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Switch to Scheduled feeding & losing weight tips...

Discuss ways to improve the quality of your dog's life and longevity through proper nutrition; a place for all of your questions and answers about feeding your pooch!

Please keep discussions fun, friendly, and helpful at all times. Non-informative posts criticizing a particular brand or another poster’s choice of food are not allowed in this Forum. References to any brand of food as "junk," "garbage," or other harsh names will be removed.

  
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Kally

I caught a- squirrel once...
 
 
Barked: Tue Sep 11, '12 7:09am PST 
Hi all!

I wasn't sure if this should go in this forum or more under Dog Health but thought I would try it here.

Took Kally to the vet yesterday for something unrelated to weight and they said she weighed 26.2 pounds! That's the most she has ever weighed and just weighed 25.8 about a month ago.

We've had her for 8+ years (she is about 10 years old), and have always "free fed" her. I'm not sure if the weight gain is more from extra treats or eating too much dog food or both.

We currently feed Pro Plan Sensitive Skin & Stomach which I know isn't the best. I have a bag of Wellness to try for her but am waiting until the Pro Plan gets a little lower.

The vet recommended we switch to scheduled feedings. I'm curious if anyone has experience with doing so after "free feeding" for so many years. We also have another dog (8 lbs) so I worry about making sure Kally won't eat her food if we switch over.

Also, she gets a Greenie every day and loves pizzles. Are these things I need to cut back on?

I have no idea how to go about this but want her to get healthier and lose a little weight!! thanks smile
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Squ'mey

too old to eat- any more KD
 
 
Barked: Tue Sep 11, '12 7:21am PST 
The obvious advantage to scheduled feedings is you know exactly how many calories are going in. Coupled with an increase in exercise, a reduced caloric intake will lead to weight loss.
I would put both dogs on a schedule. That takes care of the sneaking someone else's food.
You will have a day or 2 of the "hungry eyes" but they will soon learn the cues for feeding time. As well, there may be an issue with eating too fast, at first. After all..the food really does disappear if they don't eat it in the time allotted.
But once they realize this is the way things are, it is no big deal.
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Kally

I caught a- squirrel once...
 
 
Barked: Tue Sep 11, '12 7:32am PST 
Thanks for the advice! Would you suggest feeding twice a day or just once a day?
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Squ'mey

too old to eat- any more KD
 
 
Barked: Tue Sep 11, '12 8:05am PST 
I feed twice a day, but my last guy I fed once. I think it's more for me..I think I would want to eat twice. BOLlaugh out loud But feeding twice also means that if you have a really active day..like a beach romp, or camping/hiking...I can feed a bit extra in the evening. Or if we're lazy..pouring rain..only a short walk...then I can feed a bit less.
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Radley

Im a lean, mean,- cuddling machine
 
 
Barked: Tue Sep 11, '12 12:36pm PST 
Put both dogs on a scheduled feeding time. Mine all eat twice a day. I wouldn't want to only eat once a day so that's why I feed them twice a day. Also make sure you use an actual measuring cup, not like a drinking cup. Did the vet say how much she should weigh? You don't want her to lose weight too fast.
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Kally

I caught a- squirrel once...
 
 
Barked: Wed Sep 12, '12 2:02pm PST 
Thanks for the advice!

Honestly, I really do not like our current vet. frown We live in a small town and there are only two options for vets - we use them both for different things and honestly, neither one is very great.

The vet himself didn't mention her weight (although he has in the past). This was a vet tech and she went on a long spiel and tried to talk me into buying this "overweight management" food "on sale for $6."

How should I go about determining what an ideal weight for her would be? They gave me a little graph and said she was an "8" out of 9 on the graph, but in looking at the examples I would say she "looks" like a 7 - graph says "ideal" weight is 4-5 on the graph -- this graph is also sponsored by the dog food they were trying to sell...

Really great point - I don't know how much she needs to lose - I would only guess 1-3 pounds?? Her very first vet (8 years ago), said she couldn't see Kally getting above 25 - and she's now 25.6.
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Squ'mey

too old to eat- any more KD
 
 
Barked: Wed Sep 12, '12 2:35pm PST 
I go by look & feel. If you stand and look down on Kally you should see a waist. When you firmly..not hard..rub both hands along her sides you should be able to feel her ribs.
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Radley

Im a lean, mean,- cuddling machine
 
 
Barked: Wed Sep 12, '12 3:12pm PST 
The chart is accurate, even though its probably made by Purina. A 5 is ideal on the charts we used at my previous employer. You should be able to feel the ribs, she should have a visible stomach tuck when viewed from the side and a defined waistline when viewed from the top. I keep my dogs on the thinner side of the scale, most of mine hover right between a 4 and a 5. If they rated her an 8 that would mean she has no visible waist line or stomach tuck. Do you know how much you were putting in her bowl when you free fed?
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Kally

I caught a- squirrel once...
 
 
Barked: Wed Sep 12, '12 4:12pm PST 
When I look at Kally and the chart, I would say she's a 7 - not that that is a big difference from the 8 they said wink

No, I have no idea how much was in their bowl - I also don't know how much she would eat vs. how much our other dog would eat! I have a feeling this transition is going to be more difficult for me than them wink But I think it is the best move at this point. I really, really appreciate all of your help!
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Radley

Im a lean, mean,- cuddling machine
 
 
Barked: Wed Sep 12, '12 4:28pm PST 
Not sure how much your other dog weighs, but just for comparison. My 10 pounders eat 1/4 to 3/8 cup twice a day. My Beagle(20 ish pounds) eats a little less then 1/2 cup twice a day. My 28 pounder eats a little over a cup a day. Every dog is different and has a different metabolism. I would suggest picking an amount, buying a measured feeding cup, and see if she gains or loses, if she gains, start slowly cutting back. Then once shes reached a weight you feel is good try to feed a maintenance amount. That amount may change daily as some days she may be more active or less active. I've found that my smaller dogs have the most variance in the amount they eat. Some days they only eat 1/4 cup and maintain weight, other days I feed them that much and they start losing so I bump it up a bit.
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