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FAT foster dog


D'Elle
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My latest foster dog, a 6 year old, will be coming to my house tomorrow. The word from the person transporting him half way to meet me is that he is very fat. What a shame. I have not ever had a fat dog. Obviously I will be concentrating on getting him some exercise. But what would be the best way to put him on a weight loss diet? The only thing I have ever heard is to feed less and add green beans to his kibble. Any other suggestions?

 

thanks,

D'Elle

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There seems to be an epidemic of fat dogs. First, I got foster boy, Glyn, who weighed in at 66lbs and I was shocked to see his paunch and "fat-lab" waddle. He went straight on a eat-less, move more regime and I'm pleased to say he's now looking good and gets some serious speed at the dog park. And then comes Beau. At his last vet checkup -- only two weeks before he was delivered to me -- he was 84.6 lbs! Well, he's getting the same treatment as Glyn, but it's going to be a while before he's close to healthy weight. After almost three weeks, he still flops down after a few short runs for a ball.

 

I don't add any filler to their food; Beau gets the same kibble as the others, just small portions. I'm sure Beau thinks I'm starving him, but he's doing OK. We are finishing off a bag of Kirkland Lamb & Rice and transitioning to Pelican Bay.

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Feed them the amount of food for their target weight. So if he weighs 60# and should be 45#, feed as if you were feeding a 45# dog. And if you cover the kibble with water and let it set for 20 minutes before feeding, the volume will increase greatly and help the dog to feel full with less food.

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Feed them the amount of food for their target weight. So if he weighs 60# and should be 45#, feed as if you were feeding a 45# dog. And if you cover the kibble with water and let it set for 20 minutes before feeding, the volume will increase greatly and help the dog to feel full with less food.

 

Hey! If I cover chocolate chip cookies with water and let 'em stand for 20 minutes will that... Oh heck, never mind.

 

One caveat - which you might well know already - is don't pay any attention to how much it says to feed on the kibble bag. If I fed my dog that much she'd look like a harbor seal.

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My latest foster dog, a 6 year old, will be coming to my house tomorrow. The word from the person transporting him half way to meet me is that he is very fat. What a shame. I have not ever had a fat dog. Obviously I will be concentrating on getting him some exercise. But what would be the best way to put him on a weight loss diet? The only thing I have ever heard is to feed less and add green beans to his kibble. Any other suggestions?

 

thanks,

D'Elle

 

I fostered a very fat dog several years ago. He weighed about 80 pounds when he got here and he left six months later at a nice 55. He still needed to lose a bit more, but the difference was amazing.

 

I did not give him any weight loss food or anything. I fed him what my dogs ate, just in much smaller portions than those he had obviously been eating. At first I fed more than I normally would, but I soon cut it to the amount he would eat for his target weight and that's what he ate.

 

He got table tidbits and treats, same as my dogs, all of whom are slim.

 

I was fortunate because we had just adopted Dean and he had energy to burn. He became buddies with the foster and the two of them played and played. That helped our foster with physical conditioning. At first he did not run more than a few steps, but by the time he had been here a month or so, he was running daily with the then adolescent Dean.

 

It was tough at first to see him so overweight, but once he started to lose, it was very fun to watch him slim down and get in shape.

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Hey! If I cover chocolate chip cookies with water and let 'em stand for 20 minutes will that... Oh heck, never mind.

 

One caveat - which you might well know already - is don't pay any attention to how much it says to feed on the kibble bag. If I fed my dog that much she'd look like a harbor seal.

 

LOL!! Love the harbor seal image. But seriously, I agree with you, Geonni. I don't feed my dogs as much as it says to on the bag, either. And on days when we have had a lot of training, and therefore treats, it is even less.

 

Thanks for the replies. Any other tips will be appreciated. One thing about getting a fat foster.....I know that *I* will now be getting more exercise, too!

 

--D'Elle

(getting my running shoes out of the closet, dusting them off, and mentally preparing for a twice-daily jog down the road to the mailbox and back with fat border collie in tow!)

