View Full Version : He is Over Weight

29th September 2007, 03:53 PM
Hi, I am posting this as I am really concerned about my mums dog, I haven't any scales but he is very over weight for a cavalier, I would say well over 10 kilos :(
I have been looking after him for a few days and notice that he cant even manage to jump up on my bed or walk up my stairs without a struggle.

My cavaliers are walked everyday and the vet told me all their weights are perfect, the biggest problems with my mums dog is they never exercise. My mum isn't too well and struggles to take him out alone, I live several miles away so cant get there everyday to help out.

I know he will not make old bones, What can I do?

Here is 2 pictures of him and then I will add one of his sister Rosie, she is mine, she was the runt of the litter so a little smaller but gives you an idea. THANKS xx


29th September 2007, 04:35 PM
He does look "portly" doesn't he? Tough one really with him being your parents dog and also living a distance away from you too. icon_nwunsure Sadly many people don't realise just how important diet and exercise is for their dogs and even more people simply cannot help but give in to those spaniel eye's either! My own parents and my In-Laws have dogs I bred, luckily I live closeby and monitor those dogs, slightest bit of extra weight and I'm on their case! :lol:

Short of offering to have their dogs for a longer period and getting some of the weight off them yourself there isn't much you can do other than stop by and exercise the dogs yourself but as you say you live a distance away and already have your own dogs to deal with. Might be worth suggesting they swap to a light version of feed and cut out all titbits, maybe accompany your parents to their vets with the dogs and ask the vet for an opinion on their cardiac status and let the vet explain to them how they are actually, albeit inadvertantly, killing their dogs with this soft lifestyle they are leading?

Good Luck! :thmbsup:

29th September 2007, 04:48 PM
Thanks hun, it is true all you say, I will take it all in and go to the vets with my mum when she gets back. I just hate it seeing him this way, the thing is I cant understand why they dont walk them, maybe its just me but isnt that part of the reason of getting a dog? AHHH sorry it makes me cross! xx

29th September 2007, 04:54 PM
Sometimes I think people need to get into the habit of regular exercise both for themselves and their dogs, I am trying to cut down on how much I use my car both for my health and the sake of the environment too, but will readily admit to lapsing back to using it over the winter when the colder weather is here, daft thing is it takes as long to walk to my daughters school as it does to drive by the time you've parked up and got the kid out of the car/into the car! :lol: :drivecar::oops:

29th September 2007, 05:01 PM
I'd really ask the vets to put the fear of god in them on this issue. My friend's mother overfed their westie to such a degree (similar level of fatness) that they took xrays and the vet showed his mum how his spine was moving out of alignment and his knee joints were going. He couldn;t even lift a leg to pee. The vet told him he would be dead within the year -- at age 4 -- unless they drastically cut his feeding and exercised him.

Sadly even then the parents continued to sneak him food and in desperation, my friend had to remove the dog from him -- now in good shape -- but the vet said all that extra weight has probably already shortened his life and his disks in his back could give out anyway from over a year of carrying all that weight. :yikes

With cavaliers, extra weight immediately starts to remove time from a dog's life because their heart valve WILL give out sooner. It is very important for cavaliers to be fit. Good luck; this can be a tough issue to get people to pay attention to, even those we love dearly!!

29th September 2007, 05:49 PM
Fat is insulin resistant and has inflammatory properties. Meaning fat can lead to diabetes and *will* lead to pain. I give my pup plenty of healthy treats throughout the day in small portions and cut his meal back (the key is healthy, nutritious treats so their intake is balanced).

If they feed too many treats, suggest feeding a kibble instead of a dog biscuit? Have you asked them why they don't walk the dogs? One of my favorite sayings: If your dog is overweight, you are not getting enough exercise!

Cathy Moon
29th September 2007, 09:30 PM
I think it's great that you're concerned about your mum's dogs! Poor little guy is still young, but he must feel older than his years with all the extra weight. It is taking its toll on his knees and joints, which is why I think dieting may be more important than exercise at first. After he loses some weight, he could safely exercise without damaging his joints. It takes a lot of overeating to get so overweight.

