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hi, my dog had lost weight this winter due to walking her daily, but then I hurt my knees and can't walk far now. I have her on 4Health dog food and only give her 1 1/2 half cups a day. she must weight 70 lbs and really needs to be 60. She is a very tall border collie that is 9 years old. Can a dog her size really live on only 1 cup a day, which is what I think she needs in order to lose weight? thanks.

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If she's packing on the pounds on 1 1/2 cups daily, you need to either seek out a food that has fewer calories but sufficient nutrition (I am not familiar with this food) or feed less of this food.


You could cut her food back and add something like cooked green beans to her meals to help her feel full, provide fiber for fullness, and not add significant calories. Other cooked veggies may do just as well but green beans are often recommended.


You could also soak her kibble prior to meals (do this an hour in advance if you can) with warm water or broth so that the kibble expands and she feels like she is eating more. The added bonus is that she is getting water with her meal.


Hoping you feel better soon!


PS - Can you substitute other activities that don't require you walking? Fetch games, perhaps? Swimming?

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fetch would be a great idea but she runs after the ball and then lays down with it as she has always done, and eventually I have to go fetch. but usually I can get 3 good returns before this happens. I will try to green beans too and adding warm water to her food. cutting back would be good also.


I found the 4Heath on the best dog food list that was given to me here. she gained weight on everything I have ever given her, raw food, blue buffalo etc.

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Is she highly food motivated? You could also make her "work" for her food. Basic sit, down, stand exercises. Jumping up on a couch then down again. Throwing pieces of kibble for her to run and find before eating. Throwing food up a flight of stairs for her to go after. All those would be ways to get a but more exercise in while she's eating. Food dispensing toys would be another option.


Which variety of 4health are you using?

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The simple answer is yes, your dog can live on less food. If she's getting too many calories on 1 1/2 cuts of food, it's too much. If my dogs were on dry food, they'd be total porkers on that much food. Even on raw they don't get as much food as some other people's dogs do. They just seem to be easy keepers.


If it were me, I'd try cutting back to 1 1/4 cup to start and adding some low carb veggies as others have said. I used to dumpster dive discarded produce at a market for an overweight dog I used to have -- a Lab/pointer mix whose ideal weight was about 60 lbs. and at no more than 1/2 cup of dry food a day to maintain a good weight. But he always thought he was starving, so I pureed the veggies and gave him probably about a cup of that a day with his kibble. (Start with a smaller amount of veggies and work up to more. Some dogs will get loose stools at first from too many veggies.)


If 1 1/4 cup is still too much, reduce the amount further until you've hit her sweet spot.


If she'll only fetch 3 times per session, will she do it for several sessions? 3 fetches 4 times a day would add up to a dozen runs.


Another option if you're up to it would be to consider going raw or home cooked. Carbs are probably the biggest culprit here, just like they are for people.


Good luck. It's no fun for anyone loosing weight.

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There is a nifty little toy called a Lotus Ball. You can actually put food in it and it Velcro's shut and the dog can work to get the food out. If you got one of the larger ones, you could but several pieces of kibble in it, and throw it for her to chase.


Here is what I mean:





I wouldn't serve a whole meal like that, but you could pull aside 1/3 of each meal and let her run after the ball to get to it. A little calorie burst to eat food she is going to eat anyway.


But yes - reduce the kibble!! My Tessa turned into a sausage last winter, and I had to reduce her waaaay down. Now she's back to normal, and getting more exercise in the better weather, so I increased her food just a bit. But she gets what she needs to maintain a good weight. If I see her getting pudgy, I reduce the food.

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My GSDx who weighed in around 65-68lbs was always slightly chubby, it was just who she was but she lived on 1cup of food a day for at least 10 years, it was only when she was 14 that we noticed any old lady weight loss. She got lots of exercise and was never lacking energy. For comparison my big lanky intact male who is 5 eats about 4 cups a day and is very thin. Just like people dogs have different needs.

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To all,


This time I bought the Pork and Sweet Potato formula of 4Health. I should have got the chicken but didn't look. I know pork is more fatty. It is grain free but I imagine it has a lot of fat in it. but fat makes one less hungry.


I love all these ideas.


I threw the ball 4 times today, and she brought it back 3. I will try it more often a day.


1 c. of food a day does sound like starvation to me, but your dog lived 10 years.


I gave my dog 1/2 c. dry this evening in warm water with 1 c. string beans.


I tried going raw by giving her raw chicken with other raw meat. she lost weight but then it came back on. I gave up on that idea. I used to get it at a chicken farm where the chicken pieces were small, but now they are too large at super market. I could see giving it half a cup of dry and one thigh or drumstick, as she really loves- raw chicken. I am just not sure if 1/2 c. dry is enough nutrition, but if a cup is, I suppose 1/2 c. would be.


she is very food oriented, so I can use that to get her to bring me the ball or throw the food somewhere where she has to find it.


Thanks sue, I hope my knees get better soon too, just inflammation from lifting heavy rocks.


my dh took her for a walk today; he doesn't feel well every day, but they got in a half mile, and I got in two blocks.


she doesn't have thyroid problems but has always had weight problems except when she was a puppy. I have been fighting this for years. so I am glad to hear that a cup a day is enough.


Thanks for all your help.

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