And I will say it again – HELP!
My little 4 yr old Jack Russell Terrier, Tebow, is getting fat on Blue Buffalo Basics dry dog food! He’s always been a slim little guy, and very active as only a JRT can be.
However, my lab/shepherd, LadyBug, developed food sensitivites about 4 months ago, and my vet suggested that I switch them to Blue Buffalo Basics. So, ok, I did. Within a week, no more vomiting for Lady, yay! But Tebow is blowing up like a balloon! I’m ready to change his name to Chunky Munky, I swear. His abdomen literally is beginning to look like a balloon, but he is solid. Also, his breathing has become a bit labored, I’m assuming due to the weight gain.
Does anyone have ANY idea what could be causing this? Do I need to change foods again? I can’t afford to have them on 2 different foods.
(BTW, they eat once per day – a cup of BB in each bowl, plus 1 can of Pedigree split between them. Someone told me I should feed them smaller portions twice per day. Is this true?)
- This topic was modified 4 years, 8 months ago by Peggy.
You can use the feeding calculator on this site to see how much to feed him. Just enter his weight, activity level, and the Calories in a cup of his food. (It should say on the bag.) Make sure to subtract for canned, and look at the Calories for that as well. However, I would definitely not recommend the Pedigree for canned. It is not a quality food. Mixing in canned food is a good idea though, you could look around the review part of the site for some 4 and 5 star canned products to check out. Pure Balance from Walmart is a popular, high-quality canned food that is only $0.25 more per can than the Pedigree.
Hi Peggy, I would be feeding 2 small meals a day & if he’s bowing up, I’d change his food to a weight loss food & keep lady bug on the same food if she is doing well, have you tried the Wellness Core grainfree reduced fat kibble, that is suppose to be good for losing weight…wellness also has good toppers to add with their kibble..also maybe add sardine in spring water drained, a couple days a week instead of can food, sardines in spring water is good for skin & give nice shinney coat….. be careful with Lady Bugs stomach/bowel, make sure she a has a low fat tin foods 2% & under for fat in wet tin food, being part shepherd, Shepherds can suffer from IBD & EPI….
Has Tebow had a check-up recently? What does his stool look like?
I’d be concerned about the solid, distended abdomen and labored breathing. I would probably err on the side of caution and get him checked out to rule out any potential health issues. Labored breathing isn’t to be taken lightly.
I’m not a fan of Blue Buffalo, so I’d look for a new food to switch him to anyway. I would choose a different canned food also. Are you by chance amember at Costco? Nature’s Domain Turkey & Pea Stew is $18.99 for 24 cans – great quality product, too. Was he eating higher protein and fewer carbs before, by chance? Yes, I’d also feed him two smaller meals and likely reduce his portion size. Are you making sure he’s not eating the other dog’s food? If you’re wanting a weight loss food for him, a few of my favorites are Go! Senior, Orijen Senior and Wellness Core Reduced Fat.
One cup is too much food for my VERY active JRT. Definitely look into how many calories you are feeding. If his belly actually feels tight, it is not fat, and it can be medical emergency, so really watch that. If his belly extends and gets tight after eating, it can be a sign of liver failure, bloat, pancreatitis, or a few other serious problems. The panting/labored breathing is a sign of acute pain.
Thank you everyone for your input.
Dog_Obsessed, I will go look at that canned food tomorrow, thank you.
Before the BBB, they were on Purina Dog Chow and Pedigree can. Tebow was fit and very active, no problems at ALL. Once I changed to BBB – I was told it was healthier, ha – and started feeding only once per day – is when he started gaining weight. He acts like he was hungry all the time. I guess he is. 🙁
I’ll be looking at weight loss food tomorrow as well. 2 vets contacted me tonight from here and told me to drop BBB and go to Wellness Core, and to only put enough wet food in it to “tasty it up”. Other options they gave me were to brown up some fresh ground turkey, or scramble 1 egg each and mix with their dry food.
theBCnut – yes his belly actually feels TIGHT. It doesn’t extend noticeably after eating. It’s like that all the time.
I should not have said his breathing is really labored. It’s heavier than it used to be, and he snores, whereas he did not used to. Lady has always snored.