I wonder if it would be worthwhile to pre-measure all of his food into morning and evening servings for your mum. And maybe also cut up some fresh vegetables for her to give them as snacks. Then if she would promise to only feed him the pre-measured food and veg each day (with no cheating!), he would surely lose some weight.

Good luck! I'm sure the vet will be helpful when it comes to motivating your mum! :flwr:

29th September 2007, 10:45 PM
Is there anyone trustworthy where they live who, for a small amount, would take him daily for short walks-he wouldn't tolerate lengthy ones now. Maybe bring the implements,measuring cups,etc., and have them in place. Bring veggies with you and give him a little when you're there and then leave some for them to try. Think you may have to tread lightly but sweetly to convince them. Maybe print out that picture that shows the Cavalier at the 3 body types-thin, just right and portly-visuals are usually good :-). Lot of folks equate food with loving and it's hard to change that mindset. Would they let you take him for a month and work with him? If they saw a nice change they might be more open to cooperating- a month isn't going to be a miracle cure but it's always a start.
When my Mom died, my niece took home a very portly Honey ( Sheltie mix). Terri walked Honey everyday dragging a wagon behind them and loading Honey in it when she couldn't walk further. She also changed her diet with measuring and tiny treats. When my brother visited Terri six months later, he absolutely didn't know that the dog he was seeing was Honey. My Mom was the sweetest lady but also thought food cured everything.

29th September 2007, 11:40 PM
Oh thank you all so much for as always your wonderful advice it always means alot to me and you guys have helped me through with my kaytee and it is nice to know you are always here :) And you Always make me feel better and understand more and I am grateful for that.

Anyways back to Dylan, I keep getting more and more worried about him as time goes on, I began to wonder If I am in the wrong and go over the top with my dogs??, I clean their teeth,ears probably more often then i should, we are always walking them, keeping them flead wormed and brushed and bathed And taking them to the vet whenever anything is a little bit a miss. Always making sure I do all I can for my angels.

It is what you should do with your dogs I guess but maybe I am just to fussy and pick holes in anyone who dont keep their dogs up to my fussy,worrying,daft standard?

I look at mine running up the stairs, then my mums plodding their way down and panting just from going down :(

I WILL listen to all you have said to me, I often ask my fiance if we could have him here, we have four dogs in a one bedroom flat so it is really full and we dont have a garden but I am willing to go up and down the stairs and have less room to keep him healthy but my fiance says "but whats the point he will go back and put it all back on" also we feel that it would be like taking him out of a prison into freedom then plonking him straight back in to the prison hell again!

Well I will talk it through with my Fiance again, I might be going to stay at my mums sometime in the future as my fiance maybe going away to college for as long as 6 months :(
If I stay there I will get that dog exercised and fit I will make it my mission! xxx

30th September 2007, 12:21 AM
I have not had time to read the other posts so this may have already been said but I would definately lay it on the line with your Mum. This little man is gorgeous and lucky to have such a caring sister to help him fight his bulge battle.
In a lot of places and to a lot of people over feeding your dog or having an overweight dog (for no medical reason)can be considered a form of cruelty. I would print out every article on the matter and the health issues it brings and hopefully your mum will see sense ?
Even if your mum does not wish to walk the dog which in itself is sad she could at least reduce the food intake ?

9th October 2007, 11:24 AM
I know its hard to get them to lose weight. When I got Toby he was 13kilos something, he is now 11.4. The vet said to get this down another kilo and it would be ok as Toby is rather stocky anyway, you can begin to feel his ribs again and his spine. He also said I should go by that more that the weight.
Toby has got a small heart murmur and since losing weight the vet said it has improved significantly which is very good news.

10th October 2007, 10:41 AM
I really didn't know whether to latch on to your thread or start a new one, but I dislike many threads on the same subject, so here I am.

I have a 8-9 year old Blen boy who was rehomed with me about 3-4 months ago. And first of all, I am thrilled beyond words. I never thought I would even have one Cavalier, let alone two!!

