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Discussion Starter #1
Sorry for the long post.

As most of you know, poor Frankie-boy had to have an eye operation before Xmas, which thankfully turned out to be a benign papilloma. As is always the case whenever Frank goes to the vet, they moan about his weight. I just can't win. When Rosie goes in, she needs to put weight on, when Frank goes in he's overweight.

When it comes to Frank, I think the vets believe I'm shoving biscuits and treats at him all the time. But it's just not the case. On a walk, I take with me a pouch of his kibble, and most often that pouch will do me for over a weeks walks. The dogs don't get rawhide, dental chews, biscuits/treats on a daily basis. Rawhide particularly, one a month is a novelty. I give them stag bars, they have raw carrots and they have apples. They might get a tail-wagger when I'm about to go out the door and leave them for a while, but thats about it. All the stuff they got at Christmas is in a big storage box and I know they will still be eating them at Easter because they don't get given them daily. In the morning Frank has a kong with a slice of bread (I know this is supposed to be a bad thing but it's ONE slice of bread! - until his dinner at 18:00!).Sometimes in the morning they have 1/2 a banana or a bit of scrambled egg made with skimmed milk and 1/2 a slice of toast. Sometimes no bread at all - just a small banana in his Kong. He doesn't have a giant sized bowl for dinner, he has maybe 4-5 handfuls of kibble and 1/2 a tin of meat - the same as Rosie.

I am always mindful of Franks weight and feed him accordingly. I never let my guard slip on it... but actually achieving a loss takes forever. The most I have ever been able to shift off him is 2 kilos, it took over a year and was "missed" by the vet due to incorrect weight records. I know that Frank was over 40 kilos and he got down to just over 38. Activity wise, he tends to do a couple of minutes of mad bum-tucking and then plods for the rest of the day. Unlike Rosie who does everything at breakneck speed.

However, since he was at the vets in May with the horrid dermatitis/ear-infection trouble, his weight has crept up again, so I was kinda expecting it to be mentioned. As it is, he's now at 40.5 kilos, .5 of a kilo heavier than ever. This time, the vet wants him on a "special diet." She wants to put him on "Royal Canin Saterity". And, horror of horrors, she wants me to go into the surgery for some kind of "Doggy Weight Watchers" support group. I'll be honest, I'm back at Slimming World myself, and the thought of having to drag poor Frank along for weekly weigh-ins whilst I get preached at by the rather condescending veterinary nurses at our surgery, well... it fills me with dread.

The vets do sell this food... but she advised me I could find it cheaper on the net. Cheaper!! - good gracious how much does it cost then, the best I've found is £52 for a 12kg bag... and that's on sale!! I want the best for my dogs of course! - but I was out of work between end August & October and only working 12 hrs a week in retail since, so we've had to tighten our belts. They've been on Wagg Complete Worker, with Sainsburys own 1/2 tins. This may well have been the culprit, it's probably not the greatest diet, but I have to say... their coats are fabulous on it. I am due to start work again so they can go back to their previous diet (Unbadged Arden Grange Senior - they were on the Senior because it was lighter in protein and oils/fats than the "Light" and also because it had additional chronditin/glucosamine). I can also try and add some additional exercise 1-1 with Frank in addition to our existing walk schedule.

What do I do about the "Doggy Weight Watchers"? And is it enough just to switch back to the Arden Grange, or do I really have to put him on this ridiculously expensive food?
 

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I would forget about the special food.

4-5 handfuls - how much is that weight wise and how big is the tin which he has half of?

I'd cut his food by a third and maybe add in some vegetables to increase the bulk. To be honest id have him off the tinned too.

Wendy with Charlie might be a good one to ask if she doesn't seem this as I know she'd had to have Charlie lose some before due to his hips or similar.

Good luck.
 

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Just give him less food at meal times-simples!
He gets similar treats to my 2 although I use low fat yoghurt and cottage cheese in kongs as a rule if it isn't their breakfast or dinner in there. Mine sound more active than Frank and they are smaller anyhow... Luna nearly half of Frank, in fact! but even so they only get probably just over a big handful of food for each meal, wet stuff is saved for birthday treats!
Luna really is so much better health wise when her weight is lower and if I can strip nearly 2kg off her (23-21kg) while she was on restricted exercise (lead walks of strict lengths and a little bit of swimming) after her op just by reducing her food then giving Frank 3 handfuls of food instead of 4/5 and just 2 spoons of wet food if you have to should give you results... Swimming, if he will do it is a great weight reducer.
It is a matter of finding the balance between matching what goes in with what they burn off. The more weight a dog Carries the less active they are, the more they put on. The less weight they carry the more active they are and the more they can eat :) happy Labrador! I have yet to see Lunas ribs, I've told her the day I do is the day she gets a HUGE treat everyday for a week!
 

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I find the dogs easier than myself Margaret!

