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First let me say I love my uncle. He is my mother's brother and he moved in with my parents a year ago. He moved to VA when he retired and wanted to leave FL. He is a great guy. He is a little bit slow. I think he probably has Asperger's although he has never been diagnosed, he also has a terrible speech impediment that has always made him very introverted so he has never had any real friends. He spent his entire life living with his mother. After she died and he retired he wanted to move to VA. He relies completely on SS so he couldn't afford his own apartment so my parents let him move in with them.

It turned out he has been a god send for me. My job requires me to commute an hour and 20 minutes each way so my days are really long. An 8 hour day is actually almost 12 hours and a 12 hours shift is almost 16 with travel time. That is a LONG time to be gone. He helps with the dogs when I am working. He comes over twice a day. He will take Dharma for a long walk around the neighborhood (well over a mile) both times he comes, lets Tessa out, and them plays with both dogs in the back yard. He has cleaned up messes if they make any in the house and on more than one occasion scooped up the poop out of my backyard when I have been working too much to get to it. He will even take Dharma to daycare and pick her up for me. Please don't think I don't appreciate what he does for me, because I do. All of it.

Now here is the problem. He gives them way, and I mean WAY to many treats. I just noticed my treat containers ( I have three of the large ones from Petsmart) and they are almost empty. They were 3/4 full at the beginning of the week. I have talked to him about giving to many treats multiple times and so has my mom. He does the same thing with her dogs. She has a greyhound, pom, and a min-pin. The pom and min are so overweight it isn't funny. Esp the pom. My mom eve quit buying treats for awhile. He either really doesn't understand the ramifications or at the time he forgets how many treats he has already given. I even sat down with him the last time he emptied the jar and explained to him that because Tessa's hips and spine are so bad if she becomes overweight, it is basically a death sentence. He nodded, agreed, seemed to understand then he backed off the treats for about 3 weeks until this week. My mom just gets frustrated and angry and yells at him but like I said, I don't think he does it deliberately, he is truly slow.

He really does love the dogs and I think he is just trying to make them happy. I need to figure out a better system. I don't want to stop buying treats. But I do need to find a way to keep my uncle from handing them out willy nilly. For Dharma it doesn't bother me quite as much. She is skinny as a rail and is a looong way form being overweight but Tessa otoh, well that worries me. If anybody has any ideas, I would be more than happy to hear them.
 

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You really can manage this. It's so wonderful you have your uncle there to walk and help with the pets, so I think there's some easy fixes.

First, I'd not leave out a big filled treat container. Ever. Just go to Walmart and find some small container that can have a days worth of treats put in it, and purchase that. I'd then fill that treat container for the day at the same time as I give my dogs their breakfast in the morning. That way you know EXACTLY how many treats you are alloting for the day.

Also, make sure you purchase tiny treats. I only even buy the smallest milk bone type things, or there are small marrow bone treats (they have big and small so make sure you get the small ones). So your uncle can still treat FREQUENTLY during the day, but each treat is small. You can even put dog kibble in the new treat container so they are getting some of their normal meal/calories during the day as a treat!

That's the marrow treats...

If you have to lock up and hide the rest of the treats.... that's fine. But I bet if you can still have many SMALL treats available for use during the day, and a small enough container so when it's empty that's it, he'll do much better.

REMEMBER, if kibble is used during the day as treats, you can cut back on the amount of dinner and your dog will still remain healthy and fit.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I love the idea of the small treats I hadn't thought of that (duh). Maybe I could even find some that are low fat.

As for hiding the treats, that I had thought of, but there is no room in my pantry. And even my downstairs closet is filled up to overflowing. I will have to install a new shelf this weekend to make room for them (I am so not kidding) but I guess if that is what I have to do then I will be breaking out the stud finder and the drill this weekend and putting in a new shelf.
 

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Yeah just baggie them up per day and hide the rest...it's what I do for my kids,lol. They want to give the dog treats, the want the dogs do love them, and they feel like their doing something good so they get carried away and don't notice a whole jar is gone. If you measure it for him he doesn't have to feel slow or bad, and your dogs still get treats:)
 

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Oh, I really like the baggie idea to (hadn't thought of that either). Then I could do a week at a time and just leave them out. One thing was, honestly, I really don't have time to be measuring out treats in the morning before work either. But if I could do a week's worth on Sunday...that would be ideal. Then all I would have to do is leave the baggie on the table for him.

I wonder if he would come install some shelves for me this weekend in my closet? :)

Thanks guys for the ideas!!!
 

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I agree with everyone else - daily allotment and hide the rest. LOL! And definitely small treats, or even treats broken into pieces. I completely understand your concern about the extra weight on the hips. You are right. He isn't doing this on purpose. It is wonderful that you have him. It is also wonderful that you have provided him with this "job." I'm sure he loves helping with the dogs. Everyone wants to feel useful and needed.

And now - if only Zoey's Mom could baggie up MY daily allowance of chocolate and snacks. SIGH!
 

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He IS wonderful!! And I know without a doubt that he doesn't do it on purpose. In fact, I get upset with my mom when she yells at him. I know she gets upset and frustrated because her 2 little dogs are so overweight and it is because he continuously hands out the treats there as well but he really doesn't realize what he is doing. And he would really give you the shirt off of his back. He even comes over and walks Dharma in the rain and snow. And I couldn't have this job if it wasn't for him because I wouldn't be able to leave the dogs home alone that long.

