My Jazz who is a westie has put on 1 kilo in about 4 weeks. She was 10.5 kilos now she is 11.5 kilos. I adopted her about 7 weeks ago. I've been trying to control her diet since I got her but just don't seem to be able to get to grips with it and she keeps gaining weight. I only feed her dog food and no food from my plate etc. I do give her low calorie doggie treats after she has her eye drops and I think that even though they are low calorie I may be giving her too many. Infact to be honest I have been giving her quite a lot of those lately. They are about 1 calorie each but I suppose it all adds up if she has too many. She gets regular excercise, about 4 times a day for 20 minutes at a time. I am going to start including in that a 45 minute walk to the park.
She has been tested for diabetes and the result was negative. She has also been tested for Cushings Disease and luckily that was negative too.
I am now going to reduce her food a little and totally cut down on her treats. She is going to the vet on Tuesday for a check up. Has anyone else have similar experiences?
Assuming she is an adult, you can just offer food twice a day and pick up what she has not eaten after 30 minutes. It may take her a few days to realize that food will only be offered twice a day and that it will be removed if she does not eat it immediately. Let her eat all she wants for 30 minutes, but don't feed her in between meals, while you are training her to adapt to this pattern.
Once she gets into eating only twice a day, then start measuring how much she eats and keep on weighing her, and it shouldn't be too hard to figure out how much food it takes to keep her at an appropriate weight. If she is a hearty eater, then she may bolt down breakfast and dinner and look around for more and act hungry, even when the scales tell you that she is getting enough. Go by the scales, not by how "hungry" she acts. It is normal for dogs to beg, even when they are adequately fed.
You don't need to use low-calorie food unless it turns out that the appropriate amount of "regular" kibble is such a tiny amount that she really needs more bulk; then you can use low-cal food to give her a greater amount of food to eat for the same amount of calories. After you get the routine down and she is on an appropriate diet, then you can just weigh her once a month to keep track of any changes. You can ask the vet on Tuesday what would be an ideal weight for her. You can also ask if she needs to be tested for thyroid disease.
It goes without saying that treats have to be included in the dog's total daily calories. You may be able to reserve a portion of her daily kibble to feed throughout the day as treats. For that matter, it's alright if she has to "work" for every kibble she gets, and you can give her the whole ration in the form of training treats. But you can't give her an appropriate breakfast and dinner with the right number of calories in it and then feed additional treats and not expect her to gain weight.
One treat that doesn't tend to put on weight is a tee-tiny little slice of a canned green bean. Be careful when you first try them, because if you give too many, it can cause loose stools (like eating grass will do). But they are low-calorie and they have vitamins and fiber in them, so they are healthy treats if given in moderation. If your dog happens to like them, then great, you've hit on something wonderful. If she doesn't like green beans, then whatever treats you are using now, you may be able to cut them into smaller portions. Dogs really only need a tiny smidgen of a taste of something to make a treat.
Thank you for your very helpful reply. I realised that I had been giving Jazz too many treats. I was really dumb because I thought that because they are low calorie I could give her loads. So now I have cut right down on those. I have also reduced her daily food a little. I have only had her a couple of months so I just need to find the right balance. I had thought about getting her some green beans as an extra treat. I'm sure she'll like them as she seems to like everything.
My Ragga, who died in Feb had the opposite problem. I always had to feed him more because he just wasn't that into food and had a tendency to be under weight. Infact, Jazz is the total opposite to Ragz in every way and this is just one that I will have to learn to come to grips with.
Thanks again and I'm sure we'll get there in the end.
Just wanted to let you know that Jazz is doing well with her new diet. She loves green beans so I've been giving her a few of those as treats. I took her to the vet yesterday and weighed her and she has lost 2g since Sunday so I am happy about that. The vet said that she is not too overweight and that as long as she sticks to her new diet she should be ok. I'm really happy too because she has dry eye and her eyes were checked and they are really doing well. Also, her skin condition is doing good too, so now she only has to go for check ups every 3 months. I will continue to take her in to be weighed every week.
I will keep you updated on her progress and thank you again for your advice.
Hello....I'd like to add that my Holistic Vet recommends green beans & rice cakes (Human Kind) as weight loss or control for dogs. This is to be added to a small portion of their food twice a day. Both of these are low calorie, but filling. If you use canned green beans, be sure and rise well as they are full of salt. For treats, see if she will eat baby carrots or sliced apples. My bunch loves both!!!!! Good luck......Karla
If your vet says she is right now at an ideal weight, then I don't think you need to weigh her any more often than about once every two weeks for the next two or three months.
After that, you will have had time to figure out what she needs to be fed, and her weight shouldn't be fluctuating a lot. She should be pretty stable, by that point. From then on, you can just weigh her about once a month.
I just wanted to put an update on here. I am happy to say that the diet is working and Jazz is losing weight. I weighed her at the vets yesterday and she now weighs 10.65K. I just need to get her to just under 10K so we are on track.
She has been having carrots or green beans to bulk up her food and she loves it and only has about 2 small treat a night after she has her eye cream.
I am relieved that the diet is working and thank you for all your advice here because it really helped.
If she was 11.5 kg when you first posted on May 30, and she is now down to 10.65kg, then she has lost almost a kilogram in two weeks. That's pretty rapid weight loss.
If I might advise you, I believe I would increase the caloric content of each of her two daily meals just a bit. Let her lose that last 3/4 of a kilogram more slowly, since you have seen that it is pretty easy to take the weight off of her. (You state that her goal weight is slightly less than 10kg.) The diet is working well.
Think of the goal weight as being like a wall. You want to roll up to the wall gently, not crash into it and have to recover. There is not a problem with what you are doing, at all. It's just that you are approaching her goal weight pretty fast, so I think you can ease up on the weight loss dieting. It's time now that you can start thinking about what will be her maintenance diet.
You can go ahead and start trying to estimate how much food you will be giving her on a maintenance basis. You want to get to a point that you can just measure out the same amount of the same food twice a day, every day, so you can cruise along like that for a while. That will be the phase when you are just weighing her once a month to make sure nothing has changed.
Good job on cutting down the snacks and switching to more healthy snacks. Are her stools staying firm, with all the carrots and green beans?
Thank you for your very helpful advice. I will definately take notice of it as I have never had to put a dog on a diet before. I will start giving her a little more of her dry food every day. Her stools are firm and very healthy looking. I don't give her too many green beans and carrots but just bulk up her food a bit. She really likes them but then I think she likes anything as long as it is food.
dont worry about her weight,my westies are sisters,on is 15 kg,you may gasp, they are proper bred scottish westies,no fat whatsoever on them.lets remember what they are bred for,i couldnt see a 8kg westie going up against a fox or badger,could you.i see to many interbred westies knocking about,even some no bigger than a mouse.mine get fed once at bedtime,never been to vets and live outside,there now 11 years old and would still grab a fox e is 11.5 kg the other
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