Monday, August 1, 2011

Rubenesque Miss M

 We pride ourselves on having Miss M as such a well-trained dog, but we have just realized the downfall: with all the extra treat incentives she has become a bit "rubenesque".
When I first got Miss M she was a mere 50lbs. She looked like a Hollywood celebrity with her big lollypop head and super-skinny body.
 She was like the skinny kid that could eat anything. So even though I knew with training I was giving her extra treats--and I should account for that by taking that out of her food rations--I didn't do this. Flash forward several years and we realize she has become a bit rotund.
 When we wrote our post about how to prepare for our dogs aging, Southern-pooch Pauly James  mentioned having dogs at a healthy weight as they age is one of the most important things.
So now we're preparing Miss M to become the Biggest Loser. We already go on 2 long walks a day, so I'm thinking we need to alter her food intake.
What have you found that works for dog diets?

38 comments:

bigalrlz said...

I give my dogs carrots are treats and they love them :)

Froggy said...

Pug is always on a diet because he breed tends to be on the heavy side I feed him less and exercise more. I m also really careful about the treats he gets. Only apples, bananas and carrots for him. With his bum back legs we haven't been able to go on super long walks so I just try and adjust his food accordingly.

Two Crazy Coaches said...

When Flash needed to lose about five pounds, we just gave her a smaller amount of food at each meal and tried to limit her treats. It seemed to work pretty well. But, we do like Miss M just the way she is! :)

loveandaleash said...

We too have no big secrets. I already told you how we put soggy kibble in kongs instead of treats, and mix them with apples and carrots and bananas. It helped us get Chick's weight down by a couple of pounds when he was looking less than optimal. If she is unwilling to work for carrots or praise, you may have to not do as many tricks for a while so she doesn't feel cheated -- but that's better than putting a lot of excess weight on her joints in her middle to old age . . .

Kate@TwentySixToLife said...

We've had the best luck with just cutting back on their food when they need to lose weight. We don't cut back by very much so it takes a little longer for the weight to come off, but they don't seem any hungrier. We also switch out their treats with lower calories options (like carrots).

In Black and White said...

So far Bilbo can eat like a horse and not put on any weight. I'm sure that will slow down at some point but luckily he thinks any kind of food is exciting so we can also do a lot of training with just kibble or veggies.

Kerri said...

We also give fruits and veggies as treats. Some favorites have been snow peas, baby carrots, broccoli stumps, and apples. My guy prefers something with crunch.

Shawnee the Shepherd said...

I have used this diet many times for overweight fosters because being thin makes them more attractive and more adoptable. The diet works BEAUTIFULLY! You can use either canned green beans or pumpkin - I have only used green beans. Start with putting a couple of green beans on top of the food. Gradually increase green beans and decrease dog food until you reach 1/3 green beans and 2/3 dog food for a total volume of a normal meal. This means 1/3 less calories yet the same full feeling. This was recommended to a friend of mine by their vet. For dogs that like carrots, only give carrots as treats.

Shawnee's Mom

Duff said...

When our vet fussed at us for letting Beeb get a little plus sized, she recommended switching from regular adult food to "weight management," and that's all it took. The protein/fat/carb makeup difference was enough to account for her slowed metabolism. Same amounts of exercise and food, just different kind.

735472c0-5bae-11e0-84a1-000bcdcb8a73 said...

the formula is pretty much the same for dogs and people: less food and more exercise.

When people start saying she looks too skinny, you'll know she's at the right weight! In most dogs, the right weight is the one at which you can just start to see the outline of their ribs.

Lagomorphmom said...

Back up the Food Truck, you critics!!! Living with estrogen (or not) has few rewards.

When you get a hysterectomy, you just see how long it takes to put on a few extra pounds! Not only that, *everybody* knows that stress puts weight on us girls around the middle no matter how little you eat and how much you exercise. *I* think, Mom and Mr. B need to reduce your stress, Miss M - that would go a loooong way in not putting on extra pounds!!!!

Licks,
Bonnie (pibble) & Lucy (boxer)

Jess said...

Rat has a tendancy to pack on the pounds. When he's looking hefty, we cut back his food intake at meals (since cutting back treats would be way more difficult in our home).
To make him feel like he's getting as much food as before, we'll sometimes soak his food in warm water for a few minutes before feeding time. It plumps up his kibble and slows down his eating without adding additional calories.

