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Discussion Starter #1
Elle is a 2 year old female GSD mix, weighs approx 95lbs, she is way over weight and we have been working on her weight loss and have taken away all her treats, no table foods, and on scheduled feedings, with daily walks/run..she's lost about 3-5 lbs in total, what more can I do? Thank you. Any suggestions welcomed.


Some pics....

Most recent pic.





 

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How much food is she getting, and what kind? One thing to consider is how fast you decrease her food amount....just like w/ humans, if done too fast/immediately, it won't help. Make sure it's a gradual decrease in food.

One kibble that I've heard very good things about for weight loss, but which still gives good energy, etc. is Wellness CORE reduced fat.
 

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YAY! You did it! You know, I thought she was older because of her weight. Definitely a full thyroid panel done through Michigan State or Dr. Dodds (I think those are the two "best" but will hope that anyone else comments if there are others).

My dog Ava came to me after having been about 25# underweight when she got to the shelter. When I got her she was about 14# underweight. Her weight should be about 45#.

So I did a bunch of small meals and nutrical and she got to about 44# and I stopped all the extras. Well, for whatever reason-happiness, loss of nervous energy, the food I was giving her-she kept on gaining until she was 56# and her hip started to bother her. I tried lite food-big mistake-she gained! The CORE reduced fat seems like a different type of thing.

So I was trying to help her lose weight-and people would say the meanest things about her-I knew she was overweight but the way they would say it would just bother me. Anyway! I started adding pumpkin, which she liked, and green beans, which she tolerated, to her food. I am not sure of the ratios. But basically I replaced the food that she was not getting with that amount of filler. You can search for pumpkin diet dog to find out more. Slowly, over time, she lost the weight and is now 45-46#. So 11# lost for her size was significant. I think that would be like if your girl lost about 22# which would probably be a good weight for her (?).

As soon as she gets to a point where her ribs have a little bubble over them, I cut back her meals and she is fine. It's a lot easier to do it that way than to let her get back to that high weight. She loves to eat, so I have to watch her!

I gave her vitamins during the time she was on the diet.

http://www.mycockerspaniel.com/wt_loss.htm I hope other people take a look at this-it seems good-but is it? It helps figure out how many calories she should get based on her goal weight. It also has a dog food calculator.

http://www.thepetcenter.com/imtop/overweight.html another good link.

http://www.peteducation.com/article.cfm?cls=2&cat=1660&articleid=696

http://www.peteducation.com/article.cfm?cls=2&cat=1660&articleid=696

You just want to do it slowly-no crash diets. And keep things easy on her joints until she has lost more-will she swim?

Of course, now Ava has more obnoxious energy (she likes to channel her energy into doing random wacky stuff) and I have to watch her better so that she doesn't start a riot, but she looks and acts so much happier/better.

It was hard-I would take her to the vet every few weeks to weigh in-but really worth it.

I wish I could do it so well for me!
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Originally Posted By: mikaK9How much food is she getting, and what kind? One thing to consider is how fast you decrease her food amount....just like w/ humans, if done too fast/immediately, it won't help. Make sure it's a gradual decrease in food.

One kibble that I've heard very good things about for weight loss, but which still gives good energy, etc. is Wellness CORE reduced fat.
She eats Science Diet light for adult dogs, and she get 3 and a half cups a day (recommended ammount for weight loss), plus I add some water into it as she won't eat just dry food, she likes it a bit moist (not saturated, just moist).
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Originally Posted By: JeanKBBMMMAANYAY! You did it! You know, I thought she was older because of her weight. Definitely a full thyroid panel done through Michigan State or Dr. Dodds (I think those are the two "best" but will hope that anyone else comments if there are others).

My dog Ava came to me after having been about 25# underweight when she got to the shelter. When I got her she was about 14# underweight. Her weight should be about 45#.

So I did a bunch of small meals and nutrical and she got to about 44# and I stopped all the extras. Well, for whatever reason-happiness, loss of nervous energy, the food I was giving her-she kept on gaining until she was 56# and her hip started to bother her. I tried lite food-big mistake-she gained! The CORE reduced fat seems like a different type of thing.

