I have a senior APBT with thyroid dysfunction so she is on meds. She is overweight by about 8 lbs for her frame at 68lbs. We have used “Premium Edge Healthy Weight I” that got a 5 star rating here. After a year of using it Diamond discontinued the line. She is outside most of the time which is good for exercise, but she also forages grass, fruits, saw palmetto berries. basically whatever she can find. Doing so she has maintained her overweight status despite changing to the diet formulation. We were feeding 2.5 cups per day which was probably not enough nutrients but she would put weight on with her foraging if we gave her more.
What is currently on the market that has quality ingredients? Personally, I do not mind a moderate level of fillers since I would rather her feeling full from food ingredients we moderate than whatever she scavenges on the property.
I like wellness core reduced fat and whole earth farms if you’re on a budget. 2.5 is plenty for weight loss. If she needs to be at 60 lbs I’d cut her back maybe even to 2 cups a day. For an in shape 70 lbs dog they typically require 3 cups. Depending on the food. And if you can keep her inside to stop the eating of random things that would likely be helpful as well.
Thanks! I will check those out haleycookie. She can’t come inside unfortunately because she will kill the cats. Like I said, it keeps her active so there is some offset in energy in-out there. Even if we kept her locked up she would still forage as soon as she was aloud to roam to do her business. Either way, she loves being outside in the fresh air, with all of the natural sounds and animals to entertain her. I would never take that away. Thankfully the saw palmettos are done fruiting for the season so that should help since she would eat a lot of them and they are high in fat.
Wellness Core Reduced Fat is 360kcal/cup @ $2.50/lb
Whole Earth Farms Grain-Free Healthy Weight is 348kcal/cup @ $1.80/lb
Taste of the Wild is 338kcal/cup @ $1.67/lb
I will add other suggestions to this comment as they are given.
- This reply was modified 2 years, 11 months ago by Chris C.
Found this but I think it is old info. Wish they would put a date on articles like this.
have a look at “Taste Of The Wild” Sierra Mountain, Roasted Lamb 338Kcals per cup the weight just fell of my Staffy or look at “4Health” Weight Managemant formula has 318Kcals per cup, has grains $35 for 35lbs, or 4health Special Care, Weight Management his 279Kcals per cup, grain free $45 for 25lbs sold at Tractor Supply shops even the “4Health” Large Breed grain free formula is good to rotate with has 323Kcals per cup, cost $38 -30lbs or Large Breed with grains has 327Kcals per cup $35-35lbs …
Buy some frozen Beans cook leave in fridge & add to meals, take away 1/4 cup kibble, or just give the Beans as a snack, in Australia in Spring Summer time we get small ice cream container or small type plastic container fill 1/2 with water then add beans, apple pieces a few dry kibbles & freeze then give as a treat, keeps them cool & busy on a hot day…
Thanks Susan! I actually ordered the TotW Sierra last night to give a try. I used to feed all of the dogs their fish based dry food but switched some time ago. I always liked it and never had issue with the brand which gets good reviews so I felt comfortable with it. I will give it a few months and see what her weight does. If it isn’t enough of a calorie deficit I will move to the 4Health line. The green beans are a good idea as filler so I will start sharing ours with her. Now that our nest is empty we usually have some veggies and fruit go bad before we eat all of it if buying at Costco or bulk bags anyway.
Could building her a large enclosure where she does not have access to forage items be a possiblity? Letting her out only when you are spending time with her in the yard.
As for food suggestions, I’ve used a brand called Country Naturals with success for my senior Lab and have heard good things about Annamaet Lean and also Science Diet Perfect Weight. Only thing with Country Naturals is it is not available online.
I also like Susan’s suggestion of green beans, but would add those to an actual senior diet, which TOTW is not.
Could I restrict her by building an enclosed area, sure. But honestly I am not taking that freedom to explore and chase things away from her. I think she will be fine until next saw palmettos season. I will just need to find the time to trim the stalks before the fruit ripen and fall. She is too happy and too old to force a lifestyle change on especially one that would be financially significant to do right.
Just for comparisons of all suggestions I will add yours here. For some reason the edit option is now gone so I can’t add it to the others above.
County Naturals Senior/Low-Fat 370kcal/cup @ $2.36/lb
Annamaet Lean 350kcal/cup @ $2.63/lb
I didn’t include Science Diet since last time I checked their ingredient list was garbage.pugmomsandyModerator
Earthborn Holistic Venture kibbles are 355 calories or less and high in fiber.anonymousMember
Natural Balance Fat Dogs Chicken & Salmon Formula Low Calorie Dry Dog Food
250 calories per cup
High fiber, be forewarned, some dogs may develop loose stools, however if your dog can eat stuff off the ground and not get diarrhea, you probably don’t have to worry 🙂
PS: I always add a little water to dry food.
excellent choice TOTW Siera Mountain is an “All Life Stages” formula, I feed my Senior boy & he’s doing really well, I also add 2 freeze Dried, Green Lipped Mussels as a treat & I add tin Salmon or Sardines in spring water to his diet about 2 spoons, so he’s getting his EPA, DHA, Potassium, Calcium, Iron, Folate, Vitamin D, E, A, C, B-3, B-6, B-12, for his joint’s, bones, heart, brain.
I understand about the finances etc. Would be a huge undertaking, but I thought I’d suggest it anyway, since you never know someones situation.
As for Science Diet, I do understand that people do not like the brand, but Perfect Weight has gone through clinical trials, so I did include it because I have heard good things about it. I also no longer use an ingredient list to judge the quality of a food, since it tells you very little. I look more at the company, and Hill’s as a company passes for me.
I use 50% Annemaet Lean and 50% Horizon Amicus Weight management plus some fresh veggie and protein for my dog with pancreatitis history.
Do you think there is much difference between freeze dried green lipped mussels and frozen( sure what kind) mussels that I can find at the grocery stores?
Why I like the freeze dried Mussels is cause the shell is eatible, You need the shell for the Glucosamine & Chondroitin….
Steve Brown does recommend the cheap frozen mussels from supermarket, but the shells are still hard shells, cause Steve Brown feeds his dogs a raw diet his dogs would just crunch & eat these hard shells, Why I like the freeze dried mussels they seemed to be cooked, so some silly reason I feel better giving Patch the freeze Dried Mussels cause of his IBD….
My cat loves them, she mooooeeeewws the place down like she’s being killed when she see’s me getting out the mussels, I just say mussels & she comes running so does Patch he gets 2 & Indy just gets 1 freeze dried mussel, they’re a bit expensive the freeze dried mussels & they do have to be used within 10-14 days of opening the packet, it says on 1 of the New Zealand brand I buy….The freeze dried mussels just crumble as soon as they bite into them & I know Patch is getting his Glucosamine & Chondroitin from the shell for his joints, bones & his EPA, DHA, Manganese, Iodine, fats, Vitamin D from the mussel meat…
2 x Mussels + Shell are also good to balance a raw diet, Steve said some raw diets are usually short of Iodine, Manganse, Fats & Vitamin D…
Thank you, Susan. As long as there are no other additatives, I am all for it. I will try to find the one from New Zealand. It’s for my two 10 year old miniature schnauzers who need Glucosamine and Chondroitin. One of them has pancreatitis history so I really have to watch out for the fat content.
By the way, your country and New Zealand are both so beautiful, and people are so friendly. I visited there two years ago. 😀
Hi a c,
thank-you, yes Australia is a beautiful clean country, I haven’t been to NZ yet but my sister & my daughter have been to NZ & said it’s beautiful but smells a bit when the sulphur smell comes up out of the ground, people often say us Australian & Kiwi’s are very friendly layed back people…The other day a lady stopped Patch & I while on our walk, I live in town & near the beach, so we get a few tourist who come & stay or work & she asked me, can I please pat our dog she’s here on holidays from the UK & misses her Staffy, she said aussies are such friendly people then she said even our dogs are sooo friendly, I said, yes Patch is very friendly & has to stops & say’s hello to everyone he passes, he loves getting a pat…
Yes that’s why I like giving Patch the freeze Dried Green Lipped Mussels cause of his IBD & he also gets Pancreas & stomach pain after eating certain foods, so far he’s been OK with his freeze dried Mussels, they haven’t cause any problems, the fat is low & the fats in mussels are healthy fats, omega oils & the mussels are all natural & freezed dried in their original natural state, I prefer to feed healthy foods then give supplements especially when they have stomach, pancreas or bowel problems. I hope the mussels work for your 2 Schnauzers you will see an improvement & you have a 6month old Schnauzer puppy as well, that’s what I’m thinking of getting another dog that’s around 18-24 months old, a rescue pound dog that hasn’t been desexed yet then when she goes thru rescue she’ll get desexed & hopefully be an adult.
I ordered K9 natural green lapped mussels. All my dogs love it! However, the ones that I bought is freeze dried but it doesn’t have the shells, just the mussels. The bag said the mussels are ocean farmed from NZ. It’s made from uncook meat.
The bag didn’t say anything about Glucosamine and Chondroitin, just the omega 3 fatty acids. It’s pretty pricy. $14 USD for a 50g of bag contain maybe 17 small/medium size mussels.
I wonder if this is the same bag as yours?
I also found cooked NZ green lipped mussels from one of the grocery stores. I don’t know whether those are as good as the one I bought.