I do have an appointment for him for a checkup and vaccinations in early January. I’m hoping that these changes and increasing our walking a bit every day will help him. We could both lose some weight.
I’m curious, are you saying that two vets read your posts here in the forum and contacted you outside of the forum with their advice?
Actually only one was from here, I thought they both were. Both are also on Facebook. I posted on FB about this as well, and was contacted there.
Sorry for the confusion.
Wait, there are vets that scan the forums? Interesting. None of us are vets just to be clear. I think BCnut was a tech at one point.
Apparently so. I wasn’t looking for a vet though. Just advice from other dog parents.
Another question –
When shopping for Wellness Core Reduced fat –
is it more important to get the Protein-focused, or the Grain free?
Never mind I answered my own question. It already is grain-free.
Purina has a lower calorie count, so you probably do need to reduce his food amount or as you as doing, reduce his calories. If the tightness in his belly is signs of pancreatitis, then reducing his fat is imperative, but he also needs to be fasted for a few days or he could have a very bad case of pancreatitis- read LIFE THREATENING-so I REALLY wish you would not put off having your vet look into this. It really is a serious sign of serious pain.
I agree with BC, I’m concerned about your pup also. The symptoms you describe could be serious. Is there anyway you could get him to the vet sooner, rather than waiting until January.
I can only think of one vet for sure that’s posting currently. Dr. Tabitha is a holistic vet who pops in occasionally. Vets are asked to identify themselves using their full name. She uses her name, picture and generally links to her website. She has lots of great information on her website; here’s a link to it: http://naturalalternativesvet.com/
I’m curious….how did someone from here contact you? Did you post your email or is there some way of contacting people here that I don’t know of?
- This reply was modified 4 years, 8 months ago by InkedMarie.
I answered that above. I also posted about this on Facebook. He said he read my post here and on FB, and private messaged me. 🙂
However, how or why someone contacted me, or where, or if there are vets reading posts here, is really not the topic of my situation. I don’t mean to be rude, but if I’d known it was going to be a big deal, I would not have mentioned it.
- This reply was modified 4 years, 8 months ago by Peggy.
DogFoodie, I wish I could take him earlier, but I have to wait for my check to come in on the 3rd of Jan. I am currently googling the symptoms of pancreatitis to see if he has any symptoms other than being overweight.
BTW, I just took him out for a walk and he was very energetic and lively.
Hi Peggy, I’d say Tebow is just getting fat, is he vomiting, have diarrhea, having any abdoman pain, unwell in himself ???? if not just start him on a weight loss kibble & excercise…. JRT are short hair dogs like my Staffy, so you see their tummy more then a long hair dog, he’s probably a healthy little boy…I’d be taking Tebow & Lady Bug for daily walks, walking to get heart rate going, or going to local park with a ball & play ball for 20mins, after 1 month you all will problably loose a kilo or 2…..
Hi Susan, thanks for your reply.
I’ve googled canine pancreatitis today and called my own vet.
Most of the symptoms I found, and our vet gave me, Tebow does not have.
Fever – no
Vomiting – no
Diarrhea – no
Loss of appetite (anorexia) – definitely Not!
Weight loss – no.
Dehydration – no
Fatigue and sluggishness – probably as much as any overweight dog, or human for that matter.
Mild to severe abdominal pain – I was brushing him today and while he was on his back I pushed on his tummy and felt around. He made no sounds at all that would lead one to believe he’s in pain. In fact, his legs got going because he was being tickled, haha.
Depression – not at all.
Increased heart rate – none that I can tell.
Difficulty breathing – again, as much as you would expect from an overweight dog or human. Plus he’s been snoring.
I ordered Wellness Core Grain-Free Reduced Fat Dry food today from Amazon.com – $6 less than PetSmart, and free shipping. Should be here Monday. I took him for a walk in the snow today – walking has not been a regular activity for us. It will be from now on.
Thank you to everyone for your help!
Hi Peggy, yes it would be snowing in parts of America, I forgot about that, you’ll have a white christmas, I live Australia & have a warm christmas…..
