Pudgy Pets - Anyone succesfully gotten a dog to lose weight?

09-08-2009, 08:43 AM
Please tell me how you did it.
My mum has pembroke corgis that I sort of consider mine too, because we used to all live together and I see them all the time and walk them too. One of the three sisters is really fat. Partly it's because she has a tiny frame (we call her a mini-corg) but her belly is too big and she weighs a ton when you pick her up. She has lost a bit since moving to a more rural area just because they all have more room to run around, but she is very greedy. She watches food like a hawk, steals bits from the others after wolfing her food in about two seconds, hoovers crumbs, begs from everyone, and gnaws on bones all day long. It doesn't seem fair to take all their bones away just because of her. I love this girl to bits, she's only 1 1/2 and is really funny, clever and cute. I want her to live a long healthy life. Advice plz....

09-08-2009, 08:57 AM
I reduced my dogs' weights just by - literally - giving them less. Not all of them but when I feed them, just twice a day, I supervise so that no-one nicks food from the others.
I shouldn't think bones would matter much to her weight, and they're great for the teeth.

Although they hoover, I don't ever give them treats; and I measure their food - it's dried - to the gram. In fact, the last time I lost weight it was realizing that I took better care of them than of myself.

They're all 13+ now, and fit and healthy, although they've slowed down and sleep a lot.

09-08-2009, 09:06 AM
Give her less food. Measure the amount you give her. The bag of dog food will tell you the correct amount to give her. Feed her once a day and don't feed her table scraps . It is not healthy for her to be overweight anymore than it is for us.

09-08-2009, 10:00 AM
Yes, I would consult your vet. My vet recommended that my dog lose weight. She is on a special "diet" dog food. I make sure she gets enough exercise from walks and I limit any table scraps I feed her. I have to say that now that I'm eating only 1350 calories a day there is not much scraps I give to the dog LOL! My dog is 9 and has lost weight over time she has so much more energy too now that I have her walking more.

09-08-2009, 10:03 AM
Yes...I worked w/ my vet--I have two beagles one was the perfect weight, one was way overweight...finally figured out that one wasn't eating all of her food and the other was eating hers and finishing the other one's!

We cut down on their dry food and mixed in green beans to help fill them up (we measure both the dry food and the beans). At first we needed a teeny bit of wet food to mix it all together (they wouldn't eat the green beans by themselves....now they love them!)

BUT!!!! Check w/ your vet...I have heard veggies are not good for all breeds. I can only tell you what we did.

Beagle #2 is now the same weight as Beagle #1!!!

09-08-2009, 10:23 AM
My dog is and has always been the perfect weight (lucky dog.) But I remember my vet saying that ice cubes were the perfect dog treat. If your pet likes to eat them, they are good for hydrating, and zero calories so they do not affect his diet. Sometimes, I will mix the water from a can of tuna with just plain water and freeze it in an ice cube tray. My dog thinks they are heaven.

09-08-2009, 01:26 PM
I have a very food loving beagle and a corgi mix. I separate them while eating or else the beagle would steal the corgi's food. The beagle was starting to become overweight so we cut back on his food. To help him feel fuller, I supplement his food with veggies, mostly green beans but other things including lettuce, tomatoes and pumpkin puree.

09-08-2009, 01:43 PM
I have 2 dogs. A yellow lab and a mixed breed lunatic. ;) I love them both terribly and only want the best. I saw the lab was getting a little waddle in her walk and when we took her to the vet she was up 6 lbs! My husband and I are very regimented with their food. We measure using measuring cups and they only get 2 treats a day. When they get up and when they go to bed. So I was totally perplexed. It turns out my dad who'd visit my dogs on his lunch hour was feeding them practically 1/2 his sandwich: ham, cheese, mayo, bread. :devil: I let him know, food was not a way to show them love.

I'm going to tell you the same thing: FOOD DOES NOT EQUAL LOVE.
Advice: Until her weight gets under control, I'd forgo the daily bones to all the doggies. :( I know it sucks to "punish" all the dogs just because the little needs to lose weight, but really they won't miss them too badly. It's probably best to segregate them during feeding if she's stealing food from the others.

