Conditioning down a fat dog

Discussion in 'Dog Health Care' started by Laurelin, Mar 17, 2012.

  1. Laurelin

    Laurelin I'm All Ears

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    Advice and tips?

    I'm not really sure how to start him off. He's been free fed most his life until very recently but I don't know how accurate their measurements are. Most importantly he's very very sedentary. He plays with Nard some and will trot around outside but he never gets hard exercise. At this point, he really loves playing rough house, he's so so about ball, and loves tugging. His endurance is pretty bad. I had him running around the yard last night and he chased me pretty slowly and was panting after a couple laps. He hates the water.

    I'm not sure if just cutting rations and getting him going to the park with us is going to be a good start. It's got to be better than what he does now as far as exercise goes. There's a good hill at the park we could go up and down and there's also a moat at my dad's place that we could go up and down. Maybe get a few tug and ball sessions in a day or some short leashed walks a few times a day? He needs to lose a substantial amount before I want to try jumping him. I've also even thought of having him swim in the bath tub a couple times a week.

    He's on TOTW (the fish one) and has some allergies that prevent him from being on much else. Most his issues seem to be related to chicken. He almost always needs to be on a duck based or salmon based food. He did go on raw when he was showing and did well on it but I wasn't the one feeding him that. I'm wondering if he'd be okay on premade raw if I used the duck formulas and then maybe move on to some other non-chicken protein? Or just keep him on TOTW and ration his portions more.
     
  2. AdrianneIsabel

    AdrianneIsabel Glutton for Crazy

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    Drop the food way down, make him work for every single kibble (tricks, obed, good behavior throughout the day), make the sessions short and sweet (allowing for lots of time to burn down the fat in between), and get him moving.

    Slow easy walks, swimming is great, go to BIG LOTS and buy some exercise discs (you can buy fit paws but human ones are much cheaper: 10 bucks each) and start core training.

    If you're willing to do some raw I would definitely go that route. It helps drop weight and lean out dogs very quickly. I actually add kibble when my dogs are too thin on raw and eating me out of house and home. lol
     
  3. Laurelin

    Laurelin I'm All Ears

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    What does the exercise disk look like? I'm having a hard time picturing it. We do have a balance board- is that the same thing?

    I've definitely thought if I keep him on kibble he's going to be either working for every piece or getting them in food dispensing toys so he has to do something to get his meals.

    If we switch to raw, I am worried about the gastro apocalypse with him but he's been on it before... Is there a way to ease a dog with digestive issues into that?
     
  4. Shai

    Shai & the Muttly Crew

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    Exercise discs:

    [​IMG]

    At least I assume that's what she's referring to -- it's what I have for my dogs as well though my big girls need 2 obviously :)

    I think I got mine from Target...$10 or something like that. It's been a while. Great for gentle core strength conditioning...just sitting or standing on them gently works an out of condition dog, and later they can do tricks or move on them for more of a workout.



    FWIW I wouldn't be doing hill running or anything like that until he's trimmed down...IMO that's more for building muscle and endurance in a thin but out of shape dog. From the sound of his current environment, just having his food rationed to what he should be getting and being part of your more active lifestyle will be the first shock to his system. Let him get used that first :)
     
  5. Laurelin

    Laurelin I'm All Ears

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    I can't count the times I'm over there and more than one person has decided to feed the dogs. They all know that Beau's on a diet but then many days he may get double what he should since they don't tell each other they fed the dogs. The other two have enough sense to eat until they're full. Beau will gorge himself.

    It's definitely going to be a little bit of a shock for him, but I think overall he'll love it.
     
  6. Shai

    Shai & the Muttly Crew

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    Yeah lol. Webby was fat for a while in Spring 2010 -- it was awful. We were moving and my office had become Box Storage Zone. Well the little guy figured out a path through the boxes to the back of the room where he knocked down a bag of kibble I was keeping for treats (they were on raw) and chewed a little hole in it. The girls would have scarfed til they made themselves sick and it would have been obvious but as far as we can tell Webster just...snacked frequently. For a MONTH. I was going crazy cutting back his food, took him to the vet thinking something was wrong (how does 20lb dog gain weight while eating less then a 1/4lb of raw food a day!?), etc. Finally figured out what was going on when I saw him emerge from that room one day and remembered that bag of kibble...felt like it took an eternity to trim him back down but we made it lol.
     
  7. Laurelin

    Laurelin I'm All Ears

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    Yeah they've never been good about set the food down, if the dog doesn't eat in a few minutes, pull it up. So they tried to cater to Rose, who is very picky and will skip meals. If she had her way, there'd be food so she could grab a kibble here and there. Well, they'd keep the bowls full and Beau would just pig out on the food all the time. I've never seen a dog so lazy, he will just lay down right next to the dish and put his head in it and scarf it all down all the while lying down!
     
