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So, I brought my basset hound frank to the vet for an initial visit. My neighbor thought it would be good for me to bring him in. The vet did an examination and told me that frank is obese. He wanted to know what frank eats. I told him that frank eats what I eat. The vet said he wanted examples. So, I told him that frank and I have breakfast. It could be eggs, bacon, sausage, pancakes, etc depending on the morning. The vet started asking more questions. He asked what about the rest of the time. I said I share lunch and dinner too. The vet asked if I feed him dog food. I said that there's a bowl of dog food down, but he rarely touches it. I guess he just don't like it. The vet leaves the room and comes back with the lady from out front. She gave me this dog food that he's supposed to eat. We get home and frank won't eat it.

I got frank at a pound through a senior for senior's program. They told me they were going to put him down if somebody didn't eventually take him and that he would be good for me since I live alone. I loved him from the moment I saw him. I never had children and my wife has passed on. Ever since I got frank, I've just given him whatever he wants. He goes everywhere in the truck with me. He even sleeps in bed with me. Now the vet is telling me that he's not as healthy as he could be and that if things keep going this way, he's not going to live as long. I don't know what to do. Has anybody else just kept feeding him whatever he wants without anything bad happening?
 

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I'm afraid you're not helping your dog. The fat and salt in human food isn't good for dogs; in fact, some dogs could get pancreatitis from such a diet. For each pound a dog is overweight, it's like 5 extra pounds on a person! The stress on their organs and joints will shorten their lives.

My MIL was doing the same with her 7 year old cockapoo. When MIL had to go and live with one of her sons, due to declining mental status, the son refused to take the dog (that's ANOTHER story), so I took her, with the understanding that I would rehabilitater her and rehome her (I already had 3 other dogs at the time). The vet said she should weigh 14-15 pounds. When I got her, she weighed a whopping 28.2 pounds!!! Rosie looked like a swollen tick - not a good visual, I know, but accurate. She panted just standing around - so sad.

I put her on Wellness Core Reduced fat (PetSmart and Petco both carry it). It's important to feed the dog the amount it SHOULD weigh, not how much the dog currently weighs, or he won't lose weight. Wellness Core is a little pricey, but you don't have to feed much of it because it's so nutrient dense, so it balances out compared to a cheaper food that you'd have to feed more of.

IGNORE the pitiful looks. Get RID of the dog biscuits (Rosie practically lived on these at my MIL's house). Feed healthy snacks, such as baby carrots and no-salt green beans. At first, the dog may refuse to eat - so what - there's enough stored fat to last awhile, right? Rosie refused to eat anything for three days when I got her. After the third day, she started eating like a concentration camp survivor and never looked back!

It will take awhile for your dog to lose weight. It took Rosie from February 2011 to mid July 2011 to lose half her body weight. I got her down to her goal weight of 14.5 pounds - yay Rosie! She acted like a much younger dog, loving to go for walks and playing fetch. A few months later, my husband and I found her the PERFECT home with a retired couple. I showed them her before and after pictures, so they'd realize what overfeeding can do to a dog.

Rosie Before


Rosie After (Excuse the poor picture - growing out a bad grooming job)


Rosie: Another After Picture
 

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I know you love frank, but you're killing him. People food is terrible for dogs and extra weight is a death sentence. Especially for Bassetts with their long backs.

Please feed frank dog food, and get him to lose weight. He will refuse to eat. He will beg. He'll also get over it and end up a happier, healthier dog with a longer life.
 

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Feeding people food .... well ... all the above. Dogs just cannot handle all that salt and sugar and grease and food colorings and preservatives ... and the list goes on.

My little Leeo just died from pancreatic neucrosis ... and although his breed mix is notorious for having a bad pancreas ... I attribute his death to partially eating people food. Leeo was notorious for being fed people food ... By the time I got him to the ER his cholesterol number was over 400 and the fat content in his blood was in outer space somewhere and what was to be clear looking was milky white. His pancreas had started eating itself and his other organs began to fail. It was a horrible thing to watch.