Also, it's important that everyone in the house is on the same page. If you're trying your hardest to keep her healthy but your mom or someone else is sneaking the dog treats, everything your doing is a waste of time.

You didn't mention exercise. Does she get regular walking?

09-08-2009, 03:19 PM
Thanks so much for the replies!
I love the idea of replacing some of her meat with vegetables. We did ask our vet before about giving them veg, and he said go ahead, it's good for them. I think that will work better than just giving her less quantity because she'll have something to occupy her mouth a few minutes (ok seconds) longer whilst the others are chowing down. I'm going to talk to my mum about this, and be more regular about monitoring them eat. One is not very interested in proper food, only treats (I say she's like a kid who only wants sweets not food) and if I'm not careful she'll let Little Chubby finish hers.
AbbySinthe, they all get 2 walks a day, a long one in the morning and a shorter trip at night. She loves her walks, she's just my little greedy one :).
Yeah, I need to keep asking people not to give her bits. I'm afraid they do all come and sit in a ring around people, wagging and looking cute. It's very true that food doesn't = love. I could ask people to tickle her tummy instead.
Sometimes, I will mix the water from a can of tuna with just plain water and freeze it in an ice cube tray. My dog thinks they are heaven
You know the mind of the dog, my friend. My dear departed GSD Una was aka Una the Tuna ;)

09-08-2009, 11:10 PM
I have a very food loving beagle and a corgi mix. I separate them while eating or else the beagle would steal the corgi's food. The beagle was starting to become overweight so we cut back on his food. To help him feel fuller, I supplement his food with veggies, mostly green beans but other things including lettuce, tomatoes and pumpkin puree.

Hah, same here. My beagle wolfs down her food, but she's basically learned that she's not allowed to go after the corgi's food. We watch them eat and if the corgi doesn't finish before moving away from the the bowl, we pick it up and call him done.

They eat the same food (high quality Natural Balance), but we watch their weight. For a while, the beagle seemed to be gaining weight, so we reduced her from 1 cup/day to 2/3 cup/day (split into 2 feedings). She also jogs with me three days a week plus play time and nightime walks. She seems pretty stable at a healthy weight right now.

My cat is also on a diet, but because he never finishes his food in one sitting and is fairly sedentary, he's on a "diet" cat food.

It's more of a long term thing, because they eat so little to begin with that you just have to watch for appearance trends.

09-09-2009, 04:58 AM
I knew it had gotten bad my mum referred to 'Little Fatty' and the dog looked up and wagged.

09-29-2009, 04:47 PM
The vet I work for recommends feeding twice a day, a reduced calorie/diet dog food, preferably a script, such as Science Diet R/D, cutting the amount of the dog food and supplementing with green beans.

We had a Golden Retriever lose 30 pounds on this diet. The owner also kept a can of green beans open and used them as treats.

09-30-2009, 04:24 AM
I'm glad to report that our Little Fatty is slimming down a bit. Her ground clearance has visibly increased (and she has 2-inch legs). This has been a combination of less biscuits (cough *mum* cough) and vegetables. The other night I was at my mum's place and she was eating leftover stir fry veg (albeit reluctantly, after realizing that nothing else was on offer). Seriously, she is such a great dog. She has an awesome sense of humour and if you want to 'mad' her (mess her up) she plays along and pretends to go crazy and play-bite you with this wicked look in her eye. It's the cutest thing ever.

10-05-2009, 06:46 PM
I forgot to mention I have Corgi's too! Love'em. Ruby has gotten a bit tubby, due to my DH feeding her tater chips.

We've cut that out, cut back a bit on dog food and we're going walking during my lunch break.

Wolf Goddess
10-11-2009, 05:29 PM
My dogs have dropped twenty pounds each by switching them to a grain-free formula and reducing their food by a third. My vet told me that bagged dog foods' feeding charts are for active to highly active dogs - which mine, well, aren't. He said that in general, giving them about 2/3s the minimum amount is plenty for a fairly inactive dog.