Fiona, as typed by Dr. Liz said...

We're lucky because the girls only eat when they're hungry (it's the poodle in them, I think), and on days when we do lots of training and they get lots of (low fat) turkey hotdog pieces, they don't eat much dinner - of their own choice. However, we exercise them into the ground because they are young and if they don't run their legs off, they aren't happy... We'll see if that keeps up as they get older. Oh, and I totally agree with the comment about stress adding pounds - Ms. M totally needs a few spa days to de-stress! ;-)

-Dr. Liz (and not Fiona the dog, who is snoozing after a morning frisbee session)

Sarah said...

When Sadie had to lose a few pounds, we restricted her food and gave her 1/4 cup less at each feeding. Our vet recommended that we add a little bit of green beans to her bowl if she acted super hungry - it's low calorie and the fiber makes her feel full. She's almost down to her ideal weight and it took us about a year to get there (we did it without increasing overall exercise).

A great way to increase her exercise is maybe to send her to doggie daycare once or twice a week or to run with her (or pay a dog runner to run with her). Or maybe she can get in on the skateboarding action Mr B enjoys?

rottrover said...

I JUST had this conversation last week with the vet, as Ruby, too, is a little Rubinesque! She recommended a high protein dog food rather than low fat, as those often just reduce fat by adding carbs. Also, reducing kibble intake and adding some weight management type of canned food. And... less treats :-( They only get three milkbones a day, but she said that's too many. All our dogs love the little carrots as treats, so we're making the switch. The vet also said it takes time - like maybe a year, to hit the target weight. We can both stand to walk more ;-)

Good Luck!!

Yoda, Brutus & Ellie said...

If you are going to cut back on her regular food, you can supplement her diet with green beans - this will help her to feel full and it is healthy for her at the same time.

Pugs & Kisses,

Yoda, Brutus & Ellie

h(eather) said...

Substitute green beans for some kibble, fresh fruit and veggies for training treats, and lots of walks!

Super Secret Name said...

Interestingly enough, our old lady pibble (who can double as a garbage disposal) was always a little overweight. She got treats, table scraps etc. Whatever she wanted, she got. She is 14 now and on a very restricted diet due to a health scare last week. She is practically "skinny" now, which makes us kinda sad. For some reason, "rubenesque" = happy to us dog owners. BUT, at 14, she is much more agile at a lower weight. She got there by being on a restricted diet for senior dogs.

Now, our pup, a 3yo pibble, is allergic to *everything* and can't eat ANY table scraps and had to eat hypo allergenic soy dog food. She has never been overweight and is the picture of health.

Sadly, the only difference is their diet. It all starts in the kitchen. Good luck to Miss M :-)

Kari in WeHo said...

We've decided Big Carl is an anorexic and are trying anything to get him to eat to no avail but he hasn't gotten TOO skinny yet. Mesa and Baily are at very healthy weights

Kari
http://dogisgodinreverse.com

houndstooth said...

Save some of her food back from what you feed her and use that for treats. We once had a Greyhound foster who came to us extremely overweight and we had to put her on a diet. The vet advised us to put her on the amount of dog food for what she should weigh and stick to feeding her only that. So, she got two meals a day and one treat at night after last turn out, which is what we've always done for the dogs. The weight actually came off at a healthy rate for her and she wasn't starving. (The nutjob who'd been her emergency foster for a week before we got her decided to only feed her half of what she was supposed to eat. She really was starving when we picked her up!) Taking the weight off steadily and slowly is probably the best thing for her since she's a little older now.

Corbin said...

Charlie Bears are a 3 calorie treat! They come in chicken and liver flavor and are a great training treat! I also enjoy carrots :-)
-Corbin

Benny and Lily said...

You guys look very healthy. I tell mom it's all muscle
Benny & Lily

4-legged Wiums said...

ooh dear, the dreaded time of watching what you eat!
I've noticed that I have to do the same with Snoopy.
The only real way around it is to work out how much you are feeding in treats, and take that out of their meal amounts. So if Snoopy gets scraps or 1/4 cup of treats in a day, then she will get 1/4 cup less of her evening meal.