So I was trying to help her lose weight-and people would say the meanest things about her-I knew she was overweight but the way they would say it would just bother me. Anyway! I started adding pumpkin, which she liked, and green beans, which she tolerated, to her food. I am not sure of the ratios. But basically I replaced the food that she was not getting with that amount of filler. You can search for pumpkin diet dog to find out more. Slowly, over time, she lost the weight and is now 45-46#. So 11# lost for her size was significant. I think that would be like if your girl lost about 22# which would probably be a good weight for her (?).

As soon as she gets to a point where her ribs have a little bubble over them, I cut back her meals and she is fine. It's a lot easier to do it that way than to let her get back to that high weight. She loves to eat, so I have to watch her!

I gave her vitamins during the time she was on the diet.

http://www.mycockerspaniel.com/wt_loss.htm I hope other people take a look at this-it seems good-but is it? It helps figure out how many calories she should get based on her goal weight. It also has a dog food calculator.

http://www.thepetcenter.com/imtop/overweight.html another good link.

http://www.peteducation.com/article.cfm?cls=2&cat=1660&articleid=696

http://www.peteducation.com/article.cfm?cls=2&cat=1660&articleid=696

You just want to do it slowly-no crash diets. And keep things easy on her joints until she has lost more-will she swim?

Of course, now Ava has more obnoxious energy (she likes to channel her energy into doing random wacky stuff) and I have to watch her better so that she doesn't start a riot, but she looks and acts so much happier/better.

It was hard-I would take her to the vet every few weeks to weigh in-but really worth it.

I wish I could do it so well for me!
Thank you, i'm going to go to each site you listed and check them out!
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Originally Posted By: AnnaRileyFirst check the thyroid.
Her Thyroid was checked last Fall and was normal...She just likes to eat, let me rephrase that eating is her favorite hobby, sadly enough.
 

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Ingredients on the SD Light:
Ingredients

Ground Whole Grain Corn, Soybean Mill Run 16% (source of fiber), Chicken By-Product Meal, Powdered Cellulose, Corn Gluten Meal, Soybean Meal, Chicken Liver Flavor, Soybean Oil, vitamins (L-Ascorbyl-2-Polyphosphate (source of vitamin C), Vitamin E Supplement, Niacin, Thiamine Mononitrate, Vitamin A Supplement, Calcium Pantothenate, Biotin, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Riboflavin, Folic Acid, Vitamin D3 Supplement), Iodized Salt, Potassium Chloride, Flaxseed, Choline Chloride, Vitamin E Supplement, Dicalcium Phosphate, L-Lysine, minerals (Ferrous Sulfate, Zinc Oxide, Copper Sulfate, Manganous Oxide, Calcium Iodate, Sodium Selenite), Taurine, L-Tryptophan, L-Carnitine, preserved with Mixed Tocopherols and Citric Acid, Beta-Carotene, Rosemary Extract.


Wellness Core Reduced Fat
Deboned Turkey, Turkey Meal, Chicken Meal, Potatoes, Dried Ground Potatoes, Pea Fiber, Whitefish Meal, Tomato Pomace, Natural Chicken Flavor, Chicken Liver, Salmon Oil, Flaxseed, Carrots, Sweet Potatoes, Kale, Broccoli, Spinach, Parsley, Apples, Blueberries, Vitamins, Minerals, Choline Chloride, Chicory Root Extract, Yucca Schidigera Extract, Glucosamine Hydrochloride, Chondroitin Sulfate, Lactobacillus plantarum, Enterococcus faecium, Lactobacillus casei, Lactobacillus acidophilus, Mixed Tocopherols, Rosemary Extract.


I wonder if reducing the Carbs in her diet would help?
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Originally Posted By: Barb E.Ingredients on the SD Light:
Ingredients

Ground Whole Grain Corn, Soybean Mill Run 16% (source of fiber), Chicken By-Product Meal, Powdered Cellulose, Corn Gluten Meal, Soybean Meal, Chicken Liver Flavor, Soybean Oil, vitamins (L-Ascorbyl-2-Polyphosphate (source of vitamin C), Vitamin E Supplement, Niacin, Thiamine Mononitrate, Vitamin A Supplement, Calcium Pantothenate, Biotin, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Riboflavin, Folic Acid, Vitamin D3 Supplement), Iodized Salt, Potassium Chloride, Flaxseed, Choline Chloride, Vitamin E Supplement, Dicalcium Phosphate, L-Lysine, minerals (Ferrous Sulfate, Zinc Oxide, Copper Sulfate, Manganous Oxide, Calcium Iodate, Sodium Selenite), Taurine, L-Tryptophan, L-Carnitine, preserved with Mixed Tocopherols and Citric Acid, Beta-Carotene, Rosemary Extract.


