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chloe92us
16th March 2008, 05:55 PM
I remember seeing a post about how to help them lose weight, but I looked through the archives and can't find it.

I have a (gasp!) 28 lb girl I have been trying for almost a year to get to lose weight. Nothing seems to work. Any advice is appreciated. she is 5 years old and started putting on the weight at age 2.5 when I had a baby and stopped taking them on walks for a while. She became very lazy and literally sleeps all day.

Here is the regimen;

1/2 cup twice a day of Nutro Ultra Weight Management kibble with a small amount of Nupro Gold powder mixed with water to make a gravy.

1 (25 minute) walk in the morning before breakfast about 5 days a week.

No treats during the day, but she will usually work on one Bully Stick all week.

I was feeding Orijen Senior but my other old lady couldn't get used to the high protein content so we are now on a search for a new food...to feed them both. Our puppy does wonderfully on Orijen Puppy, no problems at all. ANY ADVICE ON LOWER CALORIE FOODS AS WELL? I am not happy with the food I am feeding since it has all protein "meals" and that disgusts me, but I had to buy something at the super store b/c I couldn't get to the specialty store last week when they ran out of food. So this is temporary.

Trisha

Karlin
16th March 2008, 06:03 PM
Cut her food in HALF. Double the walks, and make them brisk. Give most of her food in a treat ball so she has to work for it. Make sure she isn't raiding other pet's food, others aren't feeding her, etc.

Have some more ideas and will have a look for the thread. In the Library there's a long post on obesity I think in the Caring for your Cavalier section (or in Health).

She needs at least an active hour of daily activity ideally.

Cathryn
16th March 2008, 06:17 PM
You could also try her on RC Sensible or Light Diet, and might I venture a suggestion to have her thyroid gland checked as well??

chloe92us
16th March 2008, 06:53 PM
Found the thread you reposted in the general care section. That is the one I was looking for. Cutting her food in half seems crazy to me, but I will try it. I'm afraid of it being somewhat like a crash diet, though. How quickly should she shed the pounds? I think she needs to lose about 6 pounds total. I'm reading it could take up to 18 months, but it seems like it would come off very quickly if I cut her food in half!

brid kenny
16th March 2008, 08:19 PM
What's a treat ball?

Cathryn
16th March 2008, 09:02 PM
What's a treat ball?

It's like a Kong, a ball you stuff full of treats so they have to chase it round and work harder to get the treats inside them!! My lot adore them!!

pippa
16th March 2008, 09:16 PM
Found the thread you reposted in the general care section. That is the one I was looking for. Cutting her food in half seems crazy to me, but I will try it. I'm afraid of it being somewhat like a crash diet, though. How quickly should she shed the pounds? I think she needs to lose about 6 pounds total. I'm reading it could take up to 18 months, but it seems like it would come off very quickly if I cut her food in half!


I have Pippin on a diet and have cut the others down a bit also.I too am very careful feeding but over the winter and as he's got older,Pippin has gotton lazy. Our new guy is keeping him busy chasing and playing with him all the time so that may help.
Although I have cut pippin's food down by half, for the evening meal about 5 times a week, I have replaced the other half with veg..lightly cooked carrots and green beans and sometimes a bit of broccoli. It fills him up and he's getting extra without it being bad for him.

Karlin
16th March 2008, 09:29 PM
Treat balls:

http://www.dogtrainingireland.ie/shop/catalog/product_info.php?products_id=229

http://www.zooplus.ie/shop/dogs/dog_toys_dog_training/activity_dog_toys/snack_activity_balls/14582

http://www.zooplus.ie/shop/dogs/dog_toys_dog_training/activity_dog_toys/snack_activity_balls/62846

They have to exercise in order to get their food!

On losing weight -- thanks Cathryn, I meant to say first of all, start with a visit to the vet to determine if the inability to lose weight is a medical problem. Your vet can also tell you how big she should be and how much weight she needs to lose. Ask them to be honest and advise for a *lean* cavalier -- vets can be very tolerant of fat dogs despite all the health problems this causes!

I am not a fan of special diet foods -- for dogs or people. I think it is far more satisfying to eat proper food that isn't diluted down with costly, dull filler and instead, give a good quality dry food *in smaller quantities*, plus low calorie fibre, like fresh fruit or veg, to add bulk. I would definitely give her half a cup of food a day and a handful of frozen green beans. I fed Lily 1/4h a cup daily plus beans and she lost about 6 lbs in 4 months. She was grossly obese -- that's a third of her body weight as she is a quite tiny cavalier though she didn't look that way when she came in.