Isn’t that the shell the creamy/white bit on the outside & the mussel is inside the shell? I thought it was the shell?? I just googled a picture of a mussel, so that’s just the mussel lol I thought it was the whole mussel & shell & after being freeze dried thats what the shell looked liked all shriveled up cause they’re still crunchy but soft….
These are the “K-9 Natural Freeze Dried Mussels” I buy,
If you can buy cheaper freezed dried mussels from a grocery store then buy them, we also have other brands for dogs that are cheaper but I found they’re smaller & not as big as the K-9 Natural freeze dried mussels, so you need to give more of the cheaper mussels so the packet doesn’t last as long…..You can buy frozen mussels at the supermarket, read the link below, heat may destroy some of their anti-inflammatory benefits when you cook the mussel, you can even get mussels in a can/tin but will need to be lightly cook….
Freeze Dried Mussels would have the most health benefits being freeze dried, someone else might know more about Mussels?
Here’s a link, about the Health benefits of Freeze Dried Mussels…..Green-lipped mussels contain rare, furan fatty acids that act as powerful antioxidants. This combination of omega-3 fatty acids is not found in any other known marine oils.
I knew your dogs would love them, just make sure you wash your hands after touching them mussels…GSDsForeverParticipant
I’m just seeing this. But I thought I’d throw in a few more suggestions, as they’re not mentioned above.
My vet recommends green beans as a treat or added ingredient to food — including for weight loss, satiety filling up on low calories (raw or cooked). Many people here buy the giant organic frozen bag Costco sells — such a deal!
If you are able to afford it, Zeal from Honest Kitchen is a food I’d strongly explore using, try. VERY low fat, high protein. Excellent ingredients, quality sourcing & quality control, from a great company. Caveat: Yes, higher calories — but you would just feed less of it, and add in healthy veggies/fruit (low cal, low fat, non-sugary/starchy) for desired bulk/satiety.
“Fat Dogs” by Natural Balance is a dry food some good vet practices — ones that otherwise promote & sell higher end “health food” commercial brands of dog food — prescribe to clients with overweight dogs and get compliance and excellent results quickly. Extremely low calorie (250 cal/Cup), very low fat (7.5%), pretty good to decent ingredients. Well worth considering, trying — esp. for short term, quick weight loss.
Anything you feed, remember that you will have the best results from monitoring & tightly controlling overall calories in a day, feeding (w/vet advice, supervision) UNDER what is recommended for your dog’s weight, and increased regular EXERCISING your dog with you.GSDsForeverParticipant
Oops! I sooooo did not catch in my skim read through the thread that “anon101” explicitly recommended “Fat Dogs.” My apologies. Therefore, let me SECOND the recommendation — with good multi-vet support and client results to back it.
Honestly, with people using it for their dogs, I’ve/they’ve not encountered any side effects from this food in those pets like diarrhea/bowel problems. Just excellent, speedy weight loss and full, satisfied dogs.
I’d give it a shot if what you’ve tried thus far hasn’t netted results.
(Hate that title, btw, but I guess it quickly gets the point across! lol. But imagine the uproar if a food for human children was marketed by that name!!!)
p.s. Susan also mentioned green beans. I was surprised to find, after vet recommendation, that my dog just loves them, raw (crispy, crunchy) even, esp. when I buy the bags of thin fresh ones from farmer’s market/produce grocery.
Another idea for you, re the foraging (which, like you, I would let her do): sprinkle some green beans around your grounds maybe?
Subtract an estimated calorie count from treats/foraging outside from her total calories allowed per day when determining cups of food. That will help a lot.
- This reply was modified 2 years, 10 months ago by GSDsForever.
No problem, it looks like a good food. I had bought a bag for a friend that has an overweight lab, however, he decided to go with a prescription food (good results).
Anyway, I mixed the food in with my terrier’s regular food, he did develop loose stools after a couple of weeks so I threw the rest out and he returned to normal.
I think it is high in fiber….
But, I still think it might be a good option for some dogs.
I wanted to update and thank everyone for their suggestions. Piggy has been eating the TOTW Siera Mountain now for over 6mn. Unfortunately, she has continued to gain weight and is now about 10lbs overweight. She does not seem to love the food and will many times come out of her crate in the morning and go straight to foraging after relieving herself although there is food in her bowl. She has been getting 1.5 cups in the morning and 1 cup in the evening. Water is added to the food to help her feel satiated. I was looking at the NB Fat Dogs suggested, but after thinking about it I don’t think it is good for her. She tends to be very gassy already and I don’t think beans being a major ingredient will have good results. I am going to try the Dr. Tim’s WM (with grains version).
I like Fromm, Purina Pro Plan, Victor, Eagle Pack, Authority and Whole Earth Farms weight control kibble formulas for my two chubby golden labs. You really have to pay attention to how many calories per cup they have. Also, how many treats you feed and how much exercise they get.
