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Thread: I think my cavalier is obese

  1. #1
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    Default I think my cavalier is obese

    She is 3 years old and weighs about 14 kg however she is quite tall for a cavalier and I feed her twice a day Beneful dog food for diet. I think it is the snacks I sometimes give her so that she remains occupied. Bones, pigs ears and long lasting chewing treats. She goes for an hour walk with me twice a day. Otherwise she is healthy.

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    You can determine whether your dog is overweight the same way veterinarians do, by comparing her appearance to a Body Condition Scoring (BCS) index. See two different BCS indices here: http://cavalierhealth.org/diets.htm#...dition_Scoring
    Rod Russell

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    I have both read and heard it said that dog snacks and treats are the equivalent of junk food to humans. I know someone with grossly obese labrador retrievers, because her husband is always giving them treats, literally killing their dogs with his "kindness".

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    I hope your dog is not obese as you probably know extra weight on a dog prone to heart issues isn't good. The good news is you can put your dog on a diet to drop a few pounds. My dogs were really just slightly overweight, but I put them on a diet and they lost 4 lbs between late November and April. They acted ilke they were starving, but they got plenty of food and I kept reminding myself that the diet was an investment in their long term health so they can be with me longer. I heard something on the radio about the impact of extra weight on a dog and how it greatly reduces life expectancy. Can't remember the details now though.

    That said, a couple tips that might help you:

    1) consider giving healthy treats that have good nutritional value. This will help make sure they still get good nutrition when you cut down meal portions. I have a high quality kibble in the treat jar so when we do training or whenever I give them a treat throughout the day, it's just a piece of kibble or a few pieces max (and all that still even ads up! so if your pet is obese, try just one piece of kibble at at time).

    2) to keep her occupied, think about using a kong instead of the more fattening pigs ears. I know you can stuff those with biscuits, peanut butter, maybe even put in a carrot or apple which is lower calorie but as long as you get it in there good can take some time to get out. Some people even freeze the kongs to make them extra challenging

    3) I know you said you feed bones. Raw (not cooked) meaty bones are really good for them and keep them occupied. I recently discovered split Elk Antlers which my dogs just LOVE! They really keep them occupied and even after they got most of the marrow out they still really keep their interest.

    4) Exercise makes such a difference. I'm not sure how much you walk your dog now, but a well exercised dog is less prone to boredom, so you'll have less need for treats to keep her occupied. I know this can be tough, we all get busy, but your dog will really enjoy getting out more to sniff around and explore the neighborhood. Plus, the exercise will help get and keep the weight off your dog, just like with humans.

    Good luck!
    Lani
    (a.k.a. Lucky's & Sparky's mom!)

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    What does your vet say? Weight is not the issue; it is whether her weight is correct for her build. The breed standard is not a precise weight guideline; you need to consider each individual dog.

    As others note, in this breed in particular, obesity is an early death sentence and will reduce the time you have with your dog plus reduce her ability to enjoy life-- so if your vet agrees she is fat, please do work very hard to reduce her weight.

    A single pigs ear is very fatty and has the calories of at least, a full normal meal for a cavalier. You can get pig ear strips and give one of those *on occasion* instead -- never ever every day! A dog doesn't need treats every day. If you feel you must give treats, switch to something without calories like carrots or other alternatives. There are lots of healthy treat ideas in the Library section of the board. But obesity on our pets is all due to human inability to restrain from feeding -- almost never is it something medical in the dog that cannot be addressed by owners feeding less and exercising more with their dog.

    Beneful isn't a great food, but if you wish to stick with it -- and your dog is indeed fat -- cut what you feed by a third, cut out treats, and walk more -- you and your dog will both benefit!

    For kongs -- I'd recommend mashed banana myself, rather than fattening sticky fillings like peanut butter (a kong full of peanut butter would be more fattening than a pig's ear, but peanut butter can be used definitely with restraint! ). If you use banana and freeze them they last even longer.

    Do you precisely measure food? Most cavaliers need only about a cup or less in food in total DAILY -- and most people feeding twice daily will feed too much unless they measure. I find most people use bowls way larger than the amount the dog should get -- and then top up. Half a cup of food in a dog dish looks like too little. I feed once a day and measure amounts. I also use small cat sized feeding dishes which then are full with the correct amount a cavalier needs.
    Karlin
    Cavaliers: Jaspar Leo Lily Tansy Libby (foster) Mindy (foster)
    In memory: Lucy
    Cavalier SM Infosite:www.smcavaliers.com

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    I never considered dog treats until I started researching this breed. Since you would rather have a cavalier on the thinner side (not underfed) than the chubbier(not over-fed) side you are going to want to work on that.

    First tho, you need to ask your vet about her weight, I believe my Fletcher is going to outgrow the standard for cavaliers but my vet says I'm feeding correctly and he looks find for now, but he's just a puppy.

    I think you would benefit if you researched dog food brands try www.dogfoodadviser.com, personally I'm still on the fence about switching my dog to raw but people swear by it. I feed what I think from research and talking to my vet a high great dry kibble and the ONLY treats he gets is raw baby carrots, or frozen green beans on a normal day he really only gets one treat at bedtime anyway. Fletcher it's into Kongs which was a disappointment to be but I too have learned those baby elk spit antlers are wonderful!!!! Also Karlin is right you must measure food.


    Melissa

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    Hi, if your dog isn't obese, she's certainly EXTREMELY overweight - please rethink the snacks.

    My girl is 7.4kgs & pretty much spot on. She is also slightly longer legged than the average cav.

    Please address her diet & keep her in good health. I think sometimes eating is a habit. My cav comes in from a walk, she is a rescue BTW & she would wait & wag her tail for her 'treat'. Her treat is a frozen chicken wing & she loves them, however, this is pretty much it for her until tea time...

    BTW the dry kibble is rubbish food for dogs, in fact all animals. It's created for the convenience of humans. Having said that, I'm still offering it to my dog as I move over to raw feeding - she hates it though, which is probably a good thing otherwise I wouldn't be looking into alternatives !

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    Murphy weighs in at 11kg, and is super slim. He makes me very jealous

    He is very tall and long. As had already been said, with different shapes there is no perfect weight that every cavalier will be. Can you feel or see ribs? If not then a pound or two should come off


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    Paula - mum to Murphy(6) & Misty(7), and Jerry our cat.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Valentina View Post
    Hi, if your dog isn't obese, she's certainly EXTREMELY overweight - please rethink the snacks.
    How can you know this though? We haven;t seen any images of this dog and cannot tell if weight is appropriate. I have had cavaliers into rescue that weighed close to 40lbs and they were appropriate in weight to their build, despite being well beyond breed standard. Breed standard is a basic guideline for show dogs and cannot be used to assess appropriate weight for any given dog. Any more than saying all women should weigh 125-135 lbs. A vet would be best to make this call for this dog -- someone who can actually see and assess the individual dog in person.
    Karlin
    Cavaliers: Jaspar Leo Lily Tansy Libby (foster) Mindy (foster)
    In memory: Lucy
    Cavalier SM Infosite:www.smcavaliers.com

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    Quote Originally Posted by murphy's mum View Post
    Murphy weighs in at 11kg, and is super slim. He makes me very jealous

    He is very tall and long. As had already been said, with different shapes there is no perfect weight that every cavalier will be. Can you feel or see ribs? If not then a pound or two should come off


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    Oliver is also a skinny mini and 11kgs.
    😃

    M&O

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