View Full Version : what are we doing wrong?

11th November 2009, 04:06 PM
below is what we do with Poppy, can you point out the things we are doing wrong or we could do better.

-give her 2 hard little biscuit for breakfast and a walk round the block(10 mins walk)
-get in at 4 and parents give her a biscuit and another quick walk to stretch her little legs
-give her dinner at about 7(little square tin of dog food and handful of tiny biscuits.
-take her for about 20 mins walks

( at weekends i walk her roun our local lake for about 1 1/2 hours.

She is getting bigger and the more i say anything to my parents, the more they get defensive about her and say its their dog as they payed for her. I feel its cruel to her as she can barely run and snores badly and gets out of breathe very quickly.

I tried giving her a bit of carrot today for a treat instead of her biscuits and she loved it, ( took a while for her to eat it as its not her normal biscuits)

If there is anything we could do to get her more healthy, lose a bit of weight and get her more energised?

Thanks for reading

11th November 2009, 04:35 PM
It doesn't sound like she is being fed excessive amounts to me. Have you had her breathing checked by the vet?

11th November 2009, 04:40 PM
How old is she? Do you know what weight she is?

11th November 2009, 04:48 PM
Hi Lewis,
Perhaps take a look at the biscuits and see what the calorie content is.
Sometimes the volume of food can be deceptive,small amounts can be calorie laden,depending on the ingredients.

11th November 2009, 06:38 PM
If that tin of dog food is small and appropriate serving size, my guess is that your parents are slipping her some extra food or treats during the day. People can be in great denial over this, too. I've known people who overfeed their dogs horribly and it hurts to see them slowly killing their pets they claim to love so much.

11th November 2009, 06:53 PM
If she is fed at 7PM without any exercise thereafter, before bed, the food not burnt off is converted to fat and thus weight increases..

Perhaps move the feeding to AM after exercise and stop the biscuits.

Also weigh the food to say 80 gms a day and stick to that amount.

Good luck.


11th November 2009, 09:53 PM
The correct amount of food for her is hard to judge as we don't know your particular dog -- there is no 'correct' meal size no matter the weight or size of the dog though there are very general suggestions. Just like people, dogs all have different metabolic rates and get different amounts of exercise and need different amounts of food at different times in their life, and about 10-20 % less if they've been neutered, too.

To me a full small tin of food plus several biscuits and a handful of dry food and only two quick trots plus a 20 minute walk daily, add up to a lot of food and only very minimal exercise. A cavalier easily would appreciate an hour total of good fast activity -- a long brisk walk daily of an hour or at least 45 minutes, or two 30 minute brisk walks. I'd only consider 20 minutes adequate for a young puppy or an elderly dog.

Not one of my 5 dogs -- and they get an hour of exercise daily -- would eat as much food as your folks are feeding and that is even if we are only talking about a small tin of food (eg a cat food serving size). If this is a large tin that is a massive amount of food. Also I'd suspect there may be extra treats in there too?

If a dog is getting fat there are (setting aside very rare health issues) only two reasons: 1) too much food for that particular dog; 2) not enough exercise.

So: as you are seeing weight gain I'd replace all those biscuits with carrots, and increase her to at least 45 minutes of walking; 20 minutes is really not enough for any dog and she will be much happier with more. :) If she doesn't lose the extra weight, then cut a fourth or a third of the amount of the tin.

However: your dog needs more quality dry food to replace some of the tin. If you are feeding primarily tinned you are at much greater risk of gum and tooth disease which in turn puts a dog at higher risk of heart disease. As almost 100% of this breed will get heart disease, half of them by age 5, good dental health is critical. I'd remove half that tin and replace with a quality dry food for better gum and teeth health. :thmbsup: Most tinned foods are of very mediocre quality as well -- especially supermarket brands. Check the labels -- it is mostly derivatives, I bet -- that is the junk end of the meat spectrum. In general tins are OK as a small supplement to the main diet but shouldn't be the main diet. :thmbsup:

PS: A fat dog dies years earlier than a fit dog (on average 3-4 years younger in studies on labradors), and in this breed, with heart disease practically guaranteed, they are ensuring she will have a shorter, less pleasant life, more likely to end in suffering and very painful heart disease. Maybe their vet could wake them up to the fact that continuing this approach will almost certainly directly kill her well before her time and mean fewer years to enjoy a dog they obviously love.

It sounds like she really needs a trip to the vet if she can barely run and seems already to be having respiratory problems. But sadly many owners re determined to kill with 'kindness' -- looking at what they think is short term happiness of the dog and not thinking they may lose years of their dog's potential lifespan as a result. Most dogs simply do NOT really care about treats(in the way we think of them savouring a bit of nice food) -- they will swallow food usually without even tasting it -- this is not enjoying a treat, it is just gluttony. All those treats are generally more a reward for the owner than to the dog...

11th November 2009, 10:11 PM
My friends vet told her that those tins of dog food is like a McDonalds to a dog and they really dont need it at all!! :eek: Maybe cut the wet dog food entirely.

What I did with Prince was gave him a small portion of dry dog food in the morning, boiled veggies at night with a small handful of dry food over it and used apple pieces as treats. He would only get occassional dog treats. It did take a while to shift the weight but it did come down slowly but surely (not easy with such a food loving dog). Also OH is in the army so boot camp style exercise :biggrin:

11th November 2009, 10:24 PM
Any of the over weight dogs in our place have been changed to either Robbies or Luath from www.landofholisticpets.com and are doing so well. The Robbies you add water to so it's good if your dog is used to the wet feel but they generally love the chicken flavour. Read the website. We love this food and have swapped from James Wellbeloved, Royal Canin, Origen and Burns to this. The food is made by George Burns.

Good Luck.

12th November 2009, 09:10 AM
I've also tried Robbie's with success after picking up samples at the CKCS Malvern show last year.

By the way, I couldn't get the link above to work (with a .com extension) but it comes up for .co.uk :lpy: