Choosing food for my overweight senior dog

Dog Food Advisor Forums Diet and Health Choosing food for my overweight senior dog

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  • #10887 Report Abuse

    Hi all,

    I am overwhelmed by all the dog food options out there and need some help. I have a yellow lab who will be 8 in February. He is currently 95 lbs and needs to get down to 85lbs asap, as he has developed arthritis. The vet said losing weight is the best thing to make it better. To address this, I have cut his food down to 1.5 cups, 2 times a day, adding greenbeans at night, and walking him several times a week.

    He has been eating Purina ProPlan Senior food, but the research I’ve done shows it’s not a good food. However, I can’t spend $60+ dollars per bag on dog food, I simply don’t have the money.

    Does anyone have experience or suggestions that may help? I would ideally like to find a grain-free food, as he’s had problems with allergies for several years, but I know those are pricey. I’d like a high protein, low fat, low calorie food that is designed for senior dogs.

    Any help is greatly appreciated!!


    #10896 Report Abuse

    Hi Jess,

    I think you are really wise to look for a higher protein food. Senior dogs need more protein than adult dogs. I’d also like to suggest that you consider a potato free food. Nightshade plants, like potato, have been shown to aggravate some cases of arthritis. The protein in potato (called a lectin) can actually bind with the joint fluid causing inflammation in the area (may not be a problem for your furkid but better safe than sorry in my opinion).

    Adding organic turmeric (the spice) to whatever food you feed can be very helpful too. Turmeric has been proven to be a powerful anti-inflammatory and quite effective in arthritic cases (needs to be organic as non-organic can be irradiated which damages the spice). The enzyme bromelain has also had positive results.

    And, my girlfriend is using a product called Dasuquin by Nutromax for her elderly lab mix. She says she has seen noticable improvements while on it. I’m NOT AT ALL crazy about the ingredients in it but in her case she feels the good outweighs the bad in her senior pup..

    Lastly, Mercola Healthy Pets has a joint supplement that looks really interesting. Personally, I’d try this one over Dasuquin.

    I’m not sure if any of the foods listed in the link below are within your budget, and amounts of protein vary, but these are all grain and white potato free. (Thanks for making the list Marie!!) /forums/topic/grain-and-potato-free-dog-foods/

    If a slightly lower protein food is better on the budget, you can always add lightly cooked egg whites (high protein and no fat), sardines packed in water (good source of anti-inflammatory omega 3 and will increase protein), high protein canned foods etc as toppers to the kibble.

    Check with your vet on exercising. My frined had a similar issue to yours and found out too late that the extra walking did more harm than good for her pups joints. She ended up having to use water therapy (great exercise without causing negative impact on the joints).

    #10898 Report Abuse

    I typed a response out and then lost it — user error UGHHH

    I think its a good idea to look for a higher protein food as seniors need more protein than adults and protein is shown to help with weight loss. I’d also suggest trying a potato free food. Potatoes are known to aggravate arthritic issues in some. The protein in nightshade plants, like potato, bind with the fluid in the joints which causes inflammation. This may not be an issue for your pup but better safe than sorry in my opinion. Marie made a wonderful list of grain and potato free foods. It’s in the ingredient forum if I remember correctly.

    Some of the foods in Marie’s list may not be high enough in protein but if they are better for the budget you can always add lightly cooked egg whites (high in good quality protein and no fat), boiled chicken, sardines packed in water, high protein canned etc as a topper to whatever kibble you chose.

    My girlfriend started her senior dog on a product by Nutromax called Dosaquin. I really dislike some of the ingredients in it but she feels that the benefits are outweighing the negatives for her old lab mix. She’s seen noticable improvement.

    I’ve seen a product for joints on Mercola Health Pets that looks great. I’d try this one before the Dosaquin if it were one of my pups.

    I would also suggest organic turmeric and the enzyme bromelain. Both have been shown to have a positive affect on arthritic cases — both are anti-inflammatory. Turmeric is relatively inexpensive and well tolerated by most.

    Also, check with your vet on the exercise. I had a girlfriend with a similar case with her lab mix. Turns out the extra exercise was doing more harm than good for her pup. Ended up having to do water workouts with him — great exercise but easier on the joints.

    #10927 Report Abuse

    I have heard Victor Grain Free is reasonably priced. I also use Nutrisource in rotation on my fosters and it is $51 for a 30 lb bag. Give it some time. A reduced feeding portion and exercise should help. Right now I have a senior foster who is eating just canned food and raw food and has lost 5 lbs in one month. But I’ve also had fosters on grain free kibble that have lost weight also.

    #10928 Report Abuse

    I’ve also had success with weight loss just by increasing the protein and decreasing the carbs of a grain-inclusive food by mixing it with a higher protein grain free food, ie Merrick Wilderness or Turducken (discontinued formulas) cut with Blue Buffalo Wilderness. For me, at any age, the increased protein and decreased carbs helped the dogs with weight loss. There are some high protein grain-inclusive foods as well, such as Merrick Classic and Acana Classic, and foods designed for puppies generally have a higher protein content as well (but not always) like Nutrisource Large Breed Puppy. I would chose the Nutrisource Performance formula over the large breed puppy formula for weight loss and yes for your senior. It is rated for all lifes stages. You would of course be able to feed a lesser amount.

    #10945 Report Abuse

    I used Wellness Core’s reduced fat to help a dog we adopted lose weight but it’s above your price range. Good luck.

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