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Brody was podgy when we got him, he looked a little more like a lab than a border collie, He weighed 44lbs when we got him, a couple of months later he was still 44 lbs but much smaller. All we did was feed him the correct amount of food, and add lots of exercise which was what I know had been missing.

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I second soaking the kibble before eating. I've dealt with a couple heavy older (spayed) female dogs in the past, and soaking does basically double the bulk of the kibble, so the poor dog won't feel like he's starving to death on "only" a cup and a half a day. :P (Or whatever his ration should be.)

 

But yes, feeding for the target weight makes sense to me. He certainly can't gain weight that way, and once he gets down to where he should be, he'll be eating right where he should, no need to change his regimen further.

 

I'm so glad you're there to help this poor pudgy pup! :)

Cheers ~

 

Gloria

P.S.

The fattest dogs I've known got that way not because they were fed too much at mealtimes, but because their humans kept feeding them tons of snacks and table scraps, between meals. So your proper maintenance diet may be all the magic he needs! :)

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Hey! If I cover chocolate chip cookies with water and let 'em stand for 20 minutes will that... Oh heck, never mind.

 

Ice cream. I cover my cookies in ice cream, and amazingly it DOES make me feel more satisfied! :P

 

When Odin put on too much weight last christmas from free-feeding dog watchers, I gave him recreational bones to keep him satisfied while getting fed less.

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One caveat - which you might well know already - is don't pay any attention to how much it says to feed on the kibble bag. If I fed my dog that much she'd look like a harbor seal.

Yes, that's important to note. The recommended amounts are almost always way to much for an average dog. And the "harbor seal" description is sadly a good one for my newest foster boy.

 

I'm not sure how these dogs get that fat, but it's not just overfeeding and too many snacks; I think it's also a total lack of proper exercise and interaction. Some dogs turn their boredom and frustration into "comfort" eating -- assisted by their owners attempt to assuage their guilt feelings with extra food.

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Yes, that's important to note. The recommended amounts are almost always way to much for an average dog. And the "harbor seal" description is sadly a good one for my newest foster boy.

 

I'm not sure how these dogs get that fat, but it's not just overfeeding and too many snacks; I think it's also a total lack of proper exercise and interaction. Some dogs turn their boredom and frustration into "comfort" eating -- assisted by their owners attempt to assuage their guilt feelings with extra food.

 

I think I will soak his food, as suggested. Seems like a good idea. Interesting that ABCR is getting fat fosters all of a sudden. My understanding is that this dog has been fed Prozac, so maybe that has contributed to this condition. If he has been doped up, he hasn't been moving as much as normal. <sigh>. Well, all of that is about to change.

D'Elle

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My understanding is that this dog has been fed Prozac, so maybe that has contributed to this condition.

 

Maybe, maybe not. A medication was a actually given as the reason for my foster's overweight condition. He remained on the medication while he was with me, but he had no trouble dropping the weight with proper diet and exercise.

 

Also, I know a few dogs who take Prozac and they are in very good shape.

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Make him work for his food, as well. I scatter kibble for Shonie and Gibbs both, it takes them longer to eat and they really love using their noses.

Shonie is an Elderly Devil in a Border Collie Suit, and has bad arthritis in her front feet - I can't feed her any less and can't exercise her any more. BUT, I can make her work harder for what she does eat. I hide her kong, which has part of her breakfast in it, for her to find. I play nose work games with both dogs for part of their meals.

 

Getting him used to working a bit for his dinner, encouraging him to use his nose and his intelligence, will also make him less interested in the food itself.

 

Good luck - when shall we see pix of your new project?

 

Ruth

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Less food, more exercise. So simple an equation. Works for us too!

 

This is of course barring any issues like thyroid that can cause weight gain. But otherwise, it's just a matter of the simple equation.

 

TWooie then:

4480297370_fdf1425eb4_z.jpg

 

TWooie now:

5229439101_dcf0dda7e4.jpg

 

It took probably 4 or 5 months for the weight to really come off, and he's an Aussie, so he's never going to look "skinny" but he lost something like 20 lbs. He doesn't look like a soccer ball anymore anyway!