Sheesh, I just asked a question. This forum has had things come & go, such as a “like” option. I thought maybe there was a private message option that I didnt see.
Hey Marie, if your post above was meant for me, I sincerely apologize if my reply to you came across as snippy or mean, it was not intended that way at all.
A few different people commented on my post about the vets contacting me, and I was actually teasing in that post. The problem with this forum is that it does not give you the option of using emoticons/smileys, which I always use so people know if I’m being sarcastic, or teasing, etc.
Anyway, your reply had me looking all over the forum to see if there was indeed another avenue for communication! I didn’t find one….. 🙁
HEY! There’s a smiley. I guess you have to type the right stuff to get it to show up. 😛
Ono problem Peggy. I do wish there was a private message option here. 🙂 Wonder if that will turn into a smiley?
It did. yay! lol
Dog_Obsessed, I looked for Pure Balance wet food at my Walmart and they don’t have it, so I will have to go to the next town to get it. Dog Food Advisor gives it 4.5 stars. I’m impressed.
If Pure Balance had a weight loss formula I would buy it too, as the dry food has 4 stars.
They have a grain free formula, but not weight loss. 🙁
It’s okay. IMO weight loss formulas are just marketing hype. High-protien, low-carb diets can help with weight loss, but feeding less and giving more exercise is really the key. One trick for getting inactive dogs to be more active is to throw their kibble, one piece at a time, so that they have to chase it. Lily loves this, but if I do it with her whole meal then she seems really hungry afterward, so I don’t do it with more than half the meal. Also, I’m not sure if this has been mentioned yet, but feeding food in an activity toy can encourage dogs to be slight more active, and also mentally stimulates them. It sounds like you’re on the right track, good luck!
I can’t recall if I mentioned this before or not, but a few of my favorite dry “weight loss” foods that don’t compromise protein or quality, healthy fats are Wellness Core Reduced Fat (dry and canned), Orijen Senior and Go! Senior.
I recall talking about canned foods also so forgive me if you had said you were only looking for canned foods. I didn’t go back and read this thread from the beginning.
Hi DogFoodie, I purchased the Wellness Core grain-free weight loss formula, on your advice and waiting for it to be delivered. It was cheaper to buy at Amazon.com and got free delivery. I noticed it gets 5 stars here at DFA.
I think after that is finished we’ll decide on whether to stay with it or switch to Pure Balance. Dog_Obsessed, which dry food to you feed your dogs?
Previously I had been walking each dog once a week, twice at the most. This past week I’ve taken them out every day. One at a time. The JRT is not used to walking on a leash so we’re working on it. LadyBug however, I’m sure was a leash walker with her previous owner as she loves it and all I have to do is say “walk” and she’s at the door, haha.
The next few days will be very busy so may not be able to walk them but we’ll get back on it after Christmas.
Tebow is a toy dog. Meaning, he loves toys. Squeakies, stuffed, rubber, balls of any kind, etc. His favorite indoor activity is for me to toss the ball UP the stairs to the second floor and he’ll run up the steps (12 steps total), retrieve it, run back down, drop it at my feet, sit and look up at me as if to say “Ok, ready!”. This happens at least 15 times before he stops bringing it back. That’s his way of saying “I need a rest now. Thank you”. 😀
- This reply was modified 4 years, 8 months ago by Peggy.
Aww. So cute! My dog, Lily, is the same way, except she just chews on the toy instead of bringing it back.
In terms of food, I rotate which food I feed my dog since no food is perfect. Many other DFA users do the same. If he is doing well on the Wellness, then you could keep him on that until he has lost some weight, but after that I would recommend rotating. If you want something less pricey, it should be fine to transition him to the Pure Balance as long as you go slow.
Another question… do you feed your dog(s) treats? Ours have come to expect one every time they go outside to do their business. I’m not sure how we got into this habit but I’m sure it has contributed to weight gain as well.
We usually treat them with a Milk Bone.
Also they love those Busy Bones.