11-03-2009, 10:16 PM
I reduced my dogs' weights just by - literally - giving them less. Not all of them but when I feed them, just twice a day, I supervise so that no-one nicks food from the others.
This, but also I should mention that the vet put my dog on purina veterinary diets. Nothing against this food, but I'm sure that feeding with other foods could still result in weight loss if you pay attention to the calories. My best friend, who hadn't seen the dog in a while, came over and said the poor thing was built like a tank.

Mine is a border collie. When I left for college, the parents didn't walk her much and my dad gave her WAY too many snacks. A border collie should weight about 45 pounds, she weighted a whopping 93. This was 3 weeks ago when we took her to the vet and got the new dog food. Feeding her 2 cups of this per day has resulted in a 5 pound weight loss. The vet says that it may take a year to get her down to a reasonable weight and then we can have her maintain it. I think this is about 1000 cal/day right now of dry food, then she can get a few hundred calories of snacks (with no snacks, she can eat 3 cups of food/day instead of 2 cups/day). We have also been taking turns walking her several times a day, a couple of short walks plus a longer one in the middle of the day.

Basically, pay attention to the snacks, because these can add up. There are lower calorie snacks you can feed, look on the websites for them for an idea of calories. Some have a lot more than you'd expect. Try to avoid human foods/table scraps too for weight loss.

My dog won't go near green beans, but I have heard that it works wonders for some dogs.

11-05-2009, 11:20 PM
As a vet..here is my 2 cents...yes cutting down on the snacks and how much the dog gets fed may be enough. You would be surprised how quickly calories add up with kiddles and treats. If the dog loves them...raw baby carrots are a great treat. Also, like some one states earlier...loving your pets does not = feeding them to death. Studies have shown that dog's that are a normal body wt live 2-5 years longer than obese pets. They get many of the same issues as human. Increase the exercise (just like us). Keep the pets seperate when feeding so she doesn't get the other pet's food. Take away the bones for a while...yes it sort of sucks for the other pets...but honestly too many bones for dogs in general aren't good. But in many cases...perscription diets are needed. And exact measurements are needed. Sometimes everyone needs tough love even if its the pet needing it. Make sure you are always measureing the food with a measuring cup (liek us) and minmize snacks. And watch fatty dog foods and treats. Just like us...we need to minimize calories. As a vet i do believe in the perscription diets..i have seen some sucess with minimizing the amount of fodd the pet gets..but sometimes...we all need help and the prescpition diets help by increasing the fiber and decreasing the calories. Just like when we are trying to loose wt. Good luck!

fighting hungry
01-24-2010, 05:54 AM
Fred was always fit until a few years ago when I went thru a divorce. I moved in with my parents. My dad insisted on keeping the cat food on the floor.. Fred would eat it up! He quickly packed on the pounds!

As soon as I moved into my own place- he was no longer getting a steady diet of cat food and the weight just melted off. Dad was amazed at how much longer the cat food was lasting after we moved out too!

Although I have always fed a high quality kibble, I did try a raw meat diet on Fred for a while. After a few months on that, he was in the best shape I had EVER seen him in. I tried kibble again for a few months and already can see a little bit of belly flab again, its not fat, just some flab...so back onto the raw.

Advantage of the raw is his teeth were also cleaner.

12-04-2011, 01:32 AM
My dog would not have lost weight if not for being on his thyroid medication. He had to take 2 little yellow pills every day & the weight melted off. He went from looking like a blanched pecan to a regular dachshund in about 6 months. (He was a rescue & the former owners also fed him canned dog food, we switched him to dry food, too)

12-04-2011, 08:32 PM
My dog while growing up was a chunky girl.....then we found out she had no thyroid, and she dropped all the weight once she went on a pill.

My brother's dog got fat and the vet told him to feed her green beans. She LOVES green beans and she lost all the weight she needed to.