Poor pooches :-p hehe

- Helen

Two Pugs in a Pod said...

Green bean diet! Take out some of the food, replace with green beans. (Hopefully Miss M like 'em!) I think just about every pug I've ever known has been on this diet at LEAST once. :)

brooke said...

we've replaced 1/3 of Darwin's kibble meal for raw veggies. We throw kale, broccoli, cauliflower and carrots in the food processor and mix it with some ground meat (beef or turkey). We did it partly for her weight (when she was put on prednisone she gained a bit of weight) and for her back problems.

Maggie said...

We had to put Emmett on a diet, and while "cutting back" was the often repeated recommendation, he acted like we were KILLING HIM if his bowl was less full. Lots of mopey sighing and sitting in front of his bowl long after he finished eating. So what I ended up doing was cutting down his kibble and replacing it with fruits and veggies (carrots, blueberries, pumpkin, broccoli, etc.). He felt full, but it was healthier. Good luck!

Felicity said...

Dear Miss M,

Ziggy Stardust asked me to let you know that he too is considered a little, erm, portly.
This is because his two favourite things are sleeping on the bed and eating.
Our vet suggested cutting his food by a quarter and then, if we weren't seeing results, by another quarter.
He gets a lot of carrots to help him feel fuller.
He still thinks he is being starved to death and having to take some predisolone didn't help, but he's slowly starting to regain a defined waist line.
Like Miss M he was very underweight when we adopted him and he stacked on the weight last winter when he was hidden by a heavy coat.
Good Luck!

Pibble said...

I used to use treats for my dog and realized the same thing you have: They were getting rounder. Now, I treat using kibble. Each "treat" is so much smaller than the cookies I used to use!

Mr. Pip said...

Our vet recommends frozen green beans for a doggie treat.

Maintaining a perfect weight in an older dog is really a balancing act. You want them at a healthy weight - for their joints, heart, etc. - but you don't want them too thin because once they get older they will lose weight naturally (and with it muscle tone). Having a little extra weight helps keep their strength,gives them a little extra fight, when they get sick.

Pip struggled with his weight for years. However, he has naturally slimmed down over the last few years and now is at the perfect weight. We do keep him on a low fat prescription diet.

Jessi said...

Charlie is the same weight as when I adopted him even though he gets so many treats each day with training, but I weigh him once a week to make sure he isn't gaining or losing weight and he isn't right now! but he's still young and we run a lot!

Roo said...

Oh no Miss M a diet?!!! The horror! Butt if you have to diet, my favorite is the Seefood one... see food eat it ;) Really not hard to stay on that one ;P

Waggin at ya,
Roo

Pit Bull Mom said...

Feed raw. It slims them down real quick and is much healthier.

HP said...

Feed a good quality weight management diet and switch to healthier treats - be it carrots or something like that. Or just minimize treats or break them into smaller pieces so you are able to give "more" treats. They'll have no idea. My little Jazz gained 5 pounds on her 21 pound frame when she visited my parents two years ago - it takes awhile to get the weight off (it took us about three or four months), so do it slowly over a period of time :)

Alexis said...

We also adopted an underweight dog, and then proceeded to do too good a job of fattening her up. To get her back down to a reasonable weight, we supplemented her food with canned green beans (with no sodium). The vet recommended these, and she loved them!

Kitty+Coco said...

Miss M I think the classic painters would all prefer you in the Rubenesque manner. Botticelli, hello! Moms don't seem to agree. I have a svelte super model figure, but Coco tends to be more of a curvy girl. Recently though I must have really influenced Coco because she has slimmed down to my size. Now Mom begs us to eat and has had to find the most "palatable" food on the market. I say bring on the veggies and keep excercising. It will work.

Kitty

Two Pitties in the City said...

Thanks everyone for all the great ideas! We've started cutting down her food and supplementing with green beans. We've also been feeding her in her kong so she thinks she is actually eating more. We also started giving her healthy snacks: apples & carrots which she still loves. I feel like the mom who took her kid off of McDonald's and went for the healthier options. Thanks everyone!

Amy said...

Ty has a tendency to get a bit round as well. We cut back his food and supplement with canned pumpkin. He loves it, it's good for him, and it's low on calories. Good luck, Miss M!

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