Keeping weight on older dog

Dog Food Advisor Forums Diet and Health Keeping weight on older dog

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  • #30055 Report Abuse

    Akari_32
    Member

    I’m having trouble keeping weight on Haley, my 11 year old lab/retriever mix. Ever since I switched from Wellness Core to RR (Zero Grain and Just 6 mix), she’s been droppig weight like crazy. She’s currently on about 1/4 RR and 3/4 Purina One, and that’s helping tons now. I had the dogs on all RR, then got a really awesome deal on the Purina One, and I’m just about out of the RR now, I have maybe 15 pounds left.

    Unfortunately, we’re at a financial point were if we buy it, we use it. Throwing out or giving it away won’t do us any good. Since I’ve got lots of the Purina and few other random small bags of food, I’ve just been giving a small amount of the RR. I always mix in canned food (Haley can’t do straight dry food in meal size quantities, as her stomach can’t handle it and it makes her miserable), and usually a raw egg. I’ve stopped walking her almost completely, and upped her food to 6-9 cups a day, depending on if we walk or not. This has helped a lot, but she’s not a big eater to begin with.

    My plan is to get at least her back on Wellness ASAP (I have about 15 pounds of that that I bought recently with coupons, and will get more as soon as I have the funds and time), as well as buy some good, all beef hot dogs to add some extra calories and protein to her diet (I have 10 free packs lined up as soon as they get in stock). She’s currently on vitamins, glucosamine, and fish oil as well. The fish oil has helped her put some weight on, too.

    I’m positive the switch from the Wellness Core foods to the lesser RR, and then even lesser Purina One has got her system all in a fit, but it’s been months since she’s been off Wellness. RR is only 313 calories per cup, which I only found out recently, and that’s when I started feeding more, realizing it was partly not enough calories. Other than that, I don’t think she digests food very well, which is why I always wet her food– makes it easier on her tummy. She did great on Wellness and I only fed her 2.5-3 cups. My Rott mix has not needed an increase in food since the switch, and neither really has moms terrier (only on days he’s particularly hyper).

    I also plan to buy some Nutri Source Super Preformance off PetFlow, but I’d like to get her back on Wellness and get weight back up first, and see if any certain ingredients have anything to do her weight loss, and see how she does grain free vs grain inclusive. The dogs were all on corn based foods until I took over the dog food buying a few years ago, and I’ve more or less kept them on grain free, and anything that wasn’t, they weren’t on for any length of time. Then when I started with the RR Zero Grain as the bulk of their diet a few months ago, it’s been an uphill battle >.<

    Any changes to my plan, at all? Anything to add, or take away? Any other ideas, period? Budget is extremely tight, so don’t get too crazy on my, but I need to get some weight on my girl that doesn’t involve shoving food down her throat.

    #30060 Report Abuse

    theBCnut
    Member

    If she doesn’t have issues with fat level of her food, you can try adding a little more oil, like olive oil, to her food. Only increase it by small amounts before you wait to see how she does on it.

    #30064 Report Abuse

    Akari_32
    Member

    I don’t see why that would be a problem. We made something with ground beef a few weeks ago and I poured all the grease (maybe a 1/2 cup) over her and Dweezles food. I figured as a treat it wouldn’t hurt anything, and they sure were happy. And she did gain a bit if weight over night. I certainly don’t do that all the time. But a healthier fat wouldn’t be a bad idea. And what about coconut oil? That would work, as well, right? Both of those I could probably buy a huge container of at Sam’s. How much should I start off with? Any certain kinds of either I should get?

    #30073 Report Abuse

    theBCnut
    Member

    Coconut oil is fine. If you can get raw virgin coconut oil, then it’s great! The fat from your ground beef is good too, but not so much of it. It’s better to give a little of it every day than a lot at once. Start by adding a teaspoon extra and every few days increase by another teaspoon. I would give 3 teaspoons(1 tablespoon) a day for a while and see if that’s enough before increasing any more than that. You can probably go as high as 2 tablespoons without any problems, but I would hesitate to go any higher than that. I’ve got a number of different oils that I use, olive, walnut, hemp, coconut, flax, salmon, fish, anchovy, etc. Cold pressed oils are better for your dog, but most of them are great for just adding calories.

