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Very chubby Tibetan Spaniel

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Old 01-06-2012, 02:02 PM   #1
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Default Very chubby Tibetan Spaniel

We have 2 dogs (also two cats) - one is a mixed breed mutt (Trixee) who is MY BABY! - she is 15 years old, and super-skinny. She didn't used to be; but she is an elderly dog and no matter what/how much she eats (& she DOES eat!) she can't put on weight. I know it's only a matter of time for her... 15 is a good long age for a dog, but OMG I am soooo going to be a basket case when it's time for her to go to doggy heaven.

Anyway. Our OTHER baby... Jester, is a Tibetan Spaniel. He is 3 years old. The Tibetan Spaniel breed should weigh around 11-15 pounds. Jester is 26 pounds.

He gets exercise, loves to run & play, especially running up/down the stairs, plus a good walk almost every day. He's very active! We feed him VERY LITTLE. I mean VERY little. We feed him "Little Bites" dog food. We used to feed him twice a day, but since we've been trying to help him get slimmer, he only gets fed once per day, at dinner time. Breakfast is usually just a nice Breath Buster biscuit, broken up into tiny pieces, so you know... he THINKS he's "getting something in his bowl" while Trixee eats her special Science Diet Z/D food (which she has been on for about 4 years now.) Because otherwise he is planted firmly at HER bowl, just waiting for a sneaky moment...

Of course, he does sneak in a bite or two of Trixee's food if she walks away for a minute - but nothing major (he can get about one piece of her food in his mouth at a time). We NEVER give any of our pets any people food - EVER. No scraps, etc.

The vet says Jester is fine - overweight! - but fine. I've read/heard of dogs that need thyroid meds. How do you know if your dog needs thyroid meds? I just can't understand why he is so chubby (he looks like a football on legs, LOL) since we barely feed him and he does get adequate exercise.

This is what a Tibetan Spaniel normally looks like...

so you can see they're not a very big dog at all.



This is Jester (with his daddy!) as a puppy (soooo cute!!!) - only a couple months old -



I wish I had a current pic of him but all I have is puppy pics & he wasn't overweight at all as a pup.

Any insight, advice, suggestions, etc??
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Last edited by Beach Patrol : 03-15-2012 at 11:42 AM. Reason: pic not showing
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Old 01-07-2012, 10:07 PM   #2
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Thumbs up CORE Dog Food by Wellness

Heya! He's a very cute dog, and it sounds like you take very good care of him!

I did look up the food you give him, and I see that the 1st ingredient in Purina's Little Bites dog food is corn, and has a minimum of Protein 25% and Fat 10%, and 366 calories/cup:

Ingredients
Whole grain corn, meat and bone meal, corn gluten meal, soybean meal, animal fat preserved with mixed-tocopherols (form of Vitamin E), chicken, whole grain wheat, egg and chicken flavor, animal digest, brewers rice, salt, potassium chloride, L-Lysine monohydrochloride, choline chloride, added color (Red 40, Yellow 5, Blue 2), zinc sulfate, Vitamin E supplement, ferrous sulfate, manganese sulfate, niacin, Vitamin A supplement, calcium carbonate, copper sulfate, calcium pantothenate, pyridoxine hydrochloride, garlic oil, Vitamin B-12 supplement, thiamine mononitrate, Vitamin D-3 supplement, riboflavin supplement, calcium iodate, menadione sodium bisulfite complex (source of Vitamin K activity), folic acid, biotin, sodium selenite.


Maybe try putting him on a higher protein & fat/lower carb food?

I feed my cat a high protein/grain-free dry food by Wellness called CORE. I get it at PetCo. It's pricier than Purina or Iams, but she eats very little to be satisfied. In fact, I let her free feed as much/little as she wants, and a 2 pound bag ($10 on sale) lasts about a month for a 7 pound cat.

She used to be 9 pounds on Iams, but on CORE, lost 2 pounds (so 22% of her total body weight!) and is the picture of perfect cat health with a glossy coat, a limber and slim body, bright eyes and clean teeth. But then, free feeding might not be something one can do with most dogs. I know dogs can be like OMIGOD FOOD FOOD FOOD EAT EAT EAT

One thing I noticed too, with mainstream cat foods based on grains, that like a human, she gets hungrier on a carb-heavy food. She definitely begged more for human food, and was actually intrusive if I tried to eat any food while on the couch. On the higher protein food, she's curious about what I'm eating but doesn't try to grab it and run, heh!

