Currently Wellness Core Reduced Fat to my older dogs. They are getting the low end of the suggested serving for weight loss and they aren’t losing any. I would say they have been on the food for two months now and nothing…… Its been winter here so exercise is slim to none. They are both around 9 years old and just can’t shed the weight. The smaller one is more active then the bigger one but still nothing.
Any advice for food changes? Or should I just do bloodwork at the vet?
In lieu of the fact that you’ve chosen a food that is low in fat I’m going to assume that you believe that fat makes dogs fat. It doesn’t. Please choose a food that is low in carbs. Carbs are what cause weight gain and also makes it very difficult to lose weight. So look for a food that has a decent amount of protein, moderate fat, and low carbs and you should see your dog start to lose weight.
People have the misconception that since “fat” is a word that has been used to describe overweight people and animals that they must be getting that way due to eating fat. Nope! It’s the amount of carbs in their diet. Also check out the carbs in their treats.
Why do you feel they need blood work because they are over weight?
The food I’m feeding them is listed under the Best Weight Loss Foods, so it should “work” to help them lose weight. I didn’t assume that because it said it was reduced fat it would work. I assumed it would work because its a 5 star food and its listed HERE as a best in weight loss. It has high protein to help them feel fuller, low in fat and low in calorie. And they don’t get but two small treats a day IF they actually get one.
They are older and aren’t losing weight, blood work was a question. Should I bring them to get blood work because they are eating BELOW recommended amount and NOT losing weight. If they were huma, eating the low end of caloric intake (even if it was high in carbs) and they weren’t losing weight, I would assume going to the doctor to have that person checked out would be the next step. Just my rational of thinking, but it really was a question.
Wellness Core Reduced Fat has low fat, but it has 42% carbs which is quite high. The decision to take your dogs to the vet for blood work is, of course, yours. But the fact that both dogs are not losing weight would suggest to me that it’s the food and not that they are ill. That would have to mean that they are both ill at the same time. Of course, this could happen in theory but really rare in practice unless they have caught a contagious illness. Do they have colds or any other symptoms other than not losing weight? Are they coughing, do they have running noses, diarrhea, constipation, foul smelling poops? Just trying to help out here.
I hear what you’re saying that Wellness Core Reduced Fat is on the Best Weight Loss Foods, I’m not questioning Dr. Mikes reviews or thoughts, I just wouldn’t feed a high carb dog food to any dog of mine let alone one that I am trying to get to shed some weight. It all depends on whether one believes that fat causes weight gain (which a lot of people do) or one believes that carbs attribute to weight gain (which a lot of people do). Remember also that, even as with humans, not every diet works for everyone. I’m going to check out the thread on Best Weight Loss Foods and see what else is there I keep all three of my dogs on the lean side so I’ve never looked at that list. I’ll do so now.
I just noticed that you mentioned that both your dogs are around 9 years old. Are they siblings? Are you thinking they might both have hypothyroidism? Has your vet made any suggestions in the past as to weight loss?
I did check the Weight Loss thread and that thread and those suggestions are based on a dog losing weight on a lower fat diet as opposed to low carbs. There are a lot of studies and there has been a lot of research suggests that just like people, low carbs is what will shed the weight. If you do want to have blood work done on your pets, please mention hypothyroidism to your vet and also having the blood work done may alleviated any fears or stress you may have thinking that there may be something else going on with the dogs. It certainly can’t hurt having the blood work done.
- This reply was modified 4 years, 7 months ago by Dori.
Usually we have always just had to reduce their foods if they got pudgy and that always worked. I’ll definitely look into the low carb and try that. I was only trying this food because it was in my area, a 5 star and on THE list. I have some experience in the medical field (humans though) and by all means I don’t just assume that reduced fat means it will work.
It concerns me that they are eating the low end of the caloric intake for the weight loss range not the maintenance range. So they are already 25% below their intake plus on the low side. I have also even taken the info to a dog food calculator site to see how much I should be feeding them as well.
I just want them healthy!
