We have a 6 yr old lab female we’ve recently adopted almost 4 months ago. She needs to lose about 10 lbs. I have been walking with her regularly even as much as 3.5 miles every other day and giving her less dry food and supplementing the other half with green beans. Even with all this, she is stuck on the scale. I think its a metabolism issue. She has been tested for thyroid and that was negative.
Her vet recommends the Hills Science diet, but given the scathing reviews out there I refuse to give that to her.
Any recommendations? She is currently on Diamond Lamb and rice (from her breeder) which she has no major issues with. I’m getting dizzy with all the information about dog foods out there that I was thinking of doing home cooked meals for her!
Hound Dog MomParticipant
Hi Sedlypets –
There can be medical conditions responsible for weight gain. I know you got her tested for thyroid issues and that came back negative,but what about Cushing’s? Or is she on any medication that could be causing this?
If you can rule out all heath issues, this means she’s eating too many calories – plain and simple. You say you’re walking her a few miles every other day, this is great but I’d strongly urge you to try and get her exercising daily. I’d switch to a high protein, moderate fat, low carbohydrate (preferably grain-free food). Find out how many calories per cup are in the food she’s eating now, multiply that by how many cups she’s eating per day and what you get will be how many calories she’s eating per day – with whichever food you try feed less calories than this amount. Homemade could be a good option but you’ll need to do a little research – check out dogaware.com and get a book such as Dr. Karen Becker’s “Real Food for Healthy Dogs and Cats.” Also make sure to cut out ALL treats! If she’s burning more calories than she’s eating she will lose weight (granted she has no health issues).
Labs are supposed to be extremely active dogs. They were bred for water retrieving. So they need a whole lot of exercise. If you have a yard, invest in a toy called a “Chuck It.”
The DFA site has a suggested weight loss foods page already also: https://www.dogfoodadvisor.com/best-dog-foods/weight-loss-dog-foods/
I’ve owned a number of labs… I’m beginning to think they all have metabolism issues : ) I always try to feed a lower fat food (10-12% as it allows me to feed more volume) and higher protein around 30% plus if possible. I’ve fed Wellness Core reduced fat, Royal Canin weight care, Evo weight management (higher cal/ cup so have to really watch volume) and Purina weight management.
Keeping track of calories is essential. If multiple family members are each giving the dog “just a taste” or “just a few treats” it adds up.
Sometimes it really is best to go with a vet product geared specifically for weight loss. Nutrients in commercial food are tied to energy. When feeding small amounts of energy for weight loss it is possible to short change nutrients. Most dogs I feel can be safely dieted on an OTC food but for some you may need to switch.
Hi Sedlypets ~ I agree with the others that a higher protein food is very beneficial with weight loss. I like the protein amount to be 36 or more if able. I would also supplement the food with a high protein complete and balanced canned food — subtracting kibble to compensate for the canned.
If you continue to think that it might be a medical issue I’d have her thyroid tested using Dr. Jean Dodd’s lab. Her lab is much more individualized — is the animal male or female, spayed or intact, senior or puppy etc. She has diagnosed thyroid issues in pups that other labs have missed.
My dog had the same problem when I was feeding him Wellness Healthy Weight and ever since I switched him to Avoderm Weight Control the difference has been astounding. I think he’s vomited once in 7 months and it was related to something he ate. I also mix his dry food with a tablespoon of canned pumpkin and his weight has maintained (after losing the extra pounds.). He’s a six year old mini dachshund that wasn’t so mini for a while.
we got our 7 year old lab over a year ago & the same thing she was quite over weight, she is also a low energy dog which i know is strange for a lab. i have spent over a year trying anything & everything & she always seem to loose a bit then put it back on, but lately fingers crosses she seems to be loosing weight. She is eating acana light & fit , the suggested feeding says she should be on 3 cups a day i started with that then every 2 weeks if there was no change in her food i would drop her feeding by 10% until i started to notice a change & we are now down to 1and a half cups a day which to me sounds every low for a big dog but as i said she is less active & because of her being a lab shes always looking for food so i add fruit & veggies to her food & she gets 2 spoons of organic pumpkin a day which is great for weight loss & it also makes them feel full http://www.nummytumtum.com/products.html
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