Haley weighed in at 77 lbs. at her vet visit this morning. Her last visit was 70 lbs. right on the dot. I am currently feeding her Pro Plan Lamb & Rice and she gets a cup in the morning and a one and a half cups at night. She gets a two mile run every morning and a mile bike ride every afternoon and goes to the dog park three times a week so I don't think she's lacking exercise. Her vet recommended a restricted calorie diet and suggested Science Diet which I've heard enough about to steer clear of that brand. She is solid and I'm wondering if like humans muscle weighs more than fat? Any suggestions if I choose to switch foods what would be a decent food to feed her without lacking the nutrients she needs to keep a healty coat and system. Thoughts and suggestions are great appreciated!
How does she look? Does she look fat, can you feel her ribs, or does she look lean and muscular? If the latter, I would worry less about what her actual weight is.
If not, the she's either eating too much or exercising too little, or perhaps there's an underlying medical cause (i.e. hypoactive thyroid).
If she's gaining fat then she is consuming more calories than she's burning and your only options are to burn more calories or consume fewer calories. I don't like calorie restricted diets. They have very little protein and fat, and they're just not healthy. They can be useful for dogs that need to loose weight quickly (i.e. congestive heart failure, diabetes, etc.), but the average dog can usually get by with more exercise and feeding smaller quantities of food. I don't know that you'll find a food that is low calorie and won't ruin your dogs coat.
If you decide she needs to loose weight, I'd do away with most treats and use the kibble as a treat. Bob Pr has described a useful method in that you place the day's portion of food into bags and take kibble out of the bags to use as treast. This allows you to know exactly how many calories she's getting, and the treats come out of the day's "calorie bank" which keeps you from adding calories throughout the day.
Some people add low-calorie fillers like green beans or carrots to help them feel full (especially in the beginning when there's a sudden reduction in the volume of food).
Thanks Nick. She looks great and I was shocked at her weight. You can easily feel her ribs and even see them hence my shock when she weighed in. My only concern is we all know we don't want our dogs carrying around the weight cause its bad on their joints. She gets so much exercise you don't even know a dog is in the house cause she crashes and we don't hear a peep out of her. She fell asleep on her bully stick twice but she just didn't want to give up chewing on it. We don't feed her a lot of treats...just the occassional here and there while training but I think your right its not what the scale says its how she looks and even her vet said she looks great but if I were concerned to look into a restricted calorie diet...ugh! Thanks again for the insight.
If the dog is overweight and needs to lose weight, then simply feed her less - say 1 cup in the morning and 1 cup in the evening - if that doesn't do it then cut her food further. IMO it is a mistake to go to a low calorie food, they are full of fillers and are low in fat, so sometimes a dog's coat suffers.