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Discussion Starter #1
Grace weighs 105-110 pounds and is a bit overweight. I've been trying to get her down to 100lbs where she usually looks ideal but right now she is eating 1 3/4 cups a day and getting fat. I'm figuring to get the weight loss I'm going to need to drop it down to 1 1/4 or even 1 cup a day.

I'm concerned because
A) she's a 100lb dog and 1 cup seems like such a small amount
B) her food is 462 kcal/cup and it seems like her caloric need should be higher than that..

I called the vet about it as he's familiar with her, and he said as long as she appears healthy and she isn't very overweight (but could stand to lose a few pounds) I shouldn't worry.

I'm thinking I should get a second opinion or insist on having her thyroid checked or just running some blood work in general but I figured I's ask for some opinions.

Edited to add;;
She walks at least 30 minutes a day, goes in and out of the house as she pleases and runs about 5 miles a week with me, so she is active but not super super active. I do give her 2 cups on the days we do canicross.
 

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Grace weighs 105-110 pounds and is a bit overweight. I've been trying to get her down to 100lbs where she usually looks ideal but right now she is eating 1 3/4 cups a day and getting fat. I'm figuring to get the weight loss I'm going to need to drop it down to 1 1/4 or even 1 cup a day.

I'm concerned because
A) she's a 100lb dog and 1 cup seems like such a small amount
B) her food is 462 kcal/cup and it seems like her caloric need should be higher than that..

I called the vet about it as he's familiar with her, and he said as long as she appears healthy and she isn't very overweight (but could stand to lose a few pounds) I shouldn't worry.

I'm thinking I should get a second opinion or insist on having her thyroid checked or just running some blood work in general but I figured I's ask for some opinions.

Edited to add;;
She walks at least 30 minutes a day, goes in and out of the house as she pleases and runs about 5 miles a week with me, so she is active but not super super active. I do give her 2 cups on the days we do canicross.
My Cassius is about 120 lbs, and he maintains a healthy weight on about 2 cups of TOTW daily. I think a lot of spayed/neutered giant dogs are just very easy keepers. A thyroid check doesn't sound like a bad idea, but I wouldn't worry about it too much.

I don't think human speed running is a particularly calorie-burning activity for most big healthy dogs.

Might do some muscle-building activities like swimming or pulling...more muscle mass means more calories burned even when resting.
 

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My Cassius is about 120 lbs, and he maintains a healthy weight on about 2 cups of TOTW daily. I think a lot of spayed/neutered giant dogs are just very easy keepers. A thyroid check doesn't sound like a bad idea, but I wouldn't worry about it too much.

I don't think human speed running is a particularly calorie-burning activity for most big healthy dogs.

Might do some muscle-building activities like swimming or pulling...more muscle mass means more calories burned even when resting.
This. Especially the part about spayed/neutered dogs being easy keepers. My spayed girls are the WORST. All 3 of them will gain weight if they look at food cross-eyed, I swear (and none of them are large or giants, just... spayed females).

We do a lot of swimming, but frankly I haven't found exercise to make much difference in their weight. My dogs get a TON of exercise - Molly and Kylie in particular. It's not going to make them burn enough calories to keep the girls from getting fat (meanwhile a ton of food and Thud's intact and still thin as can be eating 6 cups of ToTW or about 5 of various sport food blends). For me the answer is in small amounts of food and feeding the girls as low *carb* and high protein as I can. I don't know if it's coincidence or not, I've FINALLY gotten Kylie down to 'not fat' after struggling with her weight since she was about 6 months old.
 

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I'd switch to a less calorie dense kibble. One cup a day provides the minerals and vitamins for a 30 pound dog just fine but you might be seriously short changing her nutrition feeding that tiny an amount to a 100 pound dog. A lot of forum members have had success with Wellness Core Low Fat so dog gets more protein as fewer calories.

Might try training for some of those meals if she doesn't get too excited. Might try a food puzzle so she has more fun eating those tiny meals. Might try using a pack as well as pulling or swimming.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
One problem is that she is allergic to a long list of things and so far this is the only kibble that has worked on all her symptoms. She needs low glycemic so minimal starches and carbs and can't have chicken, turkey, duck, (anything with wings) beef, lamb, mutton, grains, potatoes (sweet and white). I'll start looking for a low fat recipe that fits the bill but it might not happen. Even if the ingredient list looks good she sometimes reacts to the food still, I'm assuming either some undiscovered allergen or the processing control isn't what it needs to be to avoid protein contamination.

I'm not so concerned about the portion size as I am lack of calories in general, she has lab in her and it shows, she's always hungry. But the fact that she may be missing out on the vitamins/minerals is a good point. The recommended amount is 2 and 3/4 cups.