And tonight he said he would come over and stay with Tessa while Dharma and I go to obedience class on Thurs nights because of Tessa's separation anxiety.

I think you are right as well, I think he likes to feel needed and useful, too. And Lord knows he is needed!!!
 

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Discussion Starter #9
And he is crazy about the girls. Whenever I go to my parents house, he will always ask "How are my buddies doing?". Even if he just saw them the day before. :)
 

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You could even go that one step further and label the bags for each dog, for each day. That way your dog with hip probs isn't getting more than her share. :)
 

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He sounds so sweet. BTW....I LOVE the name Tessa. I would borrow that name from you for a future dog, but I can't. My friend is a new grandmother and the baby's name is Tessa. Don't imagine that would go over so well.
 

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LOL. Probably not. I didn't pick that name. She came from the shelter with it and when she go here she responded so well to it, I just kept it. I do like it though.

I like the idea of labeling the baggies as well. I think I will do that as well. Because Tessa was on her own for so long, she will eat anything. I can get her some low fat treats and leave those for her and the regular ones for Dharma. That way I can control how many calories/fat she is getting.
 

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You can even leave them in the freezer if you think that'll will make it clearer they are for LATER!
 

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Discussion Starter #14
I like that idea as well. I will either keep the baggies in the freezer or in the closet with the main supply of treats but definitely not on the table. I will leave only that day's allotment out.

I really appreciate all of the ideas. I knew I had to ration them, I just couldn't figure out the best way to go about it. Everyone here has given me a really good game plan though. Thanks!!
 

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Here's another thought. For training, a club member pointed me the direction of the rolls/tubes of dog food. (The ones that look a bit like a summer sausage?) Cut that up into small squares and the dogs really like it. So they get something relatively nutrious, relatively low in calories and that they love. It's also not terribly expensive. Handle it the same way except refrigerate it except for the current day's allotment.
 

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If you live near a trader joe's, Charlee Bears are a great and very low calorie treat- about 3 calories a piece. And then portion them out as suggested.
You are so lucky to have your uncle...I wish we had someone like that to help us with our SA dog!
 

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Discussion Starter #17
I actually have several rolls of that. I have the Natural Balance. The trainer in Dharma's obedience class recommended for training and she loves it. The only problem is the first type that I used and am currently using crumbled up bad. Whatever type the trainer uses didn't crumble and would be perfect. I may try cutting up the lamb one tomorrow and see what that one does because that would be good to use as well.

If you know a different brand that doesn't crumble then I would love to hear the recommendation and I am willing to try it. I am off tomorrow and will be making a trip to either Petsmart or Petco to get treats so I will pick some up.
 

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@ Runswithdogs- i haven't heard of Charlee Bears but I have a Trader Joes about 20 min away from me. I will have to check that out. Low cal is good for my dysplastic girl. need to keep those hips as healthy as possible!!

And I know, I am VERY lucky. My uncle is the best. I just need to direct him in this treat business. :)
 

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I love the idea of the small treats I hadn't thought of that (duh). Maybe I could even find some that are low fat.

As for hiding the treats, that I had thought of, but there is no room in my pantry. And even my downstairs closet is filled up to overflowing. I will have to install a new shelf this weekend to make room for them (I am so not kidding) but I guess if that is what I have to do then I will be breaking out the stud finder and the drill this weekend and putting in a new shelf.

We use Charlie Bears - little round treats in Cheese and I think Liver. Only 3 calories each!

You can find them on Amazon and they are also very inexpensive!
 

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We use Charlie Bears - little round treats in Cheese and I think Liver. Only 3 calories each!

You can find them on Amazon and they are also very inexpensive!

Sweet! I will pick some up tomorrow and give them a try!

A cute story about my uncle. Several months ago, before Tessa came to live with us, I used to leave Dharma's food bowl down all the time so she could eat when she wanted. She tended to graze through out the day and I have always had trouble putting weight on her. He came over like always to walk her and apparently when he came over for the afternoon walk she had cleaned her bowl which was unusual for her and he wasn't used to seeing the bowl empty. I guess he got worried she would get hungry before I could get home so he wanted to feed her but the container where I keep the kibble was empty ( I hadn't had time to refill it after feeding her that morning). So he decided to fill her bowl with the various treats I had on the table. I cam home and she had a bowl full of milk bones, marrow bones, and beggin strips. :shocked: Luckily, she hadn't eaten all of that or I may have come home to several piles of diarrhea as well. He meant well though, so I wasn't mad. I did have to have a talk with him to let him know that I would be feeding her and for him not to worry about it. There were still several instances though when I came home and he had fed her. At least those time he had put kibble in her bowl and even added a half of can of wet food like she normally gets. :)

Since I got Tessa though he hasn't tried to feed them. 1- the bowls no longer stay on the floor so he doesn't feel like if he sees an empty bowl then they are hungry. 2- He has been warned Tessa is food aggressive and has to be fed in her crate and he knows that is to complicated for him to deal with so he doesn't even try. :)
 
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