|Barked: Mon Oct 7, '13 9:52am PST |
|Just feed about 10-20% less of what you feed and at the end of the month evaluate her condition. My vet office lets the dogs come in and use the scale when I like, ask yours. If you reduce food too much then either the dog could go into starvation mode where she lives on air yet doesn't lose weight or she could possibly have trouble with hunger, bile vomits or even hypoglycemia. So if she was getting 1/2 cup of food and half a string cheese stick a day then feed 7 tablespoons of food and 3/8 of a string cheese stick to start out. Remember chews count. A bully stick from Red Barn has 19 calories per inch for instance so if she really goes to town on one take away that amount in that evening's dinner. Wouldn't be much, maybe 3-4 kibble are 19 calories but every calorie matters!
Better to feed a higher protein food so she can build strong muscle than a high carb food if possible. Use her food for treats or substitute treat calories for kibble calories. That works great but be sure you are using quality treats. I use cheese, egg omelet, cooked meat at the moment but something like Ziwi Peak's dehydrated raw works great. Meaty treats like chicken breast and dried lamb or beef lung are very lean and low in calories. I weigh out the food the dogs get and with the tiny amount of kibble a small dog gets that might be more accurate than a measuring cup. Artie was fed kibble and he got 100 grams of kibble a day for instance.
Ginger came here at 19.5 pounds very plump. Look at her page for progress photos. Last weigh in she was 18.25 pounds and nearly there. Once at her ideal weight she may or may not be less than 18 pounds as muscle weighs more than fat volume wise. Since it wasn't my doing that got her plump I didn't know if I was reducing her feed or not and started her at the amount of food for the weight I guessed she ought to be, 15 pounds. When she started her diet I couldn't feel any ribs although she had a good looking tuck. After a month I could feel the lower part of her ribs. After 2 months I could feel her ribs, chest bone and her flank folds were there. Now her flank folds don't seem to be fatty and her abdominal folds are less fatty but the skin over her hips and shoulders still seems a bit thick aka fatty. My favorite thing is her fur over the ribs flips up due to the walking harness so she looks plumper than she really is!
I had to put Max on a diet and it took a whole year for him to get into shape. Doing much better with Ginger, she is nearly there after only 3 months. This isn't easy, the tiny amount of food either dog gets sure doesn't seem like enough!
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