    #30085 Report Abuse

    Akari_32
    Member

    I will look for that this coming week when I’m off work for Christmas week. I’ll also get the Wellness out and feed her half and half (half wellness, half RR/Purina mix) starting with 5 cups. However, I’ve got a small, like 3.5 pound, bag of Pedigree Complete Puppy. Should I use that instead of the RR and Purina? It’ll at least have more calories…

    For the Wellness BTW, I’ve got two 4 pound bags of CORE Ocean Fish and two 4 pound bags of CORE Puppy. I’ll start with the Puppy.

    For the record, I’ll not be dealing with the RR foods for any length of time any more! And if I do, Haley will not be participating. Her system just isn’t what it used to be!

    Last night her and Dweezle got almost a whole rotisserie chicken for dinner. That thing was huge! They were super happy. She handled that really well, so I may try and find some good deals on chickens and look into some home made meals now that the semesters over for winter, just some some extra goodness next to the dog food…

    #30108 Report Abuse

    theBCnut
    Member

    I’d go ahead and finish out the mix, just a lower portion of it like you are planning anyways. I think that’s a good idea. Be really careful to not give any cooked chicken bones. They can splinter when chomped down on and perforate the intestines. If the meat is cooked, it needs to be pulled off the bones.

    #30117 Report Abuse

    Akari_32
    Member

    Tonight she got half wellness and half etc dog food (totaling about 4-4.5 cups), some canned pro plan, her vitamins, and a hot dog. The hot dog only adds 140 calories, but it’s something, and it’s easier for her to eat than more dry food is. She pretty much inhaled it! Lol I’ve got some canned pumpkin I might aught to add tomorrow or she’ll belly-aching and grumbling at me.

    I spent about 20 minutes pulling that rotisserie chicken off the bone the other night. It’s not a fun job at all!

    She loves turkey backs, but I haven’t seen any lately. Any raw treats they’ve gotten in the last two months has been liver or gizzards because there are no necks and backs floating around! What are some other cheap cuts of meat I give them?

    #30208 Report Abuse

    Akari_32
    Member

    Just an update. Still doing 1/2 and 1/2 with a hot dog on top, and she’s doing really great. I’ve got her down to a scoop and half of Wellness and a scoop and half of Purina One (cut the RR out of her diet completely). A scoop is like a cup a half or so. Been like this for two days and she still looks likes she’s gained some weight. I don’t want her gain weight too quickly, which is why I lowered her feeding. Right now, she’s probably less than a half pound from where she should be, but it looks like it could just toned-muscle weight, and I don’t expect a dog her age to really put on any muscle. I’ll keep it the same for now, and see how she looks in a week or so and go from there.

    I wonder if, in her old age, she can’t handle foods so high in starch any more, or maybe it’s a protein thing? On just Wellness, she eats like… 2 1/2 cups? 3 if she’s offered it. I’ll be saving up some money, and will be buying more Wellness when the time comes. Just about through the first bag, now. Got maybe two or three meals left. Should I look into the Reduced Fat formula (for the higher protein), or do you guys think I should stick with the puppy, or what?

    #30216 Report Abuse

    theBCnut
    Member

    Older dogs have a reduced ability to use the protein in their diet so it needs to be of the highest quality and they may need more of it just to get the same amount. If she isn’t fat, I wouldn’t reduce her fat level, she may actually need it, just stick with the puppy, I think. Or if you don’t have a dog that needs reduced fat food, mix it with another food, so you are only cutting out a little fat.

    #30231 Report Abuse

    Akari_32
    Member

    I’ve got two bags of puppy and two bags of fish, so she’ll be getting fish soon. I was going to mix the rest of the RR and the Purina together (they are in seperate containers right now), but then she’d getting some of the RR, which I think is the cause of her weight problem.