  8. Shai

    Shai & the Muttly Crew

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    Efficiency ;)
     
  9. Dekka

    Dekka Just try me..

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    More than exercise diet is the biggest factor in weight loss. I bet you find he will WANT to be more active as the weight comes off. I would drop him down (switch to raw? I find raw is a great equalizer) and just take it easy till some weight comes off.
     
  10. Laurelin

    Laurelin I'm All Ears

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    You guys think raw would be okay? He has BAD problems on most kibbles. Like I said, duck and salmon seems to work for him. Is it okay to only feed him premade with those proteins?

    He is very hyper naturally and very active. He didn't get any kind of off switch till he was about 4 years old. Despite being a beach ball with legs right now, he still is eager to play and go walking. He absolutely loves playing rough.
     
  11. Shai

    Shai & the Muttly Crew

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    Depends on how bad you mean. Kim does great on raw even though most kibbles cause issues for her (a few are tolerable but I wouldn't say she really thrives on them). But in raw form I can give her just about every ingredient in a problematic kibble and she's fine. I think it's something about the processing? But if there are certain proteins you know Beau is directly allergic to in a bad way then that's another issue...with Kim she acts fine other than being a bit itchy so I'm able to play around and figure out what works for her without doing any real harm.
     
  12. Dekka

    Dekka Just try me..

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    I would try the raw in what he can handle. Having fat or even just squishy fosters come in, I have found raw to be the best at getting them to look good. And since you feed your other two raw anyway...
     
  13. Laurelin

    Laurelin I'm All Ears

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    He has the runs almost constantly on most kibbles. Even after a transition period, he'd just have a blow out quite often and then (ew) and it was constantly trying to clean him up. He was having trouble a few times a week.

    I've never tried raw with him but his handler used raw with him when she was showing him. He looked great on it and very muscular. I've found Summer and Mia keep at a better weight on raw than even high grade kibble so that would be my ideal. But it might not be okay if I don't get the okay to keep him here all the time. I'm not sure they would give him raw since it's more work. Maybe if I bagged it up and set it out for them?

    Cross your fingers for a permanent move for him!
     
  14. Zoom

    Zoom Twin 2.0

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    I think I'd go raw, since you already know he does well on it. Also, raw chicken seems to be tolerated better than chicken based kibbles for whatever reason.
     
  15. Lyzelle

    Lyzelle New Member

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    I think it is the processing of the meats that causes issues. Zander has chicken kibble issues, but eats raw chicken just fine. He has similar issues with dairy. And even green beans. Canned green beans? It's coming back up. Frozen? Just fine. It seems to be that way with most dogs.
     
  16. sassafras

    sassafras mushinois

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    I am a huge marshmallow about most things, but one thing I am cold as ice about is feeding my dogs. It will be hard for him to go to free choice/on demand/multiple feeders, but he'll live.

    Regarding the raw, I would really encourage you to try it for him. I am not a "raw cures everything" kinda person but some dogs clearly do better on it. Squash is one of those dogs who has always had kind of mushy stools. I've tried many different kibbles and too many other things to list. But transitioning him to about 50% raw has done wonders for his stools, and it's my understanding that TWAB has changed Shammy (Squash's brother for those who don't know) to mostly raw for the same reason with the same results.

    Personally I use the pre-made varieties like Primal and Nature's Variety as well as a small local brand/company because I am lazy and don't like to futz with food all that much.
     
  17. golden&hovawart

    golden&hovawart New Member

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    I think with his allergies and weight,raw is the way,to go!.
    Lower the amount of food,up the exercise and he should get there,in no time.
    If hungry,you can add green beans.
    As for exercise,I would push the swimming as it's gentle on the bones and slowly,bring up the exercise so that he doesn't get sore.
    Papillon are naturally active so that shouldn't be a problem + the other 2 will keep him,active.
     
  18. adojrts

    adojrts New Member

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    You get my vote as well for the raw. Either way, try adding, green beans to his diet as a filler if he starts to stress about the lack of food.

    I would recommend mulitple short sessions of exercise a day, avoid hill work and be careful with balance disks. Very short sessions (1 minute) until he has some conditioning on him, easy to strain something in the beginning. As much free time off leash playing with others dogs will be a huge benefit.

    If other ppl are feeding him, make up his meals in baggies, marked AM and PM, this is a great way to ensure that he isn't over fed by several ppl. And you will know how much he is getting. If I have an animal on a strict diet, then I make up the food and have it ready to serve and lock up the rest. :)
    Having managed large horse farms for many years taught me that ppl just don't understand (or care) that giving too much or too little isn't great when it happens all the time. What is a cup of food to one person is half a cup to another and 2 cups to the next lmao.

    If I am doing a lot of training and using food rewards, I will count each and every kibble and rewards into even numbers and split it over the multiple training sessions.
     

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