I give my dog treats. Most of the treats are store-bought mostly or all meat treats, though I sometimes make homemade treats, (recipe ideas here: https://www.dogfoodadvisor.com/forums/topic/has-anyone-made-homemade-dog-treats/) or buy treats with more carbs that I think of as “junk food.” If I have given her a lot of treats, such as for training, then I reduce her food appropriately. I wouldn’t really recommend Milk Bones or Busy Bones (I assume you mean the Purina ones), because they are mostly grain fillers. For ideas on what to look for in a dog treat, check out this topic: https://www.dogfoodadvisor.com/forums/topic/your-most-recommended-dog-treats/
As for treats contributing to weight gain, that could certainly be possible. From what I understand treats should not make up more than 10% of the overall diet. It can help to break treats into tiny pieces for training, or use lower calorie treats.
- This reply was modified 4 years, 8 months ago by Dog_Obsessed.
Try smaller sized treats for potty breaks. They make several different ones that are tiny for training. Zukes is a good brand.
I agree that Zukes has good ingredients, but weren’t they bought by Purina?
I think they were. I don’t use them anymore because Micah can’t have them, so I don’t keep up.
I only use single ingredient treats and most of those are homemade.
- This reply was modified 4 years, 8 months ago by theBCnut.
I used them until I found out they had been bought. I don’t know if it actually means anything, but the word “Purina” makes me uncomfortable.
Yeah, I know what you mean.
Thanks for this great advice. I looked on the MilkBone box and found that they have 40 calories per biscuit. Doesn’t sound like much to me, but since dogs are so much smaller than humans, I’m guessing it’s a huge amount for them.
I just looked it up and found this article by Zukes: http://www.zukes.com/meet-zukes/for-media/press-releases/zukes-partners-with-nestle-purina-petcare
And here’s someone’s personal opinion on it: http://youdidwhatwithyourweiner.com/yes-zukes-was-bought-by-purina-dont-panic/
40 calories is no small amount for a small dog. Lily requires about 315 Calories per day, and I try to make about 300 calories come from food. Lily is 9.5 pounds, and I assume Tebow is a bit bigger at his target weight. If he needed 400 calories per day, (random guess) then one Milk Bone treat would be 10% of his diet.
- This reply was modified 4 years, 8 months ago by Dog_Obsessed.
40 calories per biscuit is a huge amount for a dog that may only need 350 calories a day. Have you used the calorie calculator to figure out about how many calories your dog needs?
I have tried to. Unfortunately neither the can of Pedigree nor the bag of Blue Basics tells you how many calories there are.
My JRT currently weighs pretty close to 30 lbs – approx 10 lbs overweight.
The Blue Buffalo Basics Adult has 377 Calories per cup according to Pet Smart’s website. A can of Pedigree Choice Cuts in Gravy has 340 Calories per can. The Wellness CORE Reduced Fat has 360 Calories per cup.
According to the Dog Food Calculator, your dog should get about 366 kcals per day.
I tried to find the calorie count on BB’s website, but found their website to be worse than useless. You should try calling them and ask for the calorie count on the specific food you feed.
I also found BB’s website to be useless. I searched “Blue Buffalo Basics Calories” and got a Pet Smart page that said 377 Calories.
Thanks for the help both of you. I don’t know why I didn’t google it. Google is my best friend for everything else.
We’re leaving BB behind. Our bag of Wellness Core should be delivered tomorrow. Leaving Pedigree behind after Christmas as well.
I’m a bit surprised that the Wellness Core Reduced Fat has that many calories.
Glad you’re leaving BB and Pedigree behind. It doesn’t really matter how many calories a food has in it, just adjust the feeding amount for the amount of calories. I actually like high-calorie foods better because they will last longer.
Buddy Biscuit Itty Bitties are tiny, great for potty treats. THK has some little tiny heart shaped ones in a tube, I just can’t recall the name of them. Quickies, maybe
Yup! THK Quickies only have 1.1 calories per treat. Buddy Biscuit also has grain-free itty Bitties, but they are still quite carb-heavy. THK also makes dog cookies, some of which are quite low-calorie.
I also love Wellness Petite Treats. They have crunchy and soft varieties and they’re about the size of an average kibble. They have between two and four calories a piece and there are over 100 in each six ounce bag. A bag costs around $3.99.
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