If your girl is fat and not losing at all on a cup a day it is simply too much food. She may only need about half a cup daily -- I have two cavaliers than eat even less than this and they get 4 x 20 minute walks daily. A cup of food for a fairly inactive dog is a lot I think. She also will need more exercise -- at least two 25 minute brisk walks daily. Or a walk and a half hour of vigorous exercise in the house. All my dogs were taught to fetch and this can be played indoors with a soft toy or small ball. If you have stairs you can stand at the bottom and throw the toy to the top and the dog gets extra exercise having to run up the stars over and over. I do this with Jaspar and Leo all the time.

About the only area in which I strongly agree with trainer Cesar Milan is his argument that almost all dogs are completely under-exercised (and often overfed) which leads to weight gain and/or behaviour problems. He says dogs need an hour of active exercise daily. So do trainers I admire like Pat Miller and Ian Dunbar. You should try to get her exhausted with exercise at least a couple of times a week.

Breeder Laura Lang keeps an excellent feeding/weight page here:
http://roycroftcavaliers.com/manualfeeding.htm

Here's some of it:


HOW MUCH DO I FEED AND IS MY DOG OVERWEIGHT?
There is no way to tell you just how much your dog will need so far as quantity of kibble. Cavaliers vary GREATLY in their activity level. I know some 20 lbs. dogs that only need 1/2 cup of food a day and others that need a full cup or even more. I know some 10 lbs. dogs that only need 1/3 cup of food a day and others that need a full cup or even more. It is too dependent on the metabolism and activity level of each individual dog. You will have to use a hit and miss approach to figure out which amount is right for your dog. Try 2/3 of a cup to 1 full cup per day for an adult Cavalier over 1 year of age and watch to see if the dog is gaining weight or losing weight. Adjust accordingly. If they seem to be getting heavier, cut back. If they seem to be getting lighter, feed more.

Karlin
16th March 2008, 09:34 PM
Also try feeding once a day. Many people eyeball what they think is a half cup and it is actually more. You can better control portions with a single feed and not give in to the temptation to top things up a bit. :)

Lisa_T
16th March 2008, 10:41 PM
And to help with exact measurements of kibble, get one of those measuring cups (or even an old measuring cup for cooking) from the petshop. My Holly had to lose some weight, and by cutting her previously unmeasured ration down to a smaller carefully measured ration of high quality kibble + frozen green beans for bulk - Holly lost an entire kilo. Mind you, I also got Amber and that in itself meant Holly became more active. She'd been becoming quite princessish and Lady Muckish prior to that.

chloe92us
19th March 2008, 12:17 PM
I have cut her food in half and supplemented with green beans at each meal. She seems to be fine with it! I have noticed that she is laying on the kitchen floor waiting for dinner a little earlier than usual, but she'll get over it.

I was surprised to hear one of your dogs lost 6 lbs in 4 weeks! That would be amazing. I'll keep everyone posted. Thanks again for all the input.

ppotterfield
19th March 2008, 02:52 PM
Just to reassure you, my dogs are on Nutro Ultra Weight Management. Buddy weighs 21 lbs. which is a very good weight for him. Feel but not see his ribs, definite but not exaggerated waist. He gets 1/4 cup in the morning, 1/4 cup with green beans or carrots or apple and a little no fat yogurt in the evening and another 1/4 cup as treats, either in a treat ball or just playing games (mostly retrieving his little tennis ball or a thrown stuffie) throughout the day. He also get either a little peanut butter or a little cream cheese frozen in a Kong a couple times a week. He gets a 15 minute walk in the morning and either a 25 to 30 minute walk or an hour trip to the Dog Park in the evening. Works for us.

Good luck.

Karlin
19th March 2008, 03:05 PM
I was surprised to hear one of your dogs lost 6 lbs in 4 weeks! That would be amazing.

It would be worrying, too -- that level of weight loss would be catastrophic for a small cavalier. This is what I actually said:


she lost about 6 lbs in 4 months.

:thmbsup:

chloe92us
21st March 2008, 01:08 PM
As soon as I posted, I reread yours and realized I had the time line confused. 4 months makes much more sense. However, I am pleases to announce that in just under a week, I think I can almost feel a rib! That shows you how obese she actually is. She seems to feel good, though...more energy and even jumped on our high bed this morning!

Thanks again for all the advice. I'll keep you updated.