I have a friend who makes her own "dog food" for her dog. Mostly it's whatever she's got in the house, working off a list of foods that are good for/safe for dogs. Lots of beans, rice, tomatoes....not sure what else. Her dog will eat just about anything given to her. She said her vet seemed fine with it.

Aunty Jam
12-05-2011, 02:22 PM
I'm glad your pup is taking off some weight! The veggies do work so stick with it.

When my old girl got pudgy, I reduced her food and supplimented canned pumpkin in it's place, I also reduced the number of snacks. We were fairly active so the weight melted off, she ended up losing 7 pounds and being a healthy 37lbs until she passed in February at 15 1/2 years.

01-10-2012, 05:45 PM
I have a bassett hound, and they are known to be a bit chubby,,well mine is more than a bit chubby. We cut back her food, and she only gets baby carrots for a treat. She was doing really well, you could even see a little waist on her until she developed further skin issuses than what she already had and re-occuring bladder infections. The poor girl even developed an allergy to the meds for the bladder infection so we had to put her on another med to stop the itching that was making her skin raw. After 6 months of bladder infections they put her permenantly on perscription dog food to help reduce struvites in her urine that cause bladder infections. So now we are infection free but the meds for the itch is known to cause weight gain...so we are no further ahead. Has anyone dealt with this kind of situation before?

01-10-2012, 06:03 PM
My dog is starting to get a little pudgy too. He's a springer spaniel and most of the older ones I've seen around are fat. I switched him to lower calorie food and he's never gotten many table scraps. A saying I read once keeps going through my head "if your dog is overweight you aren't getting enough exercise" :lol: I think that is the root of the problem.

03-01-2012, 09:01 AM
For my little girl (14.5 lb optimum weight) we found that we had to weigh out her food rather than measure it. She gets 34g twice a day. If we bump it up to 40g she starts to gain. Also, the kibble density varies from bag to bag, which is why we weigh it rather than just measure it.

Treats are normally something like baked chicken, and we make them very small, about 1/2 the size of a pea or less.

Don't forget the benefit of a food dispenser rather than a bowl of food. This lets them work for their food and it takes longer for them to eat it, so they feel more satisfied when they finish. Like us when we slow down our eating, we feel fuller with less food.

Good luck (o:

x Ophelia x
03-25-2012, 10:59 PM
When my dog looks a little chubby I throw his toys into the pool and let him swim for them. He loves it and it's great exercise for his hips since he has hip dysplasia. I'm also trying to teach him to walk on a leash - he's got this huge problem of slipping out of his body harness and his chain and chasing after cars (he used to be so scared of them but still won't willingly go in one). He's bloody fast that I'm afraid to take him out even with double leashes.

03-25-2012, 11:24 PM
a very simple solution to the weight problem: raw food diet. many dogs eat too much because they don't get enough chew satisfaction with their meals.

give her a good-sized knuckle bone. she'll spend so much time gnawing on it that she won't be worried about not eating food.

my dog's a border collie mix (or a throwback, as he was only one of two dogs in the litter looking like flat-coated retrievers with st john's markings - the rest were black and white BC), weighs about 70lbs in prime condition.

ever since he was a pup, he's only ever gotten raw meat and bones, veg, and fruit - sometimes i cook the food: he only eats broccoli if it's cooked but cooked carrots make him gag.

when i see he's getting a little porky (i do the rib test every week - run the hands down the sides of the dog and you should be able to easily feel but not actually see the ribs) i cut back his meat by a cpl ounces. right now, he gets about 400gr/day because he's nowhere near as active as he was in the middle of the bush.

it's also cheaper to feed him from the discount meat bin at the grocery store (same meat everybody, human and animal, in the house eats) than it is to buy him bagged stuff.

this is dandy (short for "Dandelion") - even in interior flourescent lighting, you can see the sheen on his coat: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FQqa8ca9VE0

03-26-2012, 12:23 AM
Nilla used to be a chunky monkey. She was 77 pounds on a very small Lab:


That was taken in October 2011. She's over a year old in that picture - and FAT!