Wellness Core Reduced Fat
Deboned Turkey, Turkey Meal, Chicken Meal, Potatoes, Dried Ground Potatoes, Pea Fiber, Whitefish Meal, Tomato Pomace, Natural Chicken Flavor, Chicken Liver, Salmon Oil, Flaxseed, Carrots, Sweet Potatoes, Kale, Broccoli, Spinach, Parsley, Apples, Blueberries, Vitamins, Minerals, Choline Chloride, Chicory Root Extract, Yucca Schidigera Extract, Glucosamine Hydrochloride, Chondroitin Sulfate, Lactobacillus plantarum, Enterococcus faecium, Lactobacillus casei, Lactobacillus acidophilus, Mixed Tocopherols, Rosemary Extract.


I wonder if reducing the Carbs in her diet would help?
Probably so.... Could she just be prone to obesity, and something she will batlle her entire life?
 

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I don't know, I don't know how it works in dogs but with a normal thyroid I would lean to no, that she just needs less food than others.

I should have read the other posts, I see now that someone else mentioned Core.

Jean - I've heard that before with the "light" foods causing weight gain, that's why I looked up the ingredients of the SD vs Core.
 

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That dog is so darned cute-I bet when she loses weight her GSD will come out more in appearance.

With us it's food input and energy output, and same with a dog, but with a dog we really can control it better. Or at least I can control it better for them than for me.

I think Ava is prone to sucking up each calorie given to her-perhaps her body adapted to starvation? I have no idea-but her poops are always so small-she is taking in everything. So I have to watch her carefully-luckily she is so much more active now that she can afford a little treat here and there.

I did give her treats while dieting-just teeny pieces. I couldn't give the other dogs something and not her (she would have picked up the phone with her monkey paws and called the humane society). But I am talking teeny "I almost lost my finger" sized pieces.

For some reason the lite foods do seem to pack on the pounds! She was also nutty looking for food on that-it didn't fill her up like I thought it would. And looking at the Science diet and not wanting to get into a great corn debate, I will say that cows and pigs are fed corn for at least one reason-to fatten 'em up!

I have seen a couple of Vetri-Science weight loss pills for dogs-but seems weird-do they work-I have no idea??!!??

We can have a little support group for Elle-who is in!?!
 

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Barb who also needs to lose weight is in!
Dante who just got cut back 1/4 a cup a day is in!


From listening to my friend (The one that owns the natural pet supply store) talk with customers who have overweight dogs the HARDEST part is the human side and the emotional toll of not giving to our dogs.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Thanks everyone...I forgot to mention, she doesn't just eat her food, she inhales it, every grain, every drop....her head does not come out of her bowl until it is 110% empty (I don't know how she eats like that without getting choked?)
 

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We have a support group!


I normally won't use a plastic bowl (they make them in metal now-but I am not sure about it) perhaps this would work? https://brake-fast.c3.ixwebhosting.com/store/home.php

I also have fed foster dogs in a kong (not the dog in the kong-food in the kong-it's late here).

And with Ava, I would put her food on the bottom of her crate and spread it all over so she'd have to find pieces-I didn't love that method but it did slow her down. She's better now.
 

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I feed Rafi in a pyrex dish because he inhales his food. That spreads it out more.

Chama gains weight from just looking at food. It's the rottie in her. The extra weight was killing her joints and I tried everything. Lite foods were a disaster because they are usually high carb, low protein and full of fillers. With something like the SD light you're feeding she is getting very little in the way of good nutrition. It's sort of like McDonalds light.

Anyway, I finally figured it out. I cut Chama's kibble way down but upped her canned food. The canned food tends to be lower fat and has lots of water. She felt full and she actually lost weight! Be sure to choose a high quality canned food though!
 

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How sweet are those brown eyes on your pup.???

