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Fern GSD 5yrs, Chloe the Cat
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I got Fern at the shelter on December 3rd. I documented Fern's weight loss over the course of 4 months. Thanks to the honest feedback and lots of helpful advice, Fern has reached 2/3 milestones.

Just for reference: Fern is around 8 years old and she was at 79lbs as a female GSD. She was eating about 700 calories per day coupled with walking. We tried kibble, kibble+green beans and Honest Kitchen preference mixed with raw chicken.

The first 2 months was extremely difficult. Weighloss was minimal despite the extreme calorie cut. The weight loss started to really happen when we tried Honest Kitchen+raw chicken as protein. She seems less full and satisfied with The Honest Kitchen foods. Fern is currently back on kibble which she absolutely loves. Victor Multi Pro: her poops are SOLID with this stuff and she seems less famished even though the number of calories stayed the same. Most of her weight loss was due to cutting calories. I counted literally every single calorie possible.


Starting point: 79 LBS. Saw 2 veterinarians. They both deemed that Fern was a healthy GSD at this point. AWFUL assessment.
Note: This dog literally has rolls all over her body. How uncomfortable. Obesity takes away the beauty and dignity GSDs have.
Dog Carnivore Tent Companion dog Herding dog
Dog Vertebrate Carnivore Mammal Flooring

Dog Carnivore Dog breed German shepherd dog Companion dog


Like I mentioned, the first two months was brutal. She would watch me eat from the entrance to the kitchen. Sorry bud!

Cat Wood Floor Grey Flooring


Exercise, exercise and exercise at a slow pace. Let the dog dictate the pace! Nike headband CHECK! Long Leash "running" in the grass CHECK!

Felidae Carnivore Dog breed Road surface Small to medium-sized cats
Sky Cloud Plant Tree People in nature


Milestone 2 achieved!!!
Currently, Fern is sitting at around 63lbs. These photos are from 2 weeks ago. She looks so much better and is feeling happier. Hope you guys can see a big difference.

Sky Dog Cloud Plant Carnivore
Dog Carnivore Dog breed Tail Snout


For easier comparison: 79lbs -> 63lbs | 16lbs lost total
Dog Carnivore Tent Companion dog Herding dog
Sky Dog Cloud Plant Carnivore



What has changed besides the weight?
Fern has so much more energy now. She trots everywhere and gives me attitude when I'm too slow, gotta love it. She acts like a younger dog. People cannot believe she's 8 years old. OB is SO FUN. She is prancing around the yard, offering behaviors like lightning and there is a sparkle in her eyes. Before the weightloss the soul was willing but the body wasn't. And now it's like watching her true self shine. She is hilarious, has so much spunk and attitude. She plays fetch in the living room and doesn't get winded after a few tosses. Fern just glides and flies around. She also likes eating healthier foods like yogurt, pumpkin etc.

The most memorable part of the journey: was when we were going up a small hill. Fern was tired, she was 30 feet behind me. I got on top of that hill and I was cheering her on. Arms up, jumping up and down screaming "FERN YOU CAN DO IT! ONE MORE HILL! LET'S GO YOU CAN DO IT!!!!" Fern stopped and just looked at me. She started trotting and then she ran. She ran the fastest she can in that jiggly, overweight body. She blew right past me, and looked at me. We were celebrating on top of that minuscule hill. This is when I realized what the soul of a GSD was about. She gave it 300% and I knew I had to match that. That day I knew I would never give up on her because she wouldn't give up on me either.

Our last milestone: We want to get her to 60 lbs. She lost a lot of fat but didn't gain much muscle during this ordeal. I'll be bumping her up back to 950 calories and increasing the exercise. We have been walking 1-2 miles, jogging 2 miles, and playing tug. She still gets tired easily when doing exercises that require more power. We are working on touch command on a stepstool so I can get her to go from stepstool 1 to stepstool 2. Trying to utilize her food drive and translate it to more exercise.

Anyways thanks for reading all this everyone. Even those who offered 1 sentence, I read everything and tried to apply it.
 

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Charlie (DOB 11/24/20)
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I've said it before and I'll say it again, your dedication and willingness to learn as much as you can for Fern is very admirable, she looks so good! Your journey has been a pleasure to watch over these past few months and shes lucky to have someone like you ❤
 

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I might be a little sniffly reading this, both to your dedication to her and hers to you - I love the running up the hill story.

(Okay I'm a lot sniffly)
 

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This is great!
I always say, if the head looks tiny and as if it’s photoshopped, the dog is fat.
She looks wonderful and it is evident that she feels wonderful, too.
Great job!
 
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She looks great! Thanks for not listening to the vets. (I had never before seen a GSD with rolls... wow... I have seen many heavy GSDs but .. wow).
 
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Fern GSD 5yrs, Chloe the Cat
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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Thank you everyone! The change in Fern's personality was so drastic after the weight loss. When Fern found out that she can run without feeling like a brick, her eyes lit up. I hope to make so much more progress in her athleticism and training.

I didn't realize how bad her initial weight was until I started compiling the pictures. What a difference.
 
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