In my opinion, and that’s all it is, I would change their food. They’ve been on this particular food for a long enough time that you know they are not losing weight. Feeding them at the low end (25% below their intake plus on the low side) could cause health issues of another sort. Recommended guide lines of manufactured dog foods will mean that more or a little less, they will get their nutritional needs from that food given the approx. amount they recommend. If you are always given them less then or at the lowest end of recommendation could possibly lead to nutritional deficiencies.
My suggestion would be go find a 4 or 5 star rated quality food from a reputable company with a moderate to high protein, moderate fat and low carbs and I wouldn’t feed any of the foods on THE list. I checked almost all of those foods earlier today and they are all low in fat and high in carbs.
I may have mentioned that I have three toy breed dogs that I keep on the lean side. I feed them all commercial raw diets. I rotate proteins and brands. Commercial raw dog foods are all very high protein, high fat and low carbs. I don’t have to adjust the amount of food that I feed them going from one to the other commercial raw food because they are all accustomed to high protein and fat diets with low carbs. As a matter of fact there are times that I will feed them more than their normal amounts to get a little more weight on them. My feeding method for them is that I feed them between 2.5% and 3% of their body weight. I bought a cheap digital kitchen scale on Amazon. I think it’s a more precise way of knowing that you’re feeding them the correct amount of food each of them needs. I’ve never liked measuring dry kibble (when I used to feed it to them over three years ago) because not all dry foods are the same exact size so that the cup size will always vary somewhat in the amount your feeding them.
In regards to weight loss the balance between caloric expenditure and intake is the most important factor in success. If the dogs are not losing weight at the current amount being fed than caloric intake needs to decrease or expenditure needs to increase. Having your dogs evaluated by your vet to make sure that medical conditions are not playing a role is a reasonable thing to do.
Wellness recommends to use their package recommendations as a starting guide. You may still have wiggle room here to adjust downwards but I understand your concern to meet nutrient needs. As my own dog has low caloric intake requirements it is something I monitor. Using a nutrient analysis from the company, your dog’s weight and amount fed the intake can be calculated and compared to NRC requirements.
You may need to switch diets if you are not meeting nutritional needs at the caloric intake needed to lose weight.
Throughout weight loss you want to feed a high proportion of calories from protein, this is different than saying a high protein diet. A diet can be “high” in protein on a percentage basis but not on a calorie basis depending on the fat value of the diet. People differ in their recommendations to feed the energy calories from carbohydrate or fat. There are a few studies on this to guide us. In Romsos’ study, dogs fed a diet 25% protein calories, 62% calories as carb and 13% as fat were leaner and gained weight less efficiently than dogs fed 25% protein calories 0% carb calories and 75% fat calories. In Kim et el when keeping total calories fed the same, increasing the percent of calories from fat by about 8% doubled trunk body fat in 12 weeks while weight remained the same.
In regards to weight loss, when fed a low fat diet and holding fat calories constant, weight was loss was greater when more calories were fed as protein vs carbohydrate (Bierer). I think this is where people assume that low carb diets are preferable for weight loss. However, when keeping the percent of calories fed as protein constant dogs lost more body fat when fed a greater percentage of calories as carbohydrate and fewer percent of calories as fat (Borne) . There was a confounding variable in this study though as the low fat diet was also higher in fiber. The lower fat/higher carb group lost more total weight than the higher fat/ lower carb group but it didn’t differ significantly between the two groups. However the percent of fat loss was significantly greater in the low fat/ high carb group vs the low carb higher fat group.
Putting this all together, based on current research, feeding a high percent of calories from protein and a low percent of total calories from fat and letting the carb calories fall where they may is likely the best composition for a weight loss diet for dogs.
Aimee I had to read parts of that twice lol. That is alot. So the food I’m feeding her has around 30% protient and 10% fat off the top of my head. I’m feeding them the reduced amount per the weight loss section. I know there is a pet food calculator that goes off their weight now and their ideal. I will confirm with that site that we are giving them the correct amount. That is what you were meaning right?
