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Old 10-30-2012, 11:08 PM   #1
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Default Weight Loss in a Senior Mixed breed

New to the forum, didn't know exactly where to post this as it's a multi-level question.

My main question is how should I get my dog to lose weight, here's the required info about him.

Chewy! 14yo in the spring of 2013, neutered pound puppy mixed breed (was told dachshund/beagle but who knows/cares). Yes, I've had him for 14 years but that includes many different stages of my own life including college where he was with my parents save a couple semesters. He weighs in at ~51lbs and my goal weight for now is 45lbs. He walks ~1hr every morning but that is a new regimen that started at the beginning of this month.

His food has been switched to Wellness Core Reduced Fat but due to circumstances out of my hands he gets treats throughout the day (some that I'm not aware of I'm sure). Since I know I can't stop the treats I've changed them to treats with glucosamine/chondroitin and deli meat (turkey and ham, tried to stop the ham but that's not going to happen).

Daily diet:

Morning:2 hip action treats (48cal total)
1/2 slice ham (7.5cal)

Afternoon: 1 slice turkey (15cal)
85grams Dog Food (276cal)

Evening: 1/2 slice ham (7.5cal)
85grams Dog Food (276cal)

Night: 1 hip action treat (24cal)
1 milkbone (40cal)

Total calories ~700 (694.5 according to my excel file but obviously this isn't that precise)

Using 45lbs and the Waltham formula I estimate his caloric needs at 866cal/day and I was feeding him at 800cal/day(200g dry food) until about two weeks ago.

His weigh-ins have been:

10/14 = 52lbs; 10/22 = 50lbs; 10/24 = 51lbs; 10/26 = 49.5lbs; 10/30=51.5lbs

That being said, he is definitely replacing some of his fat with muscle, his waist is starting to come in but he has a long way to go. My concern is that with his age I don't want to push him too hard, but he could really benefit from the extra mobility as arthritis is starting to take a toll. Even at 45lbs he will still be overweight but that's the first stepping stone.

Should I continue with the current feeding for a while longer and see what happens or is there anything major I'm doing wrong?

This has all been on my own research/calculations so don't hesitate to critique anything at all!

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Old 10-31-2012, 07:11 AM   #2
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Hi Viadd and welcome to Df great place nice people on here I think it's right to get some weight off Chewy so good on you for this Can I ask why you aren't in control of the treats? And you certainly should have a say in the matter it's that serious So try and take some control back on the treats! not sure why he is fed 4 times a day though? Like in the morning he doesn't get any dog food but 2 lots later on! So I would suggest you cut back or cut out all together 1 of the feeding schedules! Obiesty in humans is serious and it's no different in dogs either! Any way we do have a resident food guru on here and his knowledge is excellent Normaly Vagreys is on here a lot but as you know (or may not know) Hurricane Sandy hit the East coast (24/48 hrs ago) and other areas of the US and he may have loast his power and internet connection. Please stick around as other members on here will post replies too but you are going to have to make changes I would say to get his weight down some what! Good luck and enjoy the forum
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Old 10-31-2012, 08:05 AM   #3
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vladd, welcome to the forum. If you are feeding your dog lunch meats, I would stop. There is a lot of salt, that dogs should not have. All treats need to become part of his daily allowance of food. So let's say your dog should have 2 cups of food a day. That means all treats need to be included in that daily allowance. The amount of food your dog requires also depends on his activity level. I'm sure more Forum members who know a lot more than me about dog nutrition, will respond.

