Gaining weight issues

Share advice for keeping your aging dog happy and healthy

Sanka- I'll Miss- You

The ground is my- newspaper.
Barked: Sat May 14, '11 9:13pm PST 
Is it just inevitable that the older the dogs get, the more likely they'll just gain weight?

I can't help but look at Sanka and think that he looks chunkier. Last year, he weighed in at 68 lbs. A few weeks ago, he weighed in at 70 lbs. And I did way more activities with him this year over the winter than I have in years before.

I give him about 2 cups of food in the morning and 2 at night, but he rarely eats all of his 2 cups from the morning feeding, so he doesn't really get a full 4 cups daily. More like 2 1/2-3 cups daily.

I currently don't have any recent pictures of his side, but this is what Sanka normally looks like. He's very solid, always has been. What little tuck he had has gone away and now his belly is flush with his chest.

Don't disturb me- I'm on fly- patrol!
Barked: Tue May 17, '11 7:04am PST 
Pretty much. My GSD mix that I've had since I was a kid is now 12 and could really stand to loose a few pounds. Their metabolism slows down as they age and they take to sleeping more of the day. The other problem is that older dogs start to get arthritis so it makes exercise more difficult. If your pup likes to swim I would encourage that as its easy on the joints. Unfortunately Ginger HATES water and is pretty arthritic so it makes exercise pretty difficult.

I'm triple- superior MAD- now!
Barked: Tue May 17, '11 9:40am PST 
It is a vicious circle. Dog is bored and eats and gains weight and doesn't feel like moving so much and loses muscle mass and so forth. Most senior kibbles are based on fewer calories per cup because older dogs gain weight. Newer senior kibbles offer more protein as senior dogs tend to have trouble utilizing nutrients as efficiently as younger dogs. Sounds like going back to puppy food might be a good idea, just not so much of it.

Sassy felt so much better when she got about 28-30% protein than when the protein was about 20-22% protein. She had the opposite problem, couldn't keep weight on as she was burning all she got and couldn't eat much more but muscle mass is really important for senior dogs. The muscle supports aging joints and dog feels like getting up and chasing the squirrels out of the yard and going for walks.

If you drop the calories per day drop the carb part more than the fat and protein part. Fat makes the dog feel full and protein helps with the muscles.

Sanka- I'll Miss- You

The ground is my- newspaper.
Barked: Thu May 19, '11 4:19pm PST 
Thanks for the responses!

It's just so strange with Sanka. He still goes on regular walks. Although, he wasn't able to completely finish today's walk for some strange reason. We had to take a 5 minute break in which he laid down in the middle of the road. lol. But it is kind of sad that these things are becoming more and more common.

For about 3 weeks now, I've stopped giving him his morning meal and just feed him 2 cups at night. I've always done this for the summer though as activity becomes almost nonexistent for Sanka then.

He just looks borderline pregnant to me.laugh out loud I wouldn't call him fat, but he looks chunky to me, and I do not want him to gain any weight, especially now. I saw first hand with my friend's dog what weight can do to a senior dog, and I do not want Sanka to go through that.

The only other thing I thought of was that he is still taking steroids. I've been tapering them off for the past few weeks, half a tablet every other day now. I suppose that could have something to do with it. I'll see if I can get a picture for ya'll to see as I'm biased lol.
Sanka- I'll Miss- You

The ground is my- newspaper.
Barked: Thu May 19, '11 6:20pm PST 

side 1

side 2

Ok, the photos aren't the best, but I think Sanka was self conscious and didn't want his photo taken because he was being a bit of a drama queen.laugh out loud