I think CORE is a great pet food, and I'm not a shareholder or anything in the company!

Here is the link to the CORE Original Recipe dog food. The dog food has a minimum of 34% Protein and 16% Fat, and is 421 calories/cup. Right now, PetCo has it on sale for $14.84 for a 4 lb. bag, and you can read lots of reviews of it there too

And its ingredients:
Deboned Turkey, Turkey Meal, Chicken Meal, Peas, Potatoes, Dried Ground Potatoes, Chicken Fat (preserved with Mixed Tocopherols), Tomato Pomace, Chicken Liver, Natural Chicken Flavor, Flaxseed, Salmon Oil, Carrots, Sweet Potatoes, Kale, Broccoli, Spinach, Parsley, Apples, Blueberries, Vitamins [Vitamin E Supplement, Beta-Carotene, Niacin, d-Calcium Pantothenate, Vitamin A Supplement, Riboflavin, Vitamin D-3 Supplement, Vitamin B-12 Supplement, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Thiamine Mononitrate, Ascorbic Acid (Vitamin C), Biotin, Folic Acid], Minerals [Zinc Proteinate, Zinc Sulfate, Iron Proteinate, Ferrous Sulfate, Copper Sulfate, Copper Proteinate, Manganese Proteinate, Manganese Sulfate, Sodium Selenite, Calcium Iodate], Choline Chloride, Mixed Tocopherols added to preserve freshness, Glucosamine Hydrochloride, Chondroitin Sulfate, Taurine, Chicory Root Extract, Yucca Schidigera Extract, Dried Lactobacillus plantarum Fermentation Product, Dried Enterococcus faecium Fermentation Product, Dried Lactobacillus casei Fermentation Product, Dried Lactobacillus acidophilus Fermentation Product, Rosemary Extract. *This is a naturally preserved product.

Oh, and ETA, here is some info on hypothyroid dogs, the symptoms, tests, treatment, etc. Basically, your vet would draw some blood and test his hormone levels.

Good luck!
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Last edited by BerkshireGrl : 01-07-2012 at 10:42 PM.
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Old 01-08-2012, 10:30 AM   #3
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Heya! He's a very cute dog, and it sounds like you take very good care of him!

.....
Oh, and ETA, here is some info on hypothyroid dogs, the symptoms, tests, treatment, etc. Basically, your vet would draw some blood and test his hormone levels.

Good luck!
Thank you for all that info!!! - after reading up on the hypothyroidism in dogs, I really don't think that Jester has it! - he sports none of those symptoms at all. So, I can only conclude, the poor animal is just a chubbo!!

I think I will try a different food for him, even tho we feed him less than a 1/2 cup of food per day! - and he has lost ONE WHOLE POUND in the past month...

anyway, thank you for responding! I was beginning to think that no one was going to! - and thanks for all the info!!
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Old 01-08-2012, 10:48 AM   #4
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What a cutie!
I looked up the Purina food before reading Berkshire's comment, but found the same information. Nerdy me.
Sounds like you already took the necessary steps by limiting his consumption and keeping him active.
I feed my babies Science Diet as recommended by our vet.
There is a Light version of the Adult Small Bites that might be of interest to you.
Good luck & keep us posted.
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Old 03-01-2012, 08:11 AM   #5
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Since you are considering changing foods, there is a really wonderful website dogfoodanalysis.com (it won't let me add the link because I am new) that reviews most dogfoods. Once it goes through and critiques the ingredients and sometimes their source, it gives it a grade of up to 6 stars based on their analysis of the ingredients. It is a wonderful resource to look at what you are currently feeding and what you are considering switching to.

Good luck!
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Old 03-03-2012, 12:34 PM   #6
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Thumbs up

Fiyah, dogfoodanalysis.com is a great site! Thanks for sharing it!

Beach Patrol, if you would like to check it out, the review of Purina Little Bites is here on the above site. Unfortunately, they are not big fans of that particular formula (they give it 1 star out of 6).

The Wellness CORE brand is here (it nabbed 6 stars, score!)
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Old 03-03-2012, 02:10 PM   #7
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Generally, a good feeding rule when trying to get dogs and cats to lose weight is to feed them the amount they should be eating for their ideal weight. Feeding less than 1/2 a cup a day seems awfully low. You want them to lose, but slowly, so 1lb in a month is actually a good rate. It often doesn't seem like a lot, but really he lost almost 5% of his body weight in one month. Rushing him to lose more than 5% of his weight a month is really not healthy. Also, for most dogs, but especially smaller dogs, feeding twice a day is better for blood sugar levels, even if he is getting smaller meals. If he loves to eat, and it sounds like he does, you can add in some green beans to his meals (many dogs love green beans) to help fill him up with out adding a bunch of extra calories.