Because she has hip dysplasia and it was getting worse, I really started to work with her. She went from 4 cups of food a day down to 1 cup because we really didn't do much. She got about 30 minutes of exercise a day before I went to work, but beyond that she just lazed around in the house. As we got more active, I upped her intake to 1 cup twice a day.

She lost about 10 pounds in 3-1/2 weeks, which was great, but she was still chunky. So I kept at it. Walks don't do much; she really has to run to burn off the calories. I just used her training as ways of getting her to run (which she's always loved to do).

Since moving home, she gets lots of exercise with my dad's dog Maggie (Nilla's great-aunt) and still only gets 2 cups of food per day (high quality, Orijen food). I also try to take her (and Maggie, b/c Maggie is overweight too) out at least a few times a week. Whether that's for a 2 km walk or for a run. Today we went for a 45 minute hike up a large hill, yesterday we did training with them and the day before we went ice fishing and they ran beside dad's argo (8-wheeled amphibian vehicle) across the lake (about a 2/4 mile round trip plus lots of running around while out there).

I thought she had lost weight, and then I picked her up about 2 days ago. That surprised me. In January, I couldn't pick her up, even from my bed. She was still too heavy. So I carried her over to the scale, stepped on it (it's not digital,urgh), quickly looked down to get a guesstimate weight and then subtracted it from my current (disgusting) weight.

She's down to around 55 pounds! This is pretty close to being right on target for normal for her breed, age, and gender. I think she could lose a bit more but Labs always do tend to have a layer of fat on them because of their need to dive in to chilly waters to retrieve ducks, so I don't want her to be super skinny.

This is her yesterday:

She's still got a bit more fat around her haunches there than I'd like, but compared to what she looked like in October, I think she's done excellent.

The key is, like with us, calories in must be less than calories out (or calories out should be more than calories in, whichever way you want to say it). Read the amount of calories per cup in the dog food you're feeding. For mine, it's around 480 per cup. She was getting 4 cups. That's nearly 2000 calories a day - more than even I am supposed to eat! I know 1 cup twice a day doesn't seem like much, but don't forget they have smaller stomachs than we do! We, of course, wouldn't be satisfied with 2 cups of food a day - but with their smaller stomachs, there's no reason they shouldn't be. Be careful of how much the bag says to give them - my bag says to give her (at 55 pounds now) 3-4 cups a day. That's WAY too much!

Exercise is another key. Lots of exercise - high intensity exercise chasing balls, climbing things, etc. What were corgis originally bred for? See if you can maybe incorporate some of the mannerisms in to your play. Retrievers were bred to retrieve, so even if we didn't use them to bring back birds, we can still meet that breed need by throwing balls, frizbees, bumpers, sticks, etc. They also love to swim, so we can capitalize on that in the summer by taking them to lakes to swim (and we have a pool so that helps too).

Also - bones don't seem harmful but marrow is PURE FAT! With Nilla, I could not take her bones away when I lived on my own because that's what she chewed on and entertained herself with while I was at work for 8hours. Since being here, she's had only 1 bone. You can try substituting the marrow in her bones with cottage cheese mixed with some of her kibble. Freeze it overnight and then give it to her - but only give her half of her kibble in the bowl when it comes to feeding time. Kongs are also great toys - filled with cottage cheese (low fat) and kibble, then frozen. They stimulate her mentally and she gets her food at the same time without the extra calories and fat from the bones. OR you can scoop some of the marrow out of the bones if you want. We always given them to the dogs frozen, so that's not a possibility with us.

Hope that helps!

03-26-2012, 12:35 AM
These are all such great ideas. Our black lab is quite "portly" and she too will wolf down her food and then try to get our husky's. They also figured out how to get into the fridge a couple years ago, to the point where we had to put a metal hasp lock on it to keep them out. If someone forgets to lock it it's goodbye groceries. I'm going to have to try the green beans with her-there is literally NOTHING she won't eat, so she'll think she's getting a treat.