Pet food calculators use an equation to determine energy requirements. But and this is a big but any particular dog can vary significantly from that number. What I’ve seen is if the calculated number is say 800 calories a day that number can vary from 400-1200 depending on the individual dog. Foods are formulated so that there is X nutrient/1000kcals such that when your dog eats to meet his energy need the nutrient need is met. During weight loss though we are intentionally not meeting the energy need. Weight loss foods should be formulated to have a much higher nutrient /1000 kcals than a maintenance food so that when “underfeeding” the dog’s nutrient need is met. For those dogs that require very few calories it may be that some foods won’t meet their nutrient needs when meeting their energy needs. If you need to feed far less than label recommendations to establish weight loss then it is an indication to get the actual formulation and calculate if the nutrient needs are being met. Or you could try calling the company and asking for your dog’s weight what is the minimum amount of food that can be fed that will meet the dog’s nutrient needs. The company may or may not be able to answer that correctly which is why I self calculate using the nutrient analysis provided by the company.
Several months ago when I joined the Advisor group we were told the carb amounts for all Wellness dog foods straight from Wellness itself. The carbs they listed for the Core Reduced Fat was As Fed: 34.19%, Dry Matter: 37.16%. So the 42% is not correct as least as far as Wellness says. I’ve had Jack on this for months without very much lose at all and have been looking to change. So far I’ve not found anything with higher protein, lower fat and low carbs. More exercise would be good, but he’s just not that active a dog even at the dog park. Like cdubau I would like some other choices as well.
As far as the discrepancy between what Wellness reports and what Dr Mike reports, Dr Mike uses a standard estimated number for ash content for all foods which may be different than the actual ash level. Also, dog food labeling laws require that they report the minimums for protein and fat. These numbers are not necessarily the same as an “as fed” number and can change Dr Mike’s estimate for carbs.
Have you looked at Annamaet Lean?
InkedMarie, it’s fantastic that you mentioned Annamaet because yesterday I did get in touch with them about their carb amounts in the Lean and here’s what they sent back:
Lean contains 30% Protein, 8 % fat and 41% carbohydrate, 10% moisture, 3.5% fiber and 6.8% ash with 350 kcals/cup.
As you can see their carbs are high and the protein is lower than the Wellness Core he’s on now. The fat is great as are the calories. However, with the carbs so high and the protein lower I don’t feel this would work for Jack.
Sorry it won’t work. I haven’t used it, I used Wellness Core reduced fat for an obese dog we adopted. We fed her for what she *should* have weighed and she lost 18 pounds, almost half her body weight!
I don’t know any other quality “diet” foods so if neither will work, I’d try a non diet food. Have you looked at The Honest Kitchen, which is dehydrated?
What about canned or raw? Or like Marie said, something dehydrated-all of these tend to have way less carbs.
Making a few assumptions here, on a caloric basis the percent of calories coming from protein are close, (5% difference) and without knowing the protein digestibility of the two diets it is hard to tell with which diet Jack would be getting more protein from. The percent of calories from fat will be about 25 % lower and percent from carb about 25% higher when feeding Annamaet. When fewer calories were fed as fat and more as carbohydrate the dogs lost more weight and a greater percentage of fat (Borne).
Aimee, so then are you saying (you’ve got very knowledge and I’m learning) Annamaet would be more successful than Wellness Core Reduced? I’ve got Annamaet Lean in my Chewy.com cart. I’m still battling to get my cocker spaniel to lose 2 to 3 pounds. He is getting more exercise now that the weather is getting better so he is burning more hopefully every day. He gets about 30-60 minutes of outdoor time now, some at the dog park and a 30-45 minute walk 5 to 7 days a week. I got lucky this winter and my lab stayed at his goal weight.