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Old 10-31-2012, 08:28 AM   #4
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Often on packs of treats it will say what Dee has rightly pointed out this treat should be part of the total food allowance and some treats are really big like Aldi Dog Cookies lets say it wieghs in at 50 grms and for your breed and age ( this is only a Eg!) he is allowed 200grms per meal then 50 grms of that meal must be reduced to 150 grms + 50grms for the treat = 200 grms! And if Arthritis is starting to take it's toll then this is not good You may benifit from weighing his food/treats other wise you may have a up hill struggle if you don't! Good Luck
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Old 10-31-2012, 06:01 PM   #5
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Sorry, I must have failed to explain the feeding properly. His total allowance is 694 calories including the treats(calculated from the Waltham formula which includes activity level and age), (552cal or 170grams from dry dog food). That's what he gets daily that I know of. All the calculations I posted were derived from weighing each item(or a few of them and dividing by the quantity) and using those values in an excel sheet.

I don't have control over his feeding while I'm at work and I'm currently living with family who simply won't meet me halfway with the feedings. And since I am living with them I can't really "put my foot down". I personally don't give him a single treat, I don't believing in treating a dog unless training him.

The 4 times a day feeding is because the aunt/uncle I live with are both diabetic and eat frequent meals and they feed him and their dog every time. They were giving puperoni, ham twice a day, at least a couple bites of table food every time they ate(they have breakfast at 9:30am lunch at 12:30 and dinner at 5:30, snack at 9pm) two milkbones at night, some string cheese, and that was every day. I had gotten them to stop with the table food but now that my schedule is 7am-4pm I'm gone during the key feedings and I know since it was so hard to prevent it while I was present they are definitely loading him down while I'm gone. Have no doubt I've made every plea and explained very well why I want him to lose weight but I would get just as far by beating my head against the wall. I can lecture for 30min about why he needs to lose weight and how much better he'd move if he lost the weight but they give me the same line "he'll never lose that weight", and I am right back to square one. Hell, the aunt still feeds him despite the fact that she's terrified he'll nip her fingers (he was never taught to take food from a hand and I hate that she's teaching him that it's ok), even when I do treat him it is tossed to him, not handed to him.


Anyway, I have noticed the sodium in the deli meats, but what would be my best alternative here? It has to be super easy to feed because the easier it is for them the more likely they'll adhere. I have him at 700calories/day right now including the treats(552cal from dry food alone) I know of and his daily caloric needs based on the Waltham formula is 866/day. How much below the daily caloric needs should I go to lose weight? Better yet, is there a lbs/week loss that I can shoot for to be sure I'm maintaining his progress(for example humans shouldn't lose more than a few pounds every week)?

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Old 10-31-2012, 06:12 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vladd View Post
...My main question is how should I get my dog to lose weight, here's the required info about him...14yo in the spring of 2013, neutered pound puppy mixed breed (was told dachshund/beagle but who knows/cares)...He weighs in at ~51lbs and my goal weight for now is 45lbs. He walks ~1hr every morning but that is a new regimen that started at the beginning of this month...His food has been switched to Wellness Core Reduced Fat but due to circumstances out of my hands he gets treats throughout the day (some that I'm not aware of I'm sure). Since I know I can't stop the treats I've changed them to treats with glucosamine/chondroitin and deli meat (turkey and ham, tried to stop the ham but that's not going to happen)...Total calories ~700...Using 45lbs and the Waltham formula I estimate his caloric needs at 866cal/day and I was feeding him at 800cal/day(200g dry food) until about two weeks ago.

His weigh-ins have been:

10/14 = 52lbs; 10/22 = 50lbs; 10/24 = 51lbs; 10/26 = 49.5lbs; 10/30=51.5lbs

That being said, he is definitely replacing some of his fat with muscle, his waist is starting to come in but he has a long way to go. My concern is that with his age I don't want to push him too hard, but he could really benefit from the extra mobility as arthritis is starting to take a toll. Even at 45lbs he will still be overweight but that's the first stepping stone.

Should I continue with the current feeding for a while longer and see what happens or is there anything major I'm doing wrong?

This has all been on my own research/calculations so don't hesitate to critique anything at all!
Hi. You're doing fine, but the treats you aren't aware of are apparently significant. Despite his current regimen at 700-800 kcals/day, he is maintaining weight as if he were receiving around 940-950 kcals/day. He's definitely getting more than you are feeding or prescribing for him.