I attribute some of his disease to people food and also the huge stomach mass they found was probable cancer. I attribute some of this to human food and its preservatives.

This is something to take into serious consideration ... I am still beating myself up over it .... not a good place to be.

I so hope you get your little guy eating dog food.
 

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You could make the dry dog food more appetizing by mixing in a spoonful of canned or just feed canned. My dog would refuse to eat kibble too, so I switched to dehydrated foods that have to be rehydrated with warm water and she no longer turns her nose up to her food anymore.
 

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If you really want to share your food with him, then you have to improve what you eat! But, only give him lean, unsalted meats and veggies. And just a bit at that - he doesn't need a lot! For actual food a high quality food for all life stages is likely better than vet diet food, which is usually high in carbs - it's like us going on a diet of white bread, not going to help that much!

You can also give a tablespoon of plain yogurt, canned pumpkin or frozen veggies, that sort of thing, but remember a tablespoon, not a bowlful. It wouldn't hurt to take him for a walk around the block if he's giving you the sad eyes. Maybe you can find a tracking class in your area and sign up as a 'workout' plan for him. Where I work there's a beagle and he's a pain, but I've discovered he LOVES using his nose. A slice of cheese broken into a few bits and hidden around the house had him busy for an hour yesterday, then he was looking at me like 'well, are you going to hide more???? I'll find it you know!'.
 

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There are foods out there for dogs that are on a diet, if he doesn't want his dry food add some wet food in with it, or just give him wet food, and you could give him carrots as snacks.
 

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Try wetting the dry food a little, which should be done anyway. It brings out the "aroma", which dog find more appealing.
 

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Everyone has already said it. There's a well-quoted study that says that a lean dog can live more than 2 years longer than a fat dog.
1. Stop feeding him any of your food, not even scraps from the table.
2. Find a dogfood that is within your budget, when the Vet food runs out. You won't need diet food, just a good plan.
3. Look on the package, determine how much your dog should weigh (based on the Vet recommendation), and feed that amount to Frank, split into two portions, half in the morning and half for supper.
4. If Frank doesn't like it (too bad, dogs don't starve themselves... longer than 2 days), then you can try a little Ketchup gravy: Take a cup of hot water, stir in 1 tablespoon of ketchup (or a Bullion cube), then add 2 tablespoons of that liquid on top of the dog food. Leave the food down, until Frank eats it.
5. Also, try to walk Frank for 30 min. twice a day. If he is out of shape, you may have to start with 15 min. or even 5 min., but after a month, he'll be in better shape.
 

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I really hope the OP comes back and says he's read all these posts. I adopted a morbidly obese senior dog and I'd like to smack her first owner over the head. For the OP, an obese bassett is very bad, with their long backs, the added weight is not smart. Whomever posted about Wellness Core reduced fat is correct.
 

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It's obvious how much you love Frank. But your vet is correct. Feeding him people food all of the time will shorten his life span, and can cause him to suffer a lot with arthritis as he ages, ACL ligaments can go out from the added weight making him need surgery, he can develop Congestive heart failure, Diabetes, or Pancreatitis.

Right now, he probably doesn't want the dog food because he figures that he'll get people food if he waits. You can add a couple tablespoons of pure, canned pumpkin (not spiced pie filling...make sure it is pure pumpkin) or canned low sodium green beans to his food. The added fiber will make him feel full without the calories. Cut up carrots are fine for treats. You can add a little canned dog food to the dry food and mix it up, to help it be more appetizing. Or even boil some boneless, skinless chicken, and shred it and add a little of that, mixed well.

If you add water to the food, only offer a small meal in am and pm, and remove it if he doesn't eat it after an hr at most. Adding water can cause bateria to form which can be dangerous if the food is left out.

Walk him twice a day, briskly (if he is up to it), starting with a short time, and increasing as he gets more fit.
 
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