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Weight loss strategy for dog

1430 Views 13 Replies 7 Participants Last post by  DaySleepers
I've developed some bad habits with my dog that have resulted in her gaining a lot of weight. I was really surprised how much weight she has packed on but I should have realized it was happening. I would like to get the excess weight off of her as quickly as possible but without stressing her out. She has a deformed hind leg from a break that healed on it's own (no I was not in the picture at that point) and I'd like to take pressure off of those joints. She also has a recessed vulva that is getting infected because of the extra weight.

I used to play frisbee with her as a younger dog and stopped because her reactivity was so extreme. I thought that the intense exercise was amplifying her reactivity. I put her on a vacation that has lasted a few years now. She's been on Prozac for a couple of years and I guess that is probably part of the problem as well. I don't think she can manage without the drug however.

She has become accustomed to laying next to me while I eat dinner and I always throw her little morsels of food. Should I taper away from this behavior slowly or feed her something low in calories that will prevent her from getting frustrated. These bad habits started off well intentioned in rewarding a place and relaxed position but have slid into thoughtless patterns.

Even walking is a challenge because triggers will quickly stack and before you know it, her tail is tucked and she can barely respond to me. I'm thinking some activity in the backyard combined with a feeding strategy would work. I'm open to any suggestions. Does anyone have experience in taking weight off of a dog?

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While I agree that a vet check is good, I cannot think of any health issues where cutting back on treats and scraps from human foods would be a problem.

So I would start that immediately. No food from the table or scraps from your plate. If there is a healthy item that you wish to treat her with, cut out an equal amount of calories from her food. With the caution of not swapping more than 20% or so of calories from the balanced dry or canned food for human food.

I would not feed a diet food personally and not Blue Buffalo in general.

I would buy a small or sample bag of a different flavor good dog food, like a fish flavor maybe since its smelly, and use that for treats from the table. Since it would be a balanced food, it can swap 1:1 for calories of her canned food meals. Remember to consider calories and not volume or weight when looking at dry vs canned food.

Try some low key games in the yard to get her moving without much joint impact. For example, take that kibble and walk to different parts of the yard and call her to you and feed a few pieces. Ask for a long stay, reward. Then call to another area etc to get her moving around.

These training sessions should count as meals, not in addition to her meals ! Thats why to use a balanced food as a treat.

Slow but steady weight loss should be the goal.
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Canned or kibble are both good. Canned gets expensive for larger dogs and not as useful for feeding small portions as treats/rewards.

There are lots of good foods, I have just not been impressed with BB and have observed ( and had other people I know say the same ) that dogs seem to have more digestive upset on BB.

Some brands I like include Victor, Pro Pac, Fromms (the classic/grain inclusives), Purina Pro Plan (not the lower tiers of Purina), Earthborn Holistic grain inclusive line

Problem IMO with weight loss foods is too low protein and fat in an effort to lower calories per cup
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