Chuckles, that’s exactly what I was wondering. Would the Annamaet be a better choice even though it has less protein and more carbs. The fat and calorie amounts as I said are smaller.
aimee, from your answer above: “When fewer calories were fed as fat and more as carbohydrate the dogs lost more weight and a greater percentage of fat (Borne).” This is what I find hard to comprehend. I always think of carbs as the reason for dogs getting fat to begin with, for some reason. And no, I’ve not thought about canned, raw or dehydrated food. I would like to get him away from the chicken though. Since hearing dogs can have a problem with chicken allergies I’ve looked at regular kibble but nothing out there is low calorie. His first owner fed a low quality salmon food from Costco and she said he never seemed to have any ear allergies like he does now.
In the end, doesn’t the calories matter the most no matter where they’re from? I go by calories for my two dogs and from all the different foods I fed them, it doesn’t seemed to have changed their weight unless I go up on the calories. I’m confused (as usual) and I’m horrible at math and takes me forever to figure things out with percentages 🙂
BTW, I did use the Annamaet Lean last summer and they neither gained no lost weight (which was good for my lab, and maybe I needed to cut down my cocker’s food a little more for him to lose a couple of pounds I’ve been trying forever to get off him. I did get him down 1 pound that took me a very long time to do!). They did well on the food with no issues and well, they will eat anything you present to them, so taste doesn’t count as part of my assessment of any food LOL!
Aimee, do you have links to some of the information from your above posts so I can do some further reading just out of interest?
The Annamaet has 350 cal. per cup and the Wellness has 360 per cup. Not that much difference if that’s what you mean. I just know that Jack is getting 1/4 cup twice a day and that’s way below what the bag says he should be able to lose weight on. He walks every day and goes to the dog park for a little running and some playing, but not all that much. He’s just not a play boy. His treats are low cal like Zukes and green beans with a few pieces of kibble as a cookie (usually 5-6 pieces). I have to watch closely when he poops because he’s started eating it if I can’t find it and pick it up. That tells me he’s hungry and that bothers me.
Kathleen, my Cocker, Teddy sounds like your guy. He is not much of a player, but I do make him go on walks with a dog walker (I have mobility issues so I cannot walk with my dogs) and he goes to the dog park when the weather is good. He also eats poop, but it doesn’t have to be his (he doesn’t go for Chuck, my lab) and happens at the dog park.
There is a site (I think Aimee might have put a link on a different post elsewhere) http://www.aahanet.org/PublicDocuments/Weight_Management_Guidelines.pdf that I have read many times to let it sink in. According to what I read, if I put Teddy’s goal weight in, which should be 24, and you do the math (instructions provided, thank God), I should be feeding him roughly 335 calories. That is at 80% or resting energy requirement). I just started in the last couple of weeks to stay around that number, although I feel it is pretty low for him even when he is sedentary, although he doesn’t seem to be any more food crazy then he already was 🙂 I plan on weighing Teddy tomorrow and see if there has been any change, but I think with smaller dogs, the weight will come off slowly. When Chuck had to lose 20 pounds a couple of years ago, it took about 5-6 months, but I, at that time, wasn’t as dog food knowledgeable as I am now (still learning!) and put him on Purina OM prescription food. It did the job, but I wouldn’t do it again as the ingredients are less than desirable. He has maintained his 75 to 78 pound goal weight now for 2 years, maybe fluctuating 2 lbs higher/lower.
It also shows you how to calculate protein needs for the food you want to feed and if it is enough for your dog and other good information.
When I use the Dog Food Advisors food calculator there is no difference in how much he should eat to lose weight of the two kibbles we’re discussing here, 346 k/cal or 0.96 of a cup of kibble. He’s only getting 0.50 of a cup each day and is still not showing any real weight lose after all this time. I’ve been trying to get him to lose the same 1 1/2 lbs since last summer. I realize he’s getting food besides the kibble and that has something to do with this, but the treats are 2-3 cal apiece and the green beans are very low fat. I’ve had him down to as low as 19.4 and that’s a real plus. I weigh his kibble so I’m pretty sure he’s getting the right amount. Maybe I’m just trying to do something that’s not really necessary. If I can keep him at or around 20 lbs maybe I should be happy. But I wanted that extra leeway of 18.5 so I could raise his kibble amount a little bit and that’s what he weighed when I got him 14 months ago.
