once they're gone, they're gone. When you do that you'll become very aware of how much she previously got (or not, as the case may be). And we give the jumbones/dentastix etc very rarely.

We also started watching how much she "stole" and learned to anticipate it. For example, she'd bolt into my inlaws house, straight through to the kitchen and then eat their dogs dinner. So now we keep her on a lead until we can put the dish out of reach.

Much like humans it's small changes and vigilance. And it is hard to look into those eyes and deny them anything at all! But it's worth it to know their heart will definitely be thanking you!

And I'd also do what you're doing, get her checked out for a medical reason. Hopefully it won't be anything like that though.

Good luck!

PS just incase you think your dog may not like veggies as treats - our dog stole a carrot from our rabbits yesterday. LOL.