I also add a little canned to their meals. It makes low fat kibble more palatable and adds moisture to their diet hopefully helping with making them feel more satiated. However, I must warn you that now if I do not add canned or something to it, one of my dogs may not eat it. Spoiled brat! Lol!
Good luck to you!
- This reply was modified 2 years, 2 months ago by crazy4cats. Reason: Added Authority
My lab lost weight using Pro Plan weight management.Spy CarMember
Driving up carbohydrates (which is what so-called “lite” or “weight reduction” formulas do), is the worst thing you can do for a dog, especially one who is a senior or who need weight loss.
Better to drive down carbs and to reduce the total calories. When cutting calories it is vital to cut non-essential calories (canines have no essential need for carbohydrates) and to retain essential nutrients from protein and fat.
Counterintuitively, dogs metabolize fats with great efficiency. Carbs pack weight on dogs and cut their vitality. Fat metabolism increases stamina and vitality.
The marketing gurus are convincing people to do the exact opposite of what’s good for senior and overweight pets. There is a lot of profit in selling cereals as dog food. Don’t fall for it.
- This reply was modified 2 years, 2 months ago by Spy Car.
Spy_Car I agree but meat based/grain free diets have not worked in her weight control so I have to explore alternative options for effect. Sharing your perspective is why I selected Dr. Tim’s over the others in the list. It seems the best option when analyzing meat based & total protein % and total calories. Unfortunately, she has not lost any weight and is only getting 3 cup total a day at 72lbs. We also add about 1/6 cup per meal of various wet foods to entice her to eat since otherwise she seems to have no interest.
- This reply was modified 1 year, 11 months ago by Chris C.
I think you are feeding too much.
My roomates 70 lbs lab gets 3 cups a day to maintain his current weight and he’s a semi active dog. And the food he on is lower cal then dr Tim’s.
To me 3 cups a day and a topper is enough to maintain her current weight not to loose any weight.
I would cut back a half of a cup (if you still use toppers) and walk her everyday if you are able. Or throw a ball in the backyard for a bit if she likes fetch. Anything to get her activity level up.
3 cups is below the daily serving amount for the “weight loss” recommendation daily intake of 4 cups for a 70lb dog. Reducing feed too much brings in concerns of nutrient deficiencies. The topping of wet food or chicken scraps is just enough to add interest. Maybe 100-150 calories a meal at most. For example, last night she just got the water from canned mackerel which was likely under 30 calories.
She gets about all of the exercise she can handle. She is an outdoor dog and constantly roaming the property. She probably walks on her own 3x more than anyone would leash walk her. Running is out of the question for her at this age and stage of joint disease. I wish I could get he in the pool but she has never been a fan and actually panics a bit when I carry her in and hold her as you would while teaching a toddler to swim in an arm cradle.
I’m just saying often times the “recommend” amounts are way over what they should be. Max will be 7 this year and has been on 3 cups of food a day only for 6 of those 7 years. No nutrient deficiencies here. Just a lean mean barking machine.
If she is seriously an outdoor dog whom never stops moving perhaps she has something else health related going on and that’s why she isn’t loosing weight.
Edit: ok I just read the original post and it seems she does have a thyroid condition. Which can cause weight gain. She may just be stuck with that extra 8 lbs then. But as I said food recommendations on bags are often way too much. If a 70 lbs active lean lab only need 3 cups a day to maintain his weight a pit who should be 60 should probably only be getting 2-2.5 cups a day until she drops the weight. Then kept at 2.5-2.75 cups to maintain. If she’s spayed that can also make her hold weight more and make it more difficult to loose.
- This reply was modified 1 year, 11 months ago by haleycookie.
@Chris, the thinking on weight loss for senior dogs is all backwards.
By replacing calorie-rich fats with carbohydrates senior dogs (and all dogs) become increasingly deconditioned directly due to their diets.
It has been well demonstrated in a dog food study that high-carb (vs high-fat/high-protein) dramatically reduces the stamina of dogs as measured by VO2 Max scores on a treadmill.
By feeding reduced fats and higher cabs you are literally cutting a dog’s vitality and ability to produce and consume sustained energy.
If you wish to promote weight loss and good health the best food forward is to feed a very energy dense high-protein/ high-fat diet in reduced portions. This sort of diet has several advantages. One, it will promote movement and energy consumption, which is an overall health benefit vs sleeping all day. Two, fats trigger the dog’s brains to feel satisfied. Three, it is not a benefit to canines to run around with full bellies, and–in fact–it is the worst thing for them.
A dog with a belly full of high carbohydrate food will slug out. A dog that is not stuffed and has fat to burn (which canines can do endlessly vs the boom and bust of carb burning) will be much more active.
Please consider a re-think.
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