I have a 4yo spayed Siberian husky that is about 8-10 lbs overweight.
She has been on a low calorie diet, for almost a year with no results. We’ve tried all different kinds of food trying to find one that will help her loose weight to no avail. We have tried high protein diets like Orijen, (taking into great consideration the amount of calories she gets a day) and are now on Wellness healthy weight recipe as our vet recommended. (I’d like to get her on the Acana light & fit, but it is not available in the U.S.) All blood results came back normal, except the high cholesterol, due to her being overweight. Her excercise consists of a 2.5 – 4.5 mile run daily, or 1 – 2 hours at the dog park running and playing.
We have 3 huskies, and the other two are in great shape, and get just as much exercise, and more food (Orijen.)
The only thing I have not definitively ruled out is Cushings, however, the vet said it was unlikely she had Cushings.
Does anyone have any suggestions on what I can do to help her lose weight? I am concerned that the amount of food she gets is not sufficient for the amount of excercise she gets. She just won’t lose weight!
I am at a loss, thoughts and suggestions are greatly appreciated.
- This topic was modified 6 years, 9 months ago by husky3.
Looks like you’ve been working hard to get to the bottom of this. 🙂 Let me toss a few things out. Have you tried a potato & grain free, high protein food? I noticed Orijen had both potato & sweet potato. That’s a lot of starch. Starch is converted to glucose, which triggers insulin, which opens the ‘gate’ that says “make fat.” Were you aware that potatoes have toxins? They’re from the deadly nightshade family. If your pup is having immune system problems (too many toxins – dietary & environmental) she may be putting on fat, as a secondary defense mechanism. I’m toxically injured. When my primary detox metabolism failed, my body started creating fat out of my own body tissue, encasing the toxins and storing them in adipose tissue… So even when I was barely eating, I was putting on weight. Its very common with the Toxically Injured (TI), and pets have the same response. So, we can take a look at what your environment looks like, what you’re pup’s vaccine and worming schedule is and boost her immune system.
Personally, I like Brother’s Complete, as the best kibble. It has a unique encapsulated probiotic, that feeds the entire digestive system. The gut is the foundation of the immune system. It also doesn’t have the toxins that I see in a lot of other foods, even some of the “high end” ones. I also feed raw. You might want to look at that, to reduce the carbs. Dogs don’t have a dietary need for carbs. So reducing them won’t do him any harm. Steve Brown recommends 5-6% carbs, but more in the line of dark green leafies, or high antioxidants. I also like to give astaxanthin from Mercola(dot)com.
Any way, its a waste of money & your dog’s health to not clean up her environment, in addition to her diet, so read the “detoxing” and “vaccinating” threads, under “diet & health,” and then let me know if you need any more help. 🙂
Wow, thank you for your response!! I have been searching for an answer for a very long time…
I was not aware of Potatoes having toxins… It’s interesting that you bring up allergies, I was just thinking the other day that she might be allergic to something. I noticed her lips/muzzle seemed a little more “plump” than normal… But I chalked that up to her being overweight, since she is not itchy, has a beautiful thick coat, and no skin problems.
She is up to date on all her vaccinations, and since seeing our new vet (who is wonderful, might I add), we’ve recently decided that we will only go with the mandatory Rabies vaccination which is due next month. They run a titer blood test to confirm they don’t need additional vaccines. She has never had any GI problems, and she gets Trifexis once a month for any possible worms/fleas. I’m not sure what other environmental things could be bothering her, what other environmental things were you referring to?
I have notice a slight change in her physique since we upped the exercise, but still no actual weight loss after 8 months of decreased calories and increased exercise. I will look into the Brothers Complete, and, quite frankly, I’m afraid to try the RAW diet, I’ve heard it’s difficult to make sure they are getting all the nutrition they need, in addition to the protein. I may have to suck it up and try it though, or at least incorporate it into their diet a couple times a week. 🙂
I am very excited to research all the great information you provided, and I think I will have an allergy test ran to see what foods she might be sensitive to. Hopefully we will finally find our answer!
Thank you again for your response, I really appreciate your input. 🙂
Hope you have a Happy New Year!
Wow, now this is very interesting… I was just reading on the vaccination forum, and our vet, Dr. Dodds was named several times! I feel pretty fortunate to have such a wonderful vet that cares so much about our animals health! 🙂 🙂 🙂 What a small world…
Have you taken into account her body condition score? In your first post, you only mentioned she was overweight but not how she looked. So I just wanted to throw that out there. As my small dogs are on a low carb diet, they remain “overweight” but with good body condition scores. I’m going to say they are muscular versus fat. My two small ones are 24 lbs but look like ones that weigh less than 20. My gravatar is one of my small ones. For a pug he is considered overweight! He still has the same harness set at the same size for the past 3 years although he is heavier than 3 years ago. I’ve been feeding them at first low carb kibble and now kibble and raw foods and they just are heavy pugs but not fat. I haven’t figured out how to post pictures yet in this forum. If anyone knows how (using shutterfly) let me know!! For my group, if they were to lose weight to be more inline with the breed standard, they would have to be emaciated! Or lose all their muscles and become weaklings.
The fact that you’ve seen her body change but have seen no weight loss means she’s adding muscle. Don’t worry about the number on the scale, it wil come with time. Muscle burns more calories than fat, so adding muscle is good on so many different levels.