If you can restrict him to around 600-610 kcals/day (30% weight loss regimen), he will be losing about 1 pound every two weeks. The gentler method is to simply feed him the 866 kcals/day (or a little less) to get him down to 45 lbs. The problem is the feeding that is outside your control, and that is clearly significant. If he continues like this, he won't lose weight.

If you are going to feed him deli meats, please feed sodium-free meats. The salt is bad for him several ways.

The Waltham formula is good and accurate for the most part (to within about 100 kcals/day for most dogs). Every dog is different, and at his age, his metabolism may be a little lower than average, especially with only light exercise. You may need to adjust his MER down just a little, but it is too soon to tell.

At his age, there isn't much muscle building going on. There may be some maintenance and repair, but not much adding on of new muscle. I think your biggest hurdle is getting the treats you don't know about under control. You need to do that quickly if you want Chewy to lose weight.
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Old 10-31-2012, 06:14 PM   #7
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Since you're not going to be able to convince the rest of the household to withdraw the multiple treat feedings through the day, maybe try to provide some really low cal, healthy snacks for him instead.

One of the things that I found MacKenzie loved was dried sweet potato slices. No sodium, no preservatives, healthy, easy to make in quantity and most of all - cheap!!

There's a recipe in the food section here somewhere but basically it's just slices of sweet potato dried either in a very low oven (170 F) on cookie sheets or in a dehyrdator. I think the original recipe had the potatoes being sliced lengthwise to make a chew type treat. I just sliced them across the potato into rounds - I got more treats that way.

I read your original post and while he's not losing weight rapidly, a slow even weight loss is more desirable. I suspect that by switching out his current treats with something lower cal and healthier, he can be brought down gradually to a better weight.

Good luck, I know how hard it is to convince some people to do things that are good for themselves, let alone being good for the dog.

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Old 10-31-2012, 06:43 PM   #8
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Thanks for the replies, exactly the info I was looking for on both parts! I don't expect any serious muscle development but two months ago he was getting no exercise at all and now he's up to 3.2miles/day not including his walks just to do his duty, so I'm being at least a little optimistic.


I will definitely get rid of the deli meats, will try the sweet potato chips and see how he likes them, that's easy and enough of a novelty for the family to embrace (I think).

I'll keep you all posted on the progress!

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Old 10-31-2012, 06:47 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vladd View Post
...Anyway, I have noticed the sodium in the deli meats, but what would be my best alternative here?...How much below the daily caloric needs should I go to lose weight? Better yet, is there a lbs/week loss that I can shoot for to be sure I'm maintaining his progress(for example humans shouldn't lose more than a few pounds every week)?
Our posts crossed - yours wasn't out there when I started replying. Your best alternative for the deli meat, that would still be like deli meat, would be to roast your own (preferably organic or at least not injected with a saline solution) turkey breast (unseasoned), slice it thinly, and package it in ziplocs containing a few days portions, that can be frozen until needed. Move them from the freezer to the fridge the night before, and they are ready for use the next day. You could do the same with a pork loin roast (trimming away the fat after cooking), and you will be spending half or less than for the regular deli meat, over time.

I wouldn't use a more aggressive weight loss diet than the 30% suggestion I gave you, not at his age, so 600-610 kcals/day from all sources and then around 850-866 kcals/day to maintain, or just keep him on the weight loss regimen until he reaches an ideal weight for his build.
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Old 10-31-2012, 08:35 PM   #10
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vladd, the sweet potato chips are a breeze to cook, and all three of my dogs love them. It's a much better alternative than traditional boxed dog treats or bones. One of our Forum Directors, JGLI, was nice enough to share on how to cook them. I slice mine just like Kenzie'sMom. Good luck with getting everyone one the same page as far as feeding and treats. I think most of us have been there too. Please keep us updated!

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