View Full Version : overweight issue

14th April 2009, 08:15 PM
i have a 5year old cavalier who ever since being fixed has kept gaining weight
im going to try to attach a picture but he is very overweight
he right now eats a diet of store bought dry food and i need to know how i can get him to loose weight and plus he is a picky eater

14th April 2009, 09:18 PM
A neutered dog generally needs about 20 % fewer calories so it's basically a mix of reducing food and maintaining or increasing exercise (just as with people! :) ). This shouldn't be a big deal -- it's just a matter of being aware that food needs to be cut back. A slim dog has the best protection against a range of health problems -- especially heart issues which are widespread in the breed -- so definitely aim for a fit and healthy cavalier. :)

When a dog starts gaining weight then reduce what is fed. If the dog is overweight I'd reduce what you are feeding by a third and stick with that. If he doesn;t lose, then consider he is still getting too much at meals and probably from treats too. How much is he fed daily?

Most picky dogs are not actually that fussy -- but they are good manipulators and getting the extra attention that comes with refusing food is well worth it for them. There's a post in the Library on how to handle picky eaters.

Supermarket food tends to be pretty low quality so be sure as well that you are using a good quality food.

I don't like using 'diet foods' which mainly are just padded out with fillers. Many people use a handful of frozen green beans in the food bowl to add calorie-free filler for dogs that is of better quality. I add them frozen! Dogs seem to quite like them. There's also tips in the Library section on keeping a cavalier fit and healthy with a good diet, and recommendations on low-cal veggie and fruit treats that are great for bulk and fibre. There's good research indicating fresh fruit and veg are as good for dogs as for people. Just be careful as grapes and raisins can be lethal, as can apple seeds or other fruit seeds.

I'd increase long walks for your dog too -- if he gets a 20 minute average walk I'd work towards a good hour walk or at the very least, 45 minutes daily at a nice pace. Good for the owner too! Most dogs greatly benefit physically and mentally from 45-60 minutes of active walking daily.

Cathy Moon
15th April 2009, 03:45 AM
It might be a good idea to take him in for a vet examination before increasing his walks - to make sure his knees and joints are okay for longer walks, as well as his breathing and heart. The added weight puts stress on his body.

I don't know if you're in the US or UK, but if you're in the US you might want to measure his food - give him 1/3 level measuring cup of kibble twice daily. (The kibble I feed my dogs has about 434 calories per cup of food.) And perhaps only 1 small treat per day.

16th April 2009, 08:19 PM
I found a good diet was a GOOD quality dry food, 1/4-1/3 cup topped with a handful of frozen or fresh green beans twice a day took the pounds right off. It will not happen overnight, though, so be patient.

Give us some stats (your dog's current weight and how much you feed now) so we can help you a little better.

Love my Cavaliers
17th April 2009, 01:05 AM
My vet's rule of thumb for weight loss is to cut back the amount of food by 1/3. It worked for Oliver. But you as the human have to resist those eyes!!!

17th April 2009, 09:44 AM
I used to have a weight issue with my last dog Leo - Partly because of the long tern use of steroids because of a skin condition.

I tried cutting his food in the beginning but he would be hungry all the time (because of the steroids) so I gave him just over half the amount of food he usualy would get & then I would add either rice or cooked veggies or raw carrot or apple in his food so he would feel full. I also only really gave him treats of brocholi stems or raw carrots - or light biscuits.

This seemed to regulate his weight pretty well.

17th April 2009, 12:52 PM
See the piece on arden granges website about my dog harley, and yes the vets do agree they need very little food, esp if like harley your limited to the exercise they can do, its such a tiddley amount, and NO TITBITS, my vet wrote this in large letters on my instructions.


if you need any further advice pm me, have you had him properly weighted, Harley clocked in at 14 kg but had already lost half a kilo, he now is about 12kg and looks much better. di

19th April 2009, 05:02 PM
My Cavalier balooned after she was spayed, even with all of our efforts to prevent it :rolleyes: We put her onto Royal Canin light and it did the trick. Granted, she lost the weight very slowly, but if they lose it too fast it isn't good (so be prepared for the long haul!). The suggestions of bulking up food with veg is a great idea too, plus they love it. Our lady is down to a decent weight and she is all the better for it! Good luck :thmbsup:

19th April 2009, 05:37 PM
Plus as karlin said about fussy eaters, harley would turn his nose up and most dog food, and not eat half what i put down for him, because he knew he could tank up on treats and left over else where. It was a tough wake up call, but when your told the operation your dogs need wont be done until he loses weight then you get on and do what you should have done months ago.
So..... no treats, no leftovers, get him weighed so you know exactly what your up against and get it logged so you can see how your doing. Next get some high quality "light" food should as, royal canin, james wellbeloved, arden grange, skinners, they all do a diet version, some will send you a sample if you email them. Harley has 35grms twice a day, which is nothing, such a tiny amount but it takes them several weeks to learn thats all they get, take it or leave it. Harley lost nearly a kilo in the first three weeks, because he wasnt eating much at all. You can add veg, and goat yoghurt (tesco) with some oats. Plus get a rota for walking, try and sort out places you can go with him, like boot sales and canal paths, youll be amazed when you look round at things you can do that involve dog walking as well. Harley is neuteured too. di