Thank you for your response, Pugsmom & Patty!
I just looked into the body condition score, and I think she would fall somewhere between a 6 & 7 on the scale of 1-9, or a 4/5 on the other scale. She does have a little bit of a waistline when standing above her looking down, & an abdominal cut when looking from the side. Her ribs are “palpable with difficulty” closer to the spine, but can be slightly felt on her belly. I can not quite feel her hip bones, and the fatty deposit between the hip bones is a bit thick for my liking. It’s difficult to tell through all her fur, maybe I should giver her a bath to get a better idea! 🙂
We’ll work on getting the ideal Body Condition score rather than looking at the scale, as I just kept getting disappointed and frustrated with the increased effort & lack of results.
I’m still going to look into a possible allergy/toxin, but continue our regimen of increased exercise and decreased calories. She just may be a real “husky” Husky after all! Oh, and we’re doing more research in hopes of starting them on the raw prey model diet.
If there is a way to post pictures, let me know and I’ll post one for comparison.
I can’t seem to post pictures in the forum but can in the reviews so I’ll post some pictures in the “dog food calculator” thread.
Just posted some pictures in “dog food calculator” but it comes up under “Sandy” with a black pug in a red harness.
Thanks Sandy! You have some pretty pugs! 🙂
I just posted some pictures in there as well. Please let me know your thoughts…
Here’s the link where some photos and conversations are posted in case someone else reads this thread:
Since I can post photos now, here are my overweight pugs that still have a good body condition score. They are 24 lbs. You can see a better photo if you click on the photo:
Here’s a poor body condition and a too skinny body condition for a pug:
i have had my over weight dog on acana light & fit and she did good on it the only problem im having is it seems to be really had to find near me so i am thinking about switching to something new but not to sure what, i have been cutting down her food & replacing it with canned pumpkin which helps with weight loss & makes your dog feel full (being a lab she thinks she is always staving!) & fruits & veggies that seems to be working slowly. how do you find out how many carbs are in the food i cant seem to find it on the bag
Anniebug: why don’t you order it online? Many places sell Acana with free or very cheap shipping. I’ve never heard that about pumpkin helping them feel full; I’ve always used fresh green beans.
I’ve never understood how people think their dogs feel they’re starving. They’re dogs. Most of them will happily “beg” for food but that doesn’t mean they’re hungry.
I would rather buy locally & it is easier for me to do that. green beans also help you feel full & are super healthy but she wont eat green beans & she loves pumpkin. she is loosing weight for the 1st time in over a year so something is working. she doesn’t beg for food but she will look round the house & try to find anything edible. but she has a a bunch of owner & from what i can tell they have always been free feeding . but since we have been adding fruit & veg to her food she seems to have almost stopped that behavior
I feed Brothers Allergy Formula and my largest Chihuahua was 17.5 lbs and she has lost 6.5lbs in the last 3 months we have been on Brothers. She still needs to loose a few more pounds and I feel very confident if I keep feeding her the recommended amount then she will loose the rest in no time. I don’t mind getting my dogs food shipped to me since they all seem to be doing well on this brand. The only thing is since the ingredient change with adding Menhaden Fish my dogs don’t eat their food as well so I am hoping by the time I order another bag that they will have changed the Formula back to the original ingredients. But I am grateful that my one with intestinal allergies has not had any issues since we switched off of Acana onto Brothers Allergy Formula. We are still having detox issues though , all 4 of my dogs are still licking their feet and scratching like mad but I am hopeful that this will pass once we are on Brothers for approx 6 mos. I am also adding Mercola Enzymes and Probiotics on their food and that is all they get. No treats or anything else
I’m replying to my original post in regards to my Husky not losing any weight. We switched to a completely raw diet in February, and she is still gaining weight. 🙁 She weighs in at over 60 pounds now. She would have a poor body condition score. Can not feel ribs, or locate the spine or hip bones. Exercise has been a little less since it has been so hot lately, but I have also decreased her food amounts. Almost to the point that I’m not sure if she’s getting enough to sustain her daily needs. I don’t know what else to do at this point. I have two other Husky’s that are thriving! They have excellent body condition, and get just as much exercise, but with a lot more food, almost twice as much food!!
In May, we had an ultrasound done on her, and they said that there were some slight changes to her liver & kidneys, but nothing major. We also had her thyroid checked again, and ran tests for Cushings, Addisons, Diabetes, Diabetes Insipidous, and Atypical Cushings. They all came back negative. We ran an allergy panel as well, and she did have some environmental allergies that we are working on now with the drops.
While she tested negative for Atyp. Cushings, they did say her hormones were a little elevated, and we are treating that with Lignin and melatonin. I have seen a change in her attitude, for the better, but no weight loss.
She had an ear infection a couple weeks ago, and another one about 3 months ago, which is a new development. She also has red stained paws from her licking them, or perhaps it is a yeast overgrowth?
Does anyone have anything else to add to this conundrum? Any medical ailments that mimic cushings, or thyroid problems? At this point, I don’t think it can be diet related unless she is allergic to raw meat, and it’s not chicken.
Thank you for your help.
my friend dog had great results on holistic health extension LITE dog food. her dog lost the 7lbs it needed to
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