We have an 11 old American Pit. I was feeding him two cans of dog food a day, 1 am and 1 pm. He gained 17 lbs on that diet, (what a shock that was), anyway his vet had us change to dry food, 2 c in am and 1 c in pm. That seems too little to me. Tyson is not an overly active dog.
My vet will also give me suggestions, as my babies need to lose weight too. But he'll tell me to also call the companies of the foods I use, to hear their suggestions also. It really depends on their weight/age..... and when they are overweight, it always seems a bit harder to know exactly.
What it says on the back of the cans or bags of the regular brands always seems way too much to me.
And it also depends on what brand/kind of food it is. Do you feed regular types, better brands or the more premium foods? That really matters. As the regular commercial foods are filled with a lot of **** and fillers, it really doesn't seem to fill them up.
The more premium brands can be a lot more expensive, but you actually feed much less of those as they are made with real human grade foods....premium ingedients, so less of it actually fills them up more than feeding more of the regular all around brands. So the cost really isn't as expensive as it may seem.
What kind of dry are you feeding now? Is it regular or diet type?
I'm sure some who are more familiar with the dieting will come along w/ some suggestions.
And are you using any treats? They do have more options now that are much more healthy and much less fattening on those too.
Those feeding hours are pretty bizarre - 1:00 in the morning? Do you maybe have an odd work schedule to deal with?
It's generally better to use a combination of dry and wet foods. The dry foods help keep down tartar buildup on the teeth.
Since you have a dog well into his senior years at age 11, he doesn't need as many calories now because he is no longer growing and probably isn't as active. Even though the vet-recommended amounts appear to be too little, it's obvious that he's been getting too much food and the amount needs to be decreased. If he doesn't have any severe arthritis or hip issues, he really needs to be walked daily as well to keep his muscles in good form. The more muscle tissue the dog has, the less stress is put on his old bones.
Did your vet recommend a commercial diet for senior dogs? Most senior preparations contain glucosamine, chondroitin and/or MSM that helps keeps cartilage healthy and joints working as they should. If the recommended food is not specifically for senior dogs, you can always use human preparations of those supplements for your dog.
Dogs are just like humans where weight is concerned. The same health problems can rear their ugly heads like heart disease and diabetes. The treatment is also the same - decrease the food amount and increase the exercise. :-)
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