I’m back again. I’ve tried much of the advice on this website, and well……
I’m Peggy and I have a Lab/Shephard named LadyBug, and a JRT, Tebow. I’m not going to rehash what amounts to ancient history by now, but suffice to say that I’m getting pretty flustered with my dogs, and it’s not their fault, it’s mine.
I went from feeding my 2 dogs once per day to twice per day, by cutting that once per day meal in half, so they get half at breakfast and the other half in the late afternoon.
Not only have they not really lost much weight but they’ve actually put some on, AND act like they’re hungry ALL the time!
Keep in mind that I’m not very active due to bursitis in the hips and a slipped disc in the lower back, so I can’t walk them much. But we do have a rather large fenced in yard and they go out to play several times per day, and also run the fence with their across-the-fence doggy-neighbors.
I do not know what more I can do, so any advice would help. Currently they are eating Pure Balance Turkey and potato Limited Ingredient Kibble, and Variety Pets dog food (4 -5 stars on this DFA (1 can between them with the larger dog getting more), and in the evening, the same kibble with the small Pure Balance tubs, 1 each as they are so small, 4-5 stars on this site.
Am I still over feeding? How can that be when they act soooo hungry ALL the time?
How much kibble in addition to the wet are you feeding each of them? How much should the dog’s weigh?
Hi C4C! LadyBug weighs a good 45-50 lbs and should weigh 35-40 lbs (I think?). She’s an 8 yr old lab/shepherd mix.
Tebow is a 5 yr old JRT. He weighs approx 28 lbs and should weigh between 18-20 lbs. The weight is way more noticeable on him.
Lady gets 1/2 to 3/4 of a 13.5 oz can mixed with a 1/2 cup of kibble.
Tebow get’s the rest of the can (approx 1/4 or whatever is left after Lady gets hers), mixed with 1/4 cup of kibble. They get this around 8 am, and by noon you’d think they’re starving slap to death!
But I hold out until around 4-4:30 for their dinner.
They get the same amount of kibble mixed with the small tubs of PB wet food. Of course they don’t act like they’re hungry between 5 pm and morning because they’re sleeping. But from noon until 4 pm, they’re getting on my very last nerve.
Sometimes giving them a “snack” between meals helps. Something like a little pumpkin or green beans. Always wet the dry w/ warm water and let soak for a few min. The kibble gets bigger.
My pup was the same way until I changed his food. He now eats 1/2 as much as the other food, is more satisfied and has saved me a lot of money.
My Lab mix acts like she never had a meal in her life every time someone opens the door their food is in. She literally goes right for the empty bag like she’s attacking a bad guy or something. She’d eat past exploding if possible. Apparently Labs are just that way. (I’ve only had GSDs and they aren’t like this.) They inhale their food and don’t know when to stop eating. It’s a crazy thing about them. I drown her food in warm water and use the slowest slow feeder I can find.
What I have noticed is every 10 yr old Lab I have ever seen is overweight and/or lumpy. She is not!!!!! She’s svelt, lean and muscular!!!
In winter I add whole grain oatmeal after it’s been cooked & cooled. This helps tremendously with keeping her from freezing on cold days. It’s fat free so she doesn’t get fat from it. I think it acts like hay or beet pulp does for horses. Just cold calories.
Very often a high protein, low carb diet works well. A small dog I would feed at least 3 times/day anyway as everything moves through them faster. I know that isn’t always possible for everyone.
You can also try mixing water and a little fat free chicken broth and freezing it. They’ll think they are getting a treat and it may take a while for them to eat it. Fat free frozen FAGE yogurt (it has nothing artificial or added sugar) works well too.
If the dogs are gaining weight than they need to take in fewer calories or exercise more.
I’ll run a few calculations.
For weight loss for Ladybug I calculate about 700 kcals/day. That means any individual dog may need 350-1050 kcals / day to achieve about 1 % body weight loss a week.
The variety pets food canned has on average 450 kcals/can so you are feeding 225-335 kcals in the am meal from that and the 1/2 cup kibble I’m guessing is adding about 200 kcals I can’t find calorie info on that. Together 425-535 kcals. in the am meal.
At night another 200 kcals from the kibble and again I can’t find caloric info on the tubs but I’m going to guess 70 kcals if 1 tub fed so ~270 kcals if feeding 1 tub with the 1/2 cup kibble.
Total kcals/day 695-805 kcals. Some dogs may lose on that amount but for others that is about double the amount needed for them to lose weight. So it could be that Ladybug is in that group in which case you really need to move to a food formulated for weight loss.
You can either cut calories or increase exercise. Since it is hard for you to increase exercise you’ll need to cut calories. Using the current food though will be even a smaller volume and already your dog is having satiety issues. So in order to feed more volume you need to cut back on the fat content in the foods you are feeding.
For example if you wanted to feed ~600 kcals a day and used lower fat foods you could feed 3/4 cup dry am and pm with 1/4 can am and pm. (12 oz can) Soaking the kibble prior to feeding adds filler…. volume without calories.
Additionally, I recommend that you weigh the foods instead of estimating and measuring volume.
Once on the new diet foods weigh your pets every week and if they are not losing then you need to drop calories by another 20 % and reevaluate again.
I tried to figure out about how many calories you are feeding them. On Walmart’s site, someone wrote in that the kibble has 416 calories per cup. Does that sound about right? Variety canned food is pretty hearty also and is about 400 calories per can and the Pure Balance tubs are about 100 each. According to the calculator, you should feed Ladybug about 800 calories per day and Tebow around 475. I think that is about what you are feeding assuming that you are not feeding any snacks. Could you cut back a little on the canned, making the big can last two meals instead of one? Add extra water to make up for it. Another thing you could do is feed kibble that is lower in calories. I try to feed kibble that is around 350 calories per cup in order to avoid feeding less. I have neutered male labs that like to eat also!
I also have bought the frozen Northwest Natural fruit and veggie nuggets for snacks or toppers. They are high in fiber and low in calories making them feel a little more satisfied. Let me know what you think!
Not what you want to hear, but remember that having an appetite IS a healthy thing! It does seem like certain foods can make dogs hungrier than others, though. I wonder if a lower-carb food would minimize this effect?
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