03-26-2012, 01:05 AM
Unless a dog is being closely monitored by a vet, they (like us humans) should not loose more than 1-2% per week (so 0.7-1.5 lbs/wk for Nilla). Nilla was loosing 3.7-4% per week, so in my opinion, her food was cut just a little too drastically. If a dog needs to be on such a drastic diet, please please make sure they are being medically supervised throughout their severe diet restrictions.

03-26-2012, 03:57 AM
Unless a dog is being closely monitored by a vet, they (like us humans) should not loose more than 1-2% per week (so 0.7-1.5 lbs/wk for Nilla). Nilla was loosing 3.7-4% per week, so in my opinion, her food was cut just a little too drastically. If a dog needs to be on such a drastic diet, please please make sure they are being medically supervised throughout their severe diet restrictions.

It was imperative she lose the weight because of her hip dysplasia and her arthritis. I had x-rays done on her in December 2010 and another set in October 2011 (after she had a lot of difficulty moving around after a run in the park). The second x-rays showed progression of her dysplasia along with the addition of arthritis in a dog under the age of 2. The faster she lost the weight, the better. Between October 2011 and January 2012 I spent $1500 on vet bills including the x-rays, blood work, exams, pain medication, etc. She was weighed by the vet every 2 weeks, along with a mini-exam. The vet knew how much she was being fed and had no trouble with it.

Between October 15th-ish and March 25, she's lost between 20-22 pounds (I don't know her EXACT weight at the moment); that's in the span of 24 weeks, which I don't feel is really very excessive. She did not lose any muscle mass, nor was she ever lethargic from lack of energy or have really any adverse effects other than like a typical Lab, she still wanted food (and still does - wolfing her food down and then bolting to look for the other bowls to see if there's any left) but she did that when she was getting more food before.

I definitely agree with making sure your vet is following along and is in the know about what you're doing with your pet. If the vet has any concerns, I'd definitely heed them because ultimately THEY are the professional. :)

03-27-2012, 04:58 PM
Oh good :bravo: I've known so many people who just don't consider the difference in a dog's start weight and their own. You said: She lost about 10 pounds in 3-1/2 weeks
and for a human that wouldn't necessarily concern me, but in most dogs that is a lot of weight in a short time.

I am glad to hear that she's feeling better (o:

03-28-2012, 05:30 AM
Oh good :bravo: I've known so many people who just don't consider the difference in a dog's start weight and their own. You said:
and for a human that wouldn't necessarily concern me, but in most dogs that is a lot of weight in a short time.

I am glad to hear that she's feeling better (o:

I hear ya - sometimes people can be really clueless. Just after the vet and I started Nilla on this regimen, my mom and I were talking with this lady who has 2 golden retreivers. When I first got there (where my mom sells corn during the summer months), I brought Nilla out and the first words out of the woman's mouth were "oh my god- she's so FAT!" At 77 pounds she was pretty portly! But then the woman went on to talk about her 120 lb female golden retriever. That's 45 pounds heavier than the top recommended weight for a male Golden. O_O

As for the 10 pounds, it was a lot of weight. I'm almost certain it was 10 pounds in 3-1/2 weeks, but maybe it was 4 weeks. I wouldn't say for sure, 3-1/2 sounds more like what it was, but yes it was a lot. And then it slowed down and I didn't think she'd ever lose any more. She was still too heavy in January for me to pick up so I think she plateaued a bit.

Definitely feeling better, too. She doesn't seem to be AS stiff as she used to be after moderate exercise, but she still has trouble getting up after a hike or training. She gets a pain killer for that, though and that helps.

Now - to keep her at maintenance! lol And I think I found all the pounds she lost!

05-09-2012, 10:09 AM
I know your question has been answered already, but wanted to post this link. A lot of people don't realize how unhealthy their dog food is. This site reviews tons of dog foods (I bet you'll be surprised if you look up your brand) as well as offers information on how much calories a dog needs per day, and food recalls. http://www.dogfoodadvisor.com/

Even vets don't always know the proper foods. Like doctors, they are taught to push certain brands.