    I’ve got a free bag coupon for any Purina brand pet food, and I was wondering how the One beyOnd looked? She does good on Pro Plan, too, but I’m not sure which looks better. I know the Pro Plan Natural Shedded Chicken and Rice gets 3.5 stars, or something like that, which isn’t bad. Or I could get the puppy, which I think is the same rating (don’t remember). I bought her a bag of the One beyOnd once, fed her one cup of it out of a four cup meal (how I always changed foods– 1/4 for a few days, 1/2 for a few days, and so on), and just a few minutes after she puked all over the kitchen, so I took it back. I told PetSmart that, so they could report it, but I didn’t personally say anything. It could have just been a bad batch, or she could have had a negative reaction to something in the food. Not really sure which. But anyways, I’d like to use my coupon. It’s for any thing Purina, so maybe there’s something better than Pro Plan? It’s just for a small bag.

    #30235 Report Abuse

    theBCnut
    Member

    Try the One Beyond, but wet it ahead of time, maybe the vomit was because it was expanding.

    #30238 Report Abuse

    Akari_32
    Member

    Will do. It was thick, brown vomit, just minutes after eating. No kibbles, just very thick goo. She was on some medications at the time, as well. Can’t recall what, though. But she was fine on her normal diet, which I thought was strange.

    #30659 Report Abuse

    Akari_32
    Member

    Have some awesome $5.15 off any Purina food, any size, as well as that free any Purina 4 lb bag, and then got a $25 gift card for Pet Supermarket for Christmas. I plan on hitting WalMart for the One BeyOnd, and Pet Supermarket for wellness. However, for the Wellness, they don’t seem to carry the CORE Puppy! This is just looking online, however, and their website sucks, but just in case they really don’t have it, I need a back up. As far as grain free goes, the site shows

    -CORE Small Breed
    -CORE Wild Game
    -CORE Large Breed
    -CORE Original
    -CORE Ocean Fish
    -CORE Reduced Fat
    -Simple Turkey and Potato
    -Simple Salmon and Potato

    #30754 Report Abuse

    Akari_32
    Member

    Got the One BeyOnd a couple days ago, and went ahead and just mixed all the Wellness in the Purina One (The Wellness was still in the bag in the kitchen floor– mom’s favorite place for dog food *rolls eyes*) half and half into the container, as that seems to be working really well for her.

    I plan on buying at least 3 more bags of Wellness within the next few days (hopefully today), but I’m still unsure which to get in the case they don’t have the puppy formula. She’s been on the fish bad for a few days and seems fine with it, though. I may just go with the original one… Thoughts?

    I also found out that my LPS sells NutriSource now! I’m super excited about that! I’ll investigate further once I get her weight thing figured out, which is going awesome, btw. I’ve not given her a hot dog in like 3 days (though they have steak Christmas dinner leftovers and various other dog-friendly leftovers in place of their wet food mixer, so who’s really to say how the lack of hot dogs is working out LOL). Any recommendations on the NutriSource? I’m loving the sounds of 500+ calories per cup in the Super Performance, but I’m open to other suggestions.

    Oh, back to the One BeyOnd, I bought a 14 pound bag and two small bags (3 pounds, maybe?). Got out got for 10 bucks, and I had a Visa gift card from my aunt, so free dog for me! The Wellness will also be paid for with a PetSupermarket gift card. Score! Every little bit helps! 🙂 My car should be paid off the end of next year, and then I’ll have more money to get the dogs on track with good food all the time, rather than just some of the time when I find a good a deal…

    #30769 Report Abuse

    theBCnut
    Member

    I really like the looks of the Super Performance. I guess my only suggestion for the Wellness would be to look at protein sources and try to get one that is different from what most of the other food is.