I would also go with a higher quality food. They are usually more pricey, but worth their weight in gold for the overall health benefits. Options such as Blue Buffalo are moderately priced while being a much healthier food. I feed Orijen and have never been happier with a pet food. It's a grain free food, but really as long as you look for corn, wheat and by-product free, you would still be getting a lot more health benefits than his current food. Foods with a lot of fillers such as corn, by-products, wheat, etc. are a lot like it would be to eat McDonald's for every meal.

Outside of the food changes, they best way to trim down dogs is through exercise. Daily walks are essential. Even dogs with big yards that play a lot need daily walks. They exercise is much different, more focused, and will go a long way to trimming him down.
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Old 03-05-2012, 05:23 AM   #8
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I feed Orijen too (o:

Something else to consider is using a food ball or other type of 'toy' to make Jester's meal last longer. Just like with us they tend to be more satisfied with a smaller quantity because it took them longer to eat. As an added benefit, because they have to think about how to get the food out, it gives them some nice mental stimulation. In my house that means calmer dogs after the meal (o:

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Old 03-05-2012, 02:18 PM   #9
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Thanks y'all!! - I'm actually checking into the Blue Buffalo food - we have a couple of stores here that sell that brand & I've heard nothing but good stuff about it.

Also, thanks very much for the dogfoodanalysis site. I appreciate the input!!
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Old 03-05-2012, 04:17 PM   #10
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I feed Orijen too (o:

Something else to consider is using a food ball or other type of 'toy' to make Jester's meal last longer. Just like with us they tend to be more satisfied with a smaller quantity because it took them longer to eat. As an added benefit, because they have to think about how to get the food out, it gives them some nice mental stimulation. In my house that means calmer dogs after the meal (o:
I used to feed Orijen! It is so good for the dogs. It's practically human quality (actually...it might really be )

Unfortunately, it was too rich for my little dog and gave him really bad tummy troubles. We ended up switching him to one of those cheapo foods (Purina One) and now he's doing much better, though he did gain a few pounds. I don't know if it's from the food or from trying to also eat the big dog's dinner every night
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Old 03-13-2012, 12:43 PM   #11
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I love hearing people feed orijen! It's made in a small town near me and is really good stuff

Banana - You might want to consider feeding Acana if you can get it, it's made by the same company as orijen but it's a slightly lower quality food so it may not be as rich. It's still a really good quality food.
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Old 03-13-2012, 03:23 PM   #12
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I love hearing people feed orijen! It's made in a small town near me and is really good stuff

Banana - You might want to consider feeding Acana if you can get it, it's made by the same company as orijen but it's a slightly lower quality food so it may not be as rich. It's still a really good quality food.
We tried that too!

The pet store we were going to had a plethora of healthy options. Our little dog had consistant tummy problems with everything. I don't know why and neither did our vet. I had actually considered cooking his food at home (rice, boiled chicken, some veggies) because the only time he did well was when he was eating that. Luckily he did well on the lower quality food, because I don't know how long I wouldd be able to cook for him. I can barely cook for myself! He was eating better than we were
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Old 03-14-2012, 08:55 AM   #13
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I home-cooked for my oldsters before they passed, because one had problems digesting kibble and the other got used to it and refused to switch back off of it... lol. It was very easy after a while. We put the rice, meat, & veggies, in the rice cooker and let it go. We would fix enough for a couple of days at a time. It really was very little fuss, but you're right... they did eat much better than we did in those days
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Old 03-15-2012, 11:37 AM   #14
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So..... it's been 2 1/2 months since I posted this, and I'm proud to say that our little Jester has lost TWO whole pounds!!!! This is from less food*, (& very recently, a "better" food) less treats, and more walks.

YAY Jester!! Only 8 more to go!!



*after a LOT of reading on the dog food advisor site, I decided that Jester does need 2x daily feedings (3/4 cup day total) of a BETTER dog food, less "treats" & LONGER walks. It's working.
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Last edited by Beach Patrol : 03-15-2012 at 11:46 AM.
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Old 03-17-2012, 02:37 PM   #15
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Yay Jester.
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