My girls still aren’t losing any weight. I’m going to start looking at other brands besides Wellness but I can’t afford anymore more than that. 🙁
You could try Fromm Gold Weight Management. $48.76 for a 33-pound bag from Chewy’s.
Crude Protein 25% MIN
Crude Fat 10% MIN
Crude Fiber 7% MAX
Moisture 10% MAX
Omega 3 Fatty Acids 0.4% MIN
Omega 6 Fatty Acids 2.4% MIN
Turkey Liver, Chicken Meal, Pearled Barley, Oatmeal, Dried Tomato Pomace, Duck, Menhaden Fish Meal, Brown Rice, White Rice, Millet, Chicken, Flaxseed, Pea Fiber, Potatoes, Dried Whole Egg, Salmon Oil, Chicken Fat, Lamb, Cheese, Brewers Dried Yeast, Alfalfa Meal, Carrots, Lettuce, Celery, Chicken Cartilage, Potassium Chloride, Salt, Taurine, Chicory Root Extract, Calcium Sulfate, Yucca Schidigera Extract, L-Carnitine, DL-Methionine, L-Tryptophan, Sodium Selenite, Sorbic Acid (Preservative), Vitamins, Minerals, Probiotics.
- This reply was modified 4 years, 6 months ago by Lori.
I have that on my list to try as well as:
Whole Earth Farms (lowest fat I’ve seen) healthy weight
However I don’t know how to calculate their carb%
cdubau, Fromm’s also has a new kibble http://frommfamily.com/products/gold/dog/dry/#gold-coast-weight-management
It looks to be similar in protein, fat, etc. but whitefish and salmon meal first 2 ingredients.
Here’s some info on calculating carbs from Dr. Mike:
How to Estimate the Carbohydrate
Content of Any Dog Food
So, if knowing the carb content is important to you — and it should be — here’s a quick and easy way to estimate the amount of carbohydrates in any dog food — yourself.
Basically, all foods contain the same four major nutrients — known as macronutrients:
In addition, all foods also contain ash — the non-combustible mineral residue remaining after burning away all the protein, fat and carbs.
Ash content can vary — but typically measures about five to eight percent for most dog foods1 .
So, for consistency, we routinely use 8 percent as a benchmark for this important variable (ash) throughout this site.
Making the Calculation
When making this calculation, it’s important to keep in mind the following scientific principle:
Protein + fat + ash + carbohydrate + water must always equal 100 percent of the total pre-cooking weight of any dog food.
So, you can use simple math to reveal the missing amount on any other variable — which in this case of a pet food would be the carbohydrates.
Simply start with 100 percent and subtract the percentage for each of the known macronurients.
By the way, you can ignore the fiber content because fiber is a type of carbohydrate and would be automatically included in your carbohydrate calculation.
Here’s an Example
Say a particular dog food contains 26% protein, 14% fat and 10% water. How much carbohydrate should we expect to find in that product?
To estimate the amount of carbohydrate present in this example, simply start with a total of 100 percent. Then subtract the protein, fat and moisture percentages.
And of course, don’t forget to allow for an ash content of about 8 percent, too.
So, your math would look like this:
Carbohydrates = 100% – 26% – 14% – 10% – 8% = 42%
In other words, if you subtract all the “known” nutrients, you’d be left with the missing variable — carbohydrates — which in our example would be about 42 percent.
chuckles i used that formula in the link you posted a few back. says fromm weight managment is not enough protien? estimating her ideal weigh as 120 kg… So now i’m really confused!
The Advisor has a list of less expensive dog foods that are considered good quality. I’ve looked at that, but like you I’m really thinking of changing food before I have to buy another bad of this. He’s been on it long enough to show better results. Even the vets Purina junk didn’t do anything.
With the Advisor’s carb checker this shows 47% carbs. Way too high.