I never thought Luna needed to lose weight, she'd always been 'fine' at 25kg.. I came away thinking getting her to 23kg would be impossible and not necessary from her specialist then I stopped myself and thought 'hang on a tick' I've paid this guy a lot of money to assess Luna... What's the worst that happens? She loses too much weight, I see her ribs and joy of joys she gets to eat takeaway food for a week to put it back on! I got her to 23kg, specialist felt another kg off could be beneficial... I agreed this time! And it was beneficial :) she's usually between 21 and 22kg now and is happier that weight i'm terms of activity, stiffness etc.

So just remember on these doggy diets... The worst that happens is they have to put weight back on! Labrador heaven! The best is healthier, happier dogs!
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks guys.

I think the first thing I need to do is have a very stern word with the hubby. I know that he's over generous with the feeding of all three dogs. With my working evenings he's been doing more of the feeding and I think thats probably half the problem. (For example I found out last night that Pepi is getting biscuits and meat, whereas I just give him one or the other!)

So here we are, a little action plan for Frank -

1. We have a bag of the current food left - next buy is the previous food again.

2. Weigh out the kibble and portion it in tupperware boxes - then he gets the same portion no matter who is feeding.

3. Get rid of the tinned food initially, hopefully this will make a difference. And monitor the rationing of the Christmas box!!

4. Kick up the exercise. Swimming would be a good idea.... but he is genuinely very frightened if out of his depth and hyperventilates!! It's a bit cold at the moment for Mummy rescues like we've had in the past! :D

5. Get him weighed after the 1st month, and then cut kibble by a third again if he hasn't shifted anything.

Is that an appropriate start do you think?
 

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Sounds like a good plan. Good luck! What about pieces of veg instead of apples? Would they eat a rice cake instead of bread? Do they really need bread?

I was thinking how overweight Coco looked yesterday. We're now having an extra walk in the evening - it will do both of us some good. She's been having her food plus our left overs recently. It needs to stop or she'll never do flyball again.
 

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Both my 2 struggle with their weight. They are both big lads - very solid and chunky, but both need to lose some.

At his heaviest, when Charlie was on no exercise for ages, his weight went up to nearly 44kg. He went on the Chappie, carrot and cabbage diet (as recommended by the specialist) and he got down to 37kg which the specialist says is just right for his frame. He carries most of his weight on his front and has a real tuck up waist. Since his toe problems started back in November, he's crept up again to nearly 39kg so I need to get a couple off him again.

Dudley is a real solid boy but has crept up to 40kg. so needs to shed around 3kg. I tried him on the Chappie, carrot and cabbage diet but he didn't lose any.

They are fed twice a day of 1/4 tin of Chappie (was 1/3 but reduced it this week) and one scoop of Autarky light (about 100g - it's a hamster food bowl I use). At lunchtime they both have a small raw chicken wing.

My biggest problem is hubby and son who give them treats :roll: :roll:
 
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My friend has a labradoodle about the same size as Charlie but with a lot more fur :D Bailey also a girl was getting a bit overweight and my friend said she hardly ate anything. So one day I asked her to weigh was she normally put in her bowl. It weighed 290 grams which is three times what Charlie eats per meal twice a day? My friend could not believe the difference in the amount we fed our dogs. Each dog is different but I do think that weighing the food is the way to go, it's a good plan and you can adjust it accordingly. Bailey has now lost her 3 kg and looks better for it. Good luck with Frankie x
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Wow, Wendy, I'm so glad you posted...It does give me a guide, knowing how much other show-lab types weigh. And I think this is part of the problem. My vet seems to think Frank should weigh about 30-33 kilos and Im not sure I agree with that!

Chappie Cabbage and Carrot diet? Can you tell me a bit more how that works?

Frank is a big boy. If I look back at the pictures of Frank on his first day with us, he looks thin. I mean, you can see his ribs. See attached "Thin Frank" pictures... the first one his ribs are clearly visible, less so in the second one but his head looks sort of too big for his body? Yet the same week as these pics were taken he saw the vet and she said "He needs to lose weight!"

Ive tried to find a recent pic of him standing but cant... but these two were taken late last year.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
here's the last one...
 

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See attached "Thin Frank" pictures
How much did he weigh there, Jane (in the bottom of the three photos)? I'd be looking for him to be roughly the same weight again, with maybe 1kg more on him, but no more than that. I don't think he looked "thin" as such, in fact I think he looks smashing there, but I realise some people don't like to see Labs ribs. Yes he has a big ol' "man" head, but I don't think it looks too big for his body. He has a lovely length of neck (I hate seeing neckless, head stuck on their shoulders, Labs), you can see his shoulder blades, but you can't see his hip bones or spinous processes at all, so to my eye he looks pretty much a perfect weight.

I know it is harder to keep weight off a Show type Lab, but that doesn't mean you need to settle for them being overweight all their lives, as this is so detrimental to their health. I battle with all my dog's weights. I have trouble keeping the weight off three of them and on the other two, so I'm always juggling feed amounts and food types.