Forgot to mention that she does swim a few times a week when we go hiking. I've noticed that exercise actually does help her weight but she's (I'm) at the max I can give her at this point in time. She's always up for a run but she isn't necessarily high energy.
 

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Since changing her food sounds out of the question, then I would be looking at how to make her walks and jogs more intensive.

I would probably aim for hill walking and also walks while wearing a backpack with a few pounds in it (packs are better for cooler weather).

Even adding ten minutes of physical activity each day will add up.

If her joints are in good shape and she is overall healthy, maybe try some low key weight pulling?
 

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I have the same problem with my dog but she is small. She really can't go over about 120 calories a day. Doesn't matter the type of food - grain based, meat based, etc doesn't matter. Over that amount of calories and she gains rapidly. It's ridiculous. I make sure to stick to lower calorie foods so she can eat more. One of the biggest worries her vet had was that eating such small amounts may deprive her of the vitamins and minerals in the food. There are recommended minimums for the vitamins a dog needs. If they're eating tiny amounts of food they may not be meeting those minimums. This is why I stick to lower calorie foods.

Any foods that are geared towards weight loss or senior are usually a lot lower in calories. I can't wait till Farmina Light comes out as my girl did great on their grain inclusive food but the calories are a bit much. This formula is so much lower in calories and fat with a very good protein percentage. I think it will be perfect for my easy keeper.

That's the only thing that has worked personally for my girl, low low calories. Acana Singles Pork is very low calorie and doesn't have any of your avoid ingredients I believe.
 

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If her allergies are so severe I'd be looking into thyroid function first. Sure wouldn't want to rock the boat trying to find a new food if her thyroid level is out of whack!

I'd cut back her feed by 1/4 cup a day to start out anyway, don't need to cut it nearly in half.

Max got fat, all my fault, and he only lost weight when I was able to feed him super large hard to eat lean raw meals rather than tiny portions designed for weight loss. His usual meal was 10 ounces and I gave him 3 pound meals, sometimes he finished it in one go, sometimes it took a couple days. He had been eating 10 ounces for a year and lost 4 pounds, continuing to eat 10 ounce meals but adding the huge meals and his body condition improved so all the bony bits were easily felt again. The system goes into starvation mode and dogs [and humans] will live on air if too few calories go in. I only gave him such meals once a month but it did the trick. I am not sure how one would do something like that for a kibble fed dog, perhaps switch to feeding once a day if her gut can take it? Measure out 2 days of food and scatter it so she has to work for it once a week?
 

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Discussion Starter #10 (Edited)
Okay, so I'm thinking I am right to want her thyroid level tested - my vet was making me feel like I was just worrying too much and I do tend to do that haha. I'll look into the Acana Pork, it's about 70 calories less than what she is eating now but translated into cups it wouldn't change the amount she can get very much. I do like that company though over what I am using now.

Her running is as fast as I can go already lol, we are competing in 5k for canicross at the moment and we usually run it in about 15. We'll be moving up to 10k hopefully next year but they're harder to find in my area and competition really helps me stay focused on training every week. I'll look into getting her a pack to wear with some weights in it for the runs. Her 30 minute walks are leisurely but sometimes they are switched out for hiking which is more vigorous because she runs and swims the whole time and it usually ends up being more like an hour or more. Maybe my idea of a lot of exercise is skewed because I run so much without her - maybe I should just include her on more runs, just didn't want to over do it.

I hadn't even thought of weight pulling - she'd be able to do it if I can get her interested in it, will have to start researching. She used to pull me around on my roller blades but I figured out that's not really safe the hard way lol.

I agree about the body going into starvation mode - I've made the mistake of doing that to myself too many times to count. It could easily apply here because she's getting so little calories for her size. I've been occasionally giving her a large meal here and there to try and avoid it but not religiously or with any real method in mind.

My other dogs are about her size and they get about 3 cups of the food and don't get/need half the exercise she does. Just goes to show how different metabolisms can be, just like in humans.
 

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You could add some raw/cooked veggies to her meals to help fill her up. This is a very good article and has some helpful tips on weight loss for dogs. http://www.whole-dog-journal.com/issues/12_9/features/Canine-Weight-Loss-Advice_16158-1.html I would have her thyroid checked just to be sure that is working just fine. I would do a complete thyroid blood test and not just a T4 level.

I have recently noticed a lot of intact boy dogs extremely overweight. One of these owners just did not think his dog was overweight. On questioning the owner it was found out that the dog and the owner would eat at McDonalds several times a week. This owner bragged about how big his pitbull was. Poor dog would grunt and groan when just laying there.
 
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