Friday, September 7, 2012

My Dog is Fat

Yes, this post is really about my fat dog because I need advice and am hoping someone out there can help me.

My dogs get bi-annual wellness checks because they are 100% covered by our pet insurance, and because the vet's office always reminds me when it is time to bring in the dogs. After every well exam they send home an information sheet showing my dogs' stats. Sadie's always comes home with the weight section saying she is overweight.

When she was pregnant, my vet kept telling me he couldn't feel the pups because she was too fat. I kept telling him she has always been like that. I feed her the exact same amount as Mags, who is 10+lbs lighter, and I give her as much exercise, although Sadie is definitely my lazy dog.

I had Sadie fixed just over a month ago, and the vet told me when I picked her up that he had had to make her incision longer because she was fat.

I can honestly say, this pisses me off. I don't overfeed her by any stretch of the imagination. Every time my vet has said anything, he tells me to feed her according to the bag of dog food, which I do. I feed her on the low end of the recommendation. I make sure she gets out and gets exercise. Hell, I bought them an automatic ball chucker so they could play fetch all day long if they want to.

After I got Sadie fixed I noticed she was getting fatter. A new acquaintance who had been a vet tech for years suggested I get Sadie's thyroid checked, and have her tested for cushings, so I did. Both tests came back negative.

The vet said Sadie just has a slow metabolism, and that after females are spayed, their metabolisms slow down even more. So he gave me a dog food measuring cup and told me to feed her exactly 2 1/4 cups of dog food every day. I told him I was worried she would still be too hungry, and he said she would be.

Well, I tried to follow his recommendation. I even put her on diet food. But you know what? Sadie has gotten fatter! She hasn't been this fat since she was pregnant. She's huge! I am sure it is because she is finding ways to supplement her diet, which involves cleaning up other animals "leavings".

Last time I put her on diet food, she got fatter. So my dilemma is, do I feed her enough diet dog food to keep her satiated, or do I only give her the bare minimum, leaving her hungry and turning to scrounging?

It almost seems as though I should just feed her and Mags the same food, in the same amounts, as I have always done, and let her be a little fluffy, as opposed to feeding her less or putting her on diet food and letting her "supplement", which only makes her fatter.

Does anyone out there have any advice? I've never had a naturally fat dog before. I love my Sadie, and I want her to be around for a long time, so I try to keep her healthy. But this one has got me scratching my head and frustrated beyond all belief.

Please, someone help me!


*Jess* said...

We had two dogs and at one point, Alli was the fat one. We were letting her graze all day. Then she started losing weight when we got Shaggy because Shaggy was eating all of HIS food AND Alli's food! So Shaggy was the fat one, now.

This is what our vet said. First of all, figure out what the appropriate amount of dog food is per your brand per your dog's IDEAL weight (not the weight they are). For example, our Shaggy was 18 lbs, but we needed him to be under 16 to be healthy. That meant he was only to get 8 ox (1 cup) of food for an entire 24 hours.

Then we broke that up in 1/2. We fed him 4 oz in the morning and 4 oz in the afternoon. We kept all kids' foods out of his reach. Doors to rooms with trashcans shut. This helped to get his weight down and now he's fine. We feed him twice a day in order to keep his blood sugar level.

Fran said...

I know my Ultimate Vet Hero also has two dogs, one if hyperactive, always on the move and very fit. The other one is a bit older and definitely on the fat side. When they left Ireland you could definitely see that Fat Tess was slow and actually looked quite old too. When I went visiting them in Cali, I actually could not tell the two dogs apart!! Tess had lost so much weight, she looked so healthy! I of course asked and she said Tess was on a special diet and exercise. I can ask her if you want! Love, Fran

Elle said...

Thanks for the help ladies!

Jess, I am definitely going to try splitting Sadie's rations and see if that helps. I don't know why I never thought of that before. Its kind of like how someone writes an awesome novel that sells billions of copies and you wonder how you didn't come up with the idea first. lol

Fran, if you think of it, it would be great to hear what your old vet says.

Thanks gals!

Alex said...

When we put our dogs on a restricted diet, the vet suggested giving all the canned green beans and carrots they would eat. It helps fill them up without making them fat. I think it really helped.

city said...

thanks for posting..