    #30776 Report Abuse

    Akari_32
    Member

    I went with the original CORE. The prices in the store were higher than the website said. They did have the puppy forumla, but it was like $2 more. In the end, I got 4x 4 pound bags, $7.83 a piece. I got lamb for the One BeyOnd, so that’ll switch things up a bit (the lamb was actually higher in calories). The food she’s on right now is a mix of fish, chicken, lamb, and turkey. I think turkey, anyways… Plus the hot dogs, and whatever leftovers they’ve been getting. So that adds beef and pork. And then the eggs. The canned foods are varied as well, and i have them in the cabinet so that they get a different protein type every meal. I think I’ve got my bases pretty well covered 🙂

    #30778 Report Abuse

    theBCnut
    Member

    Excellent!

    #30904 Report Abuse

    Akari_32
    Member

    Just curious, since I have Haley on a fish based food right now, should I maybe cut back on giving her fish oil? The mix is maybe 1/3 CORE Ocean Fish. I usually give her 2 fish oil pills a day (can’t find the dose on the bottle for the life of me! The directions say, for an adult human, three daily, one with each meal). Some times I don’t ive her any vitamins because I don’t want to deal with it, but she gets all her vitamins at least 3 times a week. She doing really good with her weight, so I don’t worry too much with the vitamins any more.

    But I did walk her the other day since she’s been doing so well, the first time in a month or so. It wasn’t a fast walk or anything (not fast for me, anyways, but the dogs had a good trot going most of the time), but it was pretty long, 20-30 minutes, which is our usual length. I fed her how much food she’s been getting, which has been keeping her weight steady, just to what would happen, and she did loose some weight after that. In fact, I noticed a difference before and after our walk. I’ll try about like 1/2 cup more next time and see what happens. But any thoughts on that?

    #30918 Report Abuse

    theBCnut
    Member

    The oils in fish based foods are not fresh, so that would not make me cut out the added fresh oils. But I might cut back on the amount.

    #32686 Report Abuse

    Akari_32
    Member

    Another update 🙂

    I’ve introduced the Purina One Beyond to Haley’s diet, one of the small bags to the rest of her food. Totals about 15 pounds of food– it did, anyways. Its been a few days, and I *think* Dweezle got into it, because I don’t think I’ve used half of all that food since I added it! He’s not been wanting to sleep in the bed room, and I heard him snooping around in the kitchen the other night… Plus he’s looking a bit pudgy lol

    I also added the last bag of the Wellness CORE Ocean Fish to the mix. Anyways, she’s doing good on the One Beyond, so I’ll add the other small bag soon, and when thats done, she’ll be on half Wellness CORE Original, and half One Beyond. I may actually do more like 60/40, CORE and One Beyond. I’m still weary about out last experience with One Beyond… I dunno yet.

    I’m also back to walking her several times a week, with no extra feeding, and no problems at all. Yay! As for as weight goes, she’s keeping steady at just under (visually– I haven’t actually weighed her) an “ideal” weight. Honestly, I think I’m going to keep her there. Her hips have been giving her some troubles with this colder weather, and I don’t want to bother them more by putting more weight on them (she’s tripped a few times on uneven ground on walks, and gone down butt-first, otherwise its usually just a little stiffness after laying down for long periods). She’s a little lean, but she certainly doesn’t look or act starved, and has been super perky. She’s eating about 2.5 cups of dry food, right now, plus half a can of Pro Plan, an egg (sometimes whole, sometimes just the insides), and a hot dog almost every night. Plus her vitamins, glucosamine, and fish oil, which I’ve dropped to one every night or so, since she’s on fish-based food. She’s do for shots soon, so I’ll see what the vet says about her weight.

    #32689 Report Abuse

    DogFoodie
    Member

    Akari, honey, why on earth do you give that poor pup a hot dog almost every night? Unless you’re feeding the best of the best hot dogs, those things are full of junk! Sorry…

    #32690 Report Abuse

    Akari_32
    Member

    Haha, for some extra calories. They’re all beef. She isn’t big on straight dry food (her old tummy can’t handle it anymore, hence the wet mixed in), and isn’t a big eater to begin with, so the hot dogs add 120 easy to eat, yummy calories.

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