At the moment I have my "Fatties" on a small raw meal in the morning (and by small I mean miniscule), then on JWB light in the evenings. I can reduce their weights by using ordinary food, but I then have to feed so little of it (and by that I mean only one handful and I've only got little hands), they get very hungry and start scavenging. So as much as I hate the idea of "diet" food for dogs, at least this way I can keep them satisfied and get the weight off. Once they have reached their target weight, I'll just mix the diet food in with normal food which the "Skinnies" are having, to try to keep their weight's level. Like most of us here though, my menfolk are prone to giving far too many tidbits to my dogs, which is why I have to keep such a close eye on their weights, otherwise they creep up.

My Fatties would love to be like my Skinnies, as they get twice as much food in their bowls, but just seem to burn it off. I'd love to be like my Skinnies too, but I'm obviously FAR more Show Type than Working :wink: so I'm on a diet again.
 

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Chappie Cabbage and Carrot diet? Can you tell me a bit more how that works?
It's 1/3 tin of Chappie with a bowl full of cooked cabbage and carrots, twice a day. This is a diet that the specialist recommends. It isn't a long term diet but for getting weight off it seems to work - well it did for Charlie, but not Dudley.
The other problem we have with Duds is that he's such a thief. He'll pinch anything from anywhere given the chance :roll: :roll: He's constantly looking for food when we're out - it's surprising how much food people throw down when they're out :roll:
 

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Indi has weight issues especially over here we have to walk the socks off her in winter as in summer she can barely go out for walks even gettin up at 4am or walking her at 9pm is too hot for her so we are currently walking her within an inch Her life to get her summer weight off. As u no Jane we religiously weigh all her food since the day we bought her home! She has little Tupperware pots we weigh the food in and are sealed. She has 150g of JWB in the morning and at night and has very little treats now in the day! Her food is determined by her weight so we increase/decrease accordingly until we get the balance right! She is now about 32kg and is looking just right!i know that if we took her to a vet they would say she has to lose at least 2kg but she doesn't look right so skinny.

It thought frank was looking really good when I saw him in NOvember! He didn't have a tummy and had a nice tuck at his waist!
 

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Maybe we could start a doggy weight watchers on here?? As I know there are probably a few of us that are trying to shift weight off our dogs? Summer needs to loose about 3-4kg depending how much she is now I need to get her weighed but she eats very little at breakfast and dinner and doesn't have that many treats except on a sat at training but even then I've cut her back on that and chopped the treats even smaller than before so every like 6th treat is actually only one hole one
 

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Oh Frank is lovely in that bottom picture! Bless him.

I know the problem. Simpson our old chocolate was a constant battle to drop weight, whereas Barney out black was too thin! They were both fed exactly the same but Sim would pile it on. Barney didn't help as he always left the last mouthful of his food for Sim to eat! We struggled with Sim for ten years as he also fitted and we were told there was obviously a greater risk of a heart attack when fitting if he was too heavy. I would have felt so bad if he'd died as a result of being overweight.

All I can suggest is the same as other people. Reduce his rations - poor boy!

Susan and Poppy
 

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AshleighandSummer said:
Maybe we could start a doggy weight watchers on here?? As I know there are probably a few of us that are trying to shift weight off our dogs? Summer needs to loose about 3-4kg depending how much she is now I need to get her weighed but she eats very little at breakfast and dinner and doesn't have that many treats except on a sat at training but even then I've cut her back on that and chopped the treats even smaller than before so every like 6th treat is actually only one hole one
I am up for the doggy weight watch, Suzie has atleast 2 kg to lose poor girl.
It is a shame as she gets less now than previously, plus a good run everyday, and is very hungry and noisy at food times :eating: .
I am sure it is something to do with her huge furry coat that seems to be atleast 2/3 sizes too big for her, does anyone else have the big baggy coated doggy syndrome :? .

June
 

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fiz said:
I am up for the doggy weight watch, Suzie has atleast 2 kg to lose poor girl.
It is a shame as she gets less now than previously, plus a good run everyday, and is very hungry and noisy at food times :eating: .
I am sure it is something to do with her huge furry coat that seems to be atleast 2/3 sizes too big for her, does anyone else have the big baggy coated doggy syndrome :? .

June
I think Poppy needs to join - vet said she needs to lose 2 kg, so we're working hard on it. Poppy has a very thick fluffy coat with a loose baggy neck and I'm also sure her under carriage is less tight since her spay :? She gets plenty of exercise and although I can see her ribs when she moves sometimes, her waist is definitely a bit thick, which makes me wonder if (like humans) different dogs put fat on in different places. For example Poppy's legs, chest and shoulders are well muscled and she seems to have quite pronounced sprung ribs with little fat covering, but that waist and abdominal tuck are what lets us down :roll:
 

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Luckily all mine hover around the 30kg mark and always have. But poor Finn has such a massive fluffy ginger coat that I often try and cut his back a little and then I see him when he's wet after swimming and think bloody hell I need to up his food not cut it!
 
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