This calculation above was for both the Fromm’s food. However, I might be tempted to try it just because it doesn’t have chicken.
What is the difference between freeze dried and dehydrated food? I’m leery of raw food since my vet is against it, but does that include the dried and dehydrated? I would be willing to try something else than kibble.
Katlhleen, Yes, the carb level is high, I think most weight management food will be. Right now I’m alternating between Victor’s Grain Free Salmon and Northwest Naturals Salmon, which is a raw that my pet store gave me to try out. It’s the nugget kind so easy to pour into bowl and thaws out pretty quick. This would, however, be too expensive to feed my dogs regularly. I think the price here was about $35 or so (under $40) for 6 pounds. My dogs love it and had no trouble with digesting it or with their output. I was told feeding raw would take the weight off quicker than kibble, which I believe, but again, it’s to pricey for me to do full time. I’m on the fence about raw still also.
I just got some sample food (4 different) from Brothers Complete. It’s a little on the high price end. The samples were free, but the shipping was $3.95, plus they sent a full sized bag of dehydrated sweet potato treats, which was a surprise and a nice gift. However, all the products have chicken liver or fat so I don’t know if you dog can have tolerate that.
Just as an example, the Turkey and Egg Allergy formula has 28% carbs (if I did the math right).
Crude protein, minimum 37.00%
Crude fat, minimum 17.00%
Crude fiber, maximum 4.00%
Moisture, maximum 10.00%
Vitamin E, minimum 200 IU/kg
Ascorbic acid (Vitamin C), minimum 100 mg/kg
Zinc, minimum 200 mg/kg
Omega 6 fatty acids, minimum 3.07 %*
Omega 3 fatty acids, minimum 0.73 %*
Omega 3 DHA (Doxosahexaenoic Acid), min 0.04%*
Encapsulated Probiotics – Lactic acid bacteria 2,000,000 cfu/gram dog food*
Enzymes (Amylase, Protease, Cellulase, Lactase, Hemicellulase, Lipase) 10.0 FCC DU/g*
*Not recognized as an essential nutrient by the AAFCO Dog Food Nutrient Profiles.
CALORIES: (M.E. Calculated) 3,780 kcal/kg 415 kcal/cup
- This reply was modified 4 years, 6 months ago by Lori.
For weight loss, here is another link that may be helpful (PDF File)
Chuckles, I think this is the same one sent before. Also, thanks for the other information. Still not sure I would try raw even though it sounds ideal. Have to think about that. Has anyone tried Wysong Epigen Original Chicken Formula for a very high protein and very low carbs? High fat but seems a bit “out there” otherwise. Not sure what kind of weight lose it would cause.
Also I meant to ask, do people have good luck buying from Chewy? I’ve heard of it before so it’s seems to have been around for awhile.
Kathleen, I actually am not supposed to feed my lab, Chuck a raw diet because he is a service dog to me and also just got certified as a therapy dog this month. They don’t allow it either as a service dog or therapy dog. Dehydrated is okay, however. I just think raw is gross 🙂
Well, I may try the dehydrated or at least look into it. Olson’s Grain where I get his dog food carries it and may be able to help me decide. I agree about raw.
I wouldn’t say Annamaet is better than Wellness core for weight loss just that there is no reason to dismiss it as a choice based on carbohydrate content. Feeding fewer calories than are required is still key to weight loss. If your dog isn’t losing weight at a particular caloric intake than the choice is to increase expenditure or decrease intake.
You can find the Borne study here: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/j.1550-8528.1996.tb00241.x/pdf
and the one about increased body fat when increasing calories fed as fat here: http://diabetes.diabetesjournals.org/content/52/10/2453.full
Chuckles I tried use the formula in the link you posted but it never came out right. 🙁
I just went ahead and ordered a 5.5 lb of the Annamaet from Chewy. Don’t know yet when it will be here so I hope I have enough of the Wellness to switch Jack. I wish Amazon carried it because I have Prime and the shipping would be free and 2 days.
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