My older guy, Maximillion was 21lb, 4oz when he arrived. Within a month, he developed an anal gland abscess, so had to go to the Vet. The first vet he saw said that he had a grade 2 heart murmer, but the second one said that it is closeer to grade 3. They did not recommend any treatment for this. But I know that getting his weight down is very important. (Do you think they should have suggested something for the murmer?)

Well, I believe that he has now gained weight.

He barks and begs for food constantly, and he certainly is hungry because I have only been feeding 1/2C 2X daily.

Sometimes I think, poor old guy is 9 years old, why make him suffer with hunger, just feed him and love him for his remaing days. I know that is wrong, but darn, it is hard to listen to him beg and beg for food. He is on Natural Balance Sweet Potato and Fish dry food.

10th October 2007, 11:19 AM
Please get him on a diet. All dogs beg for food -- the key element is YOU, not the dog. He can't eat unless you give him food, in other words. :lol: Just give him a carrot or slice of apple if you feel you cannot resist food but better to just ignore him. By giving in you are training him to beg even more. Ignore him and he will gradually stop expecting food and won't act so 'hungry'.

I would HALVE his food immediately until he drops any extra weight. And no, you don't want to give him extra food because he's an old guy. Having a cardiac collapse is a hideously painful way for a dog to die and is a poor exchange for having got some extra snacks. :thmbsup:. He urgently needs to lose weight as every extra ounce places significant extra strain on his heart and wears out his valves faster and makes it more likely that he will suffer a major blowout.

The ony way a dog will lose weight is the same as for us -- cut back his food, and more exercise.

11th October 2007, 01:04 AM
In a lot of ways it is even more important for the older dog to be trim than it is for the younger one. Old dogs, like old humans often have some arthritis & the heart & vital systems don't work quite as efficiently as they used to. Every extra kilo (or pound) of excess weight adds strain on the joints, the heart & other internal organs.

Though the following is based on the human body, the principles are the same for a dog: It has been calculated that for every 3lb of excess weight, there are 2.48 miles of extra blood vessels through which blood must be pumped.

Being overweight increases the risk of developing health problems, such as high blood pressure high blood cholesterol levels, heart disease, cancer diabetes and stroke.

An overweight dog (or human) will feel old beyond his years. So the kindest thing is to keep him trim through all of his life. This often means reducing the number of calories taken in, because old dogs & old humans are less active.

I think it is just a dog thing to drool or beg for food if they see it, or if you are in the kitchen. The trick is not to feel guilty about it & act upon it. Just know it is a dog thing. ;)

11th October 2007, 10:06 AM
I feed my ever-begging 11 yr old lots of kibble treats. One kibble in place of a normal sized treat (like a milk bone) may help you out. I think the carrot or apple slice suggestion is great too. Add green beans to his food to make him full =) Also, my Misha eats 1/4-1/2 cup of kibble total per day. 1c seems like a lot for an overweight Cav.

13th October 2007, 06:51 AM
1/4 to 1/2 cup total, per day, OMG, he will die from frustration.

Giving him other foods, like veggies, is a breeze. He scarfs down anything I offer him, including frozen green beans, carrots, motor oil LOL.

With a grade 2-3 murmer, do vets usually suggest any medications? Mine did not, nor did they suggest that weight loss should be dealt with. AND they care for a lot of Cavs.

Is 21 pounds really heavy for a 9 year old boy? And can someone tell me how much that is in Metric weight? I thought I had it figured out, that a 12kg (?) was about a 26 pound dog, or that a 10kg dog is about 22+ pounds.

Thanks for helping me grow a backbone about this.

Another question, on a restrictive diet, how many frozen green beans or fresh carrots should be permitted? And what else would you give him? He literally winds around me feet every time I go to the kitchen and barks and barks, begging for food.

My Toby, the one and a half year old is skinny as a rail. Havent had him weighed in a while, but he was only 14 pounds last time, and appears the same.