 

RDM

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I think I will soak his food, as suggested. Seems like a good idea. Interesting that ABCR is getting fat fosters all of a sudden. My understanding is that this dog has been fed Prozac, so maybe that has contributed to this condition. If he has been doped up, he hasn't been moving as much as normal. <sigh>. Well, all of that is about to change.

D'Elle

The fact that the dog was prescribed Prozac suggests that things were not well in his last home, I tend to think of that as a symptom, rather than a cause of what you see.

 

I don't know if it's true that we are getting a burst of fat foster -- my latest two are fat, but that's not a statistically significant sample.

 

Here, by the way is part of my "harbor seal"'s problem. Clockwise, the monster food bowl his previous owners delivered with him, our normal "BC-sized" food bowl and the small bowl he gets his food in now (so that it appears to be more than it really is). The dog in the picture is Glyn, who has survived the weight loss program and is in reasonable shape.

post-7882-097549200 1292093888_thumb.jpg

Teeth marks in the medium sized bowl, courtesy my ex-foster Cai, as are most of the teeth marks in the house.

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Brody has arrived, and is indeed fat, although not the morbidly obese that I feared. It will take some time to get it off him, but we'll do it. He has already shown an eagerness to run around with the other dogs, so at least I won't have to drag him into getting exercise.

 

I cannot imagine why his former people were giving him Prozac. But he won't get any from me. :)

 

Yep..........less food and more exercise. Mostly the more exercise. And I intend to make him work for his kibble. He has a few things to learn, in any case.

 

Photo will be posted as soon as I get one.

Thanks....

D'Elle

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I cannot imagine why his former people were giving him Prozac. But he won't get any from me. :)

 

 

Has the rescue discussed that with a vet? If he was diagnosed with Prozac because of an anxiety related condition, you might be in for some issues if you stop giving him his prescribed medication.

 

Also, has he been tapered off of the meds? I'm not sure about Prozac, but with some similar drugs, you need to taper down slowly or else the dog might get sick.

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Has the rescue discussed that with a vet? If he was diagnosed with Prozac because of an anxiety related condition, you might be in for some issues if you stop giving him his prescribed medication.

 

^^This. Anti-anxiety meds are generally not handed out to dogs willynilly, so it's actually imperative that the rescue both finds out why he was on them to deal with whatever underlying issues made someone prescribe, and doesn't stop the drugs cold turkey.

 

RDM

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^^This. Anti-anxiety meds are generally not handed out to dogs willynilly...

 

My impression is that Prozac is over-prescribed* (for both humans and dogs), but that doesn't alter the fact that one should find out the background and make a well informed decision to stop or continue as appropriate.

 

[ Note*: Right now, I have been trying to assist an adoptive home with an ex-foster that has suddenly regressed and started to have anxiety/panic attacks when crated. One vet prescribed Prozac -- to my horror. It turned out that the immediate situation improved dramatically simply by buying a new crate; plastic instead of the old wire crate. ]

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OK, I think you are all correct, and I need to know more, and also not stop the meds cold turkey. I am fortunate enough to have contact info for the family who turned him over to Rescue, so I will ask them for more history on the medication issue, and I will continue to give it to him but will give him less, to start tapering it off. Thanks for the advice. He's a nice dog.

--D'Elle

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OK, I think you are all correct, and I need to know more, and also not stop the meds cold turkey. I am fortunate enough to have contact info for the family who turned him over to Rescue, so I will ask them for more history on the medication issue, and I will continue to give it to him but will give him less, to start tapering it off. Thanks for the advice. He's a nice dog.

--D'Elle

 

It's really probably best to consult with a veterinarian, if not the prescribing vet then another licensed vet, before making medical decisions on tapering off medications.

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My impression is that Prozac is over-prescribed* (for both humans and dogs)

 

 

Depends on the vet. Some will suggest it for every minor issue that comes up, but I have a friend who is a trainer/behaviorist that specializes in dogs with serious issues (re: aggression to humans and other animals) who sometimes finds it very hard to get a clients vet to consider it even when the dog has a serious, months-to-years long problem that could be greatly helped by the temporary use of Prozac.

 

Hopefully D'Elle can get to the bottom of whats wrong with her new friend and get him happy and healthy again.

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