Pudgy Pets - Am I starving my dog?

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Secret Swan
11-14-2013, 01:24 AM
My dog is not fat. He's perfect! In fact when I got him (he's a rescue), I thought he might be a little too thin, but the vet said he was perfect and to keep him there. So that's what I try to do.

However, my dog is a compulsive overeater. Also, HE thinks he's starving and might never be fed again, even though I have had him for five years of two meals a day plus some treats. He is a hungry puppy! So I can't believe him when he cries for more, because he does that when he has just gotten into the kitchen and eaten a bag of dog food and a box of cereal.

Lately, I've been exercising more. And he's my workout buddy, of course. So since he is not on a diet, when we do a lot of walking or running he gets a little extra food. That's been my system for years, and it's seemed to work. But I used to live near his vet, and I'd stop and weigh him once in a while and adjust accordingly. Now I don't, and I have trouble weighing him at home because I have to hold him in my arms on the scale and he squirms and it gives me an error message. And he's acting very hungry (but not really more than usual), and he is pooping less, and his poops are smaller. I'd run him by the vet here to weigh him, but I'd have to take time off work to do it, so... How else can you tell if you're starving your dog? I don't want him to suffer for my fitness.

11-14-2013, 04:34 AM
There are some websites that let you calculate how much to feed by rough weight of the dog. Petfinder has a good article on it too http://www.petfinder.com/dogs/dog-nutrition/how-much-to-feed-your-dog/

If he's the only one, it might be good for both of you to put him on a feeding schedule, so he's not free to just graze at will.

I have four, including one that was nearly starved and clearly punished with food deprivation when we adopted her. We fill up their food in the morning and the evening, three bowls between them, and they're all getting what they need.

Have you changed foods? If so, that might be the reason for the smaller piles you're seeing. If not, it's likely just him not being able to eat everything he wants, especially if some of that involved people food.

Good luck :)

11-14-2013, 08:53 AM
My doggy acts like he never ate before even when he's had his bowl of dinner! I think it's just their instincts to eat, eat, eat.

My dog also lost a couple of pounds walking with me and we all impressed the vet the last time she saw us (she didn't make me and my DH get on the scale though :) ).

Our pet stores that we frequent all have scales (PetSmart and then a local family owned store) so maybe you could take him there one night or over the weekend?

I always worry if my dog is truly hungry or just being a brat (he never ever declines food LOL!).

My dog eats dog food twice a day (a half portion at lunch, a full portion at dinner) and then a couple of treats during the day.

I'm glad you are so concerned about your doggy. So many people in this world don't care or even think about their pets.

Secret Swan
11-14-2013, 02:44 PM
ShelBl, I do regularly feed him the amount he's supposed to eat per the weight ranges on his food bag. He doesn't get to graze because his good is gone 3 seconds after it hits the bowl! But that's always been true. Anyway, I'm confident in his routine food system being right got him to maintain his weight at a normal activity level, it's more what to do when his activity increases.

He just acts so deprived! I think he worries about getting enough to eat (and has for years), so while he can't have everything he wants, I want to be sure he does have what he needs. Elvislover, mine was a stray and I think it messed with his head in this area! Thanks for the tip about pet supply stores. I'll try that this weekend.

11-19-2013, 02:11 PM
Some dogs are just natural overeaters!
With my dog now I just leave her a bowl of food out and she picks at it when she's hungry so when I was dogsitting once I learned the hard way that some dogs always want to eat and will eat anything they can get their hands on. Maybe talk to a vet and make sure he's being fed enough but I'm just it's just an instinct!

11-19-2013, 07:21 PM
Most of my dogs have been rescues that have starved at one point or another and therefore want to overeat for the rest of their lives. I simply monitor their weight and adjust their food accordingly. I like them to have slim figures but not see ribs, backbone or hip bones. If the bones start showing, they need more food. But if they start to lose their figure (waist should be smaller than ribcage) then they need a little less food. I adjust slowly and don't make it drastic. Usually I can figure out their perfect amount of food pretty quick. My current dog likes to have edibles in her kennel when I'm gone, so I give her treats in the morning and at lunch but cut back her breakfast and dinner accordingly so her weight maintains. I ignore the instructions on the dog food bag- they nearly always call for overfeeding. But if we do a big active day- such as a long hike or something, then I add food that day.

Moving Forward
11-19-2013, 11:28 PM
We've had our dog, a lab, since she was a pup so we know she has never been starved or deprived. It is just in her nature (and that of most labs according to our vet) to eat rapidly and to be very food focused. We have to be very careful about food portions or she puts on the weight quickly. This summer, we had relatives care for her for about a month while we were on vacation. She was so convincing to them that she was starving that she put on 13 pounds while we were away! They gave her more food because she always acted so hungry. The good news is that she lost it pretty quickly when we put her back on her usual diet. I think the advice to go by your dog's figure is pretty sound.