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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Don't worry, neither of my hounds have succumbed to obesity yet. This is for Poppy, a 2 y/o (or almost 2) yellow Lab that my boyfriend Kyle rescued today. She is...tremendously overweight. She is literally the fattest dog I have ever seen in real life. I can't find her ribs at all.

Hip problems are almost guaranteed -- not just because of the weight, but also because her previous owner raised her as a pup on milk ("to help her grow faster.") I wanted to smack him...

We started switching her over from Pedigree to Solid Gold Holistique Blendz Adult:

Protein, Min 18%
Fat, Min 6%
Fiber, Max 4%
Moisture, Max 10%
Calories per cup, 336

We looked at some other foods but this was the only one with a low enough fat content and cost.

I also thought it might be good to start her on joint supplements as soon as possible.

We tossed her new Nylabone and tennis ball around a little... she can't really sprint. We took her for a walk around the block. Literally not more than 15 minutes at a regular strolling pace. She was completely knackered when we got home. Her tongue was looking almost purpley.

What can we do to work on her weight? We're cutting down her portions, but I'm not even sure what to cut to. Should I be feeding her what she would eat at her ideal weight? And if so, what would that be? If not, should I be feeding her more? I know we should go with the amount she's eating now, and then work down 20% at a time, but her previous owner didn't know how much she ate. ("I feed her till she's full... and then every time I see her I feed her again.")
 

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I would follow the kibble bag's directions for a dog of her present weight. Chances are it is less than what she was being fed! Feed for a couple weeks then drop the food down 10%. Every time she loses 5 pounds cut the food back a little more until you are feeding the amount for her ideal weight. Obese humans cut food intake a couple times during the weight loss process as it is possible to go into starvation mode where weight loss is extremely difficult if calorie intake is too low. I would assume the same thing would apply to dogs.

Walking may be a bad idea, she did over do it, didn't she! Do that gentle play with her for right now. Once you see she can play comfortably for a few minutes then she might be ready to take a short walk. I bet she will get into shape quickly away from that toxic situation. I would feed some of her food in a puzzle ball of some sort so she is up and moving at her own pace for part of the day. I personally hate the buster cube but the dogs have a number of soft quiet easy to clean and empty rubber ones. They still get lost under the furniture though. An empty dry water bottle is Max's personal favorite food puzzle. Just some kibble in a small box is fun and easy.

Good luck and take photos. Even in a couple weeks you are going to be so impressed with her improvement.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
You mean feed her the portion of a Dane?? :p I have no idea what her current weight is. We're getting her spayed next week so we can find out then. Right now we are feeding her 2 cups in the morning, 2 cups in the evening. We're trying not to cut down on her portions too drastically.

She can handle very slow, short walks right now, and we've been training basic stays and recalls with her meals to keep her active (and to avoid having separate training sessions and those extra treats).

Thanks so much for the response! We're really, really trying to solve the weight problem as quickly and healthily as we can. (I tried to teach her "paw" yesterday, but she was so heavy she couldn't balance on three legs, even sitting.) She's really cute though.
 

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EVO is a good choice for weight reduction with the low carb, high protein. A friend's obese Rottie rescue did really well on it, and lost weight, as did my pudgy Shih Tzu (former foster) I ended up keeping. My adult Standard Poodles (Maddy will be 8 yr.s old in May, Beau 8 yrs. in Aug.) are lean and muscular, too.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Evo is too expensive here for him to feed it sustainably... We thought about going with Evo till she got into decent shape, and then switching to something more affordable, but we thought it would be better to just feed one food.
 

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a friend of mine adopted an obese dog and cut his weight down by feeding smaller portions multiple times a day. She had him doing six meals a day with three fourths of a cup of food at each meal. it speeds up the metabolism. She also took him swimming a lot. Swimming is excellent for losing weight.

She weaned him down to two meals a day after he got fit.

I've also heard that adding green beans to meals can help.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks all.

This girl is a TOTAL water baby... tips her water bowl, drinks from the hose when you're watering the plants, runs around in the rain, the whole works. When we got back from that "exhausting" walk I took the hose and sprayed water all over the porch. Kyle was like "what are you doing??" until she went over and plonked herself right in the middle of the biggest puddle. We're trying to find a pool that she can go swimming in. It's a work in progress.

Thanks for the feeding guidelines as well. One of the problems now is that we don't know how much to feed. We don't know how much she weighs (will find out at the vet's during next week's spay appointment). Solid Gold's largest weight category recommends 4 cups a day. Does that sound too much/too little? I've never owned a large breed, so I have no idea.
 

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We are getting Quinn's weight down a bit since he was recently diagnosed with elbow displasia. We have cut back his activity of late and the weight has come on. Vet recommended 1 1/3 cup 2x per day and he is a large breed dog. Weight management food (i'm still in the process of picking one) Recently on another thread green beans were suggested to add to the food to help cut calories - but also fill up the stomach. I actually think you posted to that as well.

http://www.dogforums.com/5-dog-food-forum/47495-morbid-obese-english-bulldog.html
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks LmR. I think 2 cups twice a day should be a good amount for her right now.
 
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