The amount recommended on the bags (if that's what you are going on) are NOT right. The companies want to sell the darn stuff so I just use that as a guideline, and then watch my dog for weight gain/loss.

My Bretta also eats likes she's STARVING (poor baby....
) and she only gets 3 cups of kibble a day. I do break it into a AM and PM feeding so feel that helps spread it thru the day better. She's on a regular high grade kibble too. She's never really had to diet BUT that's partially cause of what I learned with my other 2 dogs (the older ones).

And until you've had a Labrador Retriever you can't even believe how a dog can gain weight just walking past a food container (what? me exaggerate?
) I swear she was on a modified diet/watch her entire 15 years.

What I found worked best was to add veggies. Frozen bags were great, green beans were a particular favorite. Low calories but high fiber and make my dog feel hungry. Since CLEARLY if my Maggie was heavy her normal calories were too high, I'd remove say 1/2 to 3/4 of a cup of it and REPLACE it with the beans and water.

The other diet that she really loved loved loved (no suffering here for her) was the one recommended by many vets and using canned pumpkin (plain pumpkin, not with cream/spices etc added). Sweet, low calorie and full of fiber. Truthfully, she'd like th pumpkin diet better than her regular diet.

Here's the site with the info and how to do it:

Click here for the amazing pumpkin diet!
 

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Hi, you need to get her off of that "lite" dog food. Normally these foods cut back on protein and fat and it highly increases the carb content which just makes the weight problem worse IMO.

I would suggest a food with higher protein, LOWER fat and lower kcals and some exercise. Foods like Wellness Core Light, Innova Senior, Eagle Pack Senior Select and even Pro Plan now has formulas designed like this...with higher protein lower fat and reduced kcals for weight loss.


She is cute, good luck with her


Cherri
 

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I wanted to say that I think it is wonderful that you realize your dog has a weight issue and that you are willing to put so much effort into correcting it. The dog will be healthier and happier for it!

All dogs have different metabolisms so Elle might always have an issue with weight if too many calories are fed. And too many calories are relative to the metabolism. How much Emma might be able to eat and keep a healthy weight your Elle might not be able to. Any weight problems with Emma? What do you think Elle's ideal weight should be?

The comments of switching foods and/or adding volume through veggies so that the dog feels full are all great suggestions! Good luck- you can do it!
 

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It's great that you're committed to helping her lose weight...she's very cute


Is the 3 1/2 for her current weight or her ideal weight? It seems awfully high for what she looks like she should be. Just as a comparison.....my 60 lb GSD (at ideal weight) gets 2 cups kibble and maybe 1/4 cup canned food per day. My highly highly active working dog (75 lbs...could gain a few still) gets 4 cups kibble and 1/4 -1/2 cup canned per day.

If you can get Wellness CORE reduced fat, that would be my first choice. I haven't heard of anything else that seems to work as well for losing weight. And it's a very healthy food! I had my older dog on science diet for a long time, until I started checking out dog nutrition sites. I switched her off of it about a year ago and she's doing so much better now....in weight, energy, no stool eating, etc. The Wellness will cost more, but you will also end up feeding less over time, thus reducing the gap in price. If you check their website you can find a store near you....and many stores will have samples to check out first. Even if the cost is more than you want long term, you could use it for weight loss, then once she's at her target weight, look for something else that fits exactly what you want.

Good luck
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Thanks everyone for all these tips, so more veggies and get her off of the SD lite, got it!! What about her love for drinking water, should I reduce that too, or let her have her water?

What about the veggies, what are ok and what are not?

Peas? I know she loves peas, but are they ok?

obviously greenbeans are fine

corn?...I've heard many different opinions on corn online (not here)

squash?

pumpkin is fine, got that...

boiled potatoes? are they ok for them, not alot but a bite or 2?

carrots... cooked or raw?

spinach?

not a veggie, but can she have lowfat yogurt?

Thanks everyone! Sorry for all the questions!



Oh I forgot to add, her 3.5 cups of food is spread out in 2 meals, one in the morning and one in the evening.

Emma's weight is fine, she doesn't gain weight fast at all and by the charts she is at a healthy average weight of 64lbs, and is holding her weight very well, as she is very very active and burns calories very fast and easy, but I'll watch